Parquet wood floors have a reputation for longevity and resilience. The floor of Boston Garden basketball arena, which housed the Boston Celtics until 1995, was made up of 247 individual parquet panels, and some of those panels were left over from the original floor construction done in 1946. There are a variety of ways to hook parquet flooring to the subfloor. The Celtics' crew uses bolts for easy disassembly in the team's new arena, but homeowners looking for a more permanent flooring solution may glue the floor down.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Floor cleaner
- Levelling compound
- Band saw
Open all doors and windows or use an electric fan to circulate fresh air. Some cleaning products and adhesives can product fumes and odours that can be harmful if breathed oo long.
Clean the subfloor thoroughly, removing any dirt, dust, wax, sealer or other debris. Any of these contaminants can ruin the way the adhesive sticks to the floor. Use product-specific cleaners (such as wood cleaners) to remove all contaminants.
Level the subfloor. Sand high areas with coarse-grit sandpaper, or fill low areas with levelling compound designed for the subfloor's material. Gaps or uneven areas in the subfloor can result in cracking or leaking in the floor. Clean the surface again after repair to remove sanding dust, excess filler or other contaminants.
Open your adhesive container and fill a trowel with adhesive. Hold the trowel at a 45-degree angle and spread it across your work area. Work only within an area that you can cover within 60 minutes. Some adhesives will dry completely within this time, and you will not be able to glue the parquet in place.
Lay the floor tiles immediately onto the adhesive while the adhesive is still wet. If the adhesive has dried, scrape it up and apply new adhesive. Trying to adhere tile to dry adhesive can result in bumps or uneven flooring areas.
Set the first tile at an intersection in the centre of the room. Align each following tile squarely against the previous tile. Lay them as close to your intended place as possible, because shifting or pushing the tiles too much can result in movement of all previous tiles.
Install all tiles in the first area, leaving a ½-inch expansion space next to the walls. This will allow room for the tiles to expand as the humidity or temperature in the room changes. Cut parquet tiles with a band saw or sabre saw if necessary to make them fit.
Move to the next area of installation, spreading the adhesive and laying the parquet as before. Maintain the ½-inch expansion space on all walls. Allow the adhesive to dry for 36 hours before walking on the parquet tiles or placing any furniture in the room.
Tips and warnings
- Some adhesive products can last up to 90 minutes between application and drying out. Consult your specific adhesive instructions for details. Keep the lid closed on the adhesive after you load the trowel to prevent it from drying out.
- Lay out your tile design on paper or lay the tiles in place before you apply the adhesive, so that you know how to proceed with your installation.
- You can install parquet flooring over subfloors made of plywood, concrete, tiles, stone and other types of flooring. If you are unsure about the stability of your subfloor, consult a flooring professional. You may need to install a steady underlayment to ensure stability.
- Repair any damage to the subfloor before installing the parquet floor. The subfloor must also be sufficiently dry; check the moisture with a meter available at hardware and home improvement stores. Your parquet product will come with instructions regarding moisture allowances.
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