What’s the Deal With Parquet Flooring — And Does Anyone Actually Want It?

If you’re new to homeownership or are merely trying to find ways to spruce up your property this spring, you certainly aren’t alone. In fact, four out of five renovating homeowners are replacing major bathroom features like countertops, showers, and sinks, while many others are focusing on kitchen renovations or adding en suites. But regardless of your home’s layout or your personal style, most people can usually agree that the flooring in a given space can make a huge difference in how it’s perceived.

Thus, it’s no surprise that hardwood flooring remains one of the most popular choices in interior design. But while boring boards are typically common, there are other types of wood flooring that will be sure to turn heads. And while they may have previously been dismissed as being outdated, they’re making a real comeback. It seems that everything old really is new again.

That’s right: we’re talking about parquet flooring. This unique type of wood flooring has been around for centuries, but it’s only recently starting to be en vogue again — thanks in part to a retro resurgence. If you yearn for something a bit different under your feet but still love the idea of using natural materials, you might want to consider saying “OK” to parquet.

What is Parquet, Anyway?

Although the word parquet is derived from the French word for “enclosure” or “small compartment,” it’s generally seen as a grandiose expenditure (one historically reserved for the very affluent). It’s a term that refers to floors that are created with wood inlaid in a geometric pattern, though these patterns are not defined in a rigid way. You might see them in herringbone-like patterns, as well as square motifs and even sunburst shapes. In the simplest terms, it’s a wood floor that’s been skillfully cut and laid in beautiful patterns. Once you’ve seen it, you’ll usually be able to recognize it from then on.

Why Do Homeowners Like It?

With more than 100,000 species of natural hardwood that can be found on the planet, some may wonder why this particular type of wood flooring is so captivating. For one thing, it’s been seen as a sign of prestige. Since creating parquet flooring used to take so much time and skill to complete, this technique was often reserved for well-off homeowners (though it can often be found in public buildings, as well). Therefore, it’s also a rare sight to find in many American homes, which means that demand for it may be higher — particularly as more homeowners are drawn towards elements that could be considered vintage or historic. Finally, this type of floor can be a real show-stopper. It’s basically like having an art piece built into your home, adding significant visual interest and texture to any room. Ultimately, that means it can add a lot of value and make an otherwise ordinary space feel truly special.

Where Can I Find Parquet and How Can It Be Used?

Approximately 85% of U.S. homes were built prior to 1980, but parquet can often be found in structures that are older than that. Originally, parquet flooring was first used at Versailles during the 1600s, later gaining popularity throughout France and Italy. It was often used by homebuilders during the 1800s in the United States, though the time-consuming flooring method was replaced with simpler techniques once mass-produced homes started to gain steam during the following century. However, some older homes may actually have parquet hidden underneath other flooring products that were subsequently installed right on top. So if you have laminate, vinyl, or even carpeting and your home dates back to at least the 1970s, you might want to see whether you might get lucky when you rip up the flooring.

Even if you don’t have original parquet, it can still be installed today. While it’s often used in hallways, entryways, and dining rooms, it can certainly be used in home offices, walk-in closets, spare bedrooms, and kitchens. Basements are a no-go, since the risk of moisture and flooding aren’t worth it, but most other rooms are fair game. Even better, you won’t have to spend a fortune on a custom-made parquet floor these days. There are often solid hardwood and tile options (even ones that are DIY-friendly!) that you can use to transform any space with relative ease.

If you tend to be drawn to old-fashioned stylistic elements or merely want a way for your home to stand out from the rest on the block, a beautiful parquet floor can make a huge difference. Assuming it’s properly installed, you can stun your guests and get even more joy out of your home when you incorporate this retro-yet-relevant element.

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