What is Parquet Wood Flooring?

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Parquet timber flooring is known for its striking geometric patterns. With its durability and beauty, this traditional style of flooring is a great way to add warmth and character to a space.

If you are considering a parquet floor in your space, this article has everything you need to know. We explore how it is installed, the various patterns, and the pros and cons to keep in mind.

Artiste Vermeer Herringbone-1-1

What is a parquet floor?

Parquet floors are made of small wood pieces arranged in a geometric pattern. This creates a distinctive aesthetic, adding personality and interest to the room. However, it is not commonly used in New Zealand as it is relatively expensive and time-consuming to install. 


How to install parquet floors

When installing a parquet floor, individual blocks of wood are placed and fixed down piece by piece. Each block is fixed to a solid backing material, which provides strength and structure. 

Depending on the pattern and size of the pieces, installation can take a long time. At Forte, we offer parquet flooring as pre-finished boards. This way, you can install it quickly and efficiently, while still achieving the signature parquet look. 


Parquet floor patterns 

While the possibilities are endless, the most common parquet patterns are as follows: 


Checkerboard squares

The wood is laid in a symmetrical checkerboard pattern with alternate squares laid in different directions. 



The brickwork pattern is stacked like a brick wall with each block spanning the two blocks directly below and above. 



The diagonal blocks are laid so that they interlock in a diagonal pattern. There are two different sizes, creating an overlapping effect where they meet in the middle. 



The chevron also consists of diagonal pieces lined up in a repeating zig-zag pattern. The difference is that the pieces are all the same size, meeting in one straight line. 


Advantages of parquet floors

Parquet is a great material for a bespoke floor as you can use pattern, texture and colour to create a unique effect. Key advantages include: 

  • A unique aesthetic

  • A wide range of patterns

  • Made from hardwood or engineered hardwood

  • Can be installed on timber or concrete


Disadvantages of parquet floors

While parquet floors are striking, they may not appeal to everyone. Key drawbacks include:

  • Time-consuming installation 

  • Expensive 

  • High maintenance

  • Susceptible to water damage


Unfinished vs pre-finished parquet floors

As with most timber flooring products, parquet flooring can come unfinished or pre-finished

Unfinished parquet floors require far more site work. Firstly, the small pieces of wood must be placed and secured one by one. When the entire floor is laid, you also need to sand, stain, and seal it. This does mean you have more flexibility in customising the floor but the process is time-consuming and expensive.

Pre-finished parquet floor boards are completed in the factory and need no further finishing once they’re laid. Instead of laying individual pieces, the installers lay large boards with the pieces fixed to them. This saves a lot of time, provides a more consistent look, and creates a more durable finish. However, there may be fewer options for custom finishes.


Water damage on parquet floors 

Depending on the installation process, maintenance and environment, wooden parquet floors may be susceptible to water damage. With regular exposure to moisture, the wooden blocks can swell, warp, or cup over time. 

To avoid this, it is crucial to clean spills, maintain optimal indoor humidity levels, and apply appropriate sealants to protect the floor's surface. Depending on the flooring you choose, it may need to undergo an acclimatisation period before being laid. 


How to refinish a parquet floor

One of the advantages of timber parquet flooring is that it can be sanded and refinished several times during its lifetime. Simply follow these steps: 

  1. Remove all furniture and clean the floor. 

  2. Sand and buff to remove the existing finish and smooth any damage.

  3. Remove residual dust with a vacuum and a microfibre cloth.

  4. Apply your product along the floor edges with a cutting-in brush.

  5. Use a roller to coat the floor evenly with your chosen products.

  6. Let the floor dry completely.


Forté projects with parquet floors

Hepburn's Road House, Ashburton 

Designed by Davinia Sutton, the themes of Hepburn’s Road House are longevity, proportion, symmetry, and durability. To complement this, our engineered hardwood floors were laid throughout the house, with the kitchen in a chevron parquet pattern.


Bang & Olufsen, Newmarket 

The Bang & Olufsen brand is all about enchanting the senses so the Newmarket store needed a luxurious floor to match. The honey-toned timber was laid in a herringbone pattern to add intrigue and depth.


Hall we need, Ponsonby

When Jess Britten and Warren Durling renovated a historic hall in Ponsonby, they chose our Moda Capri Herringbone flooring. The couple were after responsibly-sourced materials, so our products were a perfect match.


Islington Street, Ponsonby

Designed by Spatial Studio, this Islington Street project is a moody combination of dark and light. The chevron parquet floor is an elegant addition, with a dark stain to highlight the textured grain.


Still not sure which wood flooring option is right for your project? Speak with a member of our team today. We will help you find a flooring product that suits your needs, tastes, and budget.

At Forté, we offer a wide range of engineered hardwood flooring, including bespoke parquet designs. Every board is sustainably sourced, low in formaldehyde, and designed for New Zealand climates so you can trust the quality every time. To see our colour and grain options, browse through our online catalogue



Visit one of our Showrooms

If you have any queries about our products or need help with your project, we can provide you with expert advice. Visit one of our showrooms or book a consultation with our flooring experts today.