A Brief History of Parquet Flooring

6 August 2019

The Beginnings of Parquet

During the late 1600’s when earth and concrete flooring was common in the homes of commoners and marble slabs were the preferred flooring for the wealthy, a new type of flooring was introduced in Versailles, France. This flooring was made by hand cutting small pieces of various colored hardwoods into geometric shapes using squares, triangles, and rhombus diamond-like shapes.

These hand cut pieces of  wood were glued to a concrete sub-floor and then scraped, sanded and polished to give them the then popular desired aesthetic.

The patterns in which the pieces were placed was called Parquet and  you would often find only professionals with the required skills were able to lay them. Because of the expertise and time involved in installing these pieces of art parquet floors were extremely expensive and only appeared in the homes of the very wealthy.

Incorrect regular maintenance of these floors by servants the floors would start to cup and crack and have to be replaced , which meant starting the expensive process over again.

Introduction of Carpeting and the downfall of Parquet

Wood flooring and Parquet floors in particular remained popular until the 1930s when carpet was introduced as an alternative floor covering. For a while the popularity of wooden flooring dwindled.

Return Of Parquet

However, interest in wood flooring was renewed in the 1980s and 90s . Parquet floors are now more popular than ever. The designs of parquet flooring add a certain kind of artistic beauty to the natural warmth of modern day wood floors. The newer 3D designs work as well in both rustic and modern homes. The herringbone design is still a firm favorite . Gone are the more artsy Versailles Parquet designs of the 1600s in their place are more durable and longer lasting floors with a quiet beauty and design.