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All about parquet flooring: Colors, Wood Types, & Care Tips

Posted on May 3, 2023


Mastering the Art of Parquet Flooring: A Comprehensive Guide to Contrasting Colors, Wood Selection, and Maintenance

Parquet flooring is a timeless and elegant home decorating style that has captivated homeowners and interior designers for centuries. Known for its intricate patterns and high-contrast colours, parquet flooring adds a touch of sophistication and visual interest to any space. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the art of parquet flooring, delving into the various woods used, the importance of contrasting colours, and essential care and maintenance tips to keep your parquet floor looking beautiful for years to come. parquet flooring

The Origins of Parquet Flooring

The history of parquet flooring dates back to the 16th century, when it was first introduced in the grand palaces of Europe. The word ‘parquet’ itself is derived from the French term ‘parqueterie,’ which means ‘a small compartment.’ This flooring style quickly gained popularity as a symbol of luxury and opulence, and it continues to be a sought-after choice for discerning homeowners today.  History pf Parquet Flooring

The Importance of Contrasting Colours

One of the key elements that makes parquet floors so visually appealing is the use of contrasting colours. By combining different shades and hues, designers can create intricate geometric patterns that draw the eye and add depth to a room. This high-contrast colour palette is achieved by selecting woods with distinct natural colours and grain patterns, which are then arranged in various patterns, such as herringbone, basketweave, and chevron.

Common Woods Used in Parquet Flooring

There are several types of wood that are commonly used in parquet flooring, each with its own unique colour palette and grain pattern. Some of the most popular choices include:
  1. Walnut: Walnut is a rich, dark brown wood that often features unique swirling grain patterns. Its deep colour provides an excellent contrast to lighter woods like oak and maple, making it a popular choice for parquet flooring.
  2. Oak: Oak is a versatile and durable wood that comes in a range of colours, from light blonde to deep brown. Its distinctive grain patterns and ability to take stains well make it an ideal choice for creating contrast on parquet floors.
  3. Lime: Lime wood, also known as basswood, has a pale yellow hue with a fine, straight grain. It is a lightweight wood that is easy to work with and provides a subtle contrast when paired with darker woods.
  4. Cherry: Cherry wood is known for its reddish-brown colour that deepens over time. Its straight grain and medium hardness make it a popular choice for parquet flooring, providing a warm and inviting contrast to other wood species.
  5. Maple: Maple is a light-coloured wood with a tight, uniform grain pattern. It is highly durable and resistant to wear, making it a popular choice for high-traffic areas in the home. Its light hue creates an attractive contrast when paired with darker woods like walnut.
  6. Pine: Pine is a softwood with a distinctive knotty appearance and a range of colours, from pale yellow to deep reddish-brown. Its rustic charm and affordability make it a popular choice for creating contrast on parquet floors.
In addition to these common wood species, some parquet floors also incorporate more exotic and tropical hardwoods, such as mahogany and ebony. These woods can add unique colours and textures to a parquet floor, enhancing its visual appeal.

Installation Considerations

Parquet flooring installation requires precision and skill to ensure that the patterns and colours are arranged correctly. In the past, heated bitumen was used to adhere the wood pieces to the subfloor, but today, cold adhesives are more commonly used. These adhesives provide a strong bond while allowing for some flexibility as the wood expands and contracts with changes in humidity.

Cleaning and maintenance tips

Proper care and maintenance are essential for keeping your parquet floor looking its best. Here are some tips to help you maintain your parquet flooring:
  1. Regular sweeping: To prevent dirt and debris from scratching your parquet floor, sweep or vacuum regularly. Be sure to use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment to avoid causing damage to the wood.
  2. Gentle mopping: When it comes to cleaning your parquet floor, it’s important to avoid using excessive water, as this can cause the wood to swell and warp. Instead, use a damp mop with a mild cleaning solution specifically designed for wood floors. Be sure to wring out the mop thoroughly to avoid leaving any standing water on the floor.
  3. Preventative measures: Place mats or rugs in high-traffic areas and near entrances to protect your parquet floor from dirt and wear. Additionally, consider using furniture pads or coasters under heavy furniture to prevent dents and scratches.
  4. Prompt spill cleanup: To prevent stains and damage, clean up any spills on your parquet floor as soon as possible. Use a soft, absorbent cloth to blot up the liquid, and then gently wipe the area with a damp cloth and mild cleaning solution if necessary.
  5. Refinishing: Over time, your parquet floor may show signs of wear, such as scratches and dullness. To restore its original beauty, consider having your floor sanded and refinished by a professional. This process involves removing the damaged top layer of wood and applying a new finish to protect and enhance the natural colours and grain patterns.
  6. Regular maintenance: Depending on the type of finish used on your parquet floor, you may need to periodically apply a maintenance coat or wax to keep the surface protected and looking its best. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the specific finish on your floor.


The art of parquet flooring is a beautiful and timeless home decorating style that brings warmth, sophistication, and visual interest to any space. By choosing the right combination of wood species and contrasting colours, you can create a stunning parquet floor that is truly a work of art. With proper care and maintenance, your parquet floor will remain a stunning focal point in your home for many years to come. So, embrace the elegance and charm of parquet flooring and transform your living space into a masterpiece that reflects your unique taste and style.

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