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Discover the origins of parquet

Posted on the 20/03/2019 by Karndean Designflooring

Each of our Art Select woods tells a story, and the inspiration behind our parquet designs is particularly interesting.

Marble slabs were once the preferred floor coverings for the wealthy in France, but in the late 16th century a new kind of flooring was prevailing in Versailles. Small pieces of hardwood made up of various colours were hand cut into geometric shapes and then glued down to create an eye-catching pattern. The wood was then scraped, sanded and polished to complete the look.

Pictured above: Hall of Mirrors & Salon de la Guerre, Versailles (Pinterest)

Parquetry, as it became known, grew quickly in popularity, leading to more complex designs being created. The intricacies and time involved meant that only skilled and expensive professionals were able to fit this luxury flooring. As well as this, there was an inability to properly maintain the floor leading to regular replacements, so for a long time parquet was only found in the homes of the wealthy. When parquet reportedly came to Britain in the 17th century, it was used in country estates and grand palaces.

Although parquet remained in high demand for centuries, when carpets were introduced during the 1930s, interest in parquet and wooden flooring in general took a dip. However, thanks to interior designers’ enthusiasm for vintage and traditional flooring options, it was revived during the 80s and 90s and is now more popular than ever, adding beauty and sophistication to any home, whether rustic or contemporary. 

Pictured above: Blond Oak AP01

While exuding style and elegance, real wood parquet does have its inconveniences– it is mandatory for the planks to be resealed, sanded and polished regularly and they can be susceptible to moisture. In addition, real wood does little to absorb noise which can be impractical for rooms upstairs, or flats and apartments. 

This is where our Art Select Parquet designs come in. Through meticulous attention to detail, our Art Select Wood collection includes our most intricate designs and realistic embosses, meaning you can have an authentic parquet floor with none of the practical drawbacks. Our products are water resistant, warmer and quieter underfoot, they maintain their shape throughout their lifetime, and they are very easy to keep clean.

You can look to the striking diagonals of herringbone, a classic and timeless design most associated with parquet, or step away from the traditional and look to introduce block designs or shaker style in your home.

Pictured above: Auburn Oak AP02

Click here to view our full range of parquet designs, and share your favourites with us on Facebook and Instagram.