Parquet floors is one of the simpler do-it-yourself projects. Contrary to the belief that the little pieces on a parquet floor is intricately and individually laid during installation, it is actually prefabricated together into larger tiles. Some come pre-finished, omitting the last need to apply a finishing. It is no more difficult to install than vinyl floor tiles.
Allow approximately 10 to 15 work hours to complete a 9\’ x 12\’ room, longer if underlayment is needed. For personal safety you will need respirator/face mask, ear protectors and eye protection. During installation, you will need tools like carpenter\’s pencil, hammer, pry bar and wood wedge, utility knife, extension cords (heavy duty), heavy duty shop vacuum, chalk line and chalk, fan(s), jigsaw, tape measure, notched trowel, carpenter\’s square, 150 lb. roller and handsaw. If an underlayment needs to be installed before laying the floor, you will need leveling compound, particle board or luan mahogany plywood abd 6-penny ring shank nails. To lay the parquet you will need mastic or adhesive, reducer strip, parquet tiles, adhesive cleaning solvent and plywood rags.
Observing safety during installation is important. Always use safety glasses or goggles, ear protectors, respirator/face mask and rubber gloves when power tools are in use/when sanding, sawing or using substances with toxic fumes/solvents. Always unplug power tools when malting adjustments or changing blades, drill bits, or sandpaper and ensure tools are properly grounded.
Tie back loose hair neatly and ensure clothings do not get caught in power tools. Have adequate ventilation with window fans and keep away from heat sparks and flames when applying adhesives or mastic as some are highly flammable. Keep blades sharp as a dull blade requires excessive force and can slip and cause accidents. Seal all healing and air conditioning ducts and electrical outlets. Take care in storing oily rags which can spontaneously combust.
Installing the Parquet Floor
1. Start by laying the outlines that will serve as a guide in installing the parquet floor tiles. Ensure a 6 inch adjustment when needed. Cross two lines approximately in the center of the floor and divide your room into four equal quadrants. Lay the tiles out from the center where the lines cross toward the corners. Make sure these two layout lines are perfectly perpendicular to each other.
2. Next apply adhesive after the subfloor has been properly prepared. Clean and vacuum well to ensure there are no protrusions from nails, splinters etc. Ensure good ventilation as adhesive fumes can be toxic.
REMEMBER : Extinguish all pilot lights or open flames since some adhesives are highly combustible.
Common mistakes made during this process is using the wrong adhesive and applying when the adhesive/room is too cold or using the wrong trowel. Follow the manufacturer\’s instructions closely and remember most adhesives should be stored in a room heated at 70 degrees for 24 hours before applying. The wood tiles should also be stored loosely in the room for at least 24 hours to acclimate to its temperature and humidity.
A toothed trowel should be used and spread adequate amounts of adhesive (1/8 inch ridges) up to, but do not cover, the working layout lines, following the pattern of laying tiles and at a 45-degree angle. Be sure you spread no more area than can be covered in two to three hours. Hold the trowel at a 45-degree angle to get even ridges. Allow the adhesive to thicken and become tacky (usually 1 hour) before laying the tiles.
3. Start laying the files once the adhesive has been set up. Lay the files in the pattern shown as described by the manufacturer, usually done in a pyramid fashion. Place the tiles exactly up to the layout lines. The tiles are tongue and grooved and fit together, although there may be a need to use a mallet or hammer and a block of wood to ensure they are fitted firmly together. Spread a sheet of plywood as a kneeling board over the newly laid tile as you continue to work to avoid stepping directly on the tiles (be sure though that there is no adhesive between the board and the tiles). Ensure there are no debris lifting the ties. Do not slide them the tiles into place. After every few tiles, tap the tiles with a mallet or hammer and a block of wood to be sure they are properly seated. Clean immediately is any adhesive gets on the tiles with a rag soaked in solvent. Do not apply solvent directly to the tiles as that could damage the finish.
Use a fine-toothed handsaw / power jig saw to cut border tiles. Leave a ½ inch gap between these border ties and the walls.
4. Use a 100-150 pound floor roller rented from a supplier and go over the finished floor. Or alternatively a kitchen rolling pin with all one’s weight will work. This must be done within four hours of when the adhesive was originally spread to ensure proper adhering. Clean up any excess adhesive immediately.
5. Replace shoe molding. Nail the molding into the wall, not the flooring, to allow expansion over time. Use reducer strips where the new floor meets another floor or is either higher or lower than the new flooring. Trim down your doors as the new flooring would have increase the floor height. Doors must be tested before scraping them across the floor and marring the floor.
Do not walk on the floor for 24 hours after installing.