In the past parquet flooring was made from strips of wood fixed into square blocks. This type of parquet floor was extremely sensitive to moisture and usually bulged when exposed to moist conditions. However, today parquet floors
are more resistant to moisture as they are made from ply or a hardwood that is given a laminated finish. Infact today parquet flooring is even being installed at basement level. The care and cleaning tips for parquet floors is discussed here.
The advantage of parquet flooring is that it offers a wide variety of design options for the home owner. There are several types of parquet including laminate, multilayer, bamboo parquet, solid parquet, lamparquet, mosaic and others. It is made from beech, cork, maple, cherry tree, oak classics and the darkwood varieties. As with other types of wood flooring the best method of taking care of parquet is preventive maintenance.
Parquet floors should be kept dust free by sweeping them often. This is because particles of sand, dirt and debris entering from outside may scratch the surface. Thus the best way to maintain parquet is to keep it free from dust and dirt. In addition to sweeping and/or dry mopping daily it is advisable to place carpet rugs at the entrances to trap and keep the dirt out. They should also be kept in high traffic and high use areas. These rugs should be kept clean by vacuuming often.
You must avoid using pointed heels on parquet flooring to avoid denting the surface. When moving furniture avoid dragging them on the floor. They should either be lifted and moved or should be moved with carpet rugs under them and slid over the floor carefully. For better protection use wood protector covers under the furniture legs. In order to provide additional protection to your parquet floor you can use a cleaner-cum-polisher. As the name suggests it will clean and polish at the same time. This will bring cleaning down requirements and provide adequate protection.
To prevent pets from scratching the surface their nails must be clipped regularly. Avoid using water for cleaning parquet floors and clean up water immediately if it spills on the floor. The same goes for spilling of beverages. Proper instruments with flat surface should be used for cleaning such floors along with soft and terry cloth. Cleaning regularly with cloth keeps the floor shining.
Parquet flooring is easy to maintain. If the surface starts to show signs of wear then a little light sanding and resealing with varnish returns it to its original condition. In parquet the wood grain of one block lies at 90 degrees to the next. Thus sanding of parquet needs patience as using too much force can damage the grain. Although big drum sanders or big orbital sanders can be used to accomplish the job of sanding fast, they can result in over sanding at spots unless used carefully.
For non professional sanding work hand held orbital sanders are good although they may take a little more time to finish the job. They produce less dust and are thus more convenient. Some also come with dust bags like vacuum cleaners. It is advisable to use sand paper of decreasing grit size, starting with coarser and finishing with the fine. Start with 20 or 60 grit size and finish with 120 for a very smooth surface. Finally after the sanding is over give three layers of polyurethane coating for a new shining finish. These care and cleaning tips should help you to keep your parquet flooring in good condition and increase its life.