Parquet, Chevron, and Herringbone Floors

Parquet Versailles

The parquet de Versailles pattern is a distinguished style of parquet which originated in 18th century France.

Parquet hardwood flooring is increasing in popularity, especially in higher-end, upscale settings. The history behind parquet flooring is an interesting one, and installing parquet floors offer unique advantages to hardwood floor contractors.

It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with parquet floors in case you come across a request for this type of flooring from a potential customer. So we’ve put together some important information about this type of flooring for your reference!

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The history of parquet flooring

Parquet hardwood floors have a rich history beginning in ancient Rome.

Herringbone floors – Photo by New Concept 180

The herringbone pattern got its start when city architects in Rome realized that pointing road bricks in the same direction as foot traffic lent the roads more stability.

In 16th century Europe, the herringbone pattern was first used in wood flooring. The 17th and 18th centuries saw patterned flooring blossom in popularity, with herringbone and chevron floors being installed in places of nobility throughout Western Europe. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, herringbone and chevron wood flooring continued to be a popular choice, with France giving rise to different patterns like the parquet de Versailles.

Following World War II, the popularity of wood floors in general declined as carpeting gained popularity as a cheap alternative.

During the 1990s, hardwood floors saw a resurgence in popularity. In recent years, patterned hardwood floors have seen a major comeback and are now installed in a variety of projects, lending a more upscale look to almost any space.

What is the difference between parquet, chevron, and herringbone flooring?

The term parquet is usually used as an umbrella term to describe flooring which includes patterns. Therefore, parquet floors include the chevron and herringbone patterns. Parquet floors can also incorporate other geometrical patterns such as triangles and squares but can also contain curves.

Boston Garden Parquet Floor

The flooring at the Boston Garden arena was parquet. Photo credit: Eric Kilby, Flickr Creative Commons

Chevron flooring is recognizable through its “V” pattern, which can be laid either diagonally in relation to the walls in a room or parallel to the walls. This floor pattern can make a room appear more spacious than it actually is, particularly when wide planks are used.

At first glance, chevron and herringbone floors may seem the same. However, although they both have “V” shaped formations arranged in a zig-zag formation, they are indeed different patterns.

With herringbone, the pieces are staggered so that the end of one plank meets the side of another. In contrast, the chevron pattern consists of planks which are cut on an angle where the planks form a straight line where they meet.

The square basket, diagonal basket, and brick pattern are some of the other styles available in parquet flooring.

The advantage of installing parquet floors as a contractor

Having parquet projects in your portfolio is sure to impress prospective customers, even those who are not looking for parquet flooring, because it demonstrates an advanced level of craftsmanship and helps you bring something different to the table.

The skills needed are fairly similar to those needed to install a standard hardwood floor. Many parquet floors are engineered and as such must be glued down, but some ¾” solid parquet is appropriate for a nail-down installation. Always refer to the flooring manufacturer’s instructions for details about which installation methods are appropriate for your particular flooring.

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