A new life for your parquet floors
When you have lived in the same place for several years, the condition of the floors often goes unnoticed. However, when you visit a house for sale, it’s often very apparent when the floors need some work. Fortunately, it is possible to give parquet floors a new life. Here’s how:
Step 1: Assess
Wood used for parquet flooring is varnished. Over time, the varnish may start to come off. Dirt can also get between the small boards that make up the parquetry. Worse still, some sections may have been damaged by liquid or chair legs.
The first step is to examine the entire floor:
- Are some parquet tiles so damaged that they need to be replaced?
- Has the floor colour changed?
- Does it seem as though the parquetry is always dirty?
Even if your parquet floors are in relatively good condition, you may want to give them a bit of extra care. Whatever the reason behind the spruce-up, the floor must be repaired before doing anything else.
Step 2: Repair
While it may seem simple to change one section of the parquet floor, it isn’t—the natural colour of the wood and even the size of the tiles can vary enough to lead to issues.
If you absolutely need to replace a section of parquet flooring, be sure to choose wood that matches the natural colour and grain of the wood.
Keep in mind that a section may seem like a lost cause due to a large trouble area, but you may be able to return it to its former glory after sanding (the next step).
Step 3: Sand
As is the case for traditional hardwood flooring, which is made up of long planks, parquetry can be sanded to breathe new life into it. A floor sander, which can easily be rented, must be used.
Before sanding, remove all baseboards to ensure that you have access to the entire floor surface.
Sanding a wooden floor is a fairly tricky process, so don’t hesitate to call in a specialist. Depending on the variety of wood used for the parquet flooring, more than one sanding may be carried out. However, if you are not satisfied with the results, there is only so much that can be done to correct the situation!
Consult with a specialist to determine which grit to use when sanding, based on the variety of wood.
Step 4: Finish
At this point, the challenge is not carrying out the work, but choosing how you want the floor to look! Hopefully, you’ve already thought about what kind of finish you want: natural finish, stain, oil finish or paint.
A natural finish consists of applying only one varnish. This brings out the natural colour and grain of the wood. With light wood, a natural finish could add brightness to a dark room. Another advantage when you don’t apply another finish is that you are skipping a step, so the process will be completed more quickly.
Stain adds colour but allows the grain of the wood to be visible. There is a wide variety of colour options, so you’ll be able to match the colour with your decor.
An oil finish adds rich colour to the floor and replaces the final coat of varnish.
Paint completely obscures the grain of the wood.
Another option is to add a design under the varnish.
Should you do it yourself or hire a professional?
You could do the work yourself, based on the condition of the floor and your skill level. However, if your floor is badly damaged or you need to get the job done quickly, it is best to hire a professional.