It's versatile, bold and beautiful – parquet may be found beneath your feet, but it's the crowning glory of any interior.
It's hard to believe that parquet flooring ever fell out of fashion. Used by King Louis XIV in his dazzling royal court at Versailles in the 1600s, its popularity spread across Europe, from intricate designs in palaces and grand public buildings to the humble herringbone in the homes of everyday folk.
Come the 1930s, however, and parquet was either hidden for decades beneath its carpet contemporary or, even worse, pulled up and destroyed.
Thankfully, those that survived served as a reminder of this most decorative of flooring options, and with the trend for geometric interiors still going strong, parquet is currently experiencing a much-deserved revival.
Pick your pattern and palette
For a flooring technique developed centuries ago, it's amazing how well parquet fits with modern interiors. From a sleek entrance in a minimalist hallway, to a modern rustic lounge, parquet is as versatile as it is beautiful.
The pattern can have a big impact on the feel and flow of a space – even making a room feel bigger or smaller depending on the direction the blocks are laid.
In addition to herringbone, popular options include chequered, basket weave, brick and chevron. More intricate diamond and artistic inlay designs are also possible - the only limit is your imagination.
The colour range is equally as diverse as the pattern. Alongside the traditional warm tones you'll find on-trend greys, brushed whites, rustic browns and natural honey tones.
From a modern white parquet in the lounge, to a warm rustic herringbone in the bedroom, this abundance of choice is what makes parquet so appealing.
An option for every room
Love the look of parquet but worried about the maintenance of a solid wood floor? Or perhaps you'd like a parquet pattern in your bathroom but the moisture will damage the boards?
Good news: parquet is available in three different flooring types, increasing its versatility even further.
A solid wood floor comes out top in the hardwearing stakes – it can be sanded down and re-finished repeatedly to eliminate scratches and dents. The launch of prefinished parquet in 2018 has made it even more appealing as it cuts a three-day job down to two. Available in oil or lacquer, it also guarantees the colour and finish – something you can't get when the finish is applied on site.
Where solid wood doesn't score so highly is in rooms with moisture or extremes of temperature, which can cause it to shrink or expand. Therefore, solid wood isn't an option in bathrooms, conservatories, basements or rooms with underfloor heating.
Engineered flooring, on the other hand, has the same finish, thanks to a solid wood veneer, but the layers of HDF, plywood or soft wood make it more resistant to moisture and temperature. It can also be sanded down and re-finished – although not as many times as solid wood.
An engineered floor is also a great option for confident DIY-ers, as some ranges are available with a locking joint option which makes installation much simpler. Even if you don't feel up to the job yourself, the locking joints will save you money on fitting costs as it cuts a three-day job down to one day in experienced hands.
Laminate flooring is also available in parquet and is the more durable of the three flooring materials. Laminate flooring is fantastic for areas receiving high foot traffic and is commonly used in bathrooms and kitchens as its resilient to water. Our laminate flooring comes in herringbone, parquet, and chevron patterns.
For bathrooms where a waterproof floor is required, luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) come into their own. Super tough and incredibly versatile, this increasingly popular flooring option is now available in parquet-style tiles.
The beauty of vinyl tiles is that they come in both wood and stone finishes, and parquet is no exception. Combined with feature grouting strips, you can achieve the aesthetic qualities of a parquet stone floor without having to worry about cold feet and cracked tiles.
This is an increasingly popular option, with several new product ranges launched in the second half of 2018. Perfect for those who want the parquet look combined with the versatility, convenience and value of vinyl tiles.
It's more affordable than you think
Just like a statement piece of furniture or piece of art, a parquet floor traditionally carries a higher price tag than other flooring options. This comes down to two things: it's made from solid wood, and it takes time and skill to create the intricate patterns.
However, modern flooring options such as engineered boards and vinyl tiles are more affordable than solid wood and have also been designed to make laying a much easier and quicker process.
Swedish flooring brand Kahrs has an engineered glue-down parquet range which starts at under £40 per m2, making it much more affordable than traditional solid parquet blocks. It's also easier to fit, which makes installation cheaper.
So if you want a "wow" floor, parquet's the way to go.