How to Lay Parquet Flooring | Laying Herringbone & Chevron

In this guide, we will take you through the general process of laying your parquet floor. The technical details may change based on the room or the specific floor used, so it is essential that you also refer to the manufacturer's guidelines before you get started.

This guide is for engineered parquet only.

Tools Needed for Laying a Parquet Floor

Before you start laying your parquet floor, you should get the following tools ready:

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Crow bar
  • Mallet
  • Saw
  • Glue
  • Spacers

Other tools may be required, depending on the parquet you are laying, but the above are the basic tools you will most likely need.

Safety

Remember, this process will involve a lot of kneeling, so we strongly recommend using padded knee pads. We recommend safety goggles and dust masks for sawing boards and ear defenders when using power tools.

Before Laying Your Parquet Flooring

Before you lay your parquet flooring, you must first prepare the area. To do this, you need to:

Acclimatise the Boards

Before you lay the boards they will need to acclimatise. This is as simple as leaving them in their box in the middle of the room for around 2 days. The room should be kept at a steady, normal temperature (at least 18 degrees).

Prepare the Subfloor

Make sure the subfloor is as clean as can be. Sweep, hoover and wash the floor before leaving it to dry. It must also be level, which means less than 3mm deviation over a 1m area.

Fit the Underlay

Once the surface is prepared, you can apply your underlay to the entire floor area. Placer the roll at one end of the room and unroll from the wall. Simply use scissors or a knife to trim at the opposite end. Continue across the room, making sure the edges meet but don't overlap, as this will create an uneven floor. It's important for the thin Damp Proof Membrane to overlap if this is larger than the rest of the underlay. It's best to leave a 10mm gap around pipes, but make sure the DPM reaches slightly up the wall to protect the edges of the boards.

You can find out more about suitable underlay in our parquet underlay guide.


Laying Parquet Flooring

Once you have gathered your tools, prepped your subfloor and fitted the required underlay, you can now lay your parquet flooring. How you lay it will differ slightly depending on the pattern you want to lay your parquet in. You can find out more in our parquet patterns guide.

No matter what pattern you are laying, you need to start by:

  1. Measuring the room carefully
  2. Add spaces around the edge to allow for expansion
  3. Find the central line across the room
  4. Remember, how you lay your first row will affect how the rest of the floor looks, so it's important to get this right.

When laying parquet, be aware of what flooring material you use and lay accordingly. For help with the various flooring materials, take a look at our installation guides.

How to Lay Herringbone Flooring

Herringbone is a popular parquet pattern which gives a broken triangular effect. You can find our engineered wood suitable for this pattern in our herringbone flooring collection.

To lay herringbone flooring, follow the below steps:

  1. Pick a wall to be your back wall where you'll start your installation. Begin by laying the first panel on the left-hand side of the wall. Place an A panel at 45 degrees to the left wall. The panel shouldn't be touching the wall, but should be less than one panel's length away (image 1).
  2. Next, add a B panel, pressing the long side against the short side to make an L shape (image 2). Make sure the edges line up. Continue across the floor, alternating A and B.
     
  3. Centre the panels along the back wall so that the distance between the row and the side walls is equal and less than 1-panel length. Cut the end panels to fit against the wall (taking account for the 10mm expansion gap) and put them in place.
  4. Working from left to right, start to install the A panels in the second row.The second row of A panels should overlap the short end of the planks in the first row.
  5. Once these are in place, install the B panels, working from right to left. Install 2 more rows for a total of 4 complete rows.
  6. These 4 rows now need to be cut so that they sit flush along the back wall.
    1. Measure and mark a straight line across the middle, from left to right, where you intend to cut.
    2. Disassemble these rows so you can make the cuts - we recommend numbering each plank on the reverse so that you know how to reassemble them. They should fit together to make triangular sections.
  7. Arrange the triangle sections against the back wall and start to add further rows, fitting the A panels left to right and the B panels right to left.
  8. Measure and cut last row to fit in place - remembering the 10mm expansion gap. Our engineered boards are designed to line up perfectly and come pre-finished, which means there's no need to sand down and finish like other parquet floors.
Tip: If you are installing engineered parquet flooring in more than one room, try to alternate between starting with A boards and B boards. This should prevent situations where there is an excess of either A or B boards after installation, reducing overall wastage.

 

You can also find herringbone laminate and herringbone LVT. When installing these, refer to the flooring material installation guide for preparation and installation, but you can follow the above to create the pattern.

How to Lay Chevron Flooring

Chevron is another popular parquet flooring pattern; this is where planks are cut and then laid in a triangular style. This pattern creates a zig-zag effect. You can find our engineered wood that is cut ready for laying in this style in our chevron flooring collection.

Chevron is a little more difficult to lay than herringbone. Here's how to lay chevron flooring:

  1. If the parquet flooring of your choice is not cut in parquet style, you will need to cut the short edges at a 45-degree angle, making an equal number of left-hand and right-hand planks.
  2. Draw up a layout plan to help you avoid unnecessary cuts.
  3. Assemble 4 rows of the chevron; this will use 4 right-hand and 4 left-hand planks; the short edges should match up. Do this at a back wall where you will start, but not touching the wall.
  4. Continue this pattern across the room until you have four complete rows.
  5. You can now cut these so that they will be flush with the back wall. First, measure and mark across the middle where you intend to cut. Then disassemble the planks (remembering to number them). These should refit together to make triangular sections, which can be added against the back wall.
  6. Once the triangle is laid, add further rows.
  7. Measure and cut the last row into place, remembering the 10mm expansion gap.

Because chevron flooring is more complicated to fit, we advise you to have this style fitted professionally.

Installing Parquet Flooring

There are more patterns you can lay your parquet flooring in. However you lay your parquet, ensure you have a plan for the pattern, and allow yourself plenty of time. The charm of parquet flooring is all in the pattern, so it's important to get this right. We highly recommend hiring a professional to lay your parquet flooring if you are unsure.

We have a range of engineered wood that can be used as parquet flooring. You can also get parquet effect LVT, which is a budget-friendly way to achieve this look.

If you have any questions on laying parquet flooring, feel free to contact us and one of our team will be happy to help.


Specific manufacturers installation guides

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