Parquet Flooring: A “Retro” Look Makes a Comeback
There was a time when you’d be hard-pressed to find a home without parquet flooring somewhere inside it. During the 1950s and 60s, these stylish patterned wood floors were all the rage–a perfect accompaniment to the mid-century modern look. As wall-to-wall carpeting became popular, parquet floors all but disappeared beneath them.
However, in the last few years, parquet flooring has begun making a comeback, in part due to the resurging popularity of the mid-century modern look. Buyers of older homes often find parquet flooring lurking under the carpet during renovations. And lately, new home builds around the country are increasingly calling for parquet flooring.
More Timeless than Retro
We tend to think of parquet floors as a “retro” look, mainly because they makes us nostalgic for an earlier time. In reality, parquet wood floors are practically as timeless as wood flooring itself. Parquet patterns first emerged in the 1600s when French aristocrats used them as an alternative to marble floors. At the time, due to the labor and materials involved, only the very wealthy could afford them. (The Hall of Mirrors at Versailles is one of the most famous early examples of parquet.) Parquet floors have made numerous appearances in the centuries since—for example, in famous homes like Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello residence. But they really came into vogue in American middle-class homes during the early to mid-Twentieth Century when mass production made them more affordable. Then, carpeting came along…and you know the rest.
What Is Parquet Flooring?
Parquet is not so much a specific pattern as it is a type of installation—a series of small pieces of wood cut into geometric shapes, then individually laid. Many of us automatically think of “parquet” as the common squared-off “basket-weave” look. But in fact, parquet encompasses many different and unique patterns, from the traditional Chantilly and Monticello patterns of old France to the modern looks of Herringbone and Chevron floors today. (Yes, Jefferson named his home after the Monticello parquet design of his floors.) Even some of the unique custom floor designs Renaissance installs have their roots in the parquet flooring tradition.
Where to Install Parquet Floors
Even as this flooring style comes back into style, you generally won’t see it as a primary style throughout the home. Interior designers like to use it to accentuate the look of a particular room or as a way to draw attention. Parquet floors can add wonderful drama and interest to entryways and foyers, for example. They also add elegance and richness to a study. Parquet floors even serve a practical purpose in concealing foot traffic and wear-and-tear in dining rooms and kitchens.
Whether your home plans call for parquet flooring or the rich, classic look of hardwood floors, our team is committed to making sure your floors are installed to the highest levels of quality and craftsmanship. Call Renaissance Hardwood Flooring for a free quote today at 918-298-4477.