Wood flooring has stood the test of time, gracefully furnishing homes and offices with its timeless beauty. Over the years, its styles and designs have evolved, bringing to the forefront popular choices like parquet and plank flooring. In this blog, we’ll delve into the intricate world of wood flooring, drawing a comparison between the ever-classic parquet flooring and the contemporary plank flooring.
1. Understanding Wood Flooring
Before we delve into specifics, it’s important to understand the broader category of wood flooring. Wood flooring, at its core, is a product made from timber that’s designed for use as flooring, either for aesthetic or structural purposes. The beauty of wood floors lies in their versatility. They can be tailored, stained, and finished in countless ways, making them adaptable to a myriad of interior designs.
2. The Timeless Appeal of Parquet Flooring
Origin and Design
The word ‘parquet’ originates from the French term ‘parquetry’, which means a patterned arrangement of wood pieces. Introduced in France in the late 1600s, parquet flooring has since become synonymous with sophistication and artistry.
Parquet floors are made of wooden tiles created by arranging small pieces of hardwood in repeating patterns, often geometric. The most renowned pattern, perhaps, is the ‘herringbone’.
Distinctive Patterns: Parquet’s intricate designs can elevate the look of any room, adding an artistic touch.
Versatility: It’s adaptable to various wood types and stain colors, making it suitable for diverse interiors.
Durability: Properly maintained parquet floors can last for decades, testament to their longstanding popularity.
3. The Contemporary Choice: Plank Flooring
Design and Structure
Plank flooring, as the name suggests, utilizes wider and longer wooden boards or ‘planks’ to cover the floor. These planks give the floor a more expansive and seamless look compared to traditional strip flooring.
Rustic Appeal: Plank flooring brings a rustic, farmhouse charm to a space, making it perfect for those wanting a natural ambiance.
Fewer Seams: Thanks to its width, there are fewer seams between boards, creating a smoother look.
Varied Widths: Planks come in varied widths, catering to individual preferences and different room sizes.
4. Making the Right Choice: Parquet vs. Plank
While both parquet and plank flooring fall under the umbrella of wood flooring, they cater to distinct tastes and aesthetic sensibilities.
Room Size: In smaller rooms, parquet can make a space look busy, while plank flooring can give the illusion of a bigger area.
Maintenance: Parquet floors, with their intricate patterns, might be a bit challenging to refinish. On the other hand, plank floors, with fewer seams, can be easier to maintain.
Aesthetic: For those seeking an artistic, classic European touch, parquet is ideal. But if a more rustic or contemporary feel is what you’re after, plank flooring is the way to go.
The decision between parquet and plank flooring is subjective and largely dependent on personal preference. Both are exquisite choices within the wood flooring category, each with its unique set of advantages. Whether you’re looking to make a bold statement with intricate patterns or seeking the understated elegance of wide boards, there’s a wood flooring option perfect for you.
Whichever you choose, the warmth, and natural beauty of wood underfoot remain unparalleled. Whether it’s the intricate allure of parquet or the expansive beauty of plank flooring, wood floors truly are an investment in timeless style and lasting durability.
The Golden Age of Parquet
Originating in France: The term “parquet” comes from the French word ‘parqueterie,’ which was first used in the 16th century. This flooring style, known for its beautiful geometric patterns, started as a luxurious alternative to marble in grand European estates.
Artistic Masterpieces Beneath Your Feet: Each parquet floor was a work of art. Craftsmen would meticulously arrange small wooden blocks into stunning patterns, from basic herringbones to more complex star and floral designs.
Natural Insulation: Apart from its aesthetic appeal, parquet flooring served a functional purpose as well. The wood provided natural insulation, making rooms warmer and quieter.
Challenges and Decline
Maintenance and Upkeep: While beautiful, parquet floors required considerable upkeep. These floors often needed regular waxing and polishing to maintain their shine and prevent damage.
Changing Aesthetics: As interior design trends shifted, the complex patterns of parquet began to feel outdated to some. Homeowners started leaning towards simpler, more natural-looking floors.
Rise of the Plank
Broader, Bolder, Better: As time moved on, the allure of broad wooden planks began to rise. These planks offered a rustic charm that resonated with those seeking a natural ambiance in their homes.
Versatility in Design: One of the biggest appeals of plank flooring was its adaptability. With wood species ranging from oak to walnut, and finishes from matte to glossy, homeowners could choose a design that fit their personal style.
Technological Advancements: The modern age brought about improvements in wood processing and installation. Engineered wood planks, which consist of a veneer of natural wood on top of multiple layers of other wood types, became a popular choice due to their stability and resistance to environmental changes.
Ease of Installation: Plank wood flooring, especially with advancements like the tongue-and-groove system, made installation quicker and more secure. Unlike the painstaking process of laying down intricate parquet designs, planks could be installed with relative ease.
Sustainability and Wood Flooring Today
Eco-friendly Options: With the growing awareness of environmental issues, the wood flooring industry has made strides in ensuring sustainability. Reclaimed wood, which is repurposed from old structures, offers a rustic appeal while reducing the need for fresh logging.
Hybrid Designs: Modern technology allows for the blending of old and new. Today, you can find plank flooring that imitates the designs of traditional parquet, offering the best of both worlds.
The journey of wood flooring, from parquet to plank, is a testament to the ever-evolving tastes and technologies of our world. While we have seen a shift from the ornate designs of yesteryears to the broad, minimalist planks of today, one thing remains consistent: wood’s unparalleled ability to bring warmth, character, and charm to any space. Whether you’re renovating an old home or designing a new one, consider the rich history of wood flooring as you choose the perfect foundation for your space.