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Cost of Installing Parquet Flooring

A guide to installing parquet flooring, including the costs of labour and materials along with what the job entails.

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The traditional parquet design always adds a classic and contemporary twist to either your conventional or contemporary home, giving an additional edge of elegance. The durable nature of this flooring makes it suitable for a variety of spaces, including hallways and lounges. Each block of parquet flooring is very tough and can handle high levels of movement while maintaining the timeless appeal of real wood. Obtainable in a range of colours and blends, parquet flooring is both elegant and hardwearing and adds quality to your floor.

Parquet blocks permit a lot of choices when it comes to their installation since they can be laid upon practically everything – from concrete and self-levelling compounds to dry screed and plywood successfully, as long as the subfloor is clean, dry and flat.

Costs involved installing parquet flooring

To hire a joiner or carpenter, you can expect to pay £90 to £150 per day on average for labour. It typically takes 2-5 days to lay, all depending on the size of the floor. You can choose from hardwood such as beech, maple and oak or a softwood like pine. If you want something more hardwearing, and less likely to scratch, hardwood is best. You can pay on average:

  • Beech £35 to £70 per square metre.
  • Maple £27 to £60 per square metre.
  • Oak £32 to £80 per square metre.

You can find pine slightly cheaper, costing around £20 to £70 per square metre.

What installing parquet flooring entails

Installing parquet flooring from scratch is a relatively big undertaking and will usually require the old flooring to be removed first. The subfloor needs to be examined to determine whether it is in a good enough condition for parquet blocks to be fitted on top of it. If the subflooring is not of a good standard, then necessary repair work will need to be carried out, since parquet flooring requires a good substrate to support it.

The new flooring will need to be fixed in place on the subfloor, and this is best achieved using a solid rather than a flexible adhesive as it will prevent the individual blocks moving once adhered. Many older systems used bitumen as an adhesive, and if you are using reclaimed parquet, there may be traces of bitumen left on the tiles. This will have to be removed to prevent the possibility of uneven surfaces.

The parquet blocks will need to be acclimatized to the room and kept in a moisture-free and warm state to ensure that there is no retained moisture prior to them being fitted. This will generally mean that they need to be stacked loosely in the room where they are to be fitted for at least two weeks before the actual laying process.

If the flooring is being fitted as a replacement, the job will also entail the disposal of what may be a substantial amount of old flooring, which may be subject to regulations at Council-owner waste and recycling centres.

Other jobs to tackle

As stated above, complete removal of old flooring is also an ideal opportunity to examine and repair the subflooring as required. Since this kind of work is usually only tackled very infrequently, the subflooring could potentially deteriorate over that period of time, and it should be thoroughly examined for its condition and suitability for installing new flooring. The subflooring may also experience some damage while the old top layer is being removed, and this will have to be assessed too. Ideally, for parquet flooring to be successful, the subfloor should be flat to within 3/16" in 10' and/or 1/8" in 6'. And it should be very smooth.

When fitting solid wood flooring such as parquet blocks, the finished flooring must have a gap of at least ten to fifteen millimetres all around it to act as an expansion area, should the floor experience change in temperature or humidity. This gap can usually be hidden with the skirting board, so with the old flooring system removed it is also expedient to remove the skirting boards and either renovate them or replace them with new items. These can be refitted once the parquet flooring has been successfully laid.

Preparation for parquet flooring

If the flooring is going to be installed in a new build house, any concrete that it will be resting upon must be allowed to thoroughly dry out for as long as one month before the blocks can be safely applied. Failure to do this could lead to a shifting of the floor when weight is put on it and, ultimately, an uneven finish and even cracked parquet blocks. Similarly, laying parquet flooring is best achieved once any wet-work at all – including the application of plaster onto walls – has been completed so that there is no source of moisture in the room. At least two weeks before to the installation of the parquet flooring, humidity in the area should be measured at not more than 40-60% and the temperature no less than 65-75 °C. This will ensure that the parquet blocks are in their maximum dry state and are suffering no expansion from moisture retention. This means that once fitted; the floor will not experience any unsightly shrinkage when the blocks are in place.

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Sam J

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