Friday, October 5, 2012

How to Attain Perfect Parquet

If you have parquet flooring that is in urgent need of some care and attention then the first thing to do is to carefully remove all shreds of carpet or vinyl that is hiding your parquet flooring under a less-than-attractive covering! Even if the design is hardly visible, parquet is remarkable in that it will come up like new with some proper care and the right treatment.

Parquet designs

In addition to the classic herringbone, Hungarian point, chevron and square designs, parquet is the only flooring design that offers a beautifully constructed 3D effect. If you are fortunate enough to have uncovered a wonderful circular or step-effect 3D synchronic pattern then you are on to a unique showpiece which, when properly restored, will be the envy of everyone who sees it.

Parquet flooring adds value to your home

Classic parquet designs come in a variety of natural hardwoods, although if your flooring dates to around the 1920s then it is likely to be an oak variety, beech or mahogany.

Whatever the wood type or design, perfect parquet adds real value to any property. Estate agents and conveyancing solicitors agree that properly restored real wood flooring adds value and stimulates viewing interest, making it easier to sell your property, even in the middle of a soft real estate market.

Fools rush in

If you wish to do the restoration yourself then take time to plan ahead. Be aware too that the perfect restoration will require a high degree of DIY skills, so be sure you can carry out the process before starting out.

You will of course need to remove the original veneer and this is safely done by using an up-to-date sanding machine with integral dust collector. The floor should be examined first and all ragged or broken nails removed, replaced or hammered in. Check for gaps too as all spaces between the boards, however small, should be filled before the sanding process begins.

If you have never operated an industrial sander before then make sure you ask questions at the hire company so that you are confident you can handle the machine before you take it out of the shop.

Depending upon the shape of the room, the condition of the flooring and whether there are any stairs, you may also need to hand sand to get into those difficult to reach areas. Hand sanding is done on the knees so in addition to your safety equipment of gloves, goggles and dust mask remember to use knee protectors.

Perfecting sanding

When sanding, make sure you travel over the blocks carefully and slowly. Be sure you spend an equal amount of time on each block, although of course if some blocks have particularly stubborn residual veneer sticking you will of course have to spend extra time on those. But in the main do not over-sand any areas, as this will become evident in the finished look.

You will probably find that you need to sand your parquet flooring more than once, especially if it has been a few years since it received the attention it deserves! In between sandings it is always a good idea to sweep the floor with a soft brush before re-sanding.

Your sanding is finished when the floor has an even smoothness all over. Remember that the natural wood colour will be lightened by the process, and your floor will now look several shades lighter. This is normal and is sometimes referred to as ‘bleaching’. To inject colour into the wood you can choose a coloured wood stain for finishing.

When the sanding process is successfully completed it is then time to apply your veneer of choice. Whether you choose stain, varnish, oil or lacquer always go for toxin-free products that leave little or no residual smells and will not cause harm either to your floor or your family.

It is always a good idea to take time over the sanding process. Don’t set yourself targets or declare you will finish the floor in one weekend. Perfect parquet comes naturally when lovingly restored and is well worth taking time on. And if you’re in any doubt as to your ability to give your parquet flooring the attention it needs, talk to your local professional Floor Sanding experts for qualified advice and guidance.

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