Parquet flooring is making a big comeback, but when was it actually first used? Where did parquet flooring come from? It can be traced back to the reign of Louis the 14th, as far back as the seventeenth century. This was an age of decadence in France and Louis insisted on only the absolute best quality materials for his palaces, right down to the flooring. He was responsible for converting a hunting lodge into the Chateau de Versailles. It has been on UNESCO’S World Heritage List for more than 30 years and is considered to be one of the most beautiful achievements in eighteenth century French art. At this extravagant Chateau the king would have received foreign dignitaries as well as enjoying the beautiful setting for his own private residence.
The flows were originally created from marble, and were constantly being washed by the courtiers. This meant the joists underneath started to rot, and in 1684 it was decided to replace the marble flooring with wooden flooring. This new flooring had to be extra special to match the grand interiors of the building, and there were many discussions and arguments before finally the classic Versailles panels were chosen. This new “parquet” flooring was made by cutting small pieces of coloured hardwoods by hand into geometric shapes and fitting them together, and became very popular with wealthy families.
Each piece had to be scraped, cleaned, sanded and polished before being glued to the concrete floor. The designs were known as “Parquet” and were not easily laid, being works of art in themselves with a lot of skill required to lay them.
Wood flooring was popular until the 1930s when carpeting manufacturing meant that carpet grew in popularity as a floor covering. In the 1980s there was a renewed interest in wood flooring as better manufacturing techniques were developed and more durable materials began to come into the market.
While parquet flooring with panelling is the epitome of flooring fit for a king, herringbone and block parquet are now popular choices with their great beauty and design, making them as popular now as they were when they originated.
We hope you find that helpful, if you need any further advice or help, don’t hesitate to contact us here or by calling 0845 602 7694.