Parquet Floor

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Established Member
23 Jul 2007
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Bradford, West Yorkshire
Just finished a maple herringbone floor. I thought it best that I
learn\practice on someone else's floor before ruining about 100sqm of
mahogany parquet at home and having SWMBO going absolutely spare.

Here's the floor marked out with the first 2 lines,


I didn't take a great deal more pictures between start and finish,


2 Line border glued in - you can just make out the sander in the top right
hand corner,


I'd removed all the skirting and doors.

Here's the floor after a few runs with 24grit paper,


At this point, having mentioned a contrasting border to the HO, ended up
doing that - didn't really want to faff about, so bandsawed up some 2x1
sapele into 8mm strips (why 8mm - had a Trend bit that size).

Used Evostick (spray) into the groove on on the reverse of the strips and
banged them in. The excess was cut reasonably flush with a Fein MM and
then ran round the strip with a random orbital.

Filled the gaps with sawdust and Lecol 7500 - good stuff.

Used waterbased finish (Junkers Strong, if anybody's interested) - already
has enough from the adhesive in terms of VOC - didn't need anymore,
besides quicker drying and no yellowing.


The strip didn't contrast all that well at first, but as soon as the finish went
on - really stood out.


Reasonably happy with the end result - would probably do a few things
differently next time. But considering it's the 1st parquet floor I've done -
can't grumble too much.

Knees hurt like hell after glueing it down - thank God for Snickers pants,
but they still hurt!
Very nice,finished job looks great - and thanks for all the pictures (they often explain soo much more.. 8) )

I feel for you on that job as i've done a few . Look great but hell of a job to get right !!!! You seem to have pulled it off . Nice job .
How long did it take ? Looks reclaimed flooring , even worse to get right !
80 bleedin hours - it's made me put off our 100sqm for at least a year. Upside was the customer paid a small fortune in sanding discs and sheets. It helped that I already owned the belt and edge sander.

We'd bought the reclaimed stuff for a mates hallway - who decided he was selling his house and we should put it in his parents lounge. So we bought about 14sqm more, thinking we'd bought 10sqm already.

Big bleedin mistake - we'd actually bought 10sqy the first time. Finished the floor with about 20 blocks to spare. Problem was it forced me to use left over cuts from 1 side on the other. If we'd had enough - i'd have glued all of them down and then done the cut in-situ, binning the waste.

Being reclaimed wasn't that bad - the adhesive bonded with the existing bitumen very well.

I spent ages looking on the web for guidance - luckily came across a US site that had awesome instructions - went into awesome detail, snapping the centre line, reference line, etc. If anyone fancies a copy I'll dig out the link and post it.

Thankfully because of that - the cuts on both sides were to within 2mm of each other - centred the herringbone beautifully.

A saving grace was buying the sanding discs direct from Hiretech - half the street price as a std discount. Customer paid full - small saving grace!

Nice job Dibs, did a whole barn with reclaimed once, took four of us to put the finish down, someone said we looked like a bunch of char ladies on our hands and knees :)

I doo like that. We have very dark parquet in our new house which is going to need some work (particularly given that the builders have been in). How likely is it that we have a lighter wood which has been stained dark and hence could come up like this?

I think its a 1960s floor if that helps.

Hi Dibs, looks great.

Do those sanding machines make a lot of dust if a good hoover is attached? The reason I ask is I hired one years ago and even with the extractor they supplied there was huge amounts of dust everywhere.


BigMac - hard to say really. The easiest thing would be to lift one block out, probably a border one, as it would potentially be the easiest to put back - apart from faffing with the skirting.

Then you could gouge (if that is the correct term) a bit out from the side\end that is under the skirting (not from the top surface) to see what the true colour of the timber is. You'll have upto 1/2 inch under the skirting.

Once sanded - the floor colour should be whatever the natural colour of the timber. UNLESS - it's been stained - in which case - I haven't got the fogiest. But I would suspect, if you reduced the height of the floor by several mm - that would remove most if not all of the "stain".

MikeC - The drum sander - makes loads of dust, but almost all of this is kept in the bag (make sure it's the cloth one, as the paper ones will blow up and water you right off!) Mine - at the end of several passes, the bag was full, but the floor\room had barely enough to fill half a small hand dustpan.

The egde sander - now that's a different story! It too has a bag but mine wouldn't do anything with it - in the end left it off and just swept it up. Thankfully I'd bought a Tyvek painters suit - made life so much easier. Spoke to the people at Hiretech (who make the sanders) an he recommended a service (nicely enough posted me a copy of the service manual).

As the sanders are mine - I'm perfectly happy to service them.

Nice work Dibs, I used to lay parquet flooring for a living and from what youv'e shown us,you could too.The Lecol Filler is a wonderful product,not just for reclaimed flooring.Superb finishing too,congratulations!
Cheers Mack,

Problem is not many people will pay for that level of perfection - especially when you're laying reclaimed. It's cheaper to lay new, but then they hit the snag that the nicer species of timber aren't really available anymore.

This one was more of a mates rates\training course. To be honest I can still remember the agony my knees were in (even with knee pads) for several days whilst laying it. If I don't lay anymore - that'll be too soon.

Only issue is - I bought enough mahogany (a blue pallet, fully stacked 7 feet high) for our house, so can't hide for ever. SWMBO will want it fitting at some point in the next 12 months. Although on ours, may get a little more intricate with the border - some sort of gemetric pattern about 1-2 inch wide, in contrasting timbers.

I used a roller for the finish - although if i finish a floor again, I'm tempted to spray the finish on.

A large problem is also spending way too much time re-finishing cars. It makes you somewhat anally retentive.

On a related note - went to visit the in-laws on Fri and saw that they had oak plank fitted recently thru-out the ground floor. What a load of rubbish! The boards were running perpendicular to the windows, gaps opening up everywhere and with no expansion gap in the hallway - massive buckling. About 1 inch movement in the middle!

Worst of all they'd paid for the privilege! Needless to say - SWMBO kind of appreciated "Perfection takes time dear!" That might stretch my parquet fitting from 12 to 18 months!

Hello Dibs,

Your floor looks fab !

I'm about to embark on a parquet floor project 35m2 using reclaimed oak.

I've cleaned the excess bitumen off the back of the blocks.

At present i'm having nightmares about the sanding process.

What sanding machine did you use ? the drum type from the local hire shop that you have to lift at the end of the run ? finishing with an edging sander ?

Did you have any troubles sanding up to the hearth stairs etc. ? How even were your blocks prior to sanding ? Most of mine will have a height difference of flat to 1mm (maybe 2mm maximum)


Sorry Chris - Phil was right, been a bit "absent". You might have already done the flooring but you might not have, so here's my 2p worth.

The drum sander is the type you can hire from HSS -


and the edge sander is also the kind you can hire from HSS,


I sander upto the stairs easily enough with the edge sander - just couldn't do the corner where the nearby wall met the staircase. Used a handheld metabo for that.

The difference in height was far greater in places than 1-2 mm, so I just took the floor down to the lowest block. In hindsight, I would have pre-sorted the blocks beforehand.

Beforehand the blocks were dented, scuffed and in generally rough condition but the belt sander works wonders. :)

Word of warning - on the belt sander, they can and do frequently rip and throw the sheet. You can't re-use it, but it doesn't half go bang and the first time, you might need to change your underpants. LOL



p.s. - just looked at the date of the thread, blimey hard to believe it was 10yrs ago. Where does the bloomin time go.
If it was 10 years ago we don't have to be kept in suspense about your reclaimed mahogany - did you end up doing it, and did you need a knee replacements afterwards?
Setch - life took a few weird turns in the time after and it's still sat on pallets in the workshop. LOL

And one good one - got into travelling and motorcycling (not into bikes per se but travelling on them). :)

Maybe in the next year or so, you never know.


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