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6 Reasons to Avoid Installation of Reclaimed Parquet Flooring Blocks

As the name suggests, parquet flooring is made from the solid pieces of timber. On the other hand, engineered parquet flooring is made from layers of different types of wood, which is topped by hardwood.

Parquet block flooring is a specific profile of wood flooring, which consists of individual flooring blocks installed to give or provide a geometrical pattern. Previously, it was a popular selection of flooring for affluent and prosperous homeowners.

This type of flooring is usually available in the format of “solid wood,” in standard sizes with an unfinished appearance and square edges. Normally, it is important to use a flexible flooring adhesive in order to glue the block directly to the subfloor. The most common patterns are “Herringbone,” “Ship’s Deck,” and “Basket Weave.”

In addition, as these blocks can usually be laid in a wide variety of patterns, they offer good flexibility as well as chances to create unique looks to complement and suit your property. So, once you lay down the unfinished blocks, it is important to protect them with layers of varnish, lacquer, or oil.

Although most blocks are typically available in the solid wood format, it is important to know that recently they have been manufactured with a sophisticated engineered base construction in order to use them with underfloor heating.

For sure, Parquetry is one of the most elegant, unique, and beautiful types of wood flooring and because of the fact that it is common to meet this type of flooring in a lot of commercial areas and domestic houses. However, today, there is a cheaper hardwood alternative due to which parquet flooring is more or less neglected.

Though, back in the days, parquet flooring was very innovational and gained much popularity that people can specifically found its buildings that are at least over a hundred years old.

It is very unfortunate to observe the races of time as well as the wear and tear on such flooring, particularly with exceptional industrial progress and the variety of options we are having today to help the wooden installation.

So, if you do not want to watch how the beautiful parquet flooring gets old, worn, as well as the color fade, it is important to ensure that you provide the excellent maintenance, which is according to the high-quality standards in the branch. Also, it is likewise significant to have a timely reaction when you observe the first signs of such flooring issues/problems pop out.

One of the benefits of this type of flooring is that is more stable for the reason that it is made of 3 layers of wood, which are at 90-degree angles to one another in order to decrease movement in the wood.

This article is not about describing the Parquet Flooring Blocks but to tell you some reasons to avoid installation of Reclaimed Parquet Flooring Blocks. Let’s take a look at those reasons one by one!

1 | Blocks May Not Have Been Stored in Dry Area

If water gets on your parquet flooring for a certain period of time, it will definitely do a significant amount of damage. The damage happens when water is allowed to substantially saturate the parquet flooring blocks and often, the result is a bad condition referred to as cupping. This usually happens because more and more moisture is absorbed by the underside (unfinished) of the blocks causing their bottom to expand more. As a result, you will see a wavy appearance and each course of the parquet is raised at the seams.

The most important cause of swelling of the parquet is the accumulation of moisture on its surface, which occurs as a result of flooding when the central heating systems break through or from the carelessness of neighbors who have failed to stop the leakage in time. If you have carried out the installation of parquet on the not fully dried screed of the rough floor, which continues to release moisture, as a result of which the planks begin to swell gradually. Often, when installing a parquet flooring, the specialists of insufficient level do not leave the necessary gaps in the joints between the floor and the wall, which are required for the expansion of the planks at high humidity, causing significant damage.

The main disadvantage is the impossibility of installation in rooms characterized by frequent changes in temperature and humidity. It is also noteworthy that both excessive humidity and excessive air dryness are destructive. Under the action of moisture, the floor material may swell, which will adversely affect not only the appearance but also the performance properties. Therefore, wet cleaning is allowed with a well-wrung cloth or a washing vacuum cleaner.

Care must be taken with the start-up of the heating and air conditioners, trying to make the environmental temperature more or less the same throughout the year and without the changes from cold to heat or vice versa being very sudden. There is also a need to keep an eye on the devices themselves since their use and condensation usually generate water, and they must be prevented from falling into the wooden parquet since it would spoil it.

It is for this reason that we must learn to combat the humidity that can affect a parquet, both when cleaning (with a damp cloth is more than enough) and to maintain stable environmental humidity, which also plays an important role temperature of the space where it is installed. Obviously, if the parquet gets wet, you have to choose to dry it instantly, with absorbent elements such as cardboard and newspaper. You can even use a dryer, provided that we keep it at a sufficient distance so as not to burn the ground.

Anyway, the problems generated by moisture in the parquet can be controlled thanks to the placement of waterproof sheets, a product given by the parquet installation companies that want to offer an integral service to their customers. These waterproof sheets are placed between the pre-existing floor and the new parquet floor that will be installed to prevent moisture from rising and attacking the newly placed wood. They adhere with special glue and can be made of materials as different as plastic or rubber.

Keep reading this article in order to get the most out of it!

2 | Blocks May Have Differential Wear

When parquet flooring blocks have been down for some years, the blocks will suffer from differential wear, for instance, softwood more than the hardwood. Moreover, in churches, the blocks that are present in the aisles may have had very high footfall as compared to the blocks under the pews, hardly any. So, when this is reclaimed, the thickness of the lifted block might vary sometimes, for instance, by several mm. Although this does not present issues, blocks can be laid easily and the differential wears significantly taken out in the sanding.

Moreover, all types of old reclaimed parquet flooring blocks when lifted will have bitumen present on the underside as it was severely stuck down in hot tar (dirty and smelly). Likewise, today, you don’t need to clean it off because it will be an awful, terrible, and virtually impossible job anyway. So, you must make sure any lumps or high spots are cleaned off and stuck down by using a modern bitumen adhesive. Make sure this adhesive is also compatible.

3 | Cost of Laying Reclaimed Blocks is Higher

Parquet blocks are not easier to install just like hardwood planks. Although the glue-down installation is a little easier than nailing, still it requires a lot of effort. This type of flooring is solid wood, yes, but it also comes as an engineered product that has veneer layers. Since the parquet floor is real wood, most manufacturers recommend that one install this product or the above grade. We do not recommend this type of flooring for basements.

The blocks or tiles are thin, at about 5/15 inch. Also, there aren’t many structural values on the floors. If the underlying framework is not solid, such floors might flex underfoot. We know that fondness for this type of flooring is a unique taste. So, the future owners may not admire it unless they have some sort of appreciation for mid-century flooring styles. In addition, refinishing options are also quite limited.

The thin layer of parquet wood means that there is a possibility for only light sanding. Alternative directions of the wood grain can also complicate sanding. Likewise, refinishing such floors needs to be approached carefully. Parquet flooring blocks are enjoying a resurgence but still, there are problems, for instance, veneer construction, limited options for patterns and finishes.

Your investment is important! Before giving your money to unscrupulous people, read carefully the things that can represent problems when making an important investment in your apartment:

Beware of substantively low prices. While it is true you have to look for the economy, it is better to look for the best value for money. In this regard, inquire about the drying of the wood. If the wood is not dried in gas chambers when your floor is installed, it will undoubtedly react and you will have lost your money and your supplier will not be there to give you the guarantee. In this case, they will give you up to 20% cheaper than market prices.

The easiest way to prove it is with an electronic hygrometer where it is evident that humidity measurements are between 8% and 12% maximum and that these are relatively homogeneous throughout the wood. Otherwise, its wood was dry in the open which means that in the first change from rainy season to dry or vice versa, its floors will react covering or dilating between slats.

Check the type of lacquer to be used. In the local market, there is an abundant offer of lacquers, national and imported and in multiple references. Certify that your lacquer is a good brand, not only that they tell you but that you can verify it. The above implies a difference of 10% in the final price. Never use basic lacquers, prefer commercial or high traffic lacquers or at least moderate commercial lacquers.

There can be premature wear due to the use of inexpensive low traffic lacquers: Because parquets are highly hygroscopic, experts recommend that parquet floor slats must be hermetically sealed.

4 | Cleaning Blocks from Bitumen & Adhesive Residue

The Bitumen easily gets brittle and significantly loses its grip between fingers/block and the underfloor. In the past, there were many types of flooring, which included sheeting, semi-flexible tiles, and wood floors. These were usually installed with the utilization of bitumen-based adhesive.

Likewise, it is also a good waterproofing agent. As a result, it is quite successful as a moisture barrier and as an adhesive. When removing the existing floor, it is easily identified as the black substance, which is adhered to the screed, and it remains behind after the removal of floorcovering.

So much so, considering the nature of this adhesive, it can seep into the screed, which makes it very difficult to remove. Unluckily, modern smoothing and self-leveling compounds such as acrylic adhesives are not capable of binding to bitumen. Therefore, it is necessary to remove this adhesive before beginning with the preparation of the floor for the new floorcovering.

Moreover, Bitumen can be likewise a challenge to remove. Over the years, experts have tried many methods but couldn’t do it successfully. Sanding it off, using a grinding or scraper can also introduce various challenges. Nonetheless, with contemporary methods and modern technology, we recommend two methods.

Method 1: In this method, it is important to carry out screed topping, which must be hard so that the scabbling machine is able to remove the top layer of the surface that contains the bitumen. Nevertheless, the screen is soft, then this method can destroy the whole topping. So, be careful!

Method 2: The second method is about the use of the grinding machine. Such machines are available in different designs and sizes for purchase and leave a smooth, clean surface.

5 | Reclaimed Blocks in Hearringbone Pattern May Be Difficult

Without a doubt, the Herringbone pattern is the popular and commonly used pattern in parquet flooring. Among the advantages of this type of pattern is that it has incredible dimensional stability and sturdy V-shape layout. However, the disadvantage of the Herringbone pattern is that it takes a lot of time to install and is not DIY friendly.

So, when setting up herringbones parquet floor blocks, you would need to install each block at a time for the floor’s balance and tightness to be maintained. Of course, this is not an easy task. For this, you require excellent precision, which is vital all times for the success of the floor.

For instance, if the block is not installed correctly or falls out the balance, then the entire process is compromised. Lastly, for this reason, we can say that the herringbone pattern is not DIY-friendly and a good choice for reclaimed parquet flooring blocks.

With older tongue and groove, gaps unavoidably develop between the parquet blocks. The issues with this are many. First, it is unattractive and it makes it hard to clean because such gaps become magnets for dirt. Not only that, the gaps become a trip hazard if the block begins to curl or cup, this is a very common occurrence with the reclaimed parquet flooring blocks.

When the parquet block have been installed on joists, gaps can cause your premises (room or office) to feel drafty. While this may be a normal airflow that is coming up from the crawlspace or basement, it can also cause the heating system to work even harder to pump out heat. Eventually, this will cost you more money.

Gapping is the most common problem with parquet flooring blocks as the wood usually shrinks over time. The primary problem is magnified when the blocks were not tightly laid. Similarly, another worsening condition is water damage. For instance, water-logged parquet blocks will first swell and then shrink as it will dry out with the passage of time.

6 | Finishing Reclaimed Blocks is More Expensive

When parquet flooring block are not fitted accurately (requires time and effort), the level of the floor is not good and the finishing will have major gap filling problem. This usually involves high sanding, sealing, and buffing to get a good finish. Also, with the reclaimed parquet blocks, the picture will be a bit rougher. You will see edges of blocks that will not be meeting each other on the very same level.

Likewise, some of the edges will be worn out because of the previous usage, from packaging and inappropriate transportation. This will cause some natural grooving between the parquet flooring blocks in the sections and/or singular blocks, which will then require proper filling of gaps as well as proper sanding of the floor.

As a result, the final result may not be satisfying. Nonetheless, the amount of the filler that goes down on the parquet floor may double, triple, or the amount you will use on the new parquet flooring blocks.