How to Install a Parquet Floor

By Gene and Katie Hamilton

Tools Required
  • Pry bar
  • Chalk line
  • Measuring tape
  • Circular saw
  • Trowel
  • Hand saw
Materials Required
  • Parquet floor tiles
  • Adhesive
  • Vacuum with crevice tool

Before You Begin

Laying parquet is similar to laying resilient floor tiles, but you want to pay special attention to placement because the tiles are made of four smaller squares of alternately oriented strips. Lay them so that the parquet squares form a pattern. They look best in parallel, woven, or herringbone patterns depending on the look you want. Prepare the room by thoroughly cleaning the grit and dirt from the floor and vacuuming it thoroughly. Remove the baseboard trim with a pry bar. If you plan to reinstall the trim, mark its backside so you can put it back in place.

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  • Step 1 : Measure and mark the centerline of the room

    Measure and mark the centerline of the room

    Measure out from the starter wall a distance of 4 or 5 tile widths. Mark this distance on each side of the room. Find the centerline for the length and width of the room and use a chalk line to mark these two layout lines.

  • Step 2 : Lay out the tiles

    Lay out the tiles

    Begin installation in one quadrant, at the corner, formed where the two chalk lines intersect, which is the center of the room. Do a dry layout to consider placement and patterns.

  • Step 3 : Use a notched trowel to spread adhesive

    Use a notched trowel

    Apply the adhesive to a 3-foot-square area so that the adhesive doesn't dry out. The type and size of the proper notched trowel is noted in the instructions on the can of adhesive. To ensure that you're applying the adhesive at the right spread rate, push the trowel against the floor and hold it at a 45-degree angle as you smooth out the adhesive. As you apply the adhesive, be careful not to cover the layout lines.

  • Step 4 : Cut border tiles to the proper size and install

    Cut border tiles

    At the borders, lay a full tile face up and centered over the last full tile that you laid. Then take a second tile and position it on top of the first tile with the back edge of the second tile about 1/2 inch away from the wall or base trim. The 1/2-inch gap allows for expansion of the wood tiles. Make a pencil mark on the first tile using the front edge of the top tile as a guide. Use a handsaw to cut the lower tile along the pencil mark, and then install it at the border. Proceed in this manner until you finish cutting and laying all the border tiles.

  • Step 5 : Undercut door casings

    Undercut door casings

    Use a sharp hand saw to undercut the bottom edge of door casings so you can slip the edge of the tile under the casing.

  • Step 6 : Install baseboard and trim

    Install baseboard and trim

    Use finish nails to reinstall the baseboard and trim around the room. Allow a 1/4-inch gap between the tile and wall. Cover the gap with a base shoe molding.