Although we moved into the living room a while ago it wasn’t quite finished as we still needed to sort the floor. We want the same floor through out the living room, study and hall so have had to wait till they were ready for flooring, so it could be levelled throughout. This has given us a year to think about what we really want and have been coveting an aged parquet floor a while.
We have used Retrouvius as a reference point throughout our renovation and particularly like the rich red tones in the parquet they have used in two recent projects; shown in the two images below. They also often have parquet for sale, however it is a bit pricey for us, so we have been trying to find a way to achieve the look we want on our budget.
Our first thought was of course eBay and we soon found lots of parquet on offer in the tones that we liked. Most of it had come straight out of old schools and needed lots of cleaning up, including stripping of tar to the underside and the tongue and groove joints. At first the idea of cleaning this off didn’t faze Ed and as with most things he set about doing some research. However after watching a few videos of people stripping parquet he was soon put off – it seemed to take between 3 and 5 minutes to strip one block, which might not sound too bad but we need 35 square meters and with approx. 60 blocks per square meter, that would be 2,100 blocks / 8,400 minutes / 140 hours / 2 weeks… Just to strip the blocks!
We started looking elsewhere, but everything seemed too new and shiny or too expensive. Then I remembered a product a by Broadleaf Timber (who I often use at work), called Vintage Parquet. Unlike other ‘new’ parquet it is gently tumbled, so it has worn edges, a slightly distressed surface and comes pre-oiled. This means it doesn’t need sanding and polishing after being installed.
We have opted for the merbau timber, which is a great match for the red tones we were looking to match and each block varies in tone, giving the floor a bit more depth. Granted the Broadleaf product isn’t as cheap as the blocks we found on eBay, but I did manage to negotiate a bit of a deal and once we factored in Ed’s time for stripping the blocks, sanding it after it was installed and polishing it, it seemed like a small price to pay.
The best part is that the blocks were delivered today and although the need to be stacked (Jenga style) for two weeks to acclimatize, it looks like we might have the floor in for Christmas… I will keep you posted.