Following on from Parquet Part I, the blocks are now acclimatized and they can be laid… whoop whoop! Before starting to lay it Ed spent some time sorting through the blocks to ensure there was a good colour distribution throughout, so we didn’t end up with dark and light patches.
Floor planks and blocks are traditionally laid towards the primary light source and along the length of the room as this is considered to show them off to their best advantage, so this was how Ed started.
The first step was to lay out a centre line down the room and a couple of rows off it. He then took a couple of lines out either side of this to ensure it met the fireplace and walls as we had planned. Once he had checked it all worked, he lifted all the blocks and trawled glue to the floor, as each individual block needs to be fixed to the floor.
We wanted a double border around all the floor, so as Ed worked out towards the edges he didn’t take the glue too close to the edges and left the jagged edge to the blocks. He then set his jigsaw to the depth of the blocks and using a straight edge ran the jigsaw around the edge of the room to create a straight edge for the border to sit against.
The edge that Ed cut my look quite big but it had to be big enough for the border blocks plus and expansion gap, which will be covered by the skirting. We are using the same skirting we have used in the bedrooms which can be seen here.
Once the edge of the whole room had been cut, Ed loose laid all the blocks in the gaps to ensure all the corner junctions meat neatly. In most places, particularly around the fireplace, he started in the centre and worked his way out. This posed a few problems around the bay window as it is on a slight angle to the rest of the room – like most of our house, but in the end he got there and managed to get the cuts symmetrical. Once he had loose laid and cut all the blocks to fit, he lifted them, trawled glue into the gap and stuck them down.
Once all the blocks were laid they were left to dry for 48 hours (Ed worked on the study and hall during this period). Once fully dry the whole floor was hovered to clean off any dust. Ed then added two coats of sealant, leaving it to dry fully in between each one.
As I mentioned in Parquet Part I we used a product called vintage parquet by Broadleaf, this is fully graded so unlike most conventional parquet floors we didn’t have to sand the floor once it had been installed. This does mean it has small gaps and rounded edges as shown in the image above, however we wanted an aged look that we wouldn’t have to be too precious with (especially in the hall) so it is perfect for us. If you want a more traditional, highly polished look this probably isn’t the product for you.
Once the sealant was dry, Ed cut and fixed the pre primed skirting in place. Apart from a little bit of painting the room is finished, meaning after two years I finally get to put a Christmas tree in the bay window – that is what bay windows are made for after all!