I lived in a house once where I discovered a beautiful Edwardian parquet floor hiding under a swathe of rotting fitted carpet. The carpet had been stuck down with glue with no respect for the original feature underneath – who would do such a hideous thing?
Parquet was introduced in 1684 in the palace of Versailles as a replacement for marble floors which traditionally had been laid on wooden joists.
These had a terrible tendency to rot as the floors were regularly sluiced down in an effort to keep them sparkling clean. The new parquet was made from small pieces of precious hardwood of different colours, laid in a geometric pattern. In Britain it was most popular in the Edwardian period up to the 1930s when it was ousted by lino and wall to wall carpets.
This could have meant woodchips for parquet!
However, a renewed interest in wooden flooring in the 1990s gave parquet a reprieve and today there are some really good companies installing this wonderfully warm and pleasing flooring which is a joy to live with.
At least, it was for me – once I had spent most of the summer scraping off the glue and re-polishing.