Discovering a Oak parquet floor - how to restore?
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How to restore a Parquet floor - what to be aware of

This week we received another question on the subject of a rediscovered parquet floor:

Good Afternoon,

Mosaiclieverdink I wonder if I could pick your brains a little.  We have just uncovered a parquet floor - 6 bricks @ 4.5"x7/8" in blocks at 90 degree angles to one another. Floor area is 14'x11' & rectangular - no cupboards or inaccessible areas.  Mahogany wood or so I'm told - the wood is certainly very dark all the way through.  The floor has had some previous repairs after two rooms were knocked together & plumbing works (around 6 years ago).  We are planning on restoring the floor to leave it exposed now.

To do so we need to sand the floor & then seal & varnish it (need a pretty heavy duty finish as the only back door to our garden is through the living room & we have a dog with a number of very scratchy nails on each corner).

I wondered if you could answer the following questions:

  1. Assuming that the floor is prepared & suitably coloured already would it be correct to say that I would need to seal the floor first (~4 hours to dry) then varnish 2-3 times (~ 8 hours to dry between each coating).  Is this about right (depending on the specific instructions on any manufacturers products of course)?
  2. I am planning on having some quotes for professionals to do this work as well as costing it to do ourselves but I wondered could you give me some sort of 'ball park' idea of the cost of such a renovation?
  3. What sort of time frame would you expect such renovations to take?
  4. I cannot seem to find anyone registered with the BWFA in or near Wiltshire.  Are you able to recommend (or warn me to avoid) any companies local to me?

Hope you can help me - I'm trying to educate myself sufficiently as I have invited a couple of companies to quote to me.

Thank you so much,

Kind Regards

Mrs S N

Our tips on what any company quoting for a particular job like this should do/use and products we recommend:

Thank you for your question. Nice find a floor like that!

Who ever is going to restore this floor should note the following: any loose blocks? If so with what material were they glued to the floor - presumably bitumen. Any loose blocks should be cleaned off this black stuff as best as possible, likewise with the any visual residue on the underfloor. Then the blocks can be glued back to the underfloor with modern adhesive, but bitumen residue will have an effect on the bonding time (normally 4 - 8 hours, with bitumen involved it could take upto 24 - 36 hours!).

Reclaim_sand1 Also, when sanding the floor use a belt-sander not a drum-sander (ask any company who's quoting for this work what type of sander they're plannig to use and insist on a belt-sander).
A hard wearing finish could indeed be varnish - modern varnish sometimes include this so-called sealer - but we ourselves prefer HardWaxOil natural which brings out the natural character of the wood better than varnish, is hard wearing and small damages can be easier repaid than when varnish is used.

It's hard for us to give you a 'ball-park' figure without having seen the floor in situ - i.e. not knowing exactly the amount of work it would involve - but between low-end and high-end of work needed: between £ 35.00 and £ 50.00 per sq m ex VAT including the finishing materials.

Hope this helps

Kind Regards
Wood You Like Ltd

Hi Karin,

Just a quick note to thank you so much for you immediate reply which was much appreciated & which very definitely does help.  I also would like to compliment you on your extensive website which I have found fabulously useful & informative.

Kind Regards

Mrs S N

See also our Wood Floor Guide: "7 Easy Steps to Repair/Restore Your Parquet Floor"

"if and how your parquet/mosaic floor can be restored without sanding" - new guide

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Gillian F

We are about to lay a wooden floor in our dining room - which gets a lot of through traffic . I know you recommend hardwax, but I prefer a finish which has a sheen. When we lived in the Far East, parquet floors were waxed regularly and then buffed to a shine. Is this possible with the wax you recommend? I don't mind the work - I found the movement of pushing a manual floor 'bumper' (as they were called there) good exercise and therapeutic.
Gillian F

Karin H.

Hi Gillian

You can get a shine on a wood floor that has been treated/pre-finished with HardWaxOil when you indeed polish (buff) the floor after applying hardwax or wax polish with our eco-friendly buffing block (which I think is the same or works on the same principle as the manual floor 'bumper' you have been used to)
See here for more details on our cast iron 7 kg buffing block.

Hope this helps
Wood You Like Ltd

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