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The saga of the 5-finger mosaic floor painstakingly re-installed

Mahogany Parquet Floor - with some persistence a beautiful result

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Installing a tropical parquet floor in your home can seem like a daunting task, specially when you discover not all blocks are of the same level.

But when you persist, the rewards are bountiful as one of our DIY-ers experienced.

How to tackle lower blocks?

I am just about finished laying a mahogany parquet floor. Am a little concerned that one or 2 blocks are a bit low and will require surrounding area to be sanded down a lot. What would you recommend and which sander to use? Floor is 16 m2

Two options:

Specially reclaimed blocks can have height differences: not all could come from the same original source, some could have been sanded and others not or, when having removed bitumen from the back with a saw or chisel more or less wood could have been removed too.

Noticing this height difference before your install the actual block can prevent extra work, but once you're in the rhythm of spreading adhesive with the correct notch trowel and sticking down block after block, keeping a constant eye on the pattern being tight together it is not a wonder you sometimes only realise this difference later on.

Option 1: carefully remove the offending block and replace it with a better fitting one, especially if the height difference is more than 3 - 4 mm

Option 2: let the belt sander (not a drum-sander!) tackle the height difference as much as possible with the first sanding round (grit 40). When the difference is only 1 or 2mm, it should not take away much wood from the surrounding blocks. Don't try to tackle the difference with a hand held sander first, the movement of the sander on only the surrounding area produces a different "pattern" than the belt sander and could show up once the finish layer is applied to the floor - and then it is too late to correct this without having to resand.


Thanks a lot for your reply to my query.
Laying this T/G parquet has tested my DIY skills/patience to its limit as the room is unsquare, unlevel and has very fiddly edges everywhere. However I have prevailed and have only 10 or so awkward xxxx's left.
Have decided to sand right down with the machine you recommend and hope all goes well. Then varnish I think.

Thanks a lot for your interest and assistance.


We frequently receive questions like to above and always want to know if the advice, tips given has been useful and to the point. Mark gave us 10/10

The answer that I got from you was concise, accurate and was above my expectations.

I am now confident that my progress with this project will proceed without the doubt that often nags when one is doing DIY not attempted before.
As far as rating is concerned the 10/10 - 5 star.

Will recommend anyone I come across to check with you if they need services, products or advice

The (almost) finished product:

Mahogany parquet floor, sanded to perfection

As promised a picture of new floor with half of the varnish coats applied.
All in all very pleased with the result. Its not perfect as the sander was a bitch to control in such a small room but compared with what was there before real luxury.
Thanks for your help and interest.

Mark J

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