Cleaning and maintenance of the parquet

When choosing a parquet, don't forget regular cleaning and maintenance


Pulizia e Manutenzione del Parquet. Le scelte a monte.

In our previous blogs we’ve often told the Parkemo story as we see it: of parquet as a “living” floor, one that moves and changes colour with the passing of time, while always amazing us. Such assertions are, of course, not gratuitous: in fact, wood continues to live well beyond the time it’s cut down from the tree. Its ongoing reaction needs to be considered, both during processing as well as in the selection phase, when installing and in the type of finish and treatment to be applied.

Cleaning and Maintenance when selecting a parquet

In choosing the right parquet, our decision must also take the different cleaning and maintenance requirements into account. Purchasing a new parquet takes place only once (or, perhaps twice) in a lifetime, so let’s not forget the cleaning and maintenance in the coming years. Important as they are, decisions shouldn’t only be based on short-term factors such as price, aesthetic appearance and current trends. One should also consider end-user health & safety, design longevity and future adaptability to changes in utilization. There are also more functional aspects, such as ease and cost of regular cleaning as well as extraordinary maintenance.

Most of all, one needs to bear in mind the type of parquet and surface treatment to suit our life needs; as well as to our changing needs over time. Dropping hammers and screwdrivers on the newly-laid parquet when we are young, as we fumble about in our early DIY efforts. It is the same parquet in the house where our children are born, crawling before tottering around. Playing, riding on their tricycle and playing ball. Who, as teenagers, invite friends to watch the big game on TV while sitting and eating on the parquet. Parties and graduation celebrations follow to music and dancing. As adults, they’ll have friends over for dinner. Everyone fusses over the dog, which has now grown into a cute ball of fur, sleeping on the floor. All this happens on the parquet, that very same parquet that was chosen right at the outset. 

Taking a longer-term view, choosing a suitable type of flooring isn’t very different from other, major life-purchases. Factors that go into choosing a new car include fuel-consumption and its declining resale value over time. When contemplating a new parquet, we need to consider the choice of essences, formats and available surface-treatments. As one of the most important furnishings in our living spaces, we should be fully aware how to use and properly maintain our new flooring. Taking care to avoid making wrong choices, we select a parquet best suited to our lifestyle, the way we utilize our rooms, exposure to the sun and the likely volume of foot traffic, type of heating as well as our changing needs over time.

Cosa dobbiamo considerare nella scelta di un parquet? Ecco alcuni consigli da Parkemo

Some examples of parquet cleaning and maintenance

What kind of wood flooring are best suited to a 300m2 open-plan office with large windows and 40 work-stations? If we opt for a parquet, an industrial, highly resistant pre-varnished wood, treated with low-VOC finish would seem preferable. One that doesn’t react significantly when exposed to sunlight. Probably matt, to hide scratches and small signs of wear & tear. For regular cleaning, regular vacuuming and wiping with a cloth once a week, using the appropriate quality cleaning agents should be sufficient. Once a year, use a regenerator to give new life to the surface layer of the varnished boards. Depending on how much wear occurs over the years, there should be periodical maintenance, sanding and re-varnishing the surface, in the same direction as the wood grain.

If you have underfloor heating, you’ll most likely consider a warm, oil-treated parquet, and larger-size boards. Avoid volatile essences that would react negatively to the heating. Maintaining these surfaces involves regular application of vegetable-based oils to maintain the necessary humidity level. Proper maintenance of your parquet helps to nourish the wood, extending its life.

Is your flooring likely to attract scratches, small dents and other marks in the way it’s used? Repairs on oiled surfaces are much easier to perform than pre-varnished floors, where the wood beneath the layer of varnish has "crystallized".


Maintenance and damage prevention

And if disaster strikes? What if the radiator is left dripping for days while we’re away on holiday? Our precious parquet is flooded and the damage seems irreparable? What then? In such cases, which type of flooring offers best chance of recovery in the event of urgent maintenance? The easy answer is: high-quality is always better. Whether it's a pre-varnished or solid-wood oiled parquet, quality (somehow) always helps. In the case of a pre-varnished parquet, the structure will be more suited to cope with humidity than a cheap surface. The various treatments carried out during the manufacturing process as well as the vitality of an oiled-wood flooring should enable it to recover from any temporary damage. Since some floorings are laid without glue, replacing the damaged boards should not be too expensive.  

It’s therefore a good idea to buy a few extra square meters of material when purchasing your parquet, to be stored in sheltered conditions. Ideally, this extra parquet should be exposed to similar light and humidity as the floor in use, to ensure a homogenous appearance in case of necessity.  Remember that wood is a living thing and should be allowed to express its vitality. Thus, accepting minor differences is part and parcel of choosing a wooden parquet instead of, say, Gres, porcelain or stone tiles.

Manutenzione e prevenzione dei danni al parquet. Consigli da Parkemo

One final piece of advice: should small areas of damaged parquet need replacing, always call a professional to do the job. Do not attempt to do it yourself. Laying and working with parquet flooring is an art in itself, which should be left to qualified, professional artisans!


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