This consists of strips and blocks of hard wood, fastened together at the edges and on the back, in slabs of convenient size for laying.
As special machinery and facilities are required for making and joining the pieces, parquetry can be made economically only at works especially equipped for the purpose, and hence should be obtained from a regular manufacturer.
There are several firms in this country that make excellent parquetry, the product differing slightly in the manner in which the pieces are put together, and possibly in the quality of material and workmanship.
Parquetry is commonly made in 5/16V-inch and 7/8-inch thicknesses, the latter being usually formed by gluing a -inch face of hard wood to a pine or hard wood backing, although it is also made of solid pieces of hard wood tongued and grooved and glued together. The latter method, however, is more expensive and is but little, if at all, superior for the floors of dwellings.
The 5/16 -inch parquetry is made in slabs 12 or 18 inches wide and 3 or 4 feet long for the centres, and 6 to 24 inches wide and 12 feet long for borders.
The 1-inch is made in blocks 12 to 18 inches square, or in slabs 12 to 18 inches wide and 4 feet long, according to the custom of the manufacturer. Both thicknesses may be obtained in a great variety of stock patterns, or any design can be made to order.
A comparatively plain centre, with a border to correspond with the size and finish of the room, is usually the most pleasing.
The pattern, especially in the borders, is usually emphasized or picked out by woods of contrasting colors, nearly all of the hard woods being used for this purpose.
The centre of the floor, however, should usually be either of one kind of wood or of woods of nearly the same color, as oak and maple, these woods being considered the most satisfactory for flooring. The cost of parquetry flooring varies with the thickness, the elaborateness of the design or pattern, and to some extent with the woods used-.
A very handsome floor in parquetry and border, 5/16 inch thick, can be obtained at an average cost of 20 cents per square foot (not including laying). The same pattern J inch thick will cost about twice as much.
Laying. - Thin parquetry is usually laid on top of the upper flooring where double flooring is used, and if only a border is provided the centre may be left depressed for the carpet, as the thin parquetry is of practically the same thickness as a good carpet. Thick parquetry is laid on top of an under floor. For either kind the under floor or foundation should be of narrow matched pine boards, well dried out and well nailed. If the floor is in a new building the boards upon which the parquetry is to be laid should be placed diagonally of the room. The upper surface must be made perfectly true and level by traversing, as any inequalities in the foundation will show in the surface of the parquetry. One thickness of good sheathing paper should then be evenly laid over the foundation and the parquetry laid on top, commencing either with the centre or with the border, as may seem best.
The thin parquetry is secured to the foundation by means of 1 ¼-inch wire brads if the under floor is of soft wood, or 1-inch brads if of hard wood.
The brads are driven through from the top and counter sunk for puttying, from fifteen to twenty brads to the square foot being used where the pattern is in small pieces. Gluing the parquetry to the under floor is not recommended. The 7/8-inch parquetry usually has a groove in the edges of the blocks into which a slip tongue or spline is inserted, and the blocks are blind nailed as in common matched flooring.
After the parquetry is laid it must be planed, scraped and smoothed with No. 1 sandpaper, rubbing parallel to the grain to get a true and even surface. A special scraper is made for this kind of work, it being very important not to leave any tool marks on the surface of the floor, as the polishing brings them into great prominence.
To obtain a parquetry floor that will not open at the joints, it is essential that the material be thoroughly dry when laid, and almost as necessary that the building be kept artificially heated while the work is being done.' Experience has shown that floors laid during those months when the heating apparatus is in use, stand much better than floors laid in the summer months.