Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Why do builders make their customers feel silly for wanting to do a good thing?

Reclaimed Oak laid in Hallway before sanding

I thought it was time to turn our attention towards what reclaimed parquet actually is and why it is important to persevere with the idea (once you have it) of having a reclaimed floor in your house. And how not to let your builder make you feel like you are mad for wanting to install a parquet floor.

The parquet that we reclaim is invariably from public buildings constructed from 1930s to 1960s where the materials are of a good quality and usually much more interesting than the wood types commercially available today, so the end results of such a floor are normally stunning. Some of the wood types are extremely rare too, but having already been felled it is criminal to waste them and we applaud customers who see that and want to reclaim not only for budgetary reasons but for principled reasons too.

The problem we find however is that many customers who instinctively want to reclaim are often discouraged by their general builder. We hear it over and over:

The customer says, "I would like a reclaimed parquet floor, I have always wanted one" and the builder says, "Oh it will never work, reclaimed materials are damp, they will warp, you will need to order 25% extra because there will be so much that you can't use, I have stripped out better stuff and put it on a skip" etc. etc. etc!

But if the customer insists, the builder will often agree to fit it after having rubbished it! Then we get phone calls whereby once the pallet arrives the builder refuses to do what he promised (even after having seen the sample) because, " It is has bitumen on it which needs to come off and the quote didn't include for cleaning, it is all different block, and he has put better stuff in a skip" etc.etc. etc.!! None of which by the way is true - you can lay parquet with bitumen on, you just need compatible glue, the tongues do need cleaning for a tight fit and that is made clear from the start, all of our supplies are kept separate so that we sell something which will make a complete floor for the customer and the parquet would definitely have gone into numerous skips if we had not reclaimed it - but that does not make it a bad material!

Some of you out there will recognise this scenario. I certainly do. I have to calm down customers from time to time who are totally wound up by their mischievous builders. The bare truth is builders are not floor fitters just like joiners aren't cabinet makers. This job can be done by builders, indeed by a competent DIY person but you need to have the open-mindedness, courage, patience, experience and skill sets to do it.

Over the years we have learned to make our customers aware of this type of tyranny from builders who like to work with only new materials and will never get the concept of reclaimed parquet. We know there are builders out there who are not like that, and who work as a team and will go the extra mile to give the customer what they want. These are the ones to treasure and nurture. If you have one like that, you too can have a reclaimed parquet floor. If you don't, the moral of the story is - get a floor fitter experienced with reclaimed materials to give you what you really always wanted!

Same Hallway when sanded and sealed.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Small but beautiful!

Our site viewed on an iPhone!
We have now launched a smart phone site, a simplified version of the original website. The pages are all the same, but there are fewer things to load all at once and the idea is that you don't have to wait an age to see what we do.

We have noticed the large increase of visits to Parquet Parquet via smart phones, so we thought it was time to address that, making navigation a bit easier for those customers out and about and thinking about parquet.

There might be the odd wrinkle still to iron out and would welcome any feedback, so have a look and let us know your thoughts. Hopefully this is a more user friendly site for those with very small screens!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Painted Parquet? New design trend...

I recently attended the Tent London exhibition, where I saw many interesting things, but the one that grabbed my attention was the painted parquet floor - as I understand it the exhibit was a trend space, exploring the use of colours across materials.
Painted parquet blocks from the TENT London Trend Trail
 Interesting use of parquet and thought provoking. I prefer the natural wood but this idea could solve some design problems that people have in their houses... it also shows how parquet is trending for modern as well as traditional design. And how some people are using it as a walling material too!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Cool Floor In Beautiful Barcelona!

Barcelona kitchen

Barcelona lounge

For those out there who don't think parquet is on trend....this is how good it can look, especially if you choose something other than oak, and adventure into the more tropical realms available in reclaimed parquet.

We supplied some fabulous reclaimed Rhodesian Teak block to a customer in Barcelona via the design group WS&D Architecture, and above are the finished results, which we think is a very cool effect. 

*photos copyright WS&D Architecture, with thanks.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Parquet Parquet's Grand Day Out

 Walking along the Victoria Embankment in Nottingham, with the stunning River Trent sparkling in the sunshine, having crossed over the suspension bridge built in 1906, passing an impressive gate and war memorial.

 Arriving at Trent Bridge Cricket Ground for the England versus South Africa One Day International. Perfect day, perfect pitch.

View through the buildings to the Notts Forest Stadium with legendary Brian Clough's name engraved on the stand for all fans to see, even from the cricket ground.
Day turns into night, a full house willing England to do better - but after a thrilling start to England's bowling and the fall of 3 wickets, the diehard support was to no avail. 
Oh well, it was still a grand day out!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Our New Website Is Live!

We have been working towards a new website for the past few months and are very pleased to announce that it is here at last!

We wanted something with a bit more interaction and fun, but still be user-friendly, and we hope we have achieved that with our new site, thanks once more to Epix Media.

We have also sourced a new and rare wood type, the brilliantly named Banga Wanga, from East Africa, which is stunning, heavy and a quality block. See the photo below and our website for further details:

Banga Wanga

Friday, 22 June 2012

Another good looking floor from Parquet Parquet - teak again!

Stunning basketweave floor newly installed

Above is a teak floor, reclaimed by us from a large college and now installed in our customer's study, a very good-looking block which looks like it has always been in the room. The rest of this block went to a large shop in Marble Arch, London and one day our works outing will take us there to have a look!

Beautiful floor setting off a lovely window

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

A lovely Keruing hallway

Hallway recently fitted with a lovely Keruing block

We have recently had news of a Keruing floor we supplied to a customer, now laid and looking fabulous. The graining is lovely, interesting and varied, the colours a pretty mid-brown with a slightly pinkish tinge. This set of photos was taken a day after the laying was completed, so will tone down, but as you can see, a lovely wood, and really good value.

Detail showing the complicated corner and angles
This photo nicely shows the grain, heartwood and sapwood.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Teak floor as supplied by Parquet Parquet

This is a fabulous teak block which we supplied, recently laid for a client. The house was architect designed c. 1960s and this floor just works. This was no easy task, seven doorways and a staircase to work round, a great job! It is not often we get a chance to see our product laid, finished and 'settled in', but this time we were lucky and have a chance to show off the results.

With many thanks to Sebastian Cox for the excellent photos!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Maple at a bargain price - but not for long!

This is the maple when finally laid, having been scraped, cleaned, sanded and polished.

 We have on offer some great maple blocks, which need work, a good amount of scraping, but the trade off is you get a great block for a bargain price. We are finding increasingly that there are people out there in these tough times who don't mind being 'hands on' with their project and so we are offering some block for exactly those customers. We have tried the 'hands on' stuff  ourselves and know that aside from it being very tedious and grubby, it is actually in the long run, very rewarding. To look at the floor and know the effort and care was yours, and the savings too, is a great feeling.

Obviously you would not want to do it all the time... but to have a quality floor, it is worth it at least once!!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012


Various parquet patterns

This photo shows the various parquet patterns that can be achieved with a bit of care and planning on your parquet project, some of the border work can be done in a contrasting block, which is also very effective and you can see examples of this on our website in the favourite photos gallery.

The only pattern that cannot be done with a right-angled cut is a chevron, which is a special cut, much less common in the UK, although extremely fashionable at the moment in faded tones of oak.

We have a good range of blocks available at the moment: iroko, oak, maple, pitch pines, sapele, meranti, keruing etc.