A brief look at how parquet flooring became popular again in the 1980s

Parquet flooring image by Pavel Shynkarou (via Shutterstock).

A nice bit of parquet flooring in a modern house. Image by Pavel Shynkarou (via Shutterstock).

Parquetry has been around since the 16th century. It was used in royal palaces and European homes. The Palace of Versailles, where Louis XIV lived, was notable for its parquet flooring. Back then, the price of carpets was a deciding factor in favour of wooden floors. From the late 17th century to the mid-19th century, pine floors and numerous parquetry patterns rose in popularity.

In 1930, things changed. There was a marked drop in its popularity; parquet flooring gave way to wall-to-wall carpets. Improved road transport, with the falling price of carpets being one beneficiary, saw the carpet’s rising popularity. Not least the additional warmth from a deep pile in the living room or bedroom.

By the 1980s, the tide turned. This time, it was in favour of parquet flooring instead of carpets. A trigger for this was nostalgia. Instead of nipping to Queensway for a new carpet and a unit for the lounge, this meant antique shops. Also a reappraisal of other flooring types instead of wall-to-wall carpets: laminate flooring, as well as parquetry.

Another theory behind the revival of parquet flooring could be health reasons. As you may know yourself, carpets can be a breeding ground for dust mites. They could trigger asthma and other respiratory conditions. Wooden floors are hypoallergenic. When treated properly, they can last for years.

Whether your home is decorated in a traditional or modern style, parquet flooring goes well with any style. Its hard wearing nature is good for heavy footfall, which is why parquet floors feel right at home in public buildings, as well as your home. Plus they are easy to clean as well.

It goes without saying that, whatever decade you’re in, you can’t keep a good parquet floor down.

Castle Floors, 27 April 2017.