Friday, October 9, 2009

Parquet Flooring

I have always wanted to use a parquet flooring kit, so I was extremely excited when I finally got the chance. I chose the Paris Maple Wood Flooring Kit, which is, of course, based on the classic 18th century style. Then, as an accent, I also bought a border to go around the room. Both of these can be bought at most miniature stores or online. Wood glue, an exacto knife, and a ruler were the only supplies needed, so it was time to start installing.

Instead of gluing the wood strait onto the floor I decided to glue it onto a cutout of dark brown card stock for two reasons. The first was to make it easier to measure out and lay down the wood. If I had tried to fit my hands into the actual room, the floor would have been a disaster. The second reason had to do with the visual accuracy of the flooring. The dark brown peeping through the seems made the floors look unified, rather than being separated by white cracks.

First I glued down the border. This was definitely the easiest part of the process but I did have one problem. As you can see in the top left of the border there is one less diamonds than on the bottom border. The last diamond lined up right at the corner and would have messed up the entire seem. To fix this problem I cut out the diamond and connected another strip so that it would reach the entire length. With the help of wood putty you can hardly notice any seam at all.

  • "ah oh, thats a problem"
Then it was time to start laying the parquet. The classic French style places the tiles in a diagonal pattern. This was quite handy because it also makes any room look larger. First I had to find the center of the room. Then I drew two perpendicular lines , their intersection point in the center, that extended to the outer corners of the floor. These would be my guidelines. As for the gluing, it was really easy. I just used a brush to paint a thin layer of wood glue onto the paper, then placed the wood on top. Before I knew it I had finished the majority of the floor.

Now came the hard part. For the next two hours I cut and glued the tiniest pieces of wood and inserted them into the tiniest slots................and it was so fun! Now all the pieces had been glued and I was ready to stain and wax.
For the stain, I chose a light oak color. To apply I used a rag and then simply rubbed it in. The final color was gorgeous.

Next I applied the wax finish. This seamed appropriate because a high gloss would not transfer to miniature scale very well and the wax would fill the spaces between the wood. I used Minwax Paste Finishing Wax and a cheese cloth rag. All you do is rub some wax on the cheese cloth and spread an even layer over the entire surface, then let it dry. I applied a second coat just to fill up all the gaps. Once the second coat was dry I used 0000 extra fine steal wool to buff the wood and give it a little shine. My last step was to take a look at the beautiful floor I had just created. Oh, you can have a look too.

  • applying wax

  • can you see the seam?

Making this floor was so fun and the result is absolutely amazing. I will defiantly be doing it again for my second floor. Whoever is out there reading, besides my mom or history teacher, you should absolutely try it. Until I write again, Katie.