Parquetry, a wood inlay technique dating back to 17th century France, was first introduced at the Palace of Versailles in 1684. Originally, this technique of assembling geometric patterns of wood, was used to replace marble flooring in the palace which was prone to water seepage, resulting in the degradation of subfloor joists.
Palace of Versailles Entry Floor, Photo by: Greg Hume
Over the years Parquetry techniques became more and more elaborate. Craftsmen introduced contrasting wood tones and ornately detailed patterns to highlight their skill in what became a popular technique for furniture as well as flooring.
Parquet Flooring 18th Century, Photo by: Donar Reiskoffer
Parquet as we know it today has become a popular flooring option, especially for those who are looking for a style with vintage appeal or something a little outside of the box. Parquet patterns can be laid in many variations, the only rule is that they retain a rigid geometrical layout.
Wooden Parquet Floor in Library
One of the more popular Parquet patterns is created with rectangular shaped tile, laid in a simple block. Using rectangular tile with even dimensions (i.e. 2x4, 2x6, 2x8) every other block is set at a 90 degree turn (also known as a quarter turn). The resulting effect has a graphic punch that works well in both traditional and contemporary settings.
Fireclay Tile Vitrail Series: Parquet Patterns