How to Lay Parquet Flooring: DIY Installation Guide

If you have decided to look at reclaimed parquet installation for your project, we think that is a great start!

Click to see other floors on our Inspiration page.

There are a few points you should consider in advance of your parquet installation:

  • Is the area you want to use the parquet flooring suitable? You need to have a base which will not flex at all, for example concrete or chipboard. Parquet needs a continuous and firm base or it will lift over time.
  • Is your floor perfectly level? It must be for parquet. If not, a self-levelling compound for example may solve the problem or preferably a flooring grade chipboard with a membrane barrier below.
  • Do you need to match something else? If so, we are always happy to send out a parquet sample to help you to make the right choice. We can also help you to identify and match an existing parquet. Send us an email attaching a couple of photographs with your contact details and block dimensions. It makes more sense because we can be more targeted with what we send.
  • Do you want to fit the floor yourself? If you do, it is fairly straightforward if you have reasonable practical skills. With a little careful preparation and lots of patience many people have laid their first reclaimed parquet floor, and are justly proud! In fact you can see some on our Inspiration page.

We have tried to bring a lot of detail to our website, including the time-lapses, so that you can see the process for yourself and make an informed judgement about installing parquet flooring.

If ‘DIY’ is not for you

We may know someone who can help you out. Our business is to supply the reclaimed parquet block, but we regularly keep in touch with specialist parquet floor-fitters across the country. We have a network of those who understand reclaimed parquet and will give you a price to undertake your parquet installation. You can contact us on our Premier Service page.

There are photos of our recommended fitter’s work in the Inspiration gallery. But please don’t ask us if you have already bought your parquet elsewhere! We are a helpful bunch but it would be nice to think that you would purchase from us and not just use us as an information service…

Armed with the information and helped by some of the myth-busting, we hope you will opt for a reclaimed floor. In our opinion, they are the very best type of floors.

Laying Reclaimed Parquet Flooring

We did go to the trouble of fitting a few floors ourselves to show our customers just how straightforward it is. Working with an experienced fitter to ensure we got it right, we learned a lot. The videos are on our website so you can chuckle at our trials and tribulations! You can also see them on YouTube.

The time lapse below is us laying an Opepe floor. You can see details of our parquet available for sale here. To give you an idea of the time involved it was laid in 3 days by 2 of the Parquet Parquet team, with 2 more people cleaning the blocks.

A bit of helpful DIY information:

As a novice in DIY reclaimed parquet installation you’ll need to think: planning, patience and preparation. Don’t set yourself an impossible schedule because you will get better results if you give yourself time. After all you will be looking at your efforts for a long time to come.

We have produced a short fitting guide for those of our customers who want to take the DIY route with a reclaimed parquet installation. We have also gathered a list of DIY friendly professional products which we offer for sale. You will definitely get a better finish using professional products.

So take a look at us laying our first reclaimed parquet floor on the time lapse film below. The wood-block is Beech with a Panga Panga border for those who like the colours. Enjoy!


Details on floor installation

  • Sub-floor preparation is key if you want to install reclaimed parquet successfully. Parquet can be laid onto a screed or concrete floor however the sub-floor moisture-content should be checked. The screed must be properly dry or there will not be good adhesion. Alternatively, parquet can also be laid on a stable sheet material such as flooring-grade chipboard.

Please note: the professional adhesives work only with non-waterproofed sheet materials. In addition, you will need to use a primer. Check with your adhesive supplier for specifications or you can take a look at our recommended adhesive.

Acclimatisation and stacking

  • Your reclaimed parquet should be acclimatised in the area in which it is going to be laid. Preferably for at least 2 weeks prior to laying. All wet trades should have been completed before the blocks are delivered. In addition, any plaster, screed etc. must be properly dry.
  • The blocks should be stacked in piles ‘jenga style’ around the area. This allows the air to flow all round the blocks evenly. Use a moisture meter to test levels.


  • The blocks will need scraping along the sides and ends, in order to fit neatly. Therefore creating an even pattern across the floor. Large, obvious lumps of screed or bitumen will need to be scraped off. Generally we do not recommend removing all of the bitumen off the underside of the blocks because the specialist adhesives available are compatible and consequently will bond to the blocks.

Setting out

  • For all parquet flooring patterns, you will need to establish a central line. Use a string line and allow for a block to sit underneath. The central line is where you lay the spine (first course which runs down the central length of the room).
  • At the edge of the room mark out 2 blocks width plus a 12mm expansion gap running parallel with the room. Do this all the way round the edges. This will therefore give you space for your border blocks. This edge should be marked with a continuous pencil line. The expansion gap must not be filled, because it allows for the natural expansion and contraction of timber. And finally the skirting boards will  cloak the gap.

Laying the blocks

  • It is advisable to lay one half first then go to the second half, remembering not to glue beyond the pencil line for the border. The herringbone pattern will go over the line, however any part of the block which does, shouldn’t be glued because it will need to be cut off. Sometimes you need to infill small pieces carefully as these sort of details will show up at the end if not done well.
  • The finished pattern must be a nice tight fit. Do remember as you are laying, large gaps can throw the pattern out. There is generally a tolerance of a couple of millimetres. Use a base-fill product for small gaps. This will therefore give a good finish. However it is very popular now to leave the gaps for a more natural look. The choice is yours.


  • Then you start to sand!
  • Start with the coarsest grade grit you can get – 24 is good if you can get it, it will eat the work!
  • Then move up through the grades (40 and 80 grit) finishing with a fine paper such as 120 or 180 (the finer the better).
  • You then put on your finish, hard-wax oil is very user friendly. Put on thinly and buff between coats (think of how you would put on furniture polish with a lint-free cloth or applicator)



Links to other useful things about reclaimed parquet installation on our website:

Click here to see our Inspiration page.

You can click here to browse what lovely reclaimed parquet we have currently available for sale.

Or click here to see our recommended products that you might find helpful.


If you have found the details on the website helpful and easy to use, please ‘like’ our Facebook page.

You can keep up with the latest news from Parquet-Parquet via Facebook or follow us on Instagram or Twitter. Thanks!