Refinishing a Parquet Floor: How to Rejuvenate Your Floors with a Buff & Recoat

Refinishing a Parquet Floor
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Parquet flooring is a unique style that originally became popular in American homes in the 1960s. It is not the standard flooring pattern, rather, it incorporates a mosaic hardwood arranged in interesting and beautiful patterns. Because this special detail has become a common selling point for prospective home buyers, and because adds a special layer of charm to any room, it’s no surprise that there has been a re-emergence of the trend in modern homes. 

What Is Parquet Flooring

Parquet flooring is created by taking small pieces of hardwood and arranging them in such a way that attractive geometric patterns emerge. The style of hardwood flooring is a great choice when you want to turn the floor into a room’s main focal point. Parquet flooring not only creates a stunning visual effect, but it also gives the room a sense of warmth and coziness that many other types of flooring simply can’t match. 

The only real downside to parquet flooring is the amount of maintenance the flooring requires.

Maintaining Parquet Flooring

Caring for the parquet floor starts as soon as the new flooring has been installed in your home. Before doing anything else, take the time to remove all the dust, dirt, and tiny bits of debris from the new floor. In addition to sweeping and vacuuming the new floor, take the time to oil it with a natural oil. 

The more heavily your use the parquet floor, the more frequently you’ll have to clean it. Sweeping and/or vacuuming it every single day goes a long way towards prevents dirt from scratching the floor. Using a homemade hardwood floor cleaner at least once a month helps maintain the flooring’s natural glow. Experts recommend taking the time to fully oil and condition the flooring every two years, though they are quick to add that heavily trafficked floors should be done more frequently.

Does Your Parquet Floor Need to Be Refinished?

Taking care of your parquet floor goes a long way towards preserving its natural beauty, but there are times when even the best cared for flooring needs refinishing. You’ll know it’s time to refinish your parquet floor when it:

  • Has multiple scratches that you can’t buff out
  • Appears to have lost most of its shine and warmth
  • Has sustained water damage
  • Bits of the floor have chips or gouges
  • The boards bear evidence of staining
  • The boards are discolored
  • Some spots show signs of splintering

The water test is an excellent way to determine if the time has come for you to refinish your parquet floor. The surprisingly simple test involves choosing a section of flooring that appears worn or receives heavy foot traffic. Pour a single tablespoon’s worth of water on the section. If the flooring is in good shape, the water will pool or turn into large droplets you can easily clean up with a paper towel. If the water seeps into the flooring, it’s time to refinish the flooring. The fact that the water seeped into the flooring indicates that the boards are no longer properly sealed.

Refinishing a Parquet Floor

While you can hire a professional to help refinish existing Parquet flooring, it’s essential to make sure you hire the right contractor, for the right price on the refinishing services.

1. Clean

The first step is removing all the furniture from the room and thoroughly cleaning the floor. After cleaning the floor, cover any air ducts that open into the room with plastic so the floor dust you’re about to create doesn’t enter your ventilation system.

2. Sand and Buff

Take some sandpaper and use it to hand buff the perimeter and corners. This will likely be the most time-consuming part of the process. The hand buffing will go smoother if you use 180-grit sandpaper. Experts recommend hand buffing 4-6 inches (15.24 cm) away from the walls. Don’t try to use a sand block on the floor, the sand block creates an uneven surface that will drive you crazy once you’ve completed the refinishing process. When you’ve finished hand buffing, the floorboards will appear dull and there will be a fine powder covering the buffed areas. 

If the scratches and discoloration are only on the wood’s surface, you don’t have to worry about sanding your flooring. A good buffing is all that’s needed for the refinishing work. Rather than trying to buff the floor by hand, which takes a long time and puts a great deal of strain on your body, visit your favorite home improvement store and rent a floor buffer. Unless you’re doing multiple rooms, you should only need the buffer for a single day. Follow the directions that came with the buffer and start running it over your parquet flooring. Since it can take a little while to get the hang of using the buffer, it’s best if you start in the middle of the room and work your way over to the edges. Starting in the middle goes a long way towards preventing you from running the buffer into the baseboard and walls.

Refinishing a Parquet Floor

The purpose of the buffer is to remove the existing finish. Since this leaves a fine dust on the floor, you’ll have to vacuum the floor again. It also wouldn’t hurt to mop the floor as well. Wearing a face mask protects your lungs from the fine dust buffing raises.

3. Coat

When your satisfied that you’ve gone over the entire floor with the buffer you’ll want to coat the entire floor with a water-based polyurethane. Once the flooring is coated, block everyone, especially pets, from entering the room. Wait three hours and apply a second coat.

If you prefer to use a less expensive oil-based polyurethane floor finisher beware that it will take up to eight hours for the finish to dry.

If the scratches and gouges are more than surface deep, buffing isn’t going to restore your parquet floor to its former beauty. You’re going to have to use a drum sander or a belt sander and take a larger layer off the surface off. You should be able to rent the sander that you need from your favorite DIY store. Start using the sander in the middle of the floor and work your way to the edges. Make smooth, steady strokes with the sander and hold it level as you work your way across the floor.


Feel free to contact District Floor Depot with all of your hardwood flooring questions. Talking about flooring is one of our favorite things to do!

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