Striking moments in the history of parquet flooring

Striking moments in the history of parquet flooring

Striking moments in the history of parquet flooring

Many associate parquet floors with cheap solutions in rental apartments. Do you actually know that this is actually not a real parquet at all? In such inexpensive interiors, prefabricated elements are used that imitate the texture of the parquet. The real parquet floor is a great work of art. It is historically a luxury solution that can be seen in the rooms of Versailles and other palaces.

The parquet floor has a great history behind it

Floor design parquet floor history design designer louis xiv

History of parquet flooring up to the 16th century

Up until the 16th century, most European dwellings had no floor design in the current sense of this word. So that means that you lived directly on earth. Only noble families in palaces and castles had marble or stone floors. That changed in the 16th century. They started laying the floor with wood. In this way you achieved an upscale and very warm character inside.

Only the palaces had the luxury solution

Floor design parquet floor history design versailles

During the Renaissance, the wooden floors became even more elegant. The craftsmen were able to execute the wood in various arabesque and mosaic patterns. The wooden floor design became a strong competitor to the marble flooring.

Wood flooring is still a strong competitor to marble today

Floor design parquet floor history design marble

During this time, terms were used for the first time that are reminiscent of today’s word “parquet”. One of the many forms of wooden floor design was designated for this, namely those that had purely geometric or angular shapes.

The creation of the floor design

The word “parquet” was first loaded with a different meaning than the one it is used today. For example, the wooden planks that served as pedestals for throne and other seats were called parquet. This had a symbolic value for the higher position of the people sitting on it. At that time these areas were decorated and refined. In the baroque era, the word parquet referred to both the technology and the craftsmanship in the production of this type of floor design. In 1620, the parquet floors were still news. At that time, Queen Maria de Medici had such flooring installed in her Luxembourg palace. It was thought to be a technique of Italian origin (the Queen’s homeland).

This type of floor design had a symbolic value

Floor design parquet floor history design castle

Application of the parquet

A little later, in 1661, such flooring was also installed in the so-called Somerset House at the request of Queen Henrietta Maria (daughter of Maria de Medici). She did this immediately after she returned from France. After that, the assumption was spread that it was a French technique. In 1673, the parquet floor became the subject of one of the most important magazines, Mercure Galant. There, the parquet is explained as the nobler solution compared to the dusty carpets.

Somerset House installed the parquet flooring in 1661

Floor design parquet floor history design somerset house

Queen Henrietta Maria was one of the first to introduce wood design

Floor design parquet floor history Design de medici

Popularity of the parquet floor

But the parquet floor didn’t really get popular until Louis XIV had it installed around 1680. Two decades earlier he was busy expanding and renovating the hunting lodge. He wanted to bring this to a level that corresponded to the glamorous historical events of France at that time. First you installed marble floors everywhere and just replaced the broken tiles. But in 1670 it was noticed that the marble floors in the large living rooms of the royal palace were leaking and that the beams were beginning to rot. At that time, it was decided to replace the marble floors with wooden ones.

Floor design parquet floor history design versailles floor

This decision certainly had technical as well as aesthetic considerations. But they were also well aware that this solution was in vogue. In 1693, the architect Nicodemis Tessin said that this was a new style.

The Louis XIV designers created special patterns for the floors of Versailles. As a result, these are known to this day under the name of Versailles panel parquet. The other French aristocrats of the time also had their own parquet patterns developed.

The wooden floor has an extraordinary retro look

Floor design parquet floor history design type retro

Although the wooden floors remained popular in many houses for a long time, the parquet was still popular. The process continued into the 20th century. At that time, the mechanized production of parquet began and thus it was also accessible to the common residents. For many designers, however, it remains a goal to imitate the beauty of the antique parquet floor.

The parquet floor is one of the designer floor designs

Floor design parquet floor history design

Mechanized production did not begin until the 20th century

Floor design parquet floor history design parquet floor

The wooden boards served as a pedestal for the throne seats

Floor design parquet floor history design thron

Design any room with parquet, it’s worth it!

Floor design parquet floor history design type versailles

This is how the floor design in the French Versailles looks

Floor design parquet floor history design type versailles


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