Modular parquet – from Versailles to modernity

Modular parquet - from Versailles to modernity


  • What is modular parquet?

  • History of the issue

  • Types of structures

  • Decors: from classic to modern

    • Historical names of modular parquet patterns

  • How to install modular parquet?

  • Advantages of modular parquet

  • disadvantages

The attractiveness of a natural wood floor is combined in this type of flooring with the possibility of creating the most incredible ornamental compositions. And in terms of ease of installation, it catches up with ceramic tiles.

Parquet from the Deco collection of the Italian company Listone Giordano.  The collection is inspired by the wood floors that adorn palaces in central and northern Europe.

What is modular parquet?

Modular parquet is an elite wood covering, consisting of ready-made panels. The drawing on each module is assembled from separate pieces of valuable wood and fixed at the factory on a wooden base. The decorative top layer creates intricate repeating patterns on the floor. Moreover, this can be done quite quickly, since parquet boards are delivered to the object in a finished form. As a rule, the whole room is laid out with boards with the same pattern, sometimes decorative borders and inserts are added to the main decor.

Modular parquet from Mardegan's Firenze collection legno

The top layer of the module is made of valuable wood species. As a rule, these are oak, ash, walnut, merbau.

Modular parquet is very decorative – the principle of its construction is close to mosaic. It is assembled from separate parts, often made of wood of the same type. The thing is that wood has a fibrous structure. Due to the different direction of the fibers, the laid elements take on different shades, depending on the angle of incidence of the light and the point of view of the observer.

Modular parquet from the Le murrine collection by Garbelotto

This feature is often used in the so-called “classic” decor options. The rectangular elements are connected in various combinations, and the fibers are directed in opposite directions. Such parquet, made, for example, exclusively of oak, still does not seem monotonous.

And in the modules of artistic parquet (which will cost more) the designer has the entire palette at his disposal: from white ash and red yew to purple amaranth, dark gray bog oak and black ebony.

History of the issue

The first reliably known case of using modular parquet in the interior is the Versailles Palace, many of the rooms in which are still decorated with the so-called “Versailles squares”. According to historians, one of the reasons that contributed to the spread of parquet was the complexity in the combination of a marble finish floor and wooden floors. The need for regular washing of the marble led to rotting of the floors.

The very first type of parquet was piece parquet, assembled from individual wooden dies into the herringbone, chevron, etc. patterns that became popular. But as it was required to create a floor covering that is not inferior in beauty and complexity of decor to marble mosaic floors, modular parquet was invented.

Parquet from the Creator collection by Garbelotto

Types of structures

  • Engineering. The panel of an engineering modular parquet consists of a plywood base and parquet rivets of a valuable layer of wood glued to it from above. The thickness of the valuable layer in the engineering parquet is usually 3-4 mm, the thickness of the plywood base is 10-12 mm.
  • Massive. The parquet board does not have plywood or any other base. The module is assembled from massive parquet rivets glued together with side and end edges. The thickness of the parquet rivets, and therefore the entire module, is traditionally 15, 16 or 20 mm.

Bohemian Works solid modular parquet.  The Bohemia Floor collection is made of high quality Moravian and French oak.  Solid panels are 2 cm thick. The central elements of the panels are made from a single piece of wood.

Decors: from classic to modern

The main decorative properties of modular parquet are determined by the geometric pattern of parquet planks, which is repeated in each module. Manufacturing factories today do not stop using drawings created by masters back in the 18th-19th centuries. There are a lot of decor options: from simple patterns like “braids” to complex ornate ornaments.

Historical names of modular parquet patterns

  • The most famous is the “Versailles square”. The model for him was the parquet flooring in the Palace of Versailles.

  • The Chantilly decor owes its appearance to the palace of the same name, where you can still admire the magnificent floor.

  • “Sheremetyevskaya Star” is a hexagon made up of three rhombuses, named after the famous count family.

Examples of parquet modules from Bohemian Works

Of course, the classic decors, despite all their undoubted advantages, managed to get fed up with the order. And modern interiors often require completely different solutions. Therefore, well-known manufacturers of wooden parquet, legislators in this area, began to offer other forms and other decors. For example, the famous Italian company Listone Giordano has developed a parquet collection in the form of asymmetric trapezoidal modules. There are manufacturers offering intricately shaped modules that are assembled on the floor like jigsaw puzzles.

Oak Tortora parquet from the Slide collection of the Italian company Listone Giordano.  The collection was designed by Daniel Lago.

Parquet from the Perigal collection by Listone Giordano.  Elements designed by Paola Lenti studio

How to install modular parquet?

As a rule, the parquet module has the shape of a square with a side of 300-450 mm, but it can also be rectangular or more complex geometric outlines. Its thickness is 15-22 mm. Along the perimeter of the element, grooves are made, which are intended for installing the embedded key.

The technology for laying modular parquet is quite simple. The main thing is to properly prepare the base. Ideally, modular parquet is mounted on a plywood backing. It is also possible to lay the parquet on a sanded concrete or cement screed, or other subfloor with a flat and solid surface.

Garbelotto Modular Panel Sample

Before laying, glue is applied to the back of the board with a notched trowel. Then the shield is shot to the coating with special nails from the side of the free ends into the grooves. A key is inserted into the groove from the side of the next element. (Each module requires two dowels, except for those that will be extreme and will adjoin the wall.) Next, the next module is attached end-to-end in the same way. This covers the entire floor.

When everything is laid, the parquet is cut around the perimeter of the room at a distance of 10-12 mm from the walls. After a technological break for curing the glue (depending on the type, it takes two to seven days), the floor is sanded, varnished or covered with oil. Finally, a plinth is installed to cover the expansion joint between the floor and the walls.

The procedure will be a little more complicated if the client wants to use decorative inserts, such as rosettes or borders. They are ordered separately, in which case the square modules will have to be cut and adjusted to fit.

Parquet from the Creator collection by Garbelotto

Advantages of modular parquet

  • High aesthetic qualities. The ability to create a unique image of the interior of a house or apartment. Using original layouts and placement of modular inserts, you can achieve a wonderful result.
  • Modular parquet has a high installation speed.
  • Real modular parquet is guaranteed to have factory build quality.

Parquet from the Firenze collection by Mardegan legno


Modular parquet has, perhaps, only one significant drawback – its high cost, which depends on the type of wood, the complexity of the decor, and of course, from the manufacturer. The cost of parquet made in Europe will be higher than that of domestic producers. Currently, the price varies from economy options for 4500 rubles / sq.m. up to exclusive coatings for 67,000 rubles / sq.m.

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About Leona Smith 115 Articles
Hello! My name is Silke and this is my travel blog. I want to show you fascinating places off the beaten track, give you a gentle introduction to history and culture, and help you get around Berlin. After 13 years in Sydney and Andalusia, I now live in Berlin, Germany. I am a travel writer, translator and book author. Read more about me here.

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