Your parquet floor
Tips and hints
Parquet on underfloor heating
Well-being for your feet
Parquet floors have proven themselves for years when laid on hot water underfloor heating systems. It is crucial that certain laying instructions are followed and that the maximum surface temperature of the parquet floor does not exceed 29°C even in the peripheral zones. Higher temperatures are not required for new buildings. Non-compliance may result in damage to the parquet flooring (changes in shape, such as convex deformations, bowls, tappings and to detachment, drying cracks etc.). Bembé parquet can be laid on almost all standard warm water underfloor heating systems.
Newer developments require special advice. For further information please refer to our leaflet “Parquet on underfloor heating” at www.bembe.de “Installation/Floor heating”. Due to possible joint formation, smaller parquet elements are more suitable. Due to their active swelling and shrinkage behaviour, wood species such as beech and maple tend to have a greater tendency to form joints and to change their shape (bowls). If a parquet floor is covered with carpets over a large area, a heat accumulation can occur. To maintain the room temperature nevertheless, the temperature in the underfloor heating system increases. The consequences are rising heating costs and damage to the parquet floor and the substructure.
Holz atmet und ist beständig
Wood is a natural material that “lives” even when processed and reacts to changes in the room climate: If the air humidity is very high over a longer period of time, the parquet absorbs moisture and expands. If the air is too dry – this can happen especially during the heating period – moisture is extracted from the wood. Its volume is reduced and joints are formed – a natural reaction that must be accepted. It is a quality feature for real parquet. However, if the correct room climate is maintained, these natural phenomena can be largely avoided. The correct room temperature is about 20°C with a relative humidity of about 50 – 60%. If the air is too dry, suitable measures must be taken to humidify the air; this is particularly important in the case of ventilation systems, which are now widely used.
Air humidifiers of various systems are available from specialist dealers. We recommend the no. 1 in Europe, the Venta humidifiers, which we will be pleased to demonstrate and offer you in our exhibitions. Since the relative humidity is difficult to estimate, it is advisable to install a standard hygrometer in the rooms. This allows a good control and it can be humidified in time. Too dry air also damages furniture, wallpaper and carpets. This is, as with carpets, among other things the cause of static electricity. But the right room climate is also beneficial for the well-being and health of the person. For example, air that is too dry promotes colds and flu and – just like air that is too moist – significantly reduces physical well-being.
Changes of shape
Swelling and shrinking behaviour of the wood
Wood reacts to changes in the indoor climate. Especially during the heating period, dry air causes increased joint formation and changes in shape (bowls) as well as dry cracks in the surface and, if necessary, detachment; uneven joint formation – so-called block joints – can also occur. In this case, individual areas are almost without joints, while they occur more than average in other areas. This appearance can be almost completely avoided by using oiled surfaces or surfaces already finished at the factory.
Light as a decisive factor
There are natural color differences within a wood species, which we cannot completely exclude despite careful sorting. They cannot be completely avoided even when laying parquet flooring. These color variations are particularly pronounced in exotic woods. Please also note that the colors change when exposed to light. Photos of products are usually dependent on the camera, pressure and incidence of light. Therefore we recommend a visit in one of our studios to see the actual effect in the room. Samples viewed or received as well as our brochure documents represent – as is typical for a natural product – a non-binding color and quality sample, therefore it is not possible to conclude on the appearance of a finished parquet floor. The provisions of the applicable DIN/EN standards apply.
Living with parquet flooring
the right load for maximum service life
Never load your freshly sealed or oiled/waxed parquet floor too early. If possible, water should only be used for cleaning after 8 days. Carpets, runners and similar items should only be laid after about 14 days. Give your new parquet floor some rest. Of course, the surfaces can be walked on after 24 – 36 hours, but the more careful you are at the beginning, the more resilient the surfaces will be later. During the first few months after installation, ensure that the rooms are ventilated daily – even if they are not occupied. The room climate must be constant before, during and immediately after installation, even if the rooms are not yet in use, in order to prevent damage (bowls, etc.) to the parquet flooring caused by condensation, for example.
Grains of sand and small stones are the enemy of any floor, whether carpet, plastic, ceramic, stone or parquet. It is therefore important to provide suitable, adequately dimensioned dirt trap mats or runners at entrances. Please provide table and chair legs with suitable felt glides. Only hard-covered castors according to EN 12529 with wide support (possibly double castors) are suitable as castors under armchairs and office chairs. For this application we also recommend transparent parquet covers – in our case made of high-quality polycarbonate. Materials containing plasticizers, e.g. in carpet underlays, furniture feet, tires and chair castors, can lead to discoloration of the floor. Furthermore, the use of unsuitable adhesive tapes on the finished floor covering can lead to detachment of the surface layer, residues and/or floor discoloration.
sealed or oiled/waxed parquet floors
The surface treatment in combination with maintenance protects the parquet floor, largely prevents the penetration of dirt and makes cleaning and maintenance much easier. Of course, this does not make the parquet “waterproof”. Moisture can still be absorbed by the parquet flooring, but more slowly, and can also be released again.
Parquet floors sealed/varnished on site
The surface treatment with dispersion varnishes is a layer-forming surface, which, however, cannot be regarded as waterproof, since micro joints occur due to shrinkage and swelling processes of the wood. They are not visible to the naked eye and are sensitive to abundant or even standing water. However, this “sensitivity” can be drastically reduced by proper cleaning and, above all, care in the right cycle.
On-site oiled/waxed parquet floors
Another possibility is treatment with an oil/oil wax system. This treatment also makes the floor largely resistant to water stains and dirt and can be partially repaired. It also emphasises the structures and colours of the wood. In general, if the surfaces are first applied to the sanded parquet floor on site, this is done by hand. This means that irregularities in the surface, such as inclusions of dust particles and the like, cannot be completely avoided.
can be distinguished:
sealed/varnished ”’ UV coating systems
oiled ”’ oxidatively oiled surfaces (similar appearance to surfaces oiled on site)
The factory sealed and factory oiled parquet floors have high quality surfaces made of UV or oxidative hardened materials. The advantage of factory surface-treated parquet floors lies in the significantly shorter execution time; after the adhesive has dried or if the floor is laid “floating”, the floors can be used immediately. For the different surface systems, please refer to the corresponding care instructions.