How to Install Hardwood Floors Over Parquet

Kevin McDermott

Hardwood floors are generally installed over a wood underlayment of plywood, or an existing hardwood floor. If what you've got there right now is a parquet floor (square wood-inlay tiles), that will work, as long as it's not cement under the parquet, and the parquet has no missing sections that will make the surface uneven. Let your new hardwood boards sit in the room for a week or longer before you install them so they can adjust to the temperature and humidity of the environment.

You can lay hardwood flooring over parquet if it's not overlaying concrete.
  1. Clean and dry the parquet surface. If there are any loose or buckling sections, secure them down with a screw gun and 1 1/2-inch screws.

  2. Cover the entire floor with tar paper flooring underlayment, laying it in courses that overlap by about an inch at the sides. Secure it with your stapler.

  3. Set the starting boards alongside the longest wall in the room, with the grooved edge toward the wall and sitting 1/2 inch from it (to allow for wood movement in the floor over time). Nail it down by shooting flooring nails through the surface, two nails per foot.

  4. Set the rest of the boards of the first course end to end along the wall, connecting them by their tongues and grooves. Nail them down in the same way. Cut the boards at the ends, as needed, on your miter saw.

  5. Set the next courses of boards alongside the first, nailing them through the sides rather than the tops, angling down with the nail gun from just above the tongue. Stagger the positions of the ends of the boards from course to course. Set the nails about every foot, using a tape measure.

  6. Build across the room course by course, staggering all the ends and cutting the boards by the walls as necessary.

  7. Length-rip the final course of boards with a table saw so they will sit 1/2 inch out from the wall. Top-nail them.