Mats Bengtsson Home Improvement and Do It Yourself

Gluing loose pieces of fishbone parquetry flooring back onto the floor

Mats Bengtsson mib over the years

Gluing loose pieces of fishbone parquetry flooring back onto the floor

Parquet Flooring After GluingWhen we moved in, we had a very beatiful large oak fish bone parquet floor in the living room and the dining room and the entrance hallway.

But in some places, there were a number of pieces of the fishbone parquetry floor where the tiles had loosened from the floor. When examining them, we concluded that there was a number of different reasons:

  • It was most frequent in the places where the heat pipes were under the floor, but close to the surface. Tthus the parquetry floor became heatened during winter. Seems the glue wore out faster during such conditions.
  • In some places the loose floor tiles coexist with slightly bent wooden pieces. For example by the porch door. Here we concluded that the problem was more likely the wood used in the parquetry floor not having been protected well enough by lacquer or oil. Thus the parquetry wood become wet and bent, forcing the weakened glue to loose its grip.

We asked around and was told that unbending the wooden parquet flooring pieces were to be almost impossible, so we decided not to try. What we did was to use ordinary wood glue, put it in the place where the parquetry wooden tile had been, and then place the parquetry tile there, with a huge stack of books on top as weight. This did straighten up the wood tiles a little, sometimes enough.

This was done by:

  • Gluing the loose parquetry wood tile back in place
  • Applying pressure during the time the glue gains it strength (using piles of books as weights)
  • Since we do not plan to sand the floor now, we did not use a filler for the cracks afterward (it would have made the parquetry looking worse due to differences in colour).

Basic learning:

  • Ordinary glue takes a long time to dry. It does not feel good with a living room full of stacked books in such a long time
  • Most parquetry pieces looks good after gluing them back in place, and some straightens enough for the bend not to be noticable any more
  • There is probably not a good way to fix the whole floor without replacing some of the wood pieces completely, which also means that sanding the floor will be neccessary afterwards. This is a postponed but yet to be done project.

Wood Tile loose from floorThe loose wood tiles (an example seen in the upper right part of the picture) are about 2-5 millimeters thick, and below can be seen where they used to be glued. Very few traces of that old glue can be seen.


Due to a water damage we got expert help with the fishbone floor

We were unlucky enough to get a water damage on a part of the parquetry floor in the hallway where there was no real previous problem. The spilled water was dried up within minutes, yet, a day later, the floor where the water had been spilt was having a number of bent and lose tiles.

Loose fish bone parquet floor tile showing a good example of the fish bone parquet parts, and what to do to fix the loose pieceWe got help from an expert, and learned the expert method of solving the loose floor tiles (①):

  • He removed the set of wood beneath the place where the oak tile should still be glued by removing the first layer of pine wood pieces (②)
  • He thus had created a space which was 5-8 mm thick, allowing for a more substantial piece of oak to be placed
  • He planed wood tiles of the same thickness as the old floor tiles plus the space created by removing the first pine wood layer.
  • He used a small hand block plane to fine tune the width and length of the floor tiles.
  • He used a glue gun to melt glue onto the floor where next layer of pine wood still remained (③), and glued the new tiles in place.
  • When done, he used putty to hide the few visible edges

When all was done, sanding and waxing was needed. The floor looked just perfect after this treatment. The same could be said about the pieces we glued ourselves, but the difference was that his new pieces where never bent.


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