How should the surface for the new parquet be? Brushed, scraped, limed, or smoked? With bevel or without? It sounds confusing, doesn’t it? It does not matter anyway! In the following article, we reveal what all these methods of parquet finishing are all about and what exactly they look like. We’ll take a closer look at the processes for the surface finishing of the parquet!
Surface treatment vs. Surface finishing
Before the individual processes for surface finishing of parquet are discussed, the term should first be clarified because surface finishing is often equated with surface treatment.
In contrast to surface finishing, surface treatment always means the final sealing or treatment of the parquet surface. The well-known and most common methods of surface treatment include sealing, oiling, and waxing parquet. It is these that give the parquet its robustness and are primarily responsible for the need for maintenance. Even if each of these treatments provides the parquet with a completely different appearance, the focus of the surface treatment is always on robustness and the need for care.
Surface finishing, on the other hand, includes several measures and techniques that mainly change the visual appearance of the final floor and not so much determine its robustness or maintenance requirements. Although a strong brushing or planing of the floor conceals dirt and other damage in a natural way, such a floor is not more robust. Of course, this doesn’t make the floor any less robust.
However, surface refinement rarely comes alone. In parquet production, several methods are usually combined. And that ensures today’s incredible diversity, regardless of whether the parquet is brushed, scraped, or leached. We explain the differences.
Probably the most popular and easiest surface finish is when the parquet is brushed. As the name suggests, the parquet is actually brushed here; More precisely, the wood is brushed in the direction of the grain with a brush. In this way, the soft parts of the wood can be removed to a greater or lesser extent. What remains are the hard parts of the wood, i.e., the grain or the annual rings. This creates a more or less plastic wood surface, depending on the strength of the brushing.
Well-known terms for the parquet are: brushed, heavily brushed, structured, or heavily structured.
Brushing not only gives the parquet floor an incredibly natural appearance, but it also impresses with its unique feel and a great feel. Also, the floor looks a little easier to care for because the structure hides dirt and small damage to a certain extent.
Scraped parquet or planed parquet
The name says it all when it comes to the scraping: As with the brushed parquet, the wood is treated with the appropriate tool when the parquet is scraped – here the plane. With this treatment, a unique structure is primarily created. The results are mostly irregular surface structures that create a very individual, sometimes antique look. However, preference is given to structures that are not too wild but recognizable along the wooden plank. Often these are also brushed, which creates a very special and unmistakable look.
With this finishing, the following terms generally characterize the parquet: planed, scraped, and relief planed.
Like the brushed parquet, the planed parquet also impresses with its unique feel, a great feel, and the ability to hide small damage.
Anyone who has ever dealt with wood knows that UV light makes the wood yellow and darken. The same thing happens with the wood of a parquet floor.
A lye treatment can help here. This is because this serves to stop the usually very strong and rapid darkening of light coniferous and hardwoods. This works because the lye reacts with the tannins and the resin in the wood and thus prevents further reaction with UV light. The most important representatives for us include spruce, larch, beech, and ash.
But not only light woods are leached. Because lye has even found its way into darker woods such as oak, since different alkalis react differently in the wood, different color variations can be created in this way right from the start. Usually, however, an oak treated in this way is oiled white after leaching, so that a very light and friendly flooring is created.
Lime is probably known to everyone. It doesn’t just limit the football field, and it can do a lot more. Since it penetrates every pore of the skin, no matter how small, and fills it, limed hands stay dry. This, in turn, improves the properties of the skin for athletics and provides the necessary grip for climbing.
As in sport, liming parquet is about filling up the pores. The pores of the wood are occasionally filled with colored, but mostly white. Wood with large pores such as oak is particularly suitable for this. The wood is coated with wax, including color pigments. This then completely fills the pores of the wood. This creates a completely new color impression, and the grain of the wood is also emphasized. Whitewashed oak parquet is particularly popular for this type of treatment.
This type of surface treatment is known under the terms lime and lime.
Parquet with a lava effect, dowels or bevels
There are also other special treatments for the wood that have a significant impact on the appearance of the parquet. Dowelling with differently shaped dowels ensures a very special and individual look. The lava effect, on the other hand, is a kind of liming, whereby long furrows in the wood are closed with colored fillers, usually white or black. The name comes from the fact that the result looks like isolated lava flows, which are evenly distributed over the entire floor. The production of a bevel around the planks is also modern. This ensures a particularly antique, almost tile-like look.
Special case: old wood parquet
Planks made from reclaimed wood represent a special case. Although these are not a special form of surface refinement, they should be mentioned here.
Wood that is up to 200 years old, is recycled for boards made from reclaimed wood. And no matter what additional surface treatment they are subjected to, these boards always have a very special and individual look.
From the thermal oak and smoked oak
In addition, some methods affect both the appearance and the technical properties of the wood. These methods include heat treatment (thermal oak) or smoking wood (smoked oak).
During the production of the smoked oak, the wood is fumigated with ammonia. The reaction of the gas with the tannic acid present in the wood gives the wood a natural brown to dark brown or even black color. Also, the wood becomes more supple and more resistant to insects and fungal attack.
The thermal oak, on the other hand, is subjected to controlled heat treatment and heated to over 200 ° C for several hours. Further development of this controlled heat treatment is thermal pressure treatment. This combines heat and pressure to achieve the same result. However, this does not require such high temperatures, so that the process is generally gentler on the wood. After these treatments, the water absorption capacity of the wood is greatly reduced in both cases, and the wood is significantly more durable.
All of the methods mentioned make the wood darker and more durable in the end.
Textured, retro, relief or 3D
These were the most important types of surface finishing. But wait a minute, a look at the manufacturer’s website reveals even more! Terms such as structured, retro, relief, used look, or 3D can be found there. What’s it all about? And how many refinements are there?
Don’t worry; the description of the parquet doesn’t always reveal something about the actual finishing method. Since the terminology of surface finishing is sometimes not particularly appealing, many parquet manufacturers have introduced their terminology and are trying to establish them on the market. As a rule, these terms describe the result instead of the surface finishing and therefore do not always allow conclusions to be drawn about the treatment. A simple example of this would be structured. A special type or a combination of different methods is obvious, but cannot be derived directly.
Due to the very individual terms, the search for comparable products from different manufacturers turns out to be a bit inconvenient, but there are no other disadvantages for the customer.