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Project Guide

How to Install Parquet Tile

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Prep the Floor
A chart depicts how to install tile rows.

Prep Floor Before Installation

  • Acclimate the tiles by storing them in the room where they will be installed. The room should be between 60-75° and 35%-55% humidity for two weeks prior to installation. If the surface is a concrete slab, create a 4-inch air space between the boxes of tile and the floor. 
  • Undercut door trim before installation. Remove baseboard, shoe moulding, or both. 
  • Floor must be dry or warping will occur. Check manufacturer’s specifications. 

Where to Install:

  • On or above grade only. Not for use with full baths. Crawlspace must be at least 24 inches above ground and ventilated, with vent area equal to 1.5% of square footage. Ground must be covered with 6-8 mil black polyethylene sheeting. Overlap seams 6 inches and seal with tape. 
  • Level/flat: Within 1/8 inch over 6 feet. 
  • Acceptable subfloors: 3/4-inch CDX plywood preferred. Also acceptable: 3/4-inch OSB, solid wood floor, concrete, sheet vinyl, vinyl tile, cork flooring, 3/4-inch wafer board or chipboard, ceramic, terrazzo, and slate marble. Some preparation required. Follow manufacturer’s specifications.

Installing Parquet Tiles in Rows  

The row method, shown first below, is recommended by some manufacturers because it’s easier to achieve a square layout and involves less cutting along the walls.

Install each row of tiles following the numerical sequence shown and working your way down the layout lines.

Left: (A) Expansion gap; (B) Perpendicular line; (C) Doorway. 

Install each row of tiles following the numerical sequence shown and working your way down the layout lines. 

SSafety: Use the right saw. Always cut parquet with a jigsaw. The metal strips that reinforce parquet will wrap around the blade of a circular saw, and could hurt you, damage the tile or the saw.   

Snap and Square Layout Lines
A man snaps a chalk line before installing flooring.

Make sure the layout lines are square. Make a mark on one line 3 feet from where the lines cross. Make a mark on the second line 4 feet from where the lines cross. If the distance between the points is 5 feet, the lines are square with each other. If not, pivot one of the lines until the measurement is 5 feet. 

Spread the Adhesive
A person adds adhesive before installing flooring.

Work in a well-ventilated area, opening windows and running fans as necessary. Spread the manufacturer’s recommended adhesive between the first line you snapped and the wall. Use a notched trowel with the recommended size notches — the size and spacing of the notches controls how much adhesive is applied. 

Begin Laying the Tiles
A person lays tile down on adhesive.
  • Mix tiles from several different cartons before you install any tiles. This distributes any color variations throughout the entire floor, making them less obvious. 
  • Place the first tile at the intersection of the two lines, carefully aligning it with them. Install the second tile between the first tile and the wall. 
  • Carefully align the edge with the layout line. Push the tiles together with moderate pressure — hammers or other tools may force the tile out of position or out of square. 
Continue to Walls and Cut Parquet
A man cuts the tile to fit the wall.

Continue until you reach the end wall. Follow the pattern shown in the illustration above Step 1. 

  • Carefully align the tiles along the layout lines. If no layout line shows, nestle tiles in the corners created by their neighbors. When you reach the wall, trim the tile if necessary to leave the required expansion gap (approx. ¾ inch) between the tile and wall. 
  • Lay out the cut by setting a tile on one of the full tiles nearest the wall. Put a spacer the size of the expansion gap against the wall, then put a full tile against it. Trace along the edge to lay out the cut. 
  • Some brands of parquet have metal reinforcing bands embedded in each tile. Use a jigsaw when cutting these tiles to avoid injury. To avoid chipping the wood, guide a knife along a straightedge to cut along the line you drew. 
  • Cut carefully, just on the waste side of the line. 
  • Snap a chalk line 24 inches away from and parallel to the first line you snapped. Lay parquet in this area, following the same pattern you used to lay tiles in the first area. Continue to lay out and install new sections of floor until you reach the wall opposite the starting wall.
Roll the Floor
An image of a roller used to roll flooring.

Roll the floor, if necessary, depending on the adhesive you use. Follow the manufacturer’s directions. With or without rolling, the adhesive takes time to set up, and the tiles will move if stressed too soon. Wait at least 24 hours before moving furniture into the room.

Learning how to install parquet tile flooring can be a made easier with the right tools. Shop our wide selection and get everything you need for your flooring project. The Home Depot delivers online orders when and where you need them.