Parquet flooring and water match after all thanks to a new innovation!
A parquet floor in a humid space: it’s always been an absolute no-no. But there’s no reason it should stay that way, right? That was the attitude of the R&D team of our division Unilin Flooring. Their perseverance led to the creation of the very first 100% watertight parquet floor: Quick-Step’s Cascada collection.
That perseverance was no luxury because there were a number of obstacles to surmount, says Pieter-Jan Sabbe, member of the R&D team at Unilin Flooring. “We wanted at all costs to develop a wooden floor that is also suitable for the bathroom. However, as parquet flooring is an entirely natural product, we faced two problems”, he explains.
Two problems, two solutions
“First of all, with traditional parquet floors water can seep between the planks and damage the underside of the floor”. The team solved this thanks to a tighter fit with the brand-new and improved click system and the water-repellent finish on the sides of the boards. Pieter-Jan: “Those sides contain a natural grain: the ‘tubes’ the tree used to absorb water. They remain present in the parquet and are sensitive to moisture and dirt. Water evaporates over time but the dirt stays behind. Thanks to new proprietary technology this is no longer an issue in the new collection”.
Subsequently the developers turned their attention to the parquet surface. “Back in the day we used to seal irregularities and dents in the wood with a thick layer of glossy varnish. Now we do things differently so we can obtain a more matte and contemporary look. Still, here and there the pores don’t seal properly, allowing moisture and dirt to penetrate anyway”.
And that’s where our latest innovation comes in! Our multilayer parquet floors consist of several layers of wood. Under the top layer there is now a water-repellent layer. “And if some moisture does make it through the first barrier then the protective coating will certainly prevent it from penetrating the core of the planks. This way they can neither swell nor warp, keeping your floor in perfect shape, even in the bathroom!
The result is impressive. Tests have shown the parquet can be used in a humid environment and can even be submerged for as long as 24 to 36 hours before the first problems surface. “And if your wooden floor is flooded for longer that means you’ve got bigger problems with your house!”, Pieter-Jan laughs.