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At the Festival «Building and Architecture»

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What is the news at the «parquet market» for the last few years? How do you think what the tendencies are in this sphere?

There are following tendencies at the market of the parquet covering (here and further the word parquet, will be used in its widest meaning, that refers both to the natural kinds and to other – to the artificial parquet (laminate) and its modern variants – to the construction floors EF – Engineered Floor).

1. The demand on a natural parquet especially on block parquet from different, traditionally parquet wood species such as oak, maple, ash tree has been constantly increasing.

2. Decorative parquet floors become more and more popular, especially those kinds, which are made with the help of modern technologies that allow to simplify their development, design, mounting, trouble free use and attendance during the process of their exploitation.

3. Engineered floors («EF») spread more and more among the large-size parquet materials. It considerably reduces the price and improves its operating descriptions, saving the structure and external visual perception, analogical to a floor from traditional, solid parquet board (solid means whole, not glued neither on the width nor on the thickness of the wood).

4. Increasing popularity of the artificial foremost laminated parquet floors is explained by their affordability and permanent improving of the hygienical, aesthetic and operating quality indexes.

It is here necessary to emphasize that, speaking about the artificial types of the parquet, the reason why they belong to the class of the parquet floor covering is the application of the natural wood as a raw material for their production. So, for example, a laminated parquet is made from the wood-based panel HDF (wood-fibre board with high density of pressing), but even though its (front) layer is not natural, and can be decorated into different materials, including nonwooden, we call it a parquet. But if we speak, for example, about such type of floor covering as a ceramic tile, which can have the same form and sizes as the parquet slats and it can be decorated into a wood – nobody will call it a parquet...

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Name the wood species which are used for the parquet production. What market share is taken by a parquet made in Ukraine?

At the Ukrainian market the parquet products of both home and foreign producers are represented by two large groups which are characterized by the type of the used wood.

The first group is parquet floor covering, made from wood which grows mainly on the territory of Ukraine. First of all, these are traditional parquet species: oak, maple, ash tree, beech and birch. Permanent increasing of the requirements to the produced parquet products assortment’s improving results in the necessity of considerable adding to the list of the used wood species.
Today a parquet can be made from the smooth-leaved elm, sycamore (rare maple species), acacia, walnut, cherry tree, pear tree, elm, hornbeam, larchs and even from silver fir tree or pine-tree.

The second group is a parquet floor covering, made from the tropical trees, that grow in the countries of South-East Asia, Africa and Latin America. In the group of tropical, or, as they are sometimes called exotic wood practically all of varieties of the mahogany, merbau, amboyna, kempas, wenge, teak, jatoba, jarra, tiger tree, varieties of the eucalyptus tree etc. Parquet from the tropical wood mostly is not produced serially in Ukraine – it is more profitably to bring the finished product.

It happened, that Ukraine has been increasing the export of the hard wood, first of all – oak for about ten - twelve years. And it exported the best material. The European producers, including the parquet producers, has made the raw material reserve for many years forward within these years. European banks even has been crediting these special programs. Now when the demand on parquet products has increased, we have to import not only exotic parquet, but even classic – made from our own wood.

Nowadays approximately 15% of the market are taken by the parquet of the Ukrainian producers. Quality of the products is very high, and some companies-producers are included into top ten of the world..

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What are the advantages of the parquet in comparison with the laminate? Or, maybe - vice versa?..

Each of these types of floor covering have their advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of the laminated parquet:

1. Versatility. If you want a wooden floor in a bathroom, or in a room with the intensive moving – any expert will say you: no, it is impossible! A wooden (imitating natural wood) laminated floor is your solution in this situation.

2. Easy and simple attendance, maintenance. Polishing, oiling, waxing, rubbing - all this does not concern the laminated paruet floors. Simple regular cleaning up – that is all that such floors need to keep them during the operation.

3. Easy mounting and repairs. Mounting of the new parquet floor can not be defined as the projects "Do-it-yourself". It requires certain knowledge and skills which most house owners do not have. Mounting of the laminated floors differs from the above mentioned completely and usually causes no difficulties. Renewal of the laminated floor is usually done by the rapid replacement of one or a few damaged panels.

Disadvantages of the laminated parquet:

1. The laminated floors are quite good alternative to the wooden parquet floors, but the laminated parquet is an artificial floor covering which can not completely substitute a natural parquet. It will always remain just a cheap alternative to the natural, real wooden covering.

Advantages of the natural parquet covering:

1. If a person appreciates natural, ecological materials and at the same time wants to have on the floor something classic and at the same time – modern, then he chooses a floor from a natural parquet which also provides the absolute comfort for a man’s dwelling and creates the atmosphere of warmth and comfort in his apartment.

Disadvantages of the natural parquet covering:

1. The price of natural parquet floors a little above other coverings

2. Mounting, repairs and maintenance require extra time and money.

3. It can be laid not in any place – "does not love" damp premises, apartments with the large windows southward, apartments with the intensive moving and applied load.

*** If a person wants to have floors only from natural wood, there is the third variant between a wooden floor from the natural parquet or solid parquet board and the laminate parquet that imitates the wood. This third variant is the multilayer parquet or the parquet board, they are also called the Engineered Floor. This parquet or the board consists of some layers of the thin wood, pressed into a single solid block with the layer-cross direction of the fibres (sometimes the back foundation of such construction is taken for the plywood, however it is not so. The main difference is that the parquet block with the odd number of the layers has a stable form when it leaves the press and is ready for gluing, while the gluing on the surface of the plywood even the thinnest front layer results in destabilization of such construction).
The upper layer of such parquet is made from the valuable or hard wood species and has a thickness from 1 to some millimeters. Its surface is usually covered with nearly the same superhard finishing compositions as the laminated parquet, and its butt ends and edges are as a rule protected with the special imbibition from the moisture influence. Such floors are more expensive than the laminated ones, but they are considerably cheaper than the parquet floors from solid wood.

Is it true that the parquet floor is better for the dwelling apartments?

Parquet floors has a rare versatility that enables their successful use in the apartments of any purpose. The elegant look of the natural parquet floor will add some warmth and will emphasis the style of any apartment, whether it is a dwelling room, kitchen or an office.
Natural properties of the wood give the intensity and that special visual perception which other types of floors just try to imitate. It is important to choose the correct type of the parquet floor, wood species and method of it’ surface finishing that will correspond the functional purpose of different apartments.
For example – the nice pine parquet hardly can be laid in the restaurant or in the corridor with the intensive moving, because pine-tree wood is soft, therefore the term of its service will probably be short, but on the other hand, it is a wonderful variant for the floor of the dwelling apartment, for example for a nursery, and in a restaurant we will lay a decorative art parquet or the parquet from the hard tropical wood species - excellent decision!

Continuation: At the Festival... Part-2

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