The snug has a parquet floor in pitch pine about 30mm thick which is very rare these days. I guess it was laid when the new facade was built around 1920 and since covered with carpet. It is lovely but wasn’t laid all that well. The bitumen adhesive makes a good damp course under the blocks but they mortared it into the walls instead of leaving a gap and some damp came through, notably where they built a car park 12 inches above the inside ground level.
It will end up being be a good 2 or 3 weeks of work and a bunch of money to fix the floor, but it is charming and one of the few original features remaining inside from the 1920s so I want to have a crack at it!
The car park was fixed with a trench, and I have cut a gap below the plaster to allow an air gap between the parquet and the walls which will be covered by skirting.
Much of my parquet was rotten but I managed to find some close to the right size on eBay that I could cut down on a chop saw. My rate for cleaning bitumen off was about 2 square meters per day, sometimes with a Bacho 665 paint scraper and other times with a heat gun depending on the type of bitumen.
This project has been going since June in bits and pieces. Now all of the parquet has all been cleaned but remains of bitumen on the floor still need to be flattened with the paint scraper. There are modern glues that can stick to bitumen but modern glues will be difficult to remove in the future so I’m still taking advice.
Apart from all that I’m almost ready to lay a floor!
The low points in the floor were filled with Ardex 45 rapid, and I’m using Black Jack roofing adhesive to fix the parquet, buttering the blocks for good adhesion. Both were recommended by the floor sander. The roofing adhesive is nice to work with but takes weeks to set (heating the room helps).
The trick to laying parquet is to work to a string line. If the blocks all line up then the gaps will be OK on the next row. The wall edges take a long time as the blocks need to be cut to fit.
It takes a surprising amount of time to lay parquet – two weeks to be exact. I got fed up with it. It didn’t help that I ran out of blocks and had to cut the face off some thin worn blocks then glue ply to the rear to bring them back to the right thickness. I’ll try to get the room more finished before sanding and finishing.