Why I Hate Parquet Flooring

This post is in honour of Global Have-a-Moan Day (which I just made up). Audience participation is encouraged!

Parquet flooring is the new impractical interior decor trend in Sicily. They like it because it is ridiculously expensive and regarded as exotic. Having parquet floors is a way to show off.

I used to quite like parquet when I had it in my house in England, despite the fact that real wood floors require careful maintenance.

1. You have to examine all your friends’ shoes before letting them enter the house, and confiscate stilettoes so your parquet won’t get little dents in it.

“You stay right there in the porch! You can’t come in!”

2. When throwing parties you have to transfer your guests’ drinks into sippy-cups when they are starting to look tipsy, since red wine stains on a parquet floor look forever more as if someone puked.

3. When someone looks as if they are about to puke, you have to lock them in the bathroom.

4. After you polish the parquet, you have to wear rubber-soled shoes for at least three days to avoid breaking your coccyx.

They sell fake wood parquet in England these days, made of Weetabix with a plastic photo of wood on top, but that only lasts a few years and then the moisture gets through, the Weetabix backing expands, and your floor is muesli.

The reason I hate parquet with a passion right now is because my neighbours have decided to have it laid throughout their house. The pneumatic drilling is so loud it is actually making my computer jiggle as I type.

The screen looks like a ripple tank and the vibrations have made my buttocks numb. Hubby phoned but, despite screaming like a Sicilian, I could not be heard and had to text him instead.

I texted this:


I have a whole month of this ahead of me, the neighbours blithely warned me, as they tootled off with their suitcases to some rented accommodation far, far away.

As soon as the drilling ceases, the sanding machines will start up:

I did try to tell the neighbours what they are getting themselves into, but they prefer to believe the purple prose of the salesman’s pitch instead.

“Of course you can wash parquet flooring by tossing a full bucket of soapy water over it, and swirling it around with a broom…. just like you clean your tile floors!”Β 

“No no! We’re not drilling up all the tiles so that we can charge you more! Laying wood on top of porous, hydrophilic cement is a very sensible thing to do. Of course it won’t go mouldy!”

“You’re worried wood will warp if it is repeatedly made wet both top and bottom? Oh no! Certainly not!”

They’ll find out!

Then I’ll have another month of drilling, as they get all the bendy, mouldy wood removed and replaced with tiles again.

When that happens I shall go on holiday to a monastery where everyone takes a vow of silence.

What do you REALLY hate?
Let off steam right here!


15 Comments Add yours

  1. Angela says:

    Hi Veronica – I am an American Sicilian whose parents came from Palermo citta and who is member of Arba Sicula at St John’s University, Gaetano Cipolla is the President – I suggest you connect Gaetano – you’ll love him. I don’t like to disagree with you but wood floors are very easy to maintain. I have parquet floors in Brooklyn and laminate (imitation wood) in my Florida Condo (only because I felt tiles were hard on my feet. I’m 80 years old) and for these two locations they work fine. New York Is cold in winter and wood keeps the floors warmer and Florida is hot and humid all year round. However, I think ceramic tiles/marble is best for Sicily’s weather. This is my opinion . Angela


    1. Hi Angela,
      Nice to hear from you! I have a friend who also knows Gaetano Cipolla, I MUST contact him!

      I agree parquet floors are fine if you know how to treat them right. The problem is that Sicilians only know how to wash floors down by pouring water all over them, like swabbing the decks of a ship. They refuse to accept you cannot do this with wood!
      When my mother in law washes her living room it looks something like this:


  2. onomatopoeicbliss says:

    You say ‘buttock jiggle’ as if it’s a bad thing.

    Oh! Wait! It was the computer that was jiggling. My bad😏

    Have a great WeekEnd!


    1. It was just the word jiggle next to those female construction workers that got you all of a fluster, wasn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. onomatopoeicbliss says:

        Ima rather transparent, am I not?😎


      2. Just jiggle your own computer and see what those construction ladies do… πŸ˜‰


  3. We laid parquet flooring throughout our last house – I loved it, but it didn’t get any polish, or anything much in the way of washing either. I do love your “Weetabix with a plastic photo of wood on top” – a great description of what we found in our next home. We removed it and found the original 1850’s cement tiling beneath – covered in vile paint stains, but not for long. I can throw all the water I like at it, and no muesli in sight.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, lovely timeless tiles, you can’t beat them! I still hate cleaning floors, but at least with tiles I know there will be no lasting damage if I just leave it till my husband comes home!! πŸ˜‰
      My sister in England is actually working out how she can come and live with me when it’s time to potty train her daughter….
      My parquet in England got a beeswax polish every couple of months. Every time, I would do a Jayne Torvill on it daily for about a week afterwards. Meanwhile my sister had the Weetabix parquet, which she eventually decided to carpet over – it felt like a fluffy trampoline.


      1. I wouldn’t know how to beeswax anything – much to PF’s despair. His mother was a real Febreze Fairy in her younger days, and as far as housework goes, we’re as similar as chalk and cheese. Love the idea of you Jayne Torvelling across the floor, through – complete with sequined leotard, frilly mini-skirt and hoop earrings, I hope!


  4. Forgot how much I enjoy your humour…weetabix parquet! We have a 40 year old home with original parquet…before they finished them with a gymnasium like acrylic finish. Means paste waxing, buffing with an old style floor polisher, and LIGHT wet mopping. No finishing because even if we sanded, there would still be wax residue that would cloud the finish upon contact. Naieve – had no idea what I was getting into, though we appreciate it’s fine look. I can’t imagine tearing out tile for parquet though..OMG – the cost and yes, the noise!


  5. BerLinda says:

    I love the thought of one of your dinner parties – everyone sitting around in Totes toasties drinking from sippy cups πŸ™‚


    1. Don’t know about you, but I’ll happily stick a straw in the bottle of rosΓ© and sit quietly in a corner.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. BerLinda says:

        I might join you πŸ™‚ And our feet will be nice and warm too πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Oh, they were so cosy those dinner parties!
      You’re making me almost wish I still had parquet… πŸ˜›

      Liked by 1 person

      1. BerLinda says:

        When the neighbours are finished, you can get the parquet guys round – revenge for all the noise they’re making you listen to!


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