The factors to consider when choosing parquet – in addition to those purely related to aesthetics – are different. This time, we’ll take you on a visit to the factory of a company in the sector to find out more.
When it comes to choosing parquet for your home, there are generally 5 aspects that are taken into account, in addition to the price of course: wood species, finish, size, geometry and laying technique.
These are aspects that concern above all the style and aesthetics of the flooring, from the tonality of the wood to the processing on the surface, from the regular laying to the search for particular geometries. Less attention is paid to other characteristics that determine the durability of this timeless prestigious coating: some can be seen and touched by hand, others are inherent in the philosophy and ethics of the manufacturer. To try to understand something more, Cose di Casa has joined the Bauwerk Parkett company, in Sankt Margrethen in Switzerland, the first European group (Bauwerk Boen) in the production of parquet with 10 million square metres of two- and three-layer floors, present since 2012 in Italy with a selected distribution network. The visit concerned the production areas, where the individual elements are composed, and the showroom of 1800 square meters, where the floors are proposed and presented in a way that allows you to appreciate both the aesthetics and the composition.
Two- and three-layer, the most requested ones
The subject of the analysis was in particular the production of two-layer parquet because, at present, it is the most widespread and requested. According to 2018 data from Federlegno, in fact, of the 6 million square metres installed in Italy during the year, 5 are made of stratified parquet, 50% of which is two-layer. In addition to being a fast and sustainable living solution from the point of view of environmental impact compared to traditional solid parquet, the two-layer floor to be glued provides all the advantages in terms of ecology, stability and environmental health. According to its more than 70 years of experience, Bauwerk (the inventor of wood mosaic and the first to develop dispersion glue) claims that, in order for a parquet to be able to withstand humidity and temperature variations, it is very important that “noble” wood is supported by a base in fir (which would seem to offer greater performance and quality than that in birch with crossed fibres) or in HDF (a material certified EC1, water-repellent). For renovations or new constructions where radiant underfloor heating is required, for example, Bauwerk’s two-layer technology guarantees maximum stability for the floor, protecting it from the risk of “embarkation” or cracks and offering twice the thermal transmittance of other wooden floors. These characteristics result in an optimal performance of the heating system and significant energy savings. “The FEP (European Federation of the Wood Industry) data, in addition to those of FederlegnoArredo, also confirm the trends shown by the sector,” explains Luca Stacchiotti, Italy’s Bauwerk manager. “We ourselves have positive feedback on the Italian market, which until a few years ago was strongly linked to traditional solid wood parquet systems. Moreover, our floors are among the few to offer consumers a quality guarantee up to 10 years after installation”. Thanks to the thickness of the layer of noble wood, which generally varies from 2.5 mm to 6 mm, two- or three-layer parquet can be superimposed on any existing floor, without the need for any removal, with the possibility of performing different “laminations” over the years to renew the beauty of the wooden floor. In order to have continuity of finishes in the house, and to give warmth and character to all environments, including those of service, the parquet can be laid everywhere, even in the kitchen and bathroom. And you don’t need precautions, but only a few and simple attentions, the ones required in all the rooms to preserve the floor and that, however, must always be taken into consideration. More than talking about wood species suitable for different environments, therefore, the processes and finishes that are applied to the parquet are fundamental. In fact, thanks to recent technologies, for example those that bring the hardest part of the wood to the surface, very resistant surfaces are obtained.
Health and sustainability
Wooden floors are not all the same and it is not easy to recognize a wood treated only with natural products, coming from certified forests with controlled felling and worked with artisan care to ensure to the installer not only aesthetic but also healthy and ecological characteristics. Cose di Casa asked the company Bauwerk Parkett what its requirements are within this sphere. And here are the results:
Bauwerk has obtained the Gold certificate of Cradle-to-Cradle for all Silent products and the Bronze certificate of Cradle-to-Cradle for all other products manufactured in Switzerland. For the Cradle-to-Cradle certification (an integrated approach to sustainability based on the recycling of raw materials), five basic criteria are checked: pure raw materials, recycling potential, energy consumption, water management and working conditions.
Minergies and Minergie-Eco
Some of the products in the catalogue feature Minergie and Minergie-Eco, a certification dedicated to buildings and followed by the Eco-bau Association according to super-restrictive criteria.
SNBS – Sustainable Construction Standard Switzerland
Bauwerk products were evaluated according to various standards, so that the suitability for the Swiss Sustainable Construction Standard was assigned from the outset: SNBS – Swiss Sustainable Construction Standard, a standard developed by the Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) based on the principles of Minergie/Minergie-Eco and LEED, DGNB or BREEAM.
Sentinel Haus certification
LEED Green Building Credit Points
Bauwerk products (parquet, varnish, parquet glue) can contribute to accumulate points for LEED (U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.
It is the European institution that assesses products on the basis of the quantity of harmful substances and emissions, assigning certification only to those with low values. The control criteria are much stricter than the current standards. Certified products or parts thereof must not be toxic and as environmentally friendly as possible.
ISO 14001 certification
It certifies the highest standards of safety and exemplary environmental performance.
FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) Certification
It is the international indicator for responsible forest management. Products with the FSC label ensure that forests are exploited in accordance with the social, economic and ecological needs of current and future generations. In addition, this label ensures that the product has not been mixed with non-certified, i.e. uncontrolled, wood throughout the entire processing and marketing chain, throughout its journey to the end customer. Upon request, all products can be made in FSC.
Company guarantee seal
To ensure that all these certifications are present at the time of installation, the Swiss company Bauwerk has created a ‘signature’ that makes the floor recognizable: Bauwerk ID is an ionized aluminum label with the company logo and identification number combined with the warranty package. The code allows you to extend the warranty on hidden defects of the floor up to 10 years after installation. The Bauwerk ID comes with a kit for cleaning and care of the type of parquet purchased. Before laying, the company’s technicians will identify the optimal location in which to place the label and can assist customers in registering online (www.bauwerk- parkett.com/registrierung).
An ally against noise
Thanks to the Silent technology, Bauwerk proposes a system able to reduce by 53% the noise from steps and even by 70% the noise from walking (values obtained using a glued laying of the parquet with Silent mat and silanic glue). The merit is of the special soundproofed support, applied diagonally under the staves and patented to be used with both glued and floating laying. A solution that makes the floor not only quieter but also more elastic, at the same time reducing stress on the joints. In addition to these advantages, natural substances are used, in line with the standards that have always distinguished Bauwerk products and which have enabled the Silente+Cleverpark combination to win the Cradle-to-Cradle Gold certification.Thanks to the Silent layer, the parquet can be completely disassembled without being destroyed and returned to the company to be smoothed and re-treated. In this way, while the residues of the mat and the adhesive are collected on site and recycled, the floor can be reused, as new. Depending on the state of wear of the wood, this cycle can be repeated 2 to 4 times.
Parquet with 2 or 3 layers
Each element consists of a surface of exposed noble material (wood), with a minimum thickness of 2.5 mm for it to be defined as parquet, and a multi-layer support (2 or 3) that makes it stable. The latter are in other woods than the surface (usually birch or fir) or in recomposed materials (such as Hdf by Bauwerk).
In response to the growing demand for information on emissions of Volatile Organic Substances from construction materials, the GEV (Gemeinshaft Emissionskontrollierter Verlegewerkstoffe, Klebstoffe und Bauprodukte e.V.), an association for the control of emissions from coating, adhesive and construction materials, was set up in Germany. GEV has created the EMICODE mark which, through the acronyms EC1 – EC2 – EC3, establishes different levels of VOC emissions, measured under standard conditions 10 days after installation. The products marked EMICODE EC1 are characterized by “very low emission of Volatile Organic Substances”.