Insurance company giving choices after parquet floor is damaged in flood

Q: I have 40 year old parquet in the basement of my back split that has lifted due to the weeping tiles overflowing during a recent rain storm. (In my neighbourhood the downspouts go down into the ground where the rain water is then taken directly to the storm sewer system. One of the underground pipes was blocked and the water backed up into my basement.)

Now for the question – The insurance company has sent someone to inspect it and he tells me they can either replace the floor with the same parquet then sand it and put 4 coats of varathane on it. Or, they can install another type of parquet that comes in one foot by one foot squares that has a factory finish already on it.

I am wondering if the second parquet would be of the same quality and if the finish would stand up like the parquet that is original. (My original finish was still good 40 years later without a scratch). I’m worried that they are trying to talk me into an inferior product to save man hours and cost, but result in my not having as good a product as I had before the flood.

A: There is no doubt in my mind about this one. If your parquet is 40 years old, it is either 1/2 or 3/4 thick tongue and groove parquet block, or it is 5/16 thick solid parquet without tongue and groove. I am fairly certain the factory finished product they suggested comes in 4 squares per sheet and is tongue and groove. The wear layer on this is from the top of the sheet to the top of the groove, which doesn’t allow much in the way of future sanding, if needed. If you have the solid 5/16, your wear layer is from the top of the floor to the bottom of the piece, or 5/16. Tell them to put in the same product existing and sand the entire floor. In my opinion, the pre-finished parquet is junk.