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Ancient Cube Technique is No ‘Roll of the Dice’

Ryan Kushner
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If you're ever tapped to install one of the many wood floor passageways in Prague, don't just roll the dice—instead, cut the dice out of oak, then install them using the methods of ancient floor masters. That approach worked for René Caran of Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic-based Parquet Renspol, who employed techniques handed down for centuries to install this European wooden block floor. Caran cut 1,000 cubes 4 inches square. After reaching 20% humidity, the cubes were painstakingly laid over finely crushed stone—an age-old technique that eventually lets nature take over. "It is a relatively simple principle, which uses the natural properties of wood in connection with the humidity of the surroundings," Caran says. "And you can trust me, it has worked for generations." The installed floor, located in an indoor passageway, was then sprinkled with dry silica sand to fill the joints and become a lasting part of a historic city's historic craft. "You can try innovation, but you can't come up with a major one," Caran says. "And that gives this craft, like many other similar crafts, its uniqueness and beauty."

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