Herringbone flooring has a distinct pattern that brings instant sophistication to any space. The herringbone pattern itself is so-called because it bears a resemblance to the skeleton of the herring fish.
It has a long history and can even be found in ancient Egyptian jewelry and ancient Roman roads.
The History of the Herringbone Pattern
Roman bricklayers started the herringbone pattern. Street maintenance crews laid bricks in the pattern because it made streets more durable. In the 16th century, the flooring pattern made its way into homes. By end of the 18th century, herringbone wood floors were a feature of royal and upper-class homes.
Look at a picture of a classy historic Parisian apartment or the fancy living room of an old house and it is probable that you will see herringbone style wood floors. Thus, herringbone equals everyday luxury, and it elevates any room and style.
Herringbone vs Chevron
Unlike its close cousin, the chevron pattern, herringbone pieces have an end that is cut at 90 degrees rather than an end that is cut at an angle. However, both patterns are created when the pieces are laid at an angle rather than in a straight line.
Laying A Chevron Pattern
A chevron hardwood floor pattern is made by cutting the ends of boards at an angle so two boards make a V shape. The pattern resembles a string of arrows. After it’s installed, you’ll have a zigzag pattern that creates a moving feeling. The flooring also makes rooms look bigger.
The tile has cooling properties and is resistant to severe weather changes. This feature alone is one of the reasons why it’s more expensive.
Chevron Hardwood Grades
Chevron hardwood flooring comes in three distinct grades. The grades come in different styles to match your décor needs.
- Rustic grade:gives your hardwood flooring a natural look.
- Prime grade: has a uniform appearance and color and has a smooth and elegant look.
- Select grade: this most stylish wood grade. It has grade smooth and uniform look select grade is a very affordable option if you are on a low budget.
Laying a Herringbone Pattern
The herringbone floor pattern is laid using offset rectangular pieces. Begin by laying a subfloor of plywood. Then, find the centerline in the middle of the room. Next, cut the floor slats to the optimum length and create a template. Begin laying the floor in an offset pattern. Last, fill in the open places in the flooring that the pattern doesn’t cover.
Types of Herringbone Floors
The oldest and most popular herringbone floors are wood. However, there are also beautiful examples of tile, laminate, brick, and marble herringbone.
Herringbone Wood Flooring Types: What’s the Difference?
Herringbone wood floor is the most classic example of herringbone floors. It is part of a larger group of patterned wood flooring known as parquet. Herringbone wood floors are made of solid wood, engineered wood, or laminate.
Solid Wood Floor
It is difficult to replace the look and feel of wood floors. Oak is used to make most herringbone solid floors. They stain wood in finishes ranging from traditional to modern in color. Solid wood floors do not stand up well to liquid, so this is not a good option for bathrooms.
Engineered Wood Floor
Engineered wood floor is a type of flooring. It has a solid wood top layer attached to a substrate like high-quality plywood.
Laminate Wood Floor
If you like the look of wood floors but don’t want to spend as much money as solid wood flooring will cost, there are laminate floor options. Laminate is synthetic but it does have a core that is made from wood products.
Laminate has some advantages over solid wood flooring. Of course, it is less expensive than solid wood floors. Also, it comes with guarantees that it will stand up to household spills, scratches, and dents. Further, install it in places like basements or bathrooms where herringbone hardwood floors would be more problematic.
Herringbone Floor Inspiration
Let’s look through some examples of different types of herringbone floors and see if one doesn’t inspire you to try something new.
Solid Wood Herringbone
This transitional office from Found Associates has a medium-toned solid wood floor. The herringbone style works well with the modern traditional style which blends the historic character of the room with the modern elements like the chandelier.
Dark Herringbone Floor
Dark wood-stained floors is one of the most dramatic looks in herringbone floors. Consider this kitchen from Breeze Giannasio. The classic look of the dark herringbone-patterned wood floors adds the perfect counterpoint to the modern design for the rest of the kitchen.
White Oak Herringbone Floor
In this project from Glickman Schlesinger Architects, they use white oak herringbone flooring to create a modern space. The white oak foundation pairs well with the soft gray paneling. Therefore, your eye is drawn to the elements that should hold the attention in the room, the warm-colored banquette seating and the modernist gold pendant.
Herringbone Bamboo Flooring
If you want solid wood herringbone hardwood floor that is more cost-effective than oak, consider bamboo floors. Also, these floors have a beautiful deep color and a solid wood feel but are still less expensive than oak. Also, the grain of the wood is comparable to oak.
Herringbone Engineered Wood Flooring
This engineered herringbone has a washed wood finish that works well with modern design. The planks used are short and wide which present a stylish appearance and complement the simple textured walls.
Herringbone Laminate Flooring
This laminate flooring is a variegated greige that works well with the forest green cabinets. The color of the floor blends the warm wood elements and the cool black fixtures together.
Vinyl Herringbone Floor
This transitional kitchen from Kitchens by Eileen uses a vinyl herringbone pattern floor layout. The floor has a lovely textured finish that looks striking with the blue and white cabinets and the gold fixtures. Herringbone vinyl flooring is the best choice if you need something that is water and heat-resistant.
Herringbone Brick Floor
Brick is longer wearing than wood, so in areas with constant foot traffic, brick might be a better option for flooring than wood. Also, the perfect way to add instant style to your room is by adding a herringbone brick floor tile to a kitchen or an entry. Consider this entry from Carpenter & McNeil.
They pair the herringbone brick floor with wide-painted trim to create a classic look that is both beautiful and practical.
Black Tile Herringbone Floor
Herringbone tile is another great way to add a classic look with more contemporary and long-lasting material. This entry foundation is a black slate herringbone tile. When this herringbone floor tile is combined with light neutral walls and the simple wooden stairway, it blends a traditional style with a modern choice into a seamless design.
Herringbone Marble Tile Floor
This herringbone marble floor tile gives the bathroom from Lloyd Architects a classic design. This bathroom has an overall white tone; however, the light variegated colors of the marble herringbone tile bathroom floor balances the colors of the room. They soften the stark white hues.
White Herringbone Tile Floor
The tile in this modern kitchen in Austin, TX is a non-slip variety that has practical value in the kitchen.
Grey Herringbone Tile Floor
This bathroom from Rachel Savage Design Management LLC features a grey marble tile floor laid in a herringbone pattern.
Modern Herringbone Floor
You can also use large tiles to create a herringbone pattern. The Kitchen Studio of Glen Ellyn creates a modern look with the traditional design.
Herringbone Kitchen Floor
Because of all the activity as well as potential spills, the kitchen is the perfect place to use a non-wood flooring option. This floor is from an Italian collection. It is a volcanic basalt tile that provides the perfect counterbalance to the white kitchen design from David Armour Architecture.
Slate Herringbone Tile Floor
Slate is a fine-grained rock that has a soft black color with hints of green, blue, purple. Tiles are created from the rock. For example, this mudroom from Hartley and Hill Design uses black slate tiles. Also, herringbone slate floors adds a lovely texture to any room.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ
What is herringbone?
Herringbone is a floor pattern featuring rectangular pieces cut with 90 degree ends placed in an angled and staggered design.
Are herringbone and parquet the same thing?
Herringbone is part of a larger type of flooring known as parquet. Parquet floors are floors that have a distinct pattern.
How much is herringbone flooring?
Herringbone flooring is more expensive compared to regular flooring. Expect to pay at least 30 percent more for herringbone floors than for traditional style floors.
How much does herringbone wood floor cost compared to herringbone tile flooring?
Wood floors laid in a herringbone pattern cost around $6-$10 per square foot. It may cost more or less depending on the type of wood used. The cost of herringbone tile flooring is less expensive costing anywhere from $4-$8 a square foot.
How to clean herringbone flooring?
How you clean a herringbone floor depends on what type it is. For tile, experts recommend using a mop with warm water and a few drops of dish soap. Experts also recommended using a mop with a gallon of warm water and one-half cup of vinegar for wood floors. Ring the mop out well before mopping wood. This is the same for laminate.
Should I install a herringbone floor myself?
A herringbone pattern is more difficult to lay than traditional hardwood floors. If you don’t have experience with laying floors, it might be better to call in a professional for this job.
How should I center a herringbone pattern?
Use a tape measure to find the center of the room. Next, use a chalk line to mark the center from one side of the room to the other.
How to mark out herringbone flooring
The herringbone will not cover the entire floor, so mark about a rectangle using the centerline that will cover most of the room.
Can you lay laminate flooring in a herringbone pattern?
Yes, you can lay laminate floor planks into this and many different patterns.
How much more material does herringbone flooring use?
On average, herringbone patterns use 15-20 percent more material than patterns laid side by side.
Are herringbone floors trendy?
Herringbone patterns are classic so they will always look great. However, they are also very on-trend right now.
Are herringbone floors worth the extra money?
They are worth the extra money if they are the type of floor that you love and if you plan to be at your home for a long time. Also, you can save money by using herringbone in a small area that has a large impact like a foyer.
Where else can I use a herringbone pattern?
The herringbone pattern works well on a backsplash in the kitchen or on the walls of a shower.
Can I use large herringbone pieces?
Large pieces create a contemporary style while smaller pieces create a classic look.
Is there herringbone vinyl sheet flooring?
Yes, there are vinyl sheet patterns that have a herringbone print on them. These are different from vinyl plank flooring which you can also arrange in a herringbone pattern.
Is Chevron flooring more expensive?
Compared to herringbone, chevron hardwood flooring is expensive. The reason why it’s expensive is that it requires a special cutting technique. You can expect to pay $19,000 for a 2,500 square feet for walnut chevron hardwood flooring. Unless you have experience working with this tile, you should hire a professional to install it for you.
What Are The Benefits Of Herringbone Laminate Floors
Herringbone laminate floors add depth to your home. It’s cheaper to install and less expensive than a solid hardwood or engineered hardwood herringbone floor. If you’re on a budget, this is the right choice. Waterproof laminate is also available and is a good choice for kitchens.
Herringbone Flooring Conclusion
Choosing floors is a foundational part of a room’s design. It is also expensive so you want to get it right. A herringbone-patterned floor is a perfect way to add a traditional style to the room while keeping the modern character. There are so many rooms where herringbone patterns look stunning. While it is a more expensive option, it can be worth it to create a such dramatic impact.