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What Is Herringbone Flooring?

Herringbone flooring is a style of parquet flooring. In parquet flooring, pieces of solid wood are arranged in a decorative pattern. The flooring patterns are mostly angular and geometric in design, such as squares, lozenges, and triangles. In some cases, the pattern is curved. Herringbone wood flooring patterns are a very popular choice. At a glance, chevron and herringbone flooring patterns look very similar. The main difference is in how the patterns zigzag. While herringbone uses a broken zigzag pattern, chevron has a continuous zigzag. Here is more information on how to tell them apart.

What Is Herringbone Flooring?


When thinking of a Herringbone pattern, you would be right to think of a fish skeleton, although the bones on either side of the spine don’t align. The name comes from a fish called a Herring. Herringbone patterned floors are created by staggering rectangles in a zigzag pattern. A herringbone pattern is common in tiled floors too. In herringbone parquet flooring, wood is cut into rectangles, rather than being cut at an angle, and arranged in broken zigzags.


To form a chevron pattern, the planks are cut into rectangles. However, the tips of the flooring are cut at an angle so that the points are designed to meet. Chevron floors zig-zag to create a clean v-shape. Chevron wood flooring can help give your home a classic and timeless look.

Why Herringbone

A herringbone pattern on a parquet floor offers many benefits. Hardwood flooring in a herringbone pattern helps to make rooms feel bigger. They also add some grandiosity or a touch of class to any room. While the upfront costs are expensive, the pattern is timeless and will withstand the test of style-time.

Recent studies indicate herringbone parquet flooring boosts your home’s value by 2.5 percent. Therefore, the flooring is something of an investment. When selling up, the flooring can be seen as a selling point. Like most solid wood flooring, it is durable and low maintenance. A herringbone pattern can also be installed by using engineered hardwood which is less expensive than solid wood.

Engineered Hardwood

Pre-finished engineered hardwood is a great option for herringbone flooring and is popular with professionals because it is quick and easy to install. Although there are many videos on social media to watch and learn from, we do not recommend trying DIY herringbone flooring projects.

Engineered herringbone flooring can also float on an existing floor, whereas solid wood needs to be glued down. That said, it is a good idea to apply adhesive, depending on the condition and evenness of the existing floor. Another advantage of engineered hardwood herringbone is the automatic high-sheen finish that has to be worked hard for with solid wood.

Best use

Herringbone flooring should be seen. This means that rooms with such flooring need to be clutter-free and not over-furnished. The goal is to create a feeling of space and lightness. The herringbone pattern creates the illusion that a room expands. This is very useful for smaller rooms. The best way to create a feeling of spaciousness or to create the impression that a room is bigger is to use the appropriate size pieces.

If you intend to hire a flooring specialist, have them set up samples. A common opinion is that smaller blocks make rooms seem bigger, while larger blocks are more proportionate in large rooms. The trick is to make the pattern obvious. In a large room, smaller blocks can make the floor seem too busy and the actual pattern is lost.


In addition to choosing the right size planks, choosing the right color is also important. If the flooring is to be laid throughout a home, and if that home has more small rooms than big rooms, opt for a lighter color. This will help create a sense of openness. However, the downside of lighter floor color is that it doesn’t hide marks and scratches. If opting for a darker color, the wall color needs to be light to create a contrast in order for the floor to stand out.

Additional Reading: Flooring Trends

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