Things You Should Know About Herringbone Wooden Flooring

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The Timeless Elegance of Herringbone Wooden Flooring

Herringbone Wooden Flooring: If you’re looking for a flooring option that exudes sophistication, visual appeal, and enduring style, herringbone wood flooring should be at the top of your list. This classic flooring pattern has graced the floors of European palaces and grand homes for centuries, and its popularity continues to soar today.

What is Herringbone Wooden Flooring?

Herringbone is a distinctive flooring pattern within the broader category of parquet flooring. Parquet floors utilize smaller pieces of wood carefully arranged to create geometric patterns. Herringbone gets its name from its resemblance to the skeleton of a herring fish. With herringbone, rectangular planks of wood are laid out in a repeating zigzag pattern, creating a sense of movement and eye-catching detail.

Things You Should Know About Herringbone Wooden Flooring - Decor Nest

Why Choose Herringbone Wooden Flooring?

There are countless reasons why homeowners and designers alike adore herringbone floors. Here are some of their key benefits:

  • Unmatched Elegance: The intricate geometric pattern of herringbone instantly elevates the aesthetics of any room. It exudes a timeless quality, reminiscent of grand European estates or historic buildings. Herringbone embodies a sense of refinement and can easily become the focal point of your space.
  • Visual Interest and Dimension: Unlike traditional straight-laid plank floors, herringbone adds incredible depth, dimension, and visual texture. The broken zigzag pattern creates an illusion of movement, drawing the eye across the floor and even making spaces feel larger. This is perfect for rooms where you want to add a sense of drama and dynamism.
  • Durability: When properly installed and maintained, quality hardwood herringbone floors can last for generations. The interlocking pattern adds stability, and the hardwood itself resists scratches, dents, and everyday wear and tear. This durability adds to their value as a wise investment in your home.
  • Versatility: Despite its roots in traditional design, herringbone flooring is surprisingly versatile and can seamlessly blend with almost any décor style. Its timeless pattern works beautifully alongside modern furnishings or complements classic or vintage-inspired homes. Whether your style is minimalist and clean, or rich with texture and history, herringbone provides the perfect foundation.
Things You Should Know About Herringbone Wooden Flooring - Decor Nest

Considerations Before Installation

While herringbone wooden flooring offers many advantages, there are a few aspects to keep in mind before taking the plunge:

  • Installation Complexity: Herringbone is renowned for its intricate pattern, which translates to a greater degree of difficulty during installation. It requires precise cutting, meticulous fitting, and careful attention to maintaining the zigzag design. Unlike standard plank flooring, where mistakes are less noticeable, even small errors in a herringbone installation can disrupt the entire visual flow. Due to this, professional installation is highly recommended to ensure a beautiful and flawless result.
  • Cost: The increased labor involved in herringbone installation naturally leads to higher costs compared to standard wood flooring options. Additionally, the pattern may require slightly more material to account for cutting and fitting, potentially adding to the expense. However, many homeowners consider the timeless beauty, durability, and potential increase in home value well worth the extra investment.
Things You Should Know About Herringbone Wooden Flooring - Decor Nest

Important Note: When weighing the costs, be sure to factor in the expertise needed. A botched DIY herringbone installation can end up being far more expensive if you need to hire a professional to fix mistakes or even completely redo the floor.

Design Choices: Adding Your Personal Touch

One of the most exciting aspects of herringbone floors is the incredible range of design choices available to make them reflect your unique style. Here’s where you can truly have fun:

  • Wood Species: The type of hardwood you select will significantly contribute to the overall look and feel of your floor. Classic oak offers warmth and timeless appeal, perfect for both traditional and modern spaces. Walnut provides a luxurious touch with its rich, deep tones. Maple delivers a clean, bright aesthetic ideal for a contemporary feel. Don’t be afraid to explore less common wood species as well; their distinctive grain patterns can create a truly one-of-a-kind herringbone floor.
  • Plank Size: Consider the vibe you want to achieve. Smaller, narrower planks will emphasize the intricate nature of the herringbone pattern, creating a sense of busyness and detail. Wider, longer planks lend a sense of boldness to the floor and can make a smaller space feel grander. Play around with mixing different widths to increase visual interest.
  • Stain and Finish: The possibilities are endless! Light stains open up a room and promote a sense of airiness, while dark stains add a dramatic and sophisticated touch. Experiment with gray tones for a cool, modern edge, or explore unique colored stains that create a truly bespoke floor. The finish will also affect the look – choose from matte for a natural feel, or go with semi-gloss or high-gloss for a more polished and reflective surface.
  • Laying Pattern: While the classic single herringbone pattern is a timeless standard, don’t feel limited. Double herringbone adds a wider, more complex pattern. Geometric additions like basketweave inlays provide a stunning artistic touch. You can even experiment with laying the herringbone on a diagonal for a dynamic and unexpected twist.
Things You Should Know About Herringbone Wooden Flooring - Decor Nest

Tip: When making your selections, consider the overall style of your home and the mood you’re trying to achieve in the room. Bring home samples and lay them out to visualize the final effect with your existing furniture and lighting.

Installation Tips

If you’re a seasoned DIYer with a passion for precision, tackling a herringbone installation yourself can be incredibly rewarding. Here are some essential tips to ensure success:

  • Perfect Subfloor: Cannot stress this enough! Any bumps, dips, or unevenness on your subfloor will telegraph through your herringbone pattern, ruining the clean, geometric effect. Take the time to level the subfloor properly using a self-leveling compound if needed.
  • Precise Measurement and Cuts: Success lies in meticulous planning. Measure your space carefully and map out the placement of your herringbone pattern. Practice your angled cuts on scrap wood to ensure perfection. Using a template or jig can be incredibly helpful for achieving consistent cuts.
  • Consider a Border: A border in a contrasting wood species or a different laying pattern frames your herringbone beautifully. It elevates the design and adds a professional, polished touch.
  • Patience is Key: Herringbone takes time. Don’t rush the process. Take breaks to maintain focus and ensure your cuts and placement remain precise throughout.
Things You Should Know About Herringbone Wooden Flooring - Decor Nest


Keeping your herringbone floor looking its best requires minimal effort but a consistent approach:

  • Regular Cleaning: Sweep or vacuum frequently to whisk away dust, dirt, and grit which can scratch the finish over time. Use a damp (emphasis on damp, not soaking wet) mop and a cleaning solution specifically formulated for hardwood floors. Avoid general cleaners which can be too harsh.
  • Avoid Scratches: Furniture pads are your friend! Place them under all furniture legs, especially chairs that get moved frequently. Use area rugs in high-traffic zones to further protect the surface. Consider felt pads on the bottom of décor items and vases to prevent scuffs.
  • Address Spills Promptly: Even with a quality sealed finish, liquids are the enemy if left too long. Wipe up spills as soon as they happen to prevent staining or warping of the wood.
  • Refresh as Needed: Over time, even well-maintained floors may need refinishing. Consult a professional to assess when it’s time to sand and refinish your herringbone to restore its original luster.
Things You Should Know About Herringbone Wooden Flooring - Decor Nest

Is Herringbone Right for You?

If you’re looking to add a touch of timeless sophistication, visual dynamism, and long-lasting value to your home, herringbone wood floors are definitely worth considering. While the initial investment might be slightly higher, the classic beauty and durability of herringbone make it an investment you’ll enjoy for decades to come.

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Jane Taylor

Jane Taylor

Passionate interior designer who love sharing knowledge and memories.
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About Me

Jane Taylor

Jane Taylor

Passionate interior designer who love sharing knowledge and memories.


Subscribe my Newsletter for new blog posts, tips & new photos. Let's stay updated!

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