Your Complete Guide To Herringbone Flooring

Herringbone flooring is a very old flooring type that’s exploded in popularity in the past few years. We can’t blame people for wanting it! It’s elegant, stylish and very beautiful – but there are a few decisions you’ll need to make before you can get it fitted. So let’s start at the beginning, and look at exactly what Herringbone flooring is, and what you’ll need to know before buying it.

What is Herringbone Flooring?

If you went to a British primary school, you’re probably very familiar with Herringbone flooring. Also known as parquet flooring, it’s easy to spot by its distinctive pattern of interlocking rectangles. The pattern is made by laying the plants at a 90-degree angle to each other, forming a V-shape or zigzag. It’s called Herringbone because the shapes mimic the bones of a certain type of fish – a herring. It creates a really intricate and striking design that add a lot of interest to a room.

It’s not a new pattern flooring pattern. In fact, it goes back centuries, and was first made popular in France during the Renaissance period. By the end of the 18th century Herringbone wood floors were a staple feature of wealthy, royal and upper-class homes – and they’re still associated with wealth and luxury today.

The Different Types of Herringbone Flooring

Herringbone flooring is only the style of flooring, which means it can come in a wide variety of materials and finishes. A few of the most popular options include:

Solid wood: This is the most common and popular type of material for Herringbone patterns. It’s a luxury material that’s strong and easy to care for, adding an authentic, quality finish to any room.

Engineered wood: This option offers the natural beauty of solid wood at a fraction of the cost, because it’s not solid wood all the way through. The top layer of the floor is real wood, while the lower layers are made of lower-cost wood products. Because it’s been engineered, it’s also stronger and more durable than solid wood, so it lasts longer and doesn’t warp as easily. The only thing they aren’t suitable for is bathrooms.

Luxury vinyl tile: We love vinyl tiles because it’s so easy to get any pattern or style you want, with all the advantages of LVT floors. They’re stunning, hardwearing and easy to clean – what’s not to like! They’re made up of a multi-layer structure including a tough-wearing UV-coated top layer that protects floors from stains, scratches and impacts. Plus, they’re perfect for any room.

Laminate: If you like the Herringbone pattern but don’t want to break the bank, then laminate is a great option. It’s a practical, tough flooring type that can be laid in a Herringbone pattern, and it’s more cost-effective than most other options. It has a touch surface that’s resistant to stains, scratches, dents and hard knocks, so it’s perfect for high traffic areas.

The versatility is one of the big reasons Herringbone is so popular, and why flooring companies like us are getting so many requests for it. During a consultation, you’ll be asked what width of Herringbone you want too. You have three options here:

Narrow: Blocks under 3.375”, which allow the maximum amount of Herringbone pattern to fit into a room, so that you can really enjoy the pattern. They work best in traditional spaces and give a very European vibe. Be wary though, narrower planks need more cuts, so the install price is usually higher.

Medium: Otherwise known as ‘standard’. These tiles are between 3.375” to 5” wide, and look great in small or large rooms.

Wide: Anything wider than 5” running up to 8” wide (the widest it can get). These are usually done in a more contemporary style, and can be up to 37” long. They’re more often used in modern or luxuriously roomy spaces.


Here’s the tricky part. Herringbone flooring can be challenging to install, which is why you need to be careful which flooring company you choose. And definitely don’t DIY it! While you can do it yourself with certain types of flooring, this is one you should steer clear of. The planks need to be cut and laid at a very precise angle to create that detailed pattern, and the actual installation process is time-consuming to say the least! It needs a high level of skill and attention to detail to get it right, so make sure you do your due diligence on your supplier and fitter before you do the work.


Thankfully, Herringbone flooring is pretty easy to clean and maintain – which is one of the main reasons it’s such a popular choice for schools. All you need to do to keep it looking good is regular sweeping or vacuuming, and the occasional mop with a damp cloth. You will need to avoid using harsh cleaning products or excessive amounts of water, as these can cause damage to the wood. If you’ve chosen vinyl tiles or laminate as the material for your flooring, then you may also get specific cleaning instructions to keep it looking good.

At Warson Flooring we have a lot of experience installing Herringbone floors in all sorts of materials and finishes. We can provide the full range of finishes, from solid and engineered wood to LVT and laminate, so you can be sure that you get the finish you want for a price you’ll love. Want to find out more? Get in touch with us and book a free survey.

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