What is Herringbone Hardwood Flooring?

April 30, 2021by LV Flooring0

With the recent frenzy over the herringbone hardwood flooring, you may think it’s new. However, this flooring has a special kind of history. It was first used by the Romans on their roads.

Then during the 16th century, it rose in popularity when the French aristocrats preferred it to marble flooring. Perhaps this wood has come on your feed so many times and you’re wondering what’s special about it?

Herringbone is like any other flooring that gives the home beauty. But unlike other woods, it’s versatile and has an attractively unique appearance. Considering it’s in high demand, it’s a cost-effective replacement for marble floors. To many people, this flooring signifies opulence, luxury, and grandeur. At the same time, others regard it as the best wood flooring for commercial buildings.

Aside from this, the herringbone layout accommodates both the solid and engineered hardwood. The floor also offers an impressive array of colours, patterns, and designs to choose. Whatever you select, the outcome will be astonishing.

So if you’re unsure about this hardwood, why not take a look at the benefits it offers. We’ll also discuss the cost, features, designs, and most importantly, how to install herringbone flooring.

What is Herringbone Hardwood Flooring?

Firstly, you should know some people also refer to herringbone flooring as parquet flooring. By definition, it’s a flooring design that comes in a V-shaped weaving pattern resembling herring fish bones. This classy pattern is sometimes referred to as the irregular twill weave that’s often found in fabrics like cardigans.

Herringbone flooring has a geometric structure of rectangle woods with one straight edge of a plank aligned with the side of another plank. Herringbone flooring gives a vibrant element to your floor. Although it doesn’t lend consistency to your home, it has a seamless fit. This flooring is usually used for modern installations and large spaces.

Not to mention, it adds depth to small areas. Several hardwoods can be used to construct herringbone parquet flooring. Depending on your choice, the unique wood grain, and colour of these hardwoods will add to its overall distinctive design. The flooring can either be in rectangles or parallelograms.

The edge length of the floor is between the ratios 2:1 and 3:1. However, this length is customizable depending on the preferred aesthetic for your home. Keep in mind that “herringbone” is a function of the style and pattern of flooring rather than the colour, wood, and surface finish.

Related Article: Red Oak: Why It Is The Most Popular Hardwood Flooring

Features of Herringbone Parquet Flooring

Choosing the herringbone hardwood flooring for your house may not be an easy decision. Considering there are other floorings like it, you’re likely to get confused or even misidentify it. For this reason, it’s important you know the key features of herringbone before installing it in your home. One evident feature of this flooring is the zigzag details.


Herringbone flooring doesn’t come with stringent design options. It offers you a variety of colours, styles, and wood species to choose from.

As for the materials, you can use any kind of surface finish or lamination to complement your space. Whether you’re searching for luxurious wood or a cheap parquet style, there are different materials to meet your budget and requirements.


Herringbone hardwood flooring has an extremely long lifespan. If the flooring is properly installed and maintained regularly, expect it to last you for decades. The durability of this flooring also depends on the quality of wood and materials.

It’s impossible to use a domestic wood species and expect it to last long. Following the Janka hardness scale, you should choose a floor between the score of 1300 to 1800. Hardwoods that fall in this category are usually dense. Some high-quality wood species that best suit herringbone parquet flooring include:

  • Maple
  • Sapele
  • Red oak
  • Walnut
  • Hickory/ Pecan
  • White oak

All these woods have the durability to remain in excellent condition through periods of heavy use. With these hardwoods, it’ll only require minimal care and maintenance to keep them in shape. For maintenance, apply good wood oil to it at least once a year.

Eye-catching Appearance

Herringbone hardwood flooring was designed to emulate the appearance of ancient brickwork used to build iconic buildings and churches. Since these buildings are sophisticated, it’s unlikely it won’t give your home a luxurious appeal. No other flooring gives the unique appearance and design herringbone offers.

The classy appeal of this floor makes it a timeless choice for both commercial and residential building designs. This means you won’t have to install new flooring to keep up with trends. It’s also an ideal option if you want to give your place extra attraction and charm. With the illusion of an herringbone design, places that are dark and small will look brighter and wider.

Besides, you can opt for different types of hardwood or pick contrasting patterns and colours to complement the aesthetics of your home. For example, if you like a bold look, you can use a dark-toned plank with a tinted stain. The contrasts of these floor materials will undoubtedly give your herringbone flooring a personalized touch.

Benefits of Herringbone Hardwood Flooring

benefits of herringbone hardwood flooring

The wealth of benefits this iconic floor offers will help you make an excellent choice when selecting a flooring style. But it can’t determine when to use herringbone hardwood flooring. Left to us, there’s no specific period to install it in your home. It has the qualities homeowners want in their flooring all year round.

Here’s why herringbone hardwood flooring is a popular pick in Toronto.

Adds character to the home

Of all the patterned wood floorings, herringbone hardwood flooring offers plenty of personality. Without having to break the bank, it blends in naturally in every space of your home — bathroom, kitchen, bedroom and dining area.

Plus, it suits any interior design. It also brings atmosphere and drama to a room without having to spend more on interior decor fixtures.

Easy to maintain

Since herringbone flooring has a smooth surface, it’s very easy to maintain. You can easily wipe dirt and dust off it. Not to mention, particles cannot get trapped in between because it’s tightly laid. This benefit makes this flooring perfect for kitchens, hallways, or places with a high volume of traffic.

Easy to clean

Herringbone hardwood flooring is straightforward to clean. All it needs is routine vacuuming and mopping to keep it in excellent shape for years. If there’s any stain, simply wash it off. The best part is parquet flooring neither absorbs odours nor holds stains.

However, if you want to apply extra care while cleaning, you can use lacquer coating or natural oils. They protect your flooring against stains, wear, and spills. Also, these natural maintenance agents will lend your herringbone flooring greater durability.

Withstands underfloor heating

The resilience of herringbone flooring also means it can withstand underfloor heating. These features make it a great flooring option for rooms with changing temperatures. Plus, it can be installed in places with severe amounts of glazing and heat like bakeries and conservatories.


If you have allergies, then herringbone hardwood flooring is your best pick. Unlike other solid floors, it doesn’t trap allergens. Considering it’s easy to clean, even if you have pets you’ll have fewer allergens in your home. Parquet flooring doesn’t hold onto a pet’s fur.


This flooring fits into any budget. It gives you several options when it comes to the species of wood, kind of finish, and type of pattern to use. Therefore, keeping to a limited budget is possible. The cost of installing herringbone flooring in Toronto is also quite affordable.

Creates space in the home

The zigzag pattern of herringbone hardwood flooring creates arrows that give the illusion that your space is bigger and wider. This detailed design will bring fluidity to your home. For a luxurious feel, place it in hallways, bathrooms, and living rooms.

Herringbone Floor Cost: How Much is it?

The price of installing herringbone hardwood flooring depends on various factors. To begin with, how large is your space?

Are you using engineered or solid hardwood? Will you require a lot of labour hours? Most importantly, what type of wood and finish will you use? The answers to this question will determine how much you spend to install a herringbone floor.

Overall, you may spend about $1500 for a complex herringbone floor design. While for a simple pattern, it may cost $600. The solid white French oak herringbone is typically $100 per square foot and it’s supplied unfinished. This means you may incur a $50 extra cost (per square foot) on finishing expenses. Boral parquetry on the other hand costs $51.

Solid wood parquet flooring is more expensive. Its prices fall between $150 to $250. Installation is also priced from $30 above depending on the complexity of your space. While polishing and sanding will increase your total cost by $30 or $35 per square foot. As expected, you’ll also be charged between $40 to $50 for miscellaneous expenses.

Now, if your existing subfloor is not suitable for herringbone flooring designs, it’ll require a replacement. This will no doubt increase the overall cost. In any installation process, labour usually takes 30% or more of the price. A professional installer may charge between $1.40 to $5 per square foot.

How to Install Herringbone Hardwood Flooring

Most herringbone hardwood flooring is laid using the tongue-and-groove procedure. If you can install it DIY, you’re good to go. However, we recommend a professional installer because of the precision and craftsmanship involved in installing the flooring. Herringbone installation requires extra care because of the distinctive pattern.

Plenty of people have experienced trouble installing this floor because they forgot to draw a single chalk line. By using a chalk and tape measure to plan, you’ll spare yourself from issues like when the flooring begins to drift in the wrong direction. If you draw precise lines and use quality materials, installing herringbone flooring is easy


  • Plywood
  • Adhesive
  • Herringbone flooring
  • Slip tongue/spline


  • Nailer
  • Tape measure
  • Chalk line
  • Square
  • Screws and drill

how to install herringbone hardwood flooring

Step 1

The first step to install herringbone flooring is to ensure you have all the necessary materials and tools. Draw a line in the middle of the room with chalk.

To establish perfect working lines, find out the distance between the nooks of the planks if they’re laid out. For this, dry-fit some slats together and mark all lines through their corners. Then, measure the distance between the lines.

Step 2

Whatever measurement you get, divide it into half and mark lines from them. For more precision, you should use a braided fish line rather than chalk which makes a fuzzier mark.

Snap the measurements on opposite sides of the first line. Now, the original line indicates the middle of the room, while the other two lines are the working lines. They’re what you’ll use to line up the herringbone planks.

Step 3

Next, draw parallel lines across the subfloor from the lines on both sides of the center lines. These lines will later serve as reference lines. To do this, use a plywood backer board. Cross-check the board to ensure it’s square and that the corner aligns with both lines.

Step 4

Fasten the plywood board and dry-fit the first plank to be sure everything is aligned as it should. How to fasten the herringbone flooring to the subfloor varies. While some people use nails others use adhesives.

According to the National Oak Flooring Manufacturer Association (NOFMA), an adhesive is more suitable. At the same time, the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) guidelines recommend nails.

Here, we’ll discuss using both nails and glue. Start by peeling off the dry-fit plywood and spread glue for the first rows. Then, place the first plank on the subfloor.

After this put a spline into the side before positioning the next plank. On the opposite side, place and nail the next plank in place. Be sure to ensure the ends are interlocked.

Step 5

As you place the planks, be attentive to the working pattern and adjust the glue when necessary. Also, check if the planks are on a straight row and not slanted. While nailing, you should use two nails per slats.

Step 6

When you’re done with a row, begin the next by fixing a spline into their end joints. Then, repeat the process for other planks.

After you’ve installed at least four planks in a row, inspect for accuracy and lose nails. This way, you can adjust for any shifts that happened while you were nailing in the planks.

Step 7

With the first plank screwed down, you may nail the other planks in. When you get to the edge of the room, cut off the excess and include grooves to them. Then attach a long spline and tap it in place. Repeat for the other sides.

Herringbone Parquet Flooring Designs

Here are some designs you can make with herringbone hardwood flooring.

Single Herringbone

This is the traditional and standard herringbone design where single planks alternate. One to the right and the other to the left imitating a zigzag pattern.

Ladder pattern

This design requires you to lay the wood horizontally in a straight line with one line of plank between every row.

Double Herringbone

The two planks alternate at a time. This design creates a visually bold impact. Aside from this, there’s also the triple plank installation method. The larger the herringbone design, the more stunning it’ll look.

Diagonal Herringbone

It requires you to install the first row parallel to the wall. This design is very unique and ideal for large and small spaces.

Brick pattern

Here, the planks are staggered in a single file.

Two-colour Herringbone

This is just like the standard design. The difference is, two different colours of planks will alternate. For instance, red oak wood will be laid to the right and white oak to the left.

Basket pattern

It’s the most complex design. For this, the planks have to be of multiple lengths with widths like 4:1, 5:1, or 6:1. This pattern can either be installed diagonal or square to a room.

Related Article: What’s The Difference Between Chevron And Herringbone Floors?

Herringbone Flooring: A Classic Design

Herringbone hardwood flooring is an excellent choice for your home. It looks amazing and will blend seamlessly with other decor elements. When it comes to investment, it’s a good pick. In addition to its durability, it increases the resale value of your space. Every home or commercial space will look outstanding with herringbone flooring designs.

Before you install this flooring or execute your floor plans, discuss with a professional. This will enable you to know the design options that’ll fit your space. A herringbone flooring expert can also assist you in determining the overall cost of installation.

Are you fascinated by these beautiful flooring designs? Check out our online store for herringbone flooring designs. Here at LV Flooring, this is what we specialize in and we’re always ready to help. You can also call (416) 665-5645 to discuss flooring options with a pro!

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