top of page

Herringbone Flooring

Updated: Sep 16, 2022

Herringbone Flooring

What is herringbone flooring? Luxury vinyl plank flooring, hardwood flooring, and ceramic flooring continue to be popular flooring products throughout the United States. There are many different installation patterns with each of these products. In this article, we will be discussing the "herringbone pattern." Specifically, we will answer many of the most common herringbone flooring customer questions.

Herringbone Flooring

What is herringbone flooring?

Many people that visit floor-covering stores have heard of a herringbone pattern but are not quite sure what it actually looks like. A herringbone flooring pattern consists of placing rectangular flooring pieces in a zigzag pattern. Here are some pictures to help visualize this in real life:

The name "herringbone" was first inspired by the herringbone fish. During the Roman Empire, the Romans created roadways using herringbone rectangular blocks. This type of pattern has continued in the world, eventually making its way into the flooring industry, using hardwood and ceramic products.

The zigzag pattern of a herringbone design is realized by cutting each flooring piece at a 90-degree angle. The herringbone flooring pattern creates a unique and special look with any floor. In fact, the pattern can create an entirely different feel, as compared to a regular straight-lay flooring design.

Herringbone flooring patterns are commonly used with hardwood flooring, luxury vinyl plank flooring and ceramic plank tiles. Herringbone flooring constantly goes in/out of style, and many customers still love the unique designer look it gives a room.

Herringbone flooring is certainly an interior design attention grabber. Any room with a herringbone floor will be noticed right away and will mostly likely be the center point of that room.

Herringbone flooring is often used in home entryways, living rooms, kitchens and bathrooms. Many customers use a herringbone pattern with ceramic plank in hallways that lead to outside doors.

Hardwood flooring is probably the most common product used with herringbone flooring. Purchasing a hardwood floor is an investment, and in most cases, will add significant value to a home. Many customers want that "unique look" with hardwood flooring and will use a herringbone flooring pattern to accomplish this feel. With the many different shades and tones in hardwood flooring, the herringbone flooring pattern makes the hardwood flooring look quite stunning and beautiful.

How much does herringbone flooring cost?

This really depends on the customer, and what they have in their flooring budget. What might be perceived by one customer as incredibly expensive, might be considered perfectly acceptable to another customer.

If a customer is looking to install a herringbone flooring pattern, chances are, they are using a product that will be in the middle to high-end price category. For example, most of the time, a herringbone pattern will not be used with a low-end laminate product. Customers shopping for price point items are more concerned with the budget. They will not add to the cost of a project by incorporating a designer pattern.

One thing to keep in mind with a herringbone flooring pattern is it will require more material to complete the job. The majority of the flooring is purchased in full carton sizes. Whenever a project is being installed, there will be cuts in the material pieces. Every room will require the product to be cut around cabinets, door jams, walls, etc... These material cuts leave leftover pieces (or waste). When a customer is installing a herringbone flooring pattern, more cuts have to be made to achieve the design. These cuts mean more waste. So, in order to install a room with a herringbone flooring pattern, the customer will have to order significantly more material than normal. This will increase the overall material cost.

Another factor that will increase the cost of a herringbone flooring pattern is the installation costs. Installers will charge a homeowner quite a bit more money for a herringbone pattern, as compared to a normal straight-lay installation. A herringbone flooring pattern is much more difficult for the installer, and it takes more time to complete the installation.

A final point about herringbone flooring costs: customers that are considering a herringbone design are usually not consumed with the money it will cost. As stated earlier in this article, a herringbone floor is a designer floor, and most customers understand from the beginning this type of floor will cost more money.

How to clean herringbone flooring?

Cleaning a herringbone floor is no different than cleaning any other type of hardwood, ceramic or vinyl plank floor. In most cases, homeowners simply need to use some basic guidelines:

  • Don't use harsh chemicals on the floor

  • Try to avoid using water on products that are not waterproof

  • Follow the cleaning guidelines as outlined in the product warranty

Every product purchased from a retail floor covering store will have a published cleaning instructions manual. Customers can usually find this manual on the company's website. We highly recommend printing this document and following the recommended cleaning instructions as outlined by that manufacturer. In many cases, if these cleaning instructions are not followed, it could result in a warranty claim being denied.

As with any cleaning program, having a regular maintenance flooring program is extremely important. Once again, common sense rules the day with flooring maintenance.

  • Take shoes off when entering the home

  • Don't place pet water/food bowls directly on the floor

  • Use furniture leg pads to prevent scratching

  • Use floor mats around outside doors

  • Avoid using too much water on non-waterproof flooring

A herringbone flooring pattern is a large home improvement expense. Homeowners should realize that proper cleaning and floor maintenance is necessary to protect that investment.

Is herringbone flooring out of style?

Not at all. In fact, many manufacturing companies are developing more and more herringbone flooring products. The homeowner is really the one to make this determination. There is no right or wrong answer about herringbone flooring patterns.

Since its inception in Europe in the 17th century, the herringbone flooring has never gone out of style. Apart from a brief dalliance with Lino flooring in the 1970s, most wealthy households have always preferred Herringbone flooring due to its longevity and durability.
Unlike most other flooring options, Herringbone flooring offers such durability whilst retaining the highest aesthetic appeal. It does not wear and tears as much and therefore it can make even the most classical house look up to date. The floor can simply be sanded down and refinished to make it appear as good as new despite being in use over several generations. Some palaces feature more than three century-old Herringbone flooring which is still in perfect condition. TO Times

Does herringbone flooring make a room look smaller?

We don't think so. In fact, we think a herringbone design might make a room look "larger." The design of the floor will bring out all of the other colors in the room and make everything seem further away.

One of the best ways to look at a room is to use a manufacturer's room visualizer program. Most flooring websites will have this available to customers. A customer can simply upload a picture of a room, then choose the type of floor they want to buy. The room visualizer will insert that floor in the picture. It's a great free way to look at a product, before making a buying decision. We highly recommend that customers take the time to use this free service. It can answer many different design questions, as well as save multiple hours of shopping time. Most associates in a floor-covering store will be familiar with this service and will be happy to walk a customer through how the program works. We think it is one of the best new internet services that has been developed.

Conclusion - Herringbone Flooring

Herringbone flooring has been around for many, many years. Customers use herringbone flooring patterns with hardwood flooring, ceramic tile planks, and luxury vinyl plank flooring. Each board is cut at 90 degrees, using a zigzag pattern.

When purchasing a floor and using a herringbone flooring installation pattern, customers should understand that it will cost more money, both in the installation costs and material costs. A herringbone pattern will require significantly more material.

Herringbone flooring patterns remain extremely popular today and are used in many new homes and remodels. The herringbone flooring pattern will provide homeowners with a designer look and feel and will bring life to any room.

Most floor covering retail stores will have many different products that can be installed in a herringbone flooring design. A herringbone flooring installation is best done by professional installers. Unless a homeowner is skilled in flooring installation work, a herringbone flooring pattern is not the best option for a weekend DIY project. Most stores will offer customers a free measurement and quote. We would recommend to customers they involve a flooring professional prior to any herringbone flooring installation.


Best Rug Prices

At we strive to provide our customers with all kinds of floor covering advice. We offer all kinds of blog articles on various floor covering topics. Here is a small taste of some of our related articles:

Carpet Resource Guide

Shaw Bellera Carpet

Is It Better To Glue Or Float Vinyl Plank Flooring?

Daltile Wood Look Tiles

Top Masland Carpet Products

Top Mohawk Flooring SmartStrand Products

Top Mohawk EverStrand Carpet Products