October 24, 2019

Trends & Styles

Herringbone flooring, a timeless classic approach to laying floors

Sometimes the classic way of doing things is hard to improve upon, which is the case with herringbone flooring. The geometric motifs lend a sense of sophistication and elegance to the spaces where it is laid. Featured in the great period houses and made popular by the Palace of Versailles it is imposing and warm at the same time. The herringbone wood floor and the herringbone tile floor consist of short linear strips of material laid at 45 degrees in alternating rows. This approach is also known as parquet flooring, the word derives from the French language meaning a small enclosed area. Sometimes the herringbone flooring is framed within a border of either the same material or a contrasting material that compliments and contrasts with the geometric motif. 

Solid wood herringbone flooring 

Wood flooring is favoured in the home because of the warmth and organic feel that it provides. There are numerous choices both in terms of types of timber and types of flooring; from laminate to engineered, solid to reclaimed wood flooring. Some are more appropriate than others for specific spaces. The living room is an ideal location for solid wood herringbone flooring. The geometric motif provides visual interest, the material itself is warm and appealing under foot while the wood is hard wearing and easily maintained. Humid areas are not suitable for parquet flooring and care should be taken with direct exposure to sunlight. Rugs can be used but care should be taken to allow the geometric motif to be appreciated.

Product: Downtown Clear

Herringbone tile floor bathroom  

For bathrooms and other humid situations the herringbone tile floor can be a beautiful alternative to other flooring options. Linear strips of rectangular tiles can be laid in an interlocking pattern at 45 degrees to one another. The most successful approach features individual tiles with an elongated rectangular strip combined with a matching grouting. A border strip can be included that will frame the herringbone pattern that can consist of a single or double width using the same tile. Given the reduced dimensions of the bathroom a smaller or narrower tile is more appropriate for the most impacting overall effect.

Product: Par-ker Oxford

The decorative possibilities of herringbone flooring

A white herringbone tile floor in the bathroom or WC can be a design feature in the space, add a metallic accent tile or black tile as a border and the effect can be even more dramatic. For living spaces or generous entrance areas large herringbone flooring can provide a designer statement. Using broad timbers provides a wide herringbone flooring pattern. While in period houses darker woods were predominantly used light herringbone flooring has a more contemporary feel.

Practical considerations with herringbone flooring

Whatever the choice of material it’s important to calculate the area of the space, the herringbone flooring is more expensive than other alternatives because it involves more cutting of the material. Waste should be minimised by working out the pattern prior to commencing. Take care with the grouting in the case of tiles, making sure to use the desired complimentary or contrasting colour. The size and width of the material should also be considered, with larger formats more appropriate for larger floor areas.   


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