Herringbone Wood Flooring

Herringbone wood flooring is a distinctive broken zig-zag or V-shaped pattern created from wooden floorboards cut in perfect rectangles, then staggered slightly so the end of one board meets the side of another producing a repeated, tessellated pattern.

Herringbone has an ancient history dating back as far as the Egyptians, but the earliest use of Herringbone wood flooring is seen in the Francis I Gallery at the Palace de Fontainebleau, first installed in 1539.

Over the last few years, there has been a resurgence in the parquet trend, with herringbone wood flooring increasing in popularity. Herringbone wood flooring is a great way of introducing symmetry and balances to your home whilst simultaneously providing a wow factor.


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Solid or Engineered Herringbone Wood Flooring?

Engineered wood flooring is made by laminating hardwood layer upon hardwood layer to create a hard-wearing plank. Solid wood flooring, rather than being made from layers, is made from a single piece of solid hardwood cut straight from the tree’s trunk.


Considering grandeur alone, nothing beats the underfoot feel, smell and character of a solid wood floor as the strength of the original tree runs through it. However, as the top layer (i.e., the wear layer) of Engineered wood flooring is solid hardwood, there is little noticeable difference between the two.


Regarding its durability, engineered is less susceptible to warping and is more stable due to its plywood construction. This also means it is more suitable in rooms exposed to humidity and wetness. Moreover, if you have underfloor heating, engineered hardwood can better cope with the constant changes in temperature and will more readily transfer heat to its surface compared to solid wood.


Whilst engineered wood flooring may be considered more hard-wearing, solid wood flooring has a longer lifespan. Whereas engineered wood flooring can be refinished once, or at most twice, before the wear layer is eroded, solid wood floors can be sanded down and refinished several times over their lifespan.


What colour Herringbone Wood Flooring should I choose?

Our Herringbone Wood Flooring is available in a wide range of colours. From light to dark, white, grey and black, you can find the perfect Herringbone flooring colour to suit your grand design.

White & Light

Breathe openness and luminescence into your room with either white or light shades of herringbone wood flooring. For an ultra-modern and sleek effect, white is unparalleled. For a more Scandinavian aesthetic, lighter shades are your friend, which helps augment a room’s dimensions.


Medium coloured herringbone flooring offers the best of both worlds between light and dark. Whilst still maintaining a clean look, the toned patina enhances its character. Moreover, a slight colour more easily disguises scuffs and dirt.


For the most profound impact, a dark herringbone would flooring exudes opulence. Emulating the grand chateaux of 17th century France, these floors are statement pieces that create intrigue and conversation.


A black herringbone floor creates a wonderfully contemporary look. The monochrome style is sleek and noire, making an impact that Fritz Lang himself would be proud of.

What do the different grades mean?

Wood grades indicate how many natural features a wood floor has, and they are graded according to the number and size of the features on each board, such as knots, sap and tonal variation.

  • Prime grade: The cleanest grade that gives the most uniform appearance. See Tollense and Vienneas prime grade herringbone wood flooring examples.
  • Nature grade: Our most common herringbone wood floor grade. Nature grade has a broader range of colour variation, irregular grain knots up to 50mm, checks and end splits may feature.  See Brampton and Rydalas nature grade herringbone wood flooring examples.
  • Rustic grade: A heavier grade than Nature allows a virtually limitless size and number of knots. See Chevry and Quissacas rustic grade herringbone wood flooring examples.
  • Reclaimed & Genuine reclaimed: Allows for a virtually limitless size and number of knots, checks and colour variation. It may also contain character features, including nail holes, restoration features and weather cracks. See Babingtonand Temnoas reclaimed herringbone wood flooring examples.

Find out more in our wood floor grades guide.

What are the different kinds of finish available?

Wood finishes protect and enhance the tones of our Herringbone wood floors.

Hardwax Oil, Natural Oil and Oil Wood Traffic will give the floor a much darker look, whereas water-based finishes such as our Naked Skin Lacquer and Satin Lacquer give a more medium-to-dark tone.

Find out more about each finish:

  • Hardened oils: an oil-based finish with a natural look and a subtle sheen. The outer layer is UV hardened to give added wear and water resistance making it easy to maintain.
  • Matt Lacquers: Transparent, soft-feel lacquer that maintains the original ‘unfinished’ look of natural wood.
  • Natural oil: Transparent with no visible finish on the floor. Penetrates deep into the wood’s pores to restrict dirt and debris on the surface.
  • Hardwax oil: Reflects light well and emphasises grain/undulations across the floor.
  • Original polished patina: An authentic way of finishing our antique and reclaimed floors.
  • Unfinished: Supplied without any finish. Allowing you to select a finish to be applied once laid within your project.

See more on wood finishes by checking out our wood finishes guide.

What patterns does our Herringbone Flooring create?

Herringbone flooring is a distinctive broken zig-zag or V-shaped pattern created from wooden floorboards cut in perfect rectangles, then staggered slightly so the end of one board meets the side of another, producing a repeated tessellated pattern.

However, there is no set definition for what angles the Herringbone floorboards need to be laid in, meaning that different Herringbone patterns can be created. Therefore, herringbone can be variations of a triangular V-shape or use rectangular patterns.

Common V-shape Herringbone patterns

  • Traditional Herringbone: Laid in the traditional side-to-end fashion, this design creates a zig-zag effect across the floor.
  • Herringbone with square insert: A row of traditional blocks followed by a row of squares is an exciting way of showcasing your floor.
  • Double Herringbone: The same as traditional herringbone except it pairs two herringbone blocks together, each time adding another layer to the design.

Common rectangular Herringbone patterns:

  • Block-weave basket: A classic basket weave herringbone pattern uses a ratio of 4 by 4 blocks laid together in a square. These squares are then laid in alternating directions – vertically then horizontally – to create a woven effect.
  • Straight lay: The most straightforward design involves laying herringbone blocks side-by-side to create a brick-like effect across the entire floor.
  • Chequerboard: One of our favourite plays on the herringbone is the chequerboard, which uses square blocks to create a chessboard-like effect with simple squares washing across the floor.

For more detail and a visualisation of each pattern, please read our guide to the different types of herringbone patterns.

Best rooms for Herringbone Wood Flooring

High Traffic Areas

Herringbone floors make statements. These are not simply mediums used to move from one part of the house to the other; they are features in their own right. For this reason, the patterns need to be seen to be believed and are therefore best in high traffic areas such as entranceways and hallways, drawing and reception rooms.

Room Size

You may think that Herringbone wood flooring requires a large room for the pattern to have the most significant impact. However, Herringbone works just as well in more compact spaces. Whilst it is true a large room gives a Herringbone floor more space to breathe, and in large open plan rooms, they can be laid to follow the length of the room to create good flow or be directed to a focal point, Herringbone can also give life to smaller spaces where it becomes a standout feature. For example, it can be used in an office or bathroom to create traditional charm.

Room purpose

Due to the interwoven pattern of Herringbone flooring, this gives it additional strength compared to simply laying planks. This means it is more than up to the task of taking the strain of high activity areas. However, a couple of things to consider is whether the Herringbone floor will be laid in humid or wet areas (e.g. bathrooms) or rooms with underfloor heating. In this case, you would need to opt for engineered Herringbone Wood Flooring over solid wood Herringbone.

Installing Herringbone Wood Flooring

Installing a Herringbone Wood Floor is a complex process, so it’s important to talk to an expert. Unless you are an experienced carpenter, we would recommend a specialist fit your floor.

Before commencing installation, ensure the requirements have been met for:

  • Jobsite Conditions
  • Moisture Testing
  • Acclimatisation

Acceptable sub-floors

  • Parquet can be glued down, using Ted Todd MS Flex adhesive, over concrete or solid panel sub floors
  • Parquet cannot be installed directly on solid board sub floors. A parquet installation over solid-board
    subflooring requires 9mm or better underlayment panels

Most of our Ted Todd and Woodworks by Ted Todd floors are suitable for usage over underfloor heating but be sure to check the specifications before proceeding.

To find out more, check out our installation guides.

How can I order free samples of Herringbone Wood Flooring?

With such a wide range of colours and finishes to peruse, often the best place to start with Herringbone Wood Flooring is by ordering free samples, direct to your door.

Simply put your favourite Herringbone Wood floors into your basket, fill out your details and we’ll ship them out promptly, meaning you can start planning how best they will fit within your upcoming project.

Alternatively, visit one of your local retail partners, or one of our Design Centres in Cheshire or London, to experience these woods first-hand, as there’s nothing quite like seeing and feeling the real thing.