The Different Types Of Herringbone Patterns
Updated: Jan 11
Traditional herringbone wood flooring is known and loved for its distinctive pattern and uniformity.
By using simple rectangular blocks to create a repeated arrangement, you can craft a floor that is both inspiring and authentic.
The angle of these blocks does not have a certain limit, and you can even expand beyond the common zig zag pattern most would associate with this flooring style. Each an opportunity to add interest within a project.
Over the centuries, numerous patterns using the herringbone floor pattern have been created, many associated with a specific design era. From early beginnings in the roads of the Roman Empire to being stitched into modern geometric clothing, the pattern has been a design constant for centuries.
Whether you’re looking for options now or filing away inspiration for the future, here are our top picks for herringbone wood floor.
Some use herringbone blocks on their own, others are combined with squares and planks. Which will you choose?
#1 – TRADITIONAL HERRINGBONE
Laid in the traditional side-to-end fashion this design creates a zig zag effect across the floor. When referring to herringbone wood flooring this is the most common occurrence and we have herringbone blocks of all different widths and lengths to create the different looks. This design is also where the herringbone gets its name, due to its similarity to the fish’s skeleton.
#2 – HERRINGBONE WITH SQUARE INSERT
Another take on the classic fishbone herringbone floor. A row of traditional blocks followed by a row of squares is an interesting way of showcasing your floor.
#3 – HERRINGBONE WITH SQUARE INSERT (ALTERNATIVE)
Still using the square, but to different effect, this herringbone floor splits the end-to-side joint with a simple square insert. The overall flooring pattern is a right-angled zig zag.
#4 – SKINNY EXTRA-LONG HERRINGBONE
Certain herringbone lengths can be perceived as difficult to use, but this isn’t the case. Skinny long herringbones can create a wonderfully large zig zag, which is a very effective way of covering large room. This design also shines when used for wall cladding, with commercial settings in particular benefitting from the long lengths.
#5 – DOUBLE HERRINGBONE
A simple-but-effective take on the classic herringbone. Pairing two herringbone blocks together each time adds another layer to the design and can really make a project stand out by creating a design statement outside of the norm.
#6 – BLOCK BASKET WEAVE
A classic basket weave herringbone pattern which uses 4 blocks laid together in each square, creating an overall larger square when placed together. This is similar to the classic basket weave design.
#7 – 5-BLOCK BASKET WEAVE WITH SQUARE INSERT
This basket weave design can be closely associated with wood panel flooring. The squares created, with an extra block to punctuate the design, result in a highly effective pattern when laid across a whole room.
#8 – ART AND CRAFT BASKET WEAVE
This take on the basket weave herringbone is another that bares similarity to a design panel floor. Larger blocks surround the squares to create an interesting motif when the entire floor is laid. This is especially helpful and creative when used in large expanses where the pattern can really take shape.
#9 – STRAIGHT LAY
The simplest design involves laying herringbone blocks completely side-by-side to create a brick like effect across the entire floor.
#10 – STRAIGHT LAY WITH SQUARE INSERT
Another simple design that creates a brickwork effect with small squares deviating from the original pattern.
#11 – LADDER HERRINGBONE
The ladder herringbone design is a great way to make use of multiple length blocks; long, medium and short blocks can work seamlessly together here. The majority of the blocks lie vertically, creating and effect similar to the straight lay. Horizontal blocks then cut though to create the ‘rungs’ of the ladder, which again can make use of different length and width blocks.
#12 – LADDER WITH SQUARE INSERT
Herringbone blocks are arranged into rows, much like in the straight lay, but with another block as a divider. The squares are used to punctuate the design and add more shape.
#13 – LADDER HERRINGBONE WITH SQUARE INSERT
Another design which uses the squares well. Vertical and horizontal lines meet at a square joint throughout the design. With all ladder designs you can even employ a plank rail to accentuate the laddered design.
#14 – DOT AND DASH
Using a double herringbone block next to one another with a square insert a pyramid-like effect can be created across the floor. This is a tricky pattern to pull off, but the final effect is a stunning choice.
#15 – DOUBLE DOT AND DASH
Double dot and dash creates a common zig zag herringbone effect with the difference being that two square blocks essentially take the place of a block. As when inserting squares to any herringbone style, this can be a great way to showcase the texture of your floor.
#16 – 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. We like it so much that we have it at our FLOORS DEPOT STORE
#17 – SQUARE CHEQUERBOARD
By combining square blocks to make a larger square the chequerboard design is expanded. This works particularly well when combining light and dark herringbone floors to contrast the floor and make the squares really stand out from one another.
#18 – PLANK AND HERRINGBONE MIX
Using alternating herringbone blocks and planks (particularly those of long lengths) a straight-line design can be created. This design can make the most of tight and narrow spaces that are wanting to use herringbone flooring.
Herringbone wood floors are highly versatile.
Whether you are looking to create a strong design statement using one of these designs or would prefer the floor to blend into the background we have a herringbone floor to suit your project.
A wide range of colours, species and textures are available, and all our Ted Todd and Woodworks by Ted Todd herringbone floors are crafted to last a lifetime.