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All About Herringbone - Flooring, Backsplash, and More

All About Herringbone - Flooring, Backsplash, and More

Approximately five years ago, herringbone began to steal the hearts of homeowners across the U.S and beyond. Today, that trend has only strengthened. Perhaps we’re attracted to the Parisian elegance of the pattern (it was, after all, used to adorn the parquet flooring of the Palace of Versailles), and perhaps we’re drawn to the beautiful marriage of simplicity and precision that demands such a high level of craftsmanship to install the pattern with perfection. Whatever the reason, there’s no doubt that herringbone is currently in the limelight of interior home design.  

What Is Herringbone?

Herringbone is a V-shaped pattern in which each vertical line is staggered and layered into the next. The Romans are said to have utilized the herringbone pattern in their roads and floors to increase the durability of their construction, but many believe that the pattern was utilized even earlier in textiles made by the ancient Egyptians. Regardless of when it first appeared, it’s easy to see that the pattern has enjoyed a long and illustrious history typically associated with elegance and opulence, and because of this, it should be noted that its re-emergence in home design today is more than a fleeting fancy. 

How are Homeowners Using Herringbone?

When it comes to thinking of ways to incorporate the pattern into your home, there is no shortage of innovative ideas, but these are eight of the most common uses we’ve seen rise to the top of the list for home remodels in the Chicago area.

  • Herringbone Floor Patternsherringbone wood flooring

When people think of herringbone in the home, they usually think of parquet flooring. That’s because this is one of the most popular and unforgettable uses of the pattern. One of the reasons homeowners love this pattern on flooring is that it adds incredible texture and depth to any space. It may be laid with materials of uniform color to add subtle interest or else laid with near tones or contrasting tones for a high-impact appeal.

  • Herringbone Island Feature for Barstool Seating

Now that more and more homes are being built with kitchen islands that incorporate barstool seating, homeowners are evolving creative and fun ways to highlight this seating nook. For instance, popular design ideas include painting and wallpapering the nook. Another way to draw attention to the area is to tile the space in a herringbone pattern, which works particularly well if the pattern is echoed in the kitchen’s tile backsplash.

  • Herringbone Tile Backsplash in the Kitchen 


Another popular use of this pattern can be seen in the tile backsplash in the kitchen. While the pattern works well in a smaller space between upper and lower cabinets, it is showcased especially well in areas with more vertical space like between a stovetop and a range hood. 

  • Herringbone Wall Tiling in the Bathroom 

In instances where homeowners elect to tile full bathroom walls, utilizing the herringbone pattern can add a dynamic feel to the space. The pattern is somewhat bold when used in large spaces, so the bathroom can be a fun place to experiment with it in an isolated setting.

  • Herringbone Shower Tiling

The shower is, of course, another natural area to incorporate this pattern. Herringbone tiling tends to work particularly well in shower walls with frameless glass enclosures so as not to steal or distract from the elegance of the effect.

  • Wood Paneling on the Wall

Aside from the parquet flooring mentioned above, most of the examples we’ve given of herringbone in the home have been with tile. However, another impactful way to use the pattern is on wood wall paneling. We’ve mainly seen this idea incorporated into bedrooms where the paneling can serve as a type of headboard spanning either a half wall or the full wall.

  • Textiles, Pillows, Throws, and Carpets

Likely the subtlest way to introduce herringbone into your home is through wall textiles, pillows and blankets on the sofa, and carpets. In these instances, the pattern can be as bold or as subdued as you like depending on the size and color contrast you select. For example, The Interior Editor showcases the herringbone pattern on staircase carpets, bedroom carpets, tea towels, decorative pillows, throws, and more.

  • Custom Furniture

Finally, an unexpected way to introduce the pattern is in custom furniture like a coffee table, whether left exposed or covered with glass. If you incorporate the pattern into a dining room table, you can forget the table cloth! Your dining experience is already elegant.

Herringbone in Your Home 006_Coffee Niche

Are you inspired to incorporate this winsome pattern into your home remodel? The one thing you should be aware of is that the pattern demands precision. Installing herringbone requires both experience and incredible attention to detail to ensure that boards, tiles, or other materials fit together perfectly without noticeable gaps.

We can’t wait to hear your idea for herringbone in your home! Don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss this and your other remodeling needs.


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