Parquet floor variations: the herringbone pattern
Without a doubt, the most common installation arrangement for a hardwood floor is to place all planks parallel to one another and position the boards so that they are parallel to one set of walls and perpendicular to the opposing set. Indeed, this is what most consumers expect to see when they enter a home with wood flooring. This pattern is so ubiquitous that some people may not even notice the floor when it is laid out this way, even if it is composed of exotic tropical hardwoods in an unusual texture and colour.
One powerful way to make a hardwood floor “pop,” or stand out more dramatically, is to alter the standard installation pattern. Parquet flooring, in fact, is a variation on this theme, using boards of different lengths and shapes to produce an eye-catching pattern. One of the simplest parquet patterns in use is the herringbone. It is considered simple because it follows a repetitive motif that is not complicated, yet the overall effect of a herringbone hardwood floor is quite complex.
A herringbone pattern is so called because it resembles the standard herringbone used in textiles. Planks are laid parallel, but they are at a 45-degree angle to the walls. In addition, planks are shorter and their orientation is reversed every few planks to create the distinctive “V” shapes that characterise the herringbone pattern. To accomplish the pattern, the ends of planks must be cut at a steep angle rather than at the more common right angle used in hardwood flooring.
Herringbone-laid hardwood floors need periodic wood floor repairs just as do more standard installations.