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As hardwood floor installation experts in the Greater Boston Area, we’ve designed and customized floors to fit every type of taste and personality. There is one particular floor pattern that is appealing to all types of people and homeowners. No matter their unique and discerning tastes, we have yet to meet a homeowner who didn’t enjoy the distinguished look of a herringbone parquet floor. 

So, what is herringbone flooring? Even if you don’t know the floor pattern by name, there’s a great chance you would recognize the beautiful flooring by its unique look. Before we can fully understand what herringbone flooring is, we must first understand what a parquet floor is and why the style has lasted for centuries. 

Parquet Flooring

Parquet flooring started in the 16th century, in the Palace of Versailles. French innovators created parquet flooring to incorporate elaborate and beautiful patterns into wood floors that would mimic stone flooring patterns. Parquet means “a small compartment” in French. 

Mimicking the patterns of stone flooring on wood was an ingenious solution to a few engineering problems. One being that even for French royalty, stone flooring for a 700 thousand square foot home was too expensive, and it was too heavy to install stone on the second floor without the weight causing it to collapse. Parquet wood flooring was a cost-effective and elegant solution to elevate the flooring of the palace. 

Today, the basic concept of a parquet floor has not changed. A parquet floor is meant to elevate a hardwood floor’s look by incorporating interesting symmetrical patterns into the floor itself. One of the most recognizable parquet floors in New England belongs to the Boston Celtics! 

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What Is Herringbone Flooring?

Herringbone is one of the most recognizable patterns in parquet flooring. It resembles the skeletal structure of a herring fish, a pattern of repetitive rectangles with beautiful symmetry. 

herringbone flooring

In our experience, most homeowners who desire a herringbone hardwood floor installed reserve the pattern for areas of the home that are not already visually busy. Herringbone flooring is one of the most elegant decorative flooring options, which is why it’s most popular in formal areas, such as foyers, ballrooms, living rooms, and dining rooms. 

Herringbone flooring is typically not seen in bathrooms, recreational areas, or kitchens because there is already a lot happening visually within the space. The herringbone pattern could create an overwhelming feeling. Herringbone flooring is best installed in spaces where it can be one of the only focal points. 

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Why Homeowners Choose Herringbone Flooring 

For some time in the ’80s and ’90s, parquet patterns were being installed everywhere in residential homes. Whether it was vinyl tiling for the kitchen floor or prefabricated synthetic wood flooring for the living room, homeowners installed patterned materials in all house rooms. This was largely due to the cost-effectiveness of installed small blocks of materials and piecing them together in a home, and it was a popular style at the time. 

Sadly, the over-indulgence in flooring patterns and cheap materials gave parquet flooring a negative connotation for some time. Thankfully, the art and appreciation of parquet flooring have come back into homeowners and interior designers’ hearts and minds. 

Owning custom wood floors is one of the greatest investments a homeowner can make. Additionally, choosing herringbone flooring for the focal room(s) within a home will leave a lasting, beautiful impression for everyone who enters the space. 

If you want to elevate the look, feel, and impact of areas in your home, a herringbone parquet floor is an excellent way to do so. 

To learn more about hardwood flooring patterns, please reach out!