The Herringbone pattern. When you hear me say it, what comes to mind first? Is it that blazer that your mom or co-worker used to wear? Or some beautiful parquet wood flooring at that Spanish Art Museum you visited?
It is all of the above for me. Patterns and shapes are inspirational and very important, and it is not because I majored in Applied Maths, but it undoubtedly played its part.
The Herringbone Pattern | History and Origin
The Herringbone pattern, named for the resemblance of the skeleton structure of the herring fish, has a rich history and originates back in Roman Empire, Egypt, and Italy. It’s been hundreds of years that people have enjoyed herringbone pattern. Not only did they lay bricks on their roads like that, but they crafted their jewelry and weaved their rugs in that same design.
Are you surprised?
I surely was when I started researching it. So turns out, neither of them are new. Chevron and herringbone patterns have been used in construction and design for centuries.
During the Renaissance, herringbone and chevron patterns were popular in European architecture and design. These patterns were used in everything from flooring to textiles and jewelry, and even furniture.
The Herringbone pattern can be seen in the construction of old paved roads in Roman Empire, in fabrics from ancient Italy and also in Egyptian jewelry. So it’s been years that people have been enjoying the beauty of this pattern and we are here to get inspired and use it in our homes and wardrobes as well.
In wood flooring one of the earliest examples of the Herringbone pattern is found in France in 16th century.
Nowadays, both herringbone and chevron patterns are commonly used in flooring and tile.
Herringbone vs Chevron
Both patterns are rather popular and will serve your purpose, however, we know from experience that a lot of people seem to struggle to distinguish one pattern from another. That’s why we are here to offer you some tools to decipher and discern. Both patterns require shorter boards or tiles to be laid out at angles, however, there are key differences in the way the planks are cut and installed.
Shape, pattern and overall effect are very different as well.
If you look closely at herringbone pattern, you will immediately notice that it has a subtle broken zig-zag pattern and chevron features a continuous zigzag pattern, that is more defined. The tiles or planks are cut at an angle to create a V-shape that is repeated throughout the flooring.
You can play with your Vs and change the angle at which your tiles or wood planks are cut. Are you looking to create a sharper V-effect or would you prefer for it to be somewhat shallower?
Chevron: Pros and Cons
Chevron is one of the oldest symbols in history. V-shaped markings were found on pottery back in 5 century BC. Very first Chevron floors were laid in Europe in 16th century. Chevron pattern also appeared in ceremonial heraldic symbols and coat of arms around the same time.
While chevron flooring is visually very attractive, there are a few pros and cons to consider before choosing this pattern for your home.
Pros: Visual Interest and Flow in the Space
One of the main benefits of chevron flooring is that it is a bold and eye-catching design choice. It is a great way to add visual interest to a space and to create an unforgettable statement floor.
Another benefit of chevron flooring is that it can be used to create a sense of movement and flow in a space. The V-shaped pattern draws the eye in a specific direction and guides the flow of foot traffic.
Cons: Time, Installation, Cost
However, one of the main disadvantages of chevron pattern is that it can be difficult to install. The tiles or planks need to be cut at precise angles, and any mistakes or imperfections in the installation process will be visible in the final product.
Chevron pattern appears to be more time-consuming when it comes to cutting planks and laying them out than herringbone is. Take that into consideration, when planning and budgeting.
The cost difference may not be significant enough to sway the decision between the two patterns, as both can be charming in their own ways.
Another drawback of chevron flooring is that it may not be as timeless as the herringbone pattern. While it is currently a popular design choice, it may not have the staying power of the classic herringbone pattern.
Chevron vs Herringbone | Decisions, Decisions
As a company, we have a lot of experience with both chevron and herringbone patterns and our clients love them both.
Last year Morgan and Jamie shared the final reveal of their laundry room and it was dreamy. For the floor tile, they went with Fireclay Black Hills subway tile, 2 1/2 x 8 and Jamie laid it in a herringbone pattern!
Don’t you just love it?
Chevron tiles and planks come at a 45 degree angle, while herringbone ones form a 90 degree angle. Once chevron floor or backsplash is complete your eye can follow straight vivid lines that were formed in between the Vs.
Herringbone pattern on floors does have the power to create visual movement and can easily make a small space seem larger. It also is a more traditional, classy look.
Herringbone tile is used most commonly in high-end properties, such as luxury homes and upscale hotels, restaurants, and retail spaces. It is often used in entryways, bathrooms, and kitchens to create a striking statement.
Herringbone vs Chevron | East Coast, West Coast
In the United States, herringbone tile is popular in major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, where high-end properties are in demand.
In terms of prevalence, herringbone flooring and backsplashes are more common than chevron in the Midwest, east coast, and southeast regions of the United States.
If you want to pursue something fun, edgy and unexpected, Chevron is a great option. Chevron is sharper and is way more defined, where Herringbone seems to offer a more subtle and gentle look. Chevron is more prevalent in the west coast, where modern and contemporary design styles are more popular.
In conclusion, both herringbone and chevron patterns have a rich history in construction and design. While both patterns are visually charming, there are several reasons why herringbone is considered a better choice for flooring.
The pattern is timeless, versatile, and easy to maintain. Chevron flooring, on the other hand, is a bold design choice that can add visual interest and movement to a space, but may be difficult to install and may not have the staying power of the herringbone pattern.