Herringbone vs. Chevron Flooring—Here's How to Tell Them Apart Once and for All

Updated 04/09/19

While it's popular on social media right now, there's nothing about this flooring trend that is new. According to our friends at The Spruce, the earliest true parquet hardwood floors date back to the 16th century when wealthy aristocrats began laying it over marble flooring. But despite the history, it feels like our feeds are flooded with Chevron and Herringbone flooring lately. To be honest, it's making us want to tear up our linear hardwood and upgrade to the more geometric look. Before you do anything, however, it's time we all got some clarity on the difference between Herringbone and Chevron flooring once and for all.

Do you know how to tell them apart?

These two looks are often confused for one another or misidentified yet they hold some key differences albeit subtle that you’ll want to be aware of before incorporating the look at home. One isn't better than the other—they dually have the ability to make a visual statement when done correctly—it’s much more about personal preference. Both are within the greater style of Parquet flooring: a French technique of craftsmanship which historically laid wood pieces into a geometric mosaic pattern. Think, the floors of the Palace of Versailles.

It's since been modernized and can now be found in a myriad of materials including tile.

Both the Chevron and Herringbone styles are popular in interior design and it’s no longer reserved for flooring. We’ve seen chevron bathroom tiling, herringbone wood wall detailing, and more. It seems if you can dream it, you can do it when it comes to a Parquet-style design. So how can you call them for what they are from miles away? The truth is in the zigzag detail. Read on to learn the key differences between Chevron and Herringbone and which speaks more to your style.

Chevron

Chevron flooring
 A+B Kasha

A chevron pattern is identifiable by its clean angles and continued zigzag effect. You can differentiate Chevron from Herringbone because all the tiles end in a point. Each tile is cut at an angle and laid together to create a “V” shape that looks so aesthetically pleasing under your feet.

Herringbone

Herringbone floor—Emily Henderson
 Sara Tramp; DESIGN: Emily Henderson

While a chevron may be cut at an angle, a herringbone pattern will be seen in the fact that each rectangular tile will be staggered leaving that almost broken pattern effect that is visually stimulating just like Emily Henderson's home above.

When it comes to the investment Chevron tends to be pricier than Herringbone due to the fact that each tile is cut at a precise angle, meaning more labor behind the craft. But they're both time-intensive and require a skilled craftsman to get it right so make sure you find the right person who will be meticulous about precision. "If you are doing herringbone, hire a very good installer," Henderson writes on her blog. "Our flooring contractor was super meticulous and took a lot of pride in making sure that it was perfect.

Also, start the pattern in the middle of the room and work your way towards the sides." Noted.

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