Blocks for making herringbone patterns are available as ex-stock
ready manufactured products in most qualities of Oak and
also in Ash, Beech, Iroko, Maple, Merbau and Zimbabwe
Teak. We are not yet showing photographs of laid areas in every
Single Large Dimension Herringbone
Herringbone is perhaps the most traditional pattern in the UK. Though
it is not uncommon it need not look commonplace. There are batten
sizes available from as small as 100mm x 30mm to almost as large as
you like. The pattern can be made in almost any timber. There are
double and triple herringbone patterns. The pattern relies upon the
light reflecting off the alternate rows at different angles, thus
presenting the rows as alternately light and dark.
To the right is a photograph of an oak herringbone floor. These
battens are 750mm x 95mm. they are made of French Oak cut 'quatier
This is a detail of the simple border around this floor. Many more
styles of borders may be used to enhance a simple or complex design,
Wenge, chiefly from Zaire, is frequently used for a near black
contrast timber. The border 'frames' the floor nicely and can be
used to reduce the visual impact of the many minor interruptions
in the line of a wall such as support pillars, built in furniture
and radiator casings. This heating vent was an essential but unsightly
object in the formerly carpeted room. Creating the dark line around
it has neatened it and integrated it into the design of the new
This is a traditional image of a herringbone floor. This one was
laid in the 1930's, is made of virgin growth pitch pine and was the
subject of a restoration by David Gunton.
Note how the rows of blocks alternate, light and dark. This effect
is the result of the light being reflected at differing intensities
according to the direction of the run of the grain in each row. Once,
David was called by a customer who complained that the craftsmen had
sorted all the blocks out into alternate rows of light and dark timber.
It took a considerable amount of persuasion and demonstration to convince
her that this was the natural and desired effect of laying in herringbone
pattern and that the blocks are not sorted into light and dark shades
for each row.
Herringbone can be laid up in single, double, or triple block patterns.
This is an example of an oak block double herringbone.
The second hand oak blocks
used to create this floor came from a school demolition. They had
been bare of all protective finish and were daily mopped by the cleaner.
The dirty water had run down between the blocks and soaked into the
end grain, carrying some of the dirt with it. As a result, when the
blocks were sanded in their new home, the ends of each block was deeply
stained right through the thickness of the block. This produced a
very pleasing effect upon the floor.
This bordered oak single herringbone floor has been fumed and aged
to present a timeless image to an elegant homely hotel lobby.
In small rooms a scaled down pattern often works well. This herringbone
pattern is made of 50mm x 200mm blocks to accord with the scale
of the ante-room.