ToolCrowd is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Can Laminate Flooring Be Installed in a Herringbone Pattern?


The herringbone style, sometimes known as chevron or parquet flooring, is a timeless and stylish pattern popular among homeowners, DIYers, and renovators alike.

Traditionally made from solid hardwood, herringbone flooring is notoriously expensive, however, and many people find it difficult to justify the price of authentic herringbone flooring.

Thankfully, laminate is a much cheaper alternative to hardwood flooring that’s also hard-wearing, easy to maintain, and in many cases, impossible to tell from authentic solid flooring.

One question people often have, though, is whether or not you can install laminate flooring in a herringbone pattern, and that’s what we’ll be answering in this article.

It is possible to install laminate flooring in a herringbone pattern, provided you purchase the correct type of flooring. Most manufacturers and suppliers offer a range of herringbone laminate floors that come in a vast array of shades, patterns, styles, and colors to suit your style and decor.

Read on to learn more about how you can achieve the classic yet stylish herringbone pattern in your home using laminate flooring.

Can Laminate Flooring Be Installed in a Herringbone Pattern?

Herringbone flooring is not only a classic choice of flooring design, but it is also incredibly popular with homeowners all over the world.

The elegant pattern is an arrangement of rectangular tiles or boards consisting of rows of angled parallel lines that form a stunning zigzag effect when repeated.

an image showing a stylish herringbone floor installed in a home

© bialasiewicz/123RF.COM

Originally made from solid hardwood, the herringbone pattern can now be achieved with laminate flooring, making it more affordable and accessible even for DIYers on a tighter budget.

A quick internet search will show you a vast selection of herringbone laminate to choose from, so you’ll have no trouble selecting a style, pattern, and color to suit your project’s budget.

Since first being produced in the 1970s, laminate flooring has become a firm favorite for homeowners, developers, DIYers, and renovators worldwide.

Not only is it more affordable than solid hardwood flooring, but the well-engineered snap-and-lock joinery makes it super easy to install, a huge benefit that appeals to many people who don’t want to overcomplicate the process.

Installing herringbone laminate flooring is easy to achieve, providing you are well prepared with the right set of tools and know-how.

Next up in this article, we will take a deeper look at how you would go about installing a herringbone laminate in your home.


Is Herringbone Laminate Hard to Install?

If you love the look of herringbone flooring, you’ll be happy to hear that you can achieve this stylish look yourself.

Like a standard laminate flooring layout, herringbone laminate is super simple to install thanks to the tongue and groove edges which help each piece easily snap together.

Another thing that makes herringbone laminate easy to install is that, unlike solid hardwood flooring, it doesn’t require any nailing, gluing, or stapling, so, with some careful planning, you should be able to install it yourself.

What Tools Will I Need to Install Herringbone Laminate Flooring?

Having the right tools to hand before installing your herringbone laminate flooring is the first step to a successful installation. Make sure you understand how they all work and take care when handling them, especially if you’re using any power tools.

Here’s a list of the various tools and safety equipment you’ll need:

  • Hammer
  • Hand saw
  • Straight edge
  • Square
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Knee pads
  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Safety boots

Though they aren’t essential, power tools can make the installation process a great deal easier. So, it may also be worth looking into purchasing, hiring, or borrowing the following:

  • Jigsaw
  • Miter saw
  • Cordless screwdriver

How Do You Install Laminate Flooring in a Herringbone Pattern?

Here’s a step-by-step guide for installing herringbone laminate flooring in your home:
1

Acclimate the Laminate Flooring


As with any laminate floor, you will need to allow 48-72 hours for the boards to acclimate before starting any installation.

Place the flooring (still inside the packaging) in the room where you will be installing it, and do not touch it for 2-3 days.

Acclimation is an essential process because it allows the laminate flooring to adjust to the room’s natural temperature and humidity, and this helps minimize the risk of any unsightly warping or gapping of the boards when you go to install them.

For more information on acclimating laminate flooring, check out our following article: Does laminate flooring need to acclimate?
2

Prepare the Subfloor


Ensure the subfloor is clean, dry, and flat before you start installing the underlay.

You can check the moisture levels yourself by purchasing a digital moisture meter, which you’ll find in a DIY store or on Amazon.

You could also use a spirit level to determine whether the subfloor is flat or not.
3

Lay Appropriate Underlay


Underlayment is a vital requirement in the laminate installation process.

Not only does it provide a soft cushion for the laminate, but it also improves acoustics, protects the floor from moisture damage, and ensures the surface is level.

Here are some of the different types of underlay:

  • Foam Underlay
  • The most common type of underlay, the padded foam, measures around 3/32″ thick and comes in various roll sizes.

    While it is a popular choice of underlay, it’s worth noting that foam underlay doesn’t protect laminate flooring from moisture. To provide a sufficient moisture barrier, you may need to put a plastic sheet down over the foam underlay, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Combination Underlay
  • Combination underlay is the same as foam underlay; the only difference is that it includes the moisture barrier layer.

    This type of underlay would be best for damper rooms, such as basements and kitchens, as it will prevent any moisture from seeping up through the laminate flooring.

  • Acoustic Underlay
  • Acoustic or sound dampening underlayment is designed to reduce the impact of sound transfer through hard surfaces, therefore softening the sounds created when walking on laminate flooring.

    Usually made from cork or felt, acoustic underlay often comes with a moisture barrier included.

  • Vinyl-Backed Underlay
  • Available as easy-to-install tiles, vinyl-backed underlay also has acoustic-proofing qualities. The tiles have a built-in moisture barrier layer, but you will need to ensure the seams and joints are sealed to ensure it is 100% moisture-proof.

4

Leave an Expansion Gap


In a seasonal climate, laminate flooring will tend to expand and contract according to the temperature and moisture levels within the room.

We recommend leaving a 3/8″-5/8″ expansion gap around the room’s perimeter rather than installing the laminate flush against the walls.

Some installation kits come with spacers included, but if not, you can purchase them online or from a DIY store.

At the end of the installation process, you can cover up the gap with beading or baseboards to ensure the finished look is seamless.
5

Create the Template Triangles


Creating and positioning the template triangles is possibly the most daunting step of installing herringbone laminate flooring. Still, we can assure you with some careful planning, preparation, and measuring; you’ll be able to do it with ease.

Firstly, when unpacking your laminate boards, you’ll notice there are two types, A & B. You’ll need to use one of each type for every connection, so make sure to keep them in separate piles.

Here’s what to do next:

  1. Click together two B planks and three A planks, mimicking the layout shown in the diagram (see image 1).
  2. an image showing how to form the layout of a herringbone floor with laminate

    (1)
  3. Take another A plank and click the header joint into place on the outermost B plank (see image 2).
  4. how to install laminate flooring in a herringbone pattern - step two

    (2)
  5. Using a straight edge, mark a line from the top right corner of plank A1 across to the top right corner of plank A4, where it meets B1 (see image 3).
  6. how to install laminate flooring in a herringbone pattern - step three

    (3)
  7. Carefully cut each piece along this line using a saw (see image 4).
  8. how to install laminate flooring in a herringbone pattern - step four

    (4)
  9. Discard the scrap pieces to leave yourself with a triangular template. Disconnect the triangle and use glue to stick it back together again; this will leave you with a sturdy template (see image 5).
  10. an image showing how to form the layout of a herringbone floor with laminate

    (5)
  11. Repeat steps 1-5 until you have enough template triangles for the length of one wall.
  12. Measure the length of the wall and place one of the triangles at the midpoint, ensuring you keep your 3/8″-5/8″ expansion gap along the edges. Move outwards and place more triangles along the wall until you reach the corners (see image 6).
  13. how to install laminate flooring in a herringbone pattern - step six

    (6)
  14. To get the corner pieces to fit, measure the distance between the edge of the last triangle and the wall spacer. Mark up one of your template triangles to the same length, cut it to make a right-angled edge, and fit it into place (see images 7-10).
  15. how to install laminate flooring in a herringbone pattern - step seven

    (7)
    how to install laminate flooring in a herringbone pattern - step eight

    (8)
    an image showing how to form the layout of a herringbone floor with laminate

    (9)
    how to install laminate flooring in a herringbone pattern - step ten

    (10)
6

Lay the Rest of the Flooring


Once you have made the template triangles and installed them along one edge, you can now continue laying the rest of the floor by following the steps below:

  1. Working from right to left, place the B planks to the left of each triangle and fit them into place (see image 11).
  2. an image showing how to form the layout of a herringbone floor with laminate

    (11)
  3. When you reach the edge, measure the distance a, as shown in the diagram. and mark it on the B plank (see image 12).
  4. an image showing how to form the layout of a herringbone floor with laminate

    (12)
  5. Using an angle measurer, cut the B plank at 45o and then fit it into place; use glue if you want to make it extra sturdy (see images 13-15).
  6. how to install laminate flooring in a herringbone pattern - step thirteen

    (13)
    an image showing how to form the layout of a herringbone floor with laminate

    (14)
    an image showing how to form the layout of a herringbone floor with laminate

    (15)
  7. For the next row, use the A planks and fit them from left to right, repeating steps 2 & 3 once you get to the edge (see image 16).
  8. how to install laminate flooring in a herringbone pattern - step sixteen

    (16)
  9. Continue working your way down the room, alternating between the A and B plank for each row. Measure and cut the pieces to fit once you reach the bottom of the room (see image 17).
  10. how to install laminate flooring in a herringbone pattern - step seventeen

    (17)

It’s important to spend time measuring and cutting around obstacles such as door frames and radiators.

Once you have finished laying the flooring throughout the whole room, remove the wall spacers and cover the gaps with baseboards or beading.


Can You Use Normal Laminate for Herringbone Pattern?

If you love the herringbone pattern but are put off by the hefty price tag that can come with it, you might be wondering if you can still achieve the herringbone pattern with regular laminate flooring.

As mentioned previously, herringbone-specific laminate flooring packs come with A and B boards. You will need to fit each board in a specific way to achieve the herringbone pattern.

Standard packs of laminate flooring boards don’t come with these specific A and B boards, which means you cannot use them to achieve a herringbone pattern.

How Much Extra Flooring Do You Need for Herringbone?

Working out how much flooring you’ll need for standard laminate flooring is relatively simple. When it comes to herringbone laminate, it’s slightly trickier because you have to account for all the offcuts you need to make along the wall edges.

Firstly, you’ll need to work out the area of the room where you are installing the laminate flooring. For a square or rectangular room, measure the length and width and multiply these numbers together to get the total area. For example, for a 20 feet by 10 feet space, the area would be 200ft².

For herringbone laminate flooring, suppliers generally recommend you account for 10-15% wastage, so you will need to order slightly more flooring to make up the difference. For example, if your room is 200ft², you will need to purchase an extra 20ft² to 30ft².

If you are a novice, you may feel more comfortable ordering even more flooring to account for any mistakes you may encounter along the way. If you have any material left over at the end, keep it somewhere safe because you may need to replace a board if any get damaged over the next few years.

Laminate flooring comes in various widths, lengths, patterns, and depths, which means that they will all come in different pack sizes. The manufacturer will indicate the coverage of each box of laminate flooring on the packaging to help you work out how many boxes you’ll need to order.

Which Direction Should Herringbone Flooring Run?

Installing herringbone flooring is a great way to make your home look more stylish and sophisticated, with the classic yet elegant pattern making a great first impression.

Because the arrow-like design is so prominent, turning the floor into a focal point or statement piece, it’s essential to take some time to consider the direction that your herringbone flooring will run.

The direction you lay your herringbone laminate flooring can have a massive impact on the room’s look and feel, such as making smaller rooms appear larger or directing someone’s gaze towards a focal point or design feature, for example, a stylish fireplace.

Here are some hints and tips to help you decide which direction your herringbone floor should run:

  • Typically, it’s best to lay herringbone flooring to point towards the room’s length rather than across the width.
  • Make the most of a room’s natural light by laying the floor in the direction of a source of natural light. Not only will this help hide joints and other irregularities, but it will also give the impression the floor is drawing more light in towards the center of the room.
  • If a room has several windows and multiple sources of natural light, you could lay the flooring diagonally across the room. Doing so will draw the light into a space and create a calming and atmospheric feel within the room.
  • You can make narrow hallways feel longer by laying the flooring lengthways in the same direction as the space. On the other hand, if you wanted to make a room feel wider, you could lay the flooring crossways.
  • Laying the herringbone laminate pointing towards a focal point of a room, such as a fireplace, bay window, or bi-fold doors, will draw the eye towards the key feature within the room.

Final Remarks

It is possible to achieve the timeless and stylish look of a herringbone floor using manufactured laminate.

There is an extensive range of laminate flooring available to choose from, making it super easy for you to find the perfect floor to suit your style and budget.

Although the installation process is slightly more labor-intensive than standard laminate flooring, by following our installation guide above, you will easily be able to install the flooring and be left with a beautifully finished herringbone-patterned floor.


Read Next

×