Repair & Care
Herringbone Hardwood Floors
Herringbone floors ordinarily are types that are installed one piece at a time forming several distinct patterns depending on what you desire. Projects are not considered to be do it yourself friendly because of the precision required to keep the floor tight and square at all times. If one board falls out of alignment and not corrected, the balance of the installation will become gapped.
How Are They Installed?
Most herringbone floors are installed by gluing to a wood or concrete subfloor, but doesn't rule out solid 3/4" herringbone nailed or stapled to sound and flat subfloors. Herringbone floors typically take three to four times longer than standard 2 1/4" strip floors to install, due to the detailed need to insure proper and constant alignment at all times.
Who Manufacturers Herringbone?
Several prefinished manufacturers offer a prefinished engineered herringbone, but not solid in our latest research. Mirage, a Canadian manufacturer offers Red Oak, Cherry, Maple and eight distinct stain colors. Widths measure at 2 9/16" with lengths at 13 3/4" or 17 7/8" Another company producing a prefinished herringbone includes Armstrong and their Century Estate that shows a hand scraped appearance in four darker colors. All prefinished herringbone products are generally packaged with right and lefts for this type of installation.
Any specialty mill can arrange virtually any hardwood species, width, or length desired for an individual board herringbone installation. Costs will be higher than traditional solid hardwoods because of the time involved in manufacturing.
Milling Your Own Herringbone
If you’ve found the perfect color or a great deal on some unusual hardwood, some contractors have been known to mill their own herringbone providing the sides are end matched (tongue and groove). All it takes is a jig set up to make identical board length cuts followed by milling a groove with a router table station. For best results long length hardwood is desired reducing waste. Time for this type of project can be extensive depending on the amount of square footage needed.
Other manufacturers that dabble in herringbone provide paper faced herringbone patterns (photo above right) with smaller designs. Paper faced are smaller patterns (narrower finger jointing) that can be glued direct to subfloors in smaller sheets or blocks. Once the adhesives cures it then gets sanded and finished on site.