Tile Type Spotlight: Herringbone

Tile Type Spotlight: Herringbone 

Herringbone is a pattern that resembles the bones of a herring fish. Rectangles of equal sizes are arranged in a staggered or broken zig-zag, with the end of each rectangle meeting the side of another at a 90-degree angle.

Herringbone pattern 

This pattern has been a popular flooring choice for hundreds of years, with one of its first appearances thought to be in the Francois I Gallery at the Château de Fontainebleau. It was installed in 1539–nearly 500 years ago! Herringbone was used for some of the first Roman roads before being widely adopted across France in the sixteenth century. Today, it remains a widespread interior design trend.

Herringbone Vs. Chevron: What’s the Difference?

Herringbone vs. chevron 

Herringbone and chevron patterns are often confused, and it’s easy to see why! They have very similar appearances, but there are a few distinctions.

Chevron features a symmetrical or mirrored “V” pattern, creating a seamless zig-zag look, whereas herringbone consists of a staggered zig-zag pattern with more of a braided appearance.

In addition, herringbone is made up of rectangles, and chevron uses parallelograms.

Benefits of Herringbone Tile

There are numerous advantages to selecting a herringbone pattern for your flooring or other tile project.

  • Dimensional, dynamic visual appeal
  • Balanced and elegant composition
  • Striking, dramatic appearance
  • Traditional and timeless, yet modern and fresh
  • Often sold as a preset pattern for easy installation
  • Can be created with nearly any rectangular tiles
  • Usually makes rooms look larger (particularly small, narrow spaces like hallways)
  • Creates an illusion of movement that flows beautifully

How to Create Unique Looks with Herringbone Tile

Buying mosaic tiles that already have the herringbone look is an easy way to create this pattern in your home. However, you can purchase rectangular tiles with your preferred length and width for a more unique look. You might choose shorter subway tiles to create a dense geometric pattern or opt for long planks for a linear, diagonal appearance.

Color plays a role in your finished look as well. For instance, you can visually expand and brighten dark spaces with light-colored tiles arranged in a herringbone pattern. Choosing complementary or contrasting grout can also affect the look of your herringbone.

Stone, wood, and other natural materials are perfect for herringbone patterns. They often contain natural variations in color that can add to the sense of movement this pattern creates. Plus, their organic textures can soften the sometimes-harsh geometric effect.

Where to Use Herringbone Tile (Plus Our Top Picks)

Herringbone tile is fantastic for flooring, kitchen backsplashes, shower tile, fireplace surrounds, accent walls–and the list goes on! Below, we’ve selected some of our favorite herringbone tiles to demonstrate their appearance in different areas of the home.


Herringbone tile looks beautiful as a flooring option for any room in your house.

Fresno Almond 8x48 Porcelain Tile 

The dark wood in this room really expands the space. Create a similar look in your home with our Fresno Almond 8x48 Porcelain Tile, which boasts the beautiful look of natural wood with all the benefits of tile.

Forever Mood 8x48 Porcelain Tile

Put together a light, bright bedroom space with white walls, gauzy curtains, and Forever Mood 8x48 Porcelain Tile flooring installed in a herringbone pattern.

Kitchen Backsplashes

Herringbone tile is frequently used for kitchen backsplashes, adding a fun and interesting touch to the interior design.

Simple Antique White Skinny Herringbone Ceramic Mosaic

Here you can see that our Simple Antique White Skinny Herringbone Ceramic Mosaic goes perfectly with this kitchen’s dark gray cabinets. Learn more about kitchen backsplashes in our guide.

Calacatta Gold 1x2 Herringbone Marble Mosaic 

For a more upscale look, you can’t go wrong with marble! Our Calacatta Gold 1x2 Herringbone Marble Mosaic pairs beautifully with the marble countertop in this kitchen. But before you install natural stone tile yourself, here are several things you need to know.

Thassos White Herringbone 1x3 Marble Mosaic

Brighten up your kitchen with the Thassos White Herringbone 1x3 Marble Mosaic for a more subtle herringbone design.

Carrara White Herringbone 1x4 Mosaic 

The touches of gray in this Carrara White Herringbone 1x4 Mosaic add the perfect amount of definition. Learn more about installing your own backsplash here.

Shower Tile

Herringbone also stuns as a shower tile! We recommend reading our article on shower tile before settling on your top choice.

Calacatta Gold 1x4 Herringbone Marble Mosaic 

This Calacatta Gold 1x4 Herringbone Marble Mosaic adds a touch of luxury to the bathroom. (Want to install your shower tile yourself? Read this first.)

St. Lucia Blanco 2.5x5 Ceramic Tile 

For an understated and sophisticated take on herringbone, try our St. Lucia Blanco 2.5x5 Ceramic Tile. This herringbone pattern isn’t preset with a mosaic, but was instead created using rectangular tiles. Learn more about creating your own tile layout in our guide.

Fireplace Surrounds

Calacatta Gold 1x3 Herringbone Marble Mosaic

Make your fireplace the true focal point of the room by tiling the surround with a herringbone pattern. Here, the homeowner used our gorgeous Calacatta Gold 1x3 Herringbone Marble Mosaic. Find more fireplace tile inspiration in this article.

Accent Walls

Venice Blanco 2x10 Ceramic Tile

Finally, accent walls are another ideal application for herringbone tile. In the photo above, our Venice Blanco 2x10 Ceramic Tile may be neutral in color, but it still adds plenty of interest to the interior design! Learn more about DIY wall tile installation here.

Find Herringbone Tile to Match Your Style at Tilezz.com!

Whether you’re in search of herringbone tile or another pattern altogether, Tilezz.com has the selection to make your interior design dreams come true! Plus, each of our orders comes with fast delivery, insured shipments, and easy returns, so it’s simpler than ever to shop for tile online. Take a look at our full product line here, and visit our blog for more inspiration and DIY project guides.

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