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Interior Envy: Herringbone Floors

Some of the most beautiful design features are those with deep historical roots. I always wondered what the story behind parquet flooring was - herringbone and chevon patterned floors in particular. I've been pinning both herringbone and chevron floors nonstop, many times without even noticing the subtle difference between the patterns (more on that below).

It turns out, herringbone floor designs date back to the Roman Empire, where the pattern was used to construct more stable and durable roadways. By placing bricks in a repeating pattern in the direction of traffic and on top of a base of crushed stone, the interlocking and layered design absorbed more motion from passing traffic. In case you're interested, here's an even more in depth history of both designs.

The difference between herringbone and chevron floors is the area where the pieces of wood connect.  Herringbone floor planks are cut into equal sized rectangles and placed in a staggered pattern so that the end of each piece meets the side of the opposing piece.  The ends of chevron floor planks are cut at an identical angle, so that when placed end to end, the center forms a straight line. Like most design concepts, this is most easily understood with a picture:

Well if you came by for the pretty pictures, hopefully you stuck around for the short history lesson. Happy Wednesday!


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