Spotlight: Wood Look Flooring Patterns

By Kate Riley May 31, 2016

Below is a shot I took last week with my phone while I was staring at my flooring for the flip house having just finished a run. Instead of tile, I chose to work with a waterproof wood look luxury vinyl plank floor for this house even though the home is located in a desert climate where tile is common. I’ve wanted to work with this product for a long time and having looked at dozens of samples I chose the Armstrong’s Bluegrass Barnwood in Fiddle Brown, a nice mid town brown, not too dark, not too light, just right. :)

The vinyl products have come so far in recent years, they really do mimic the look of wood yet are scratch and stain resistant and this one is waterproof! I love that because it allows me to use it in the bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry room so that there is consistent flooring throughout this single story house.This product also allows for for a DIY installation and with no adhesive required, I’m anxious to get started on the the first few rooms when I return next week. I’ll be sure to post the step by step process of installation.

Right now wood (and wood look) flooring patterns are on my mind, there are several possibilities.

vinyl plank flooring

At first I thought the vinyl plank application could only be in traditional installation side by side but looking at the website I realized it’s possible to install it in a herringbone pattern if the pieces are cut precisely. It’s a more complicated undertaking, and if I was keeping this house I’d seriously consider incorporating the look throughout the house, I do love the subtle movement in a herringbone floor.

  herringbone wood floor hallway

creative touch interiors

 herringbone wood floors

designer premier

One thought I’m having is instead of the herringbone pattern throughout the house (more complicated to install) to instead do it only in a bathroom, or the kitchen or laundry room using the same vinyl plank material.

 herringbone pattern bathroom floor

ali budd interiors

 herringbone pattern floor

southeastern custom homes

 herringbone kitchen floor

chamberlain architects

 herringbone floors black kitchen cabinets

the block via houzz

I’m also drawn to a diagonal installation, again I like the way it adds movement in a direction that’s not perfectly vertical to the walls. I’m tempted to go with this look because it’s so cool, less predictable but classic too.

 diagonal wood floor kitchen

exquisite kitchen design

 diagonal wood kitchen floor

style at home

 diagonal wood floor

lisa sherry interiors

Because this house will be sold once completed I’m leaning toward a classic installation. It makes sense to do so for most of the spaces, but I confess I’m torn between the designer side of me that says “go with herringbone or diagonal” and the practical this-is-a-flip-home voice inside of me saying “classic is no fail”.

 wood floor gray tile bathroom

interior therapy

 hardwood floors

 classic hardwood flooring

via bethany mitchell

Which of these three flooring patterns do you prefer?

37 comments

  1. I have been WAITING for this post! I’m ready to replace the flooring throughout our first floor and have been thinking similar thoughts as you (although you have design sense and I don’t). In my home I would use the traditional pattern and perhaps a diagonal to accent certain spaces. A larger herringbone pattern in some rooms could be really cool. A small herringbone pattern may be too busy. I’m looking forward to following the installation!

    • Ditto, ditto, ditto on everything Cindy said. planning on building a little casita next year, in the desert and close to the beach and this flooring sounds perfect for our needs. Does it really give the feel and look of wood in person?!

  2. Diagonal, forever interesting. We have a small condo with a Colorado River view in Laughlin. Ten years ago we put in bamboo, diagonally and still love it.

  3. Personally I have a strong negative reaction to diagonally laid flooring as I find it disorienting. I’m probably not the only person who has this reaction so some buyers might be similar.

    I love the idea of using this flooring throughout and incorporating some herringbone in smaller rooms- bath, laundry and maybe kitchen.

    • I’m with Christa on the disorienting reaction. Diagonally-laid floors also mean always having to orient your other home decor choices with a mind to the floor of all things. Even rug choices are more limited. And I, for one, would tire of it much more quickly than classically-laid floors. Can’t wait to see what you do, though.

      • I dislike diagonally laid floors. I find that they are a dated look – they were used so heavily several years ago. If I walked into a home that wasn’t a new build and it had floors laid on the diagonal, I wouldn’t think that they had been done recently. Re the herringbone, I would only do those if the style of my flip house called for them. Otherwise, they may look out of place.

  4. If you were keeping it, I’d say the herringbone. But with selling it, I say the classic. It’s timeless and it will go with any design style the next owners might have.

  5. I say classic. I love herringbone but wouldn’t want to invest time/money on a flip. I have a very strong, negative reaction to the diagonal.

    Just curious, when it gets wet, do you know how slip resistant is it? We live in New England, so we have snow that gets tracked into our garage entrance. Tile gets slippery when wet. I was curious if this would be a better alternative.

  6. I love the herringbone pattern, it feels very European and sophisticated but I have to agree with your home-flipper voice … better to be safe and install it vertically so that the majority of buyers will not object :)

  7. I’m a fan of flooring on the diagonal, and of course herringbone is amazing, too. I don’t get as excited about traditional application, but it still looks nice, just less interest. The designer in me loves the diagonal, always!

  8. I’m in love with wood floor and with floor that gives the impression of aging and tells stories. And i think that’s why i’m going to try to have wood in my next home.
    Thanks for the inspiration :)
    – xoxo
    Laura – //junethirty.wordpress.com

  9. We renovated our kitchen last year, and did diagonal hardwood floors – we LOVE it. Turns out, the subfloor isn’t the same through the whole space, but one part is perpendicular to the other. So rather than having to change directions halfway through the room, we did it on an angle. It turned out really beautifully.

  10. I way prefer the classic design. The herringbone is too much for my eye. I want the floor to be a backdrop, not the pow factor. The diagonal is nice but not worth the trouble and expense in this situation. I have classic wood, site built floors and all rooms in the entire downstairs have the wood going the same way, straight forward from the front door. I love it and think it’s the perfect backdrop for my upscale decor.

  11. I like the classic approach for a flip house – to appeal to the masses. For me, I love the herringbone – but I think the individual boards need to be long and/or wide enough to look well done. Otherwise, I think it can look cheap (like parquet).

  12. If I were doing a flip house, I would experiment with herringbone in a small space (powder room, laundry room, entry… just to see what the product can do) and make the rest easy on myself with a classic lay in the whole house. As a buyer, I would love to see the surprising different texture in my entry or powder room. Since it’s the same flooring, the interest would be fun but not distracting from the rest of the house. If I tired of it, a small rug ain’t a big deal.

  13. I would love to see the product you have chosen used in a herringbone pattern. I need to replace the floor in my galley kitchen and have long thought the herringbone pattern would be perfect. However I haven’t been able to find very good instructions. Hopefully you can demonstrate. Thanks!

  14. We have this flooring by Armstrong. Hate to tell you, but anywhere this floor gets lots of direct sunlight it will buckle and warp. We didn’t realize this until after we installed 1,200 sq feet. We contacted Armstrong to complain but they said it is stated in the instructions, no direct sunlight. Really, this flooring is only good for basements that get no light. Unless you plan to keep your curtains shut all day. We will be ripping it out eventually and put in hardwood. I can email you photos if you are interested in seeing our floors.

  15. So happy you are doing this – we are investigating similar ideas for a coastal area cottage so can’t wait to hear about the durability factor as well as ease of placement.

  16. What perfect timing! We are in the process of buying a house and are looking at the TrafficMaster Allure Resilient Vinyl Planks (available at HomeDepot) for the Basement family room and laundry room. Currently their are 9×9 vinyl tiles down there and the inspector thinks that have asbestos so he said to install something right over them so we don’t disturb them. We just picked up a sample yesterday to see how is looks next to the upstairs hardwoods. I was also thinking about doing the herringbone pattern in the laundry room but classic install in family room. I’m super excited to see how your installation goes.

  17. Great post Kate! So much inspiration and ideas. It would be hard not to at least give a DIY try in the bath to practice on? Although, I totally get it with a flip house. Would love to see it done in the vinyl. Hope all is well friend! xo

  18. My brother and SNL did diagonal wood look vinyl in their new house last year and it really looks fresh and nice with the open floor plan and contemporary craftsman accents. I would take a risk and go diagonal if it were me.

  19. We flip and also have rentals.We LOVE this product. We put it in everything, always classic pattern. I really like the idea of using a design in a small space, though. Your inspiration photos are great examples. I would absolutely do herringbone in a home I would live in. If I ever get to updating my own home, that is! The investment properties always come first!

  20. My in laws have had diagonal hardwoods in their kitchen for 10 years and I really do not care for it. As a buyer, it might prevent me from purchasing, because I would feel terrible tearing out new flooring! For a flip, traditional is the way to go!

  21. The classic pattern is “classic” for a reason – it will never look dated or trendy… Especially with flooring, something that is not as easily replaced as paint color, etc… I vote classic! :)

  22. Perfect timing! Remodeling our master bath and have been researching this type of product for flooring. Love the herringbone!

  23. Okgosh, I did the same thing, I wanted the engineered wood but I was pitting it in bathrooms and bedrooms and everyone said no in bathrooms so I did vinyl and regret it. It looks great but when you walk on it, it sounds like cheapo vinyl and I really don’t like it, I’ve covered it in area rugs which helps but I don’t like it! Sorry…

    • I know this is an old thread but decided to chime in anyway. Sorry you have had a negative experience. We had luxury vinyl planks layed in our living, dining and laundry rooms and foyer as well and love it. It is quiet to us. No regrets.

  24. The diagonal and herringbone design are interesting, but you will not make any extra money to offset the extra work you will be putting in. And, I think it could be a turnoff to potential buyers. I do like the idea of doing the laundry room in herringbone for a bit of fun.

  25. Our kitchen is has a hardwood floor on the diagonal and it looks fantastic!! We get tons of compliments on it and we would do it again in a heartbeat. Not as “busy” as a herringbone and gives a lot of interest in a subtle manner. Someone commented that wood floors on the diagonal looks “dated”, umm no way. It looks really looks classic and adds depth and interest. Just look at the beautiful pictures you posted with the diagonal floors.

  26. I love, love, love the herringbone flooring and think it would be a huge selling point to distinguish your property from other similar properties for sale, BUT I know that install for herringbone can be very expensive. Same with diagonal, but I don’t like diagonal floors as I think it looks too trendy.

    You have to know your buying market in the area and if the juice is worth the squeeze.

    As for the classic installation, that has it’s purpose besides efficiency. In some cases, even in the pics in your post, the flooring actually draws your eye towards a feature in the room (i.e. doorway, window, arch). But I think with this, it’s important to choose the right flooring for movement. Imagine the same pictures with carpeting! Horrible, right?

    Just my thoughts…

  27. Stunning – I move shortly so this is really helpful. Thank you!!

    Rachael xox

  28. I personally love the the wider boards that have a straight pattern. I use to like the lighter woods but I much prefer the darker woods now.

    Great photos offering great ideas. Thanks!

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