I often hear the groans from tilers when I mention laying tiles in the herringbone pattern. I wonder if the thought of it is worse than actually doing it, I think so. What makes me smile is they are always so pleased with the finished results. At the end of the day herringbone tiling does look fabulous, so the extra bit of effort is very much rewarded by the final results.
Herringbone can be confusing for those that aren’t tile geeks, like myself. It can also be muddled with ‘chevron’ tiling, so I’ll set the record straight; it’s all about the zigzag. A chevron tile will create a continuous zigzag and comes to a sharp point. Look for a ‘V’ in the tiles or a corner cut at an angle which will tell you if it’s a chevron. The cut angles fit together perfectly, forming that ‘V’ shape. ‘Herringbone’ on the other hand has a broken zigzag design. Instead of the pre-cut chevron, rectangular tiles are laid together to form a staggered zigzag pattern. The same ‘V’ shape is vaguely there, however the planks aren’t cut to fit.
When it comes to creating the herringbone look we are often asked which tiles are suitable for herringbone. The answer is: a lot! Basically any rectangular tile can create a herringbone tile pattern, providing the width of the tile is half (or less than half) of the length.
For a more delicate, smaller format herringbone, we offer herringbone tile mosaics. These are pre-laid out and fixed on to a meshed-backed sheet for ease of fixing. Both marble and glass herringbone mosaics are ideal for bathroom and kitchen splash back installations.
When laying the herringbone pattern the first tile needs to be positioned at a 45° angle so that the corner is right against the edge. Using this as a starting point and using tile spacers to ensure consistent grout joints, the pattern should fall nicely in to place. More cutting is required when laying this pattern to ensure the tiles fit neatly on all the edges.
Here are some of our favourite tile choices for laying in herringbone…
Whether using a traditional stone tile, zingy colours or a gorgeous glaze, herringbone is a versatile choice for creating a timeless surface, which is your favourite?