Six things to avoid when fitting an engineered herringbone floor

1. Allow the floor to acclimatise in the room for at least 24 hours prior to installation.  Most parquet floors are only suitable for using in rooms with a humidity of 45-65%.  Relative humidity so it is important to check suitability before you commence.  A lot of modern offices will have humidity of 30-40% RH so a herringbone floor would have to be specially kiln dried to around 6-7% moisture content in order to cope with such a dry environment.

Please note an engineered herringbone block will lose moisture far faster than an engineered long plank floor.

2. Don’t rely on a couple of measurements to centralise the first central run of blocks.

Any slight deviation of the angle will result in a visible taper at the perimeter walls.

Use a chalk line or laser line and take this through the doorways into every adjoining room.  That is to be installed as this is the only way to obtain a straight run of herringbone.
Herringbone Floor
3. Don’t try and install onto an uneven base.

Make sure that the floor you are laying onto is perfectly flat.  As the herringbones fit at right angles and are small sections, any deviation in the sub-floor will cause the blocks to start gapping.  The size of the  gaps will only become larger as more flooring is fitted.  Put a straight edge or long length of skirting board over the floor and check for gaps underneath.  A maximum permitted is 2 mm over a 2 m area so the straight edge must be 2 m or more.

Heavyweight herringbone blocks minimum 17mm thickness and minimum width 120mm can be successfully installed over a firm type wood floor underlay by simply gluing the tongues and groove with a PVA adhesive. Any deviations (hollows) can be filled with a latex screed if you are installing in this manner.

Once a V formation of left and right handed herringbones have been laid and the adhesive has cured the rest of the installation can continue.

4. Don’t start at one end as you will find that the blocks are starting to ‘run off’ when you get to the other end.   Start somewhere near the centre of the first run and then work up to the ends from this point. This sequence should continue until the width of the herringbone blocks reaches the walls at either side.

5. Don’t fit any of the herringbones tight up against anything that will prevent their natural expansion-  even fitting close up to a radiator pipe, threshold or architrave can have dire consequences further down the line.

6. Finally, make sure that you understand how to properly care and maintain the floor.  Especially if the herringbone is laid onto under-floor heating.  If the finish is hard wax oil, it is always a good idea to apply an initial coating of oil care or maintenance oil. As well as topping up the factory finish it will also give protection from moisture ingress at the many joints across the floor area.

For further information please see our TECHNICAL page.

For pictures of herringbone floors please see our Houzz site.