Design Trends 2022 - Herringbone and Chevron Patterns in Kitchen Backsplashes? You don’t say!

Design Trends 2022 - Herringbone and Chevron Patterns in Kitchen Backsplashes? You don’t say!

Sharron Martens
January 25, 2022


According to Maria Conti in a blog on HGTV, “Herringbone is having a moment, guys”, but then she goes on to humorously explain it may not be herringbone after all but the chevron tile design! We have found many people are confused between the two sister designs and I do not blame you, as I was definitely more than slightly confused myself! So I decided it was time to research this topic and found a wealth of information for not only the difference between herringbone and chevron designs but some tips and tricks on how to use them to create that room that you will love each time you walk in.

Difference Between Herringbone and Chevron Designs

Herringbone and chevron designs were traditionally a mainstay of flooring designs; recently, we are seeing these trends transition into our kitchens and other aspects of our rooms in a way that maintains our traditional roots; however, provides an updated modern vibe.  In a blog by Fireclay Tile the author challenges us to use our imagination and try a “vibrant pop of color” such as blue and in the image we are providing you can see how they are so right! Absolutely gorgeous!!

Herringbone is identified as an extremely versatile pattern by. The Kitchen Stop who raves about its beauty and versatility as reasons why it has become a favorite among designers for kitchen backsplashes, bathroom accent walls, hardwood flooring and more. While the Chevron pattern is used in basically the same living areas, it’s difference can almost be described as a slight of the eye! The easiest way I have found to describe the difference between the two patterns is that, the herringbone pattern is an arrow figure that is disconnected while the Chevron pattern is a continuous arrow pattern.

 The graphic illustration below provides a side-by-side visual of the difference.


Maria Conti in a blog on HGTV provided one of the best descriptions I have found this far:


 “Herringbone is a pattern made up of equal-size, rectangular pieces, arranged in a staggered zig-zag pattern. The distinct characteristic of herringbone is that one rectangle is cut precisely so that the end of one plank or tile meets to the side of the other. This technique creates a beautiful, “broken” zig-zag design that makes for ultra-elegant flooring, masonry and tiling for the home”.


“Chevron is an inverted V pattern, with each side meeting at the point without interruption. The results are a seamless zig-zag pattern that is popular for backsplashes, bathroom tiling and bedding alike”.

7 Tips and Tricks to Using Herringbone and Chevron Designs

  1. How to achieve a herringbone design

The Kitchen Stop had a great description on how the herringbone design can be used either at a rotated 45 degree angle or parallel to the floor or wall to create two distinct looks by putting rectangular tile (such as subway tile) together at a right-angle.


  1. For a bit of drama make your stove hood center of attention

Sebring Design Model recommends making your stove hood the center of attention. To achieve, this they suggest “make sure the tile is pointing towards the hood.” While they use the illustration of herringbone, I believe the Chevron pattern would also achieve the same effect.

  1. Creating the Classic White Kitchen

Who doesn’t just love a classic white kitchen backsplash! To achieve this look, Fireclay Tile suggests using a simple white tile color and then choose a crisp white grout line. They say this technique works well in traditional, contemporary and modern designs.

  1. Want Contemporary?
  • Use a slightly cooler neutral, such as light grey and pair with white cabinets and stainless steel appliances to make the space look fresh and clean.


  • Or go exactly opposite and choose a dark moody color such as charcoal grey and pair it with a lighter grout line. The color will scream modern while the exaggerated grout line adds graphic appeal.


  • One more creative suggestion to create a contemporary kitchen backsplash is to flip the herringbone! Lay the tile vertically to automatically create a more contemporary vibe.

 (Fireclay Tile).

  • Chevron patterns are also a popular design when choosing contemporary and classic designs! This pattern can be used in virtually any room in your home to create interesting contrasts in feature walls and flooring.

The Kitchen Stop

  1. Want major impact in your kitchen?

Create a herringbone pattern using large format subway tiles. The bonus is you don’t need as much tile to cover your area!

(Fireclay Tile).


  1. Prefer a more traditional backsplash?

Try using the chevron pattern as it creates a more seamless line compared to the herringbone tile pattern. While it will provide that traditional look you crave you will still find it to be an up-to-date accent to your kitchen.


The Kitchen Stop

  1. Create the optical illusion of a higher ceiling or area

By using the chevron pattern, you will trick the eye into believing the space is larger than it actually is – this works not only for your backsplash areas but also for flooring (The Kitchen Stop).. An additional benefit of the chevron pattern according to Wood N Beyond is herringbone is more expensive to install so a consideration for those budget conscious consumers. In an effort to find out more, I spoke to our two resident experts in the field, Jan Pol and Jeff Martens (Executive Officers for Unique Versatile). They pass on that the installation costs for the two designs are more costly than a normal straight pattern due to the time involved creating the pattern.  In comparison; if you are wanting to spend the extra money on creating these intriguing designs, they advise that the costs are basically the same for installation. While the herringbone pattern takes more time planning and strategically placing the tile; the chevron design requires cutting each tile to fit unless you purchase the pre-cut chevron tile. Jan and Jeff counsel that if you want to save money, consider buying tile that already has the pattern design printed into the tile and save on installation costs. New laser technology has made almost anything you dream turn into reality.


No matter what design style you prefer, whether contemporary, traditional, country, or classic and more; herringbone and chevron patterns bring personality to your design and space. We hope you will be able to distinguish the difference between herringbone and chevron and will embrace these unique design options in many of your projects. As a matter of fact, with spring just around the corner (we hope), why not try out the herringbone or chevron patterns on your new patio deck, pergola flooring or around the swimming pool area. For ideas on outside 2cm porcelain paver designs check out our Youtube video.


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  • Sharron Martens
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