The Ultimate Guide to Hickory Hardwood Flooring
Have you ever wondered which wood floor you should choose? You could be missing out on the best option for your home or project if you haven’t considered hickory hardwood flooring.
There are a lot of reasons for putting hickory hardwood floors at the top of your wood floor list.
If you’re curious about why hickory is one of the best flooring options, then you should keep reading, and stay tuned because we are also going to talk about why hickory might not be for you.
Why You Should Use Hickory Flooring
Let’s talk about 4 reasons why hickory floors are the right floors for you:
- Hickory is durable
- Hickory is easy to maintain
- Hickory stains well and looks charming
- Hickory is less expensive than exotic hardwoods
1. Hickory is Extremely Durable
Hickory’s durability is one of the best reasons why it’s the hardwood choice for you. Naturally, hardwood takes a lot of beatings. Furniture, heavy foot traffic, pets, kids, dirt, food, and drink are all potential causes for damage.
Because hickory scores 1820 on the Janka hardness scale—making it the second hardest flooring type in the US—its durability is nearly unmatched.
If you have a busy home and know that your wood floor might suffer, hickory is a great option for achieving that hardwood look without constantly worrying about whether or not you are wrecking your floors.
2. Hickory is Easy to Maintain
One of the most common qualms about any type of flooring is that it can be a pain to keep up. With hickory hardwood floors, however, maintenance doesn’t have to be at the forefront of your mind.
You don’t have to worry about refinishing often, and caring for hickory hardwood floors is inexpensive and easy, simply requiring occasional sweeping, vacuuming, or mopping. No need to pay a lot for special products or professional care.
3. Hickory Stains Well and Looks Charming
Unlike other hardwoods, hickory stains and finishes beautifully, and it holds the stain well. Even if you don’t like the natural light shade of hickory, you can stain and wax it until you achieve the look that you want.
Overall, hickory has a very charming appeal. Its distinctive grain and prominent knots give a rustic look that warms up a modern space or complements a rustic one. Generally, the unique grain pattern of hickory also gives an air of sophistication and elegance, meaning that hickory floors typically increase your home’s resale value.
4. Hickory is Less Expensive than Exotic Hardwoods
While some other wood floor options are less expensive, with hickory you’ll receive the durability and aesthetic value you might be looking for without having to pay for imported woods.
When it comes to premium hardwood flooring, hickory is only slightly more expensive than oak, and ultimately, is a great bang for your buck.
Why You Shouldn’t Use Hickory Floors
While there are a lot of pros to hickory floors, there are also a few cons. In fact, many of the things that make hickory great are also some of the factors that might make hickory a not-so-great choice for you.
Some questions to ask if you think hickory isn’t the wood floor for you are:
- Is hickory’s grain pattern too distinct?
- Why is hickory flooring hard to install?
- Is hickory sensitive to moisture?
1. Is Hickory’s Grain Pattern too Distinct?
Hickory’s grain is one of the reasons people love hickory, but it’s also a reason why hickory might not be the right choice for you.
Hickory’s grain pattern is active and busy, and the color difference between the knots and other parts of a hickory board can be dramatic.
If you are looking for a clean, modern look, then hickory probably isn’t the best choice for you.
2. Why is Hickory Flooring Hard to Install?
Hickory’s durability is practically unmatched, but because hickory is such a hard and durable wood, it can be difficult to cut and install.
If you prefer to lay your floors yourself, it is possible to buy hickory boards that are pre-finished, removing the need for you to stain or cut the boards yourself. However, this option will be more expensive.
Because hickory is difficult to install yourself, you may have to seek out professional help whenever you need to replace any boards.
3. Is Hickory Sensitive to Moisture?
While not as sensitive to moisture as other hardwoods, hickory is still prone to warping and dramatic shrinking and swelling.
Because of this, installing hickory floors is often slow, as the wood must be properly acclimated to the site before installation.
This also means that hickory floors might not be best in areas where the humidity changes dramatically or where the floors might often get wet, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
Ultimately, to avoid any moisture issues both during installation and after, it is important to have a pinless moisture meter that won’t damage your floors but will still give you the information you need. Wagner Meter’s Orion® Pinless Wood Moisture Meter is a great option.
Is Hickory Good for Flooring?
Yes, hickory scores 1820 on the Janka hardness scale—making it the second hardest wood flooring in the US. Its durability is nearly unmatched. Hickory is very resilient and hard to scratch. Also, hickory is easy to maintain, offers unique colors, and is less expensive than exotic woods.
Hickory is Just One of Several Options
If hickory sounds like a great floor for you, then go for it! There are many pros that make hickory an excellent choice for many spaces.
If hickory isn’t for you, not to worry. Hickory is just one of many flooring options. If you want to explore more options, check out our article about the top 10 flooring choices.
Whatever hardwood floor option you chose, make sure you are using a Wagner Pinless Moisture Meter to keep your floors safe from moisture and looking beautiful.
Jason Wright, Business Development Specialist for New Products, joined Wagner Meters in 2019. He comes to Wagner with over 35 years of experience in the flooring industry.