Hardwood Hickory Flooring

November 17, 2005
hickory flooring

Hardwood hickory flooring has a distinctive look that may complement your home decor. Whether you go with hickory wood plank, antique hickory, or a hickory manufactured wood flooring, you are in for a treat. Hickory hardwood flooring is durable and a good fit for your well-loved floors.

Top Reasons To Love Hickory Flooring

Are you just nuts about hickory? Using hardwood hickory flooring in your home is a beautiful and easy way to add warmth and character to your home. But choosing a flooring is not only about enhancing the feel and beauty of your home, is it? The floors in your home need to be able to withstand the test of time. Flooring in a home will be subject to foot traffic, furniture, and real life activity, especially if there are kids or pets regularly in your home. In addition to being beautiful, Hickory flooring, with its unique features, can address all these concerns and that too in the best way possible. Read further to find out more.

This beautiful wood flooring is a hard wood (Janka rating of 1820), which makes it extremely durable for daily wear and tear. If you are searching for a way to make your home look more rustic, then hickory hardwood flooring is a great choice for you. The beautiful tan to reddish colors looks great in any home, but most especially in homes that have more of a rustic country feel. It is increasingly being used in city homes to add a country touch to homes. It is becoming much more common for people to consider redoing their floor with hickory flooring when renovating their homes.

Some of the top reasons to really love Hardwood Hickory Wood Flooring Include:

  • Local: There are twelve species of Hickory grown in North America. Purchasing Hickory grown in the states not only supports American industry, but also reduces the carbon footprint of your home, as the wood doesn’t have to travel so far.
  • Hardness: Hickory is one of the very hardest of the hardwoods available for floors. It will resist dents, scratches and splitting much more so than even oak or maple.
  • Beauty: The look of natural hickory is unmatched. A country style of hickory will have some of the greatest variety in a single plank than many of the other styles. For a less knotty look more suitable to a modern or contemporary style home, a higher grade hickory will be a better fit. There is still a great color variety within high grade hickory flooring, ranging from lighter shades to a deep brownish-gold, all of which can be complimented by the right stain.

Hickory: A Local Hardwood

Hickory wood plank flooring is manufactured mainly in North America. This means, when you select hickory wood to use in your flooring, you can be supporting American businesses; from the logging company through the manufacture and production stages, and all the way to the store from which you are purchasing, in many cases.

Owing to its hardness and durability, this wood finds application in areas other than flooring too. Hickory wood is used for veneers, cabinets, furniture, and even baseball bats and skis! Due to the high shock resistance value of this wood, it is excellent for items like ax handles, baseball bats, and golf clubs. It has been used for centuries for all different kinds of uses and it is even used for cooking. If you need a wood that will be extremely durable and will last through years of daily use, then hickory hardwood flooring is an excellent choice for you.

Hickory: The Most Durable Hardwood Flooring Option

Hickory is one of the hardest woods available for wood flooring. The hardness of hickory means it is resistant to scratches and dents, but also water damage! While no wood is going to be completely waterproof, hickory is naturally more resistant to water damage and, with the right sealant, is a great choice throughout a home, even in the kitchen. Additionally, this makes it a wonderful choice for use in any room, but especially in rooms that see a lot of traffic like the kitchen. The kitchen is also where pots, pans, and other cooking utensils may be dropped on the floors and this flooring can withstand this use. Another unique advantage of using hickory wood in the kitchen is that, due to the fact that it will not absorb the water and warp the way softer woods may, you can easily mop the floor.

The hardness of hickory wood makes it an excellent choice for any room in the home that sees a lot of traffic. It will not be easily worn or damaged by lots of use, or even daily life with children or pets. One thing to keep in mind is that due to its dark color and gradation of appearance, dirt and staining may be less visible on hickory wood floors. This is a huge benefit to those of us who don’t want to spend all of our time worried about keeping our wood floors looking spotless!

A family room is another great place for hickory floors. Many flooring options don’t stand up well to the constant mistreatment of daily life, especially life with rambunctious young children or pets! However, hickory when used as flooring can stand up to all kinds of wear and tear and still look beautiful. I have also seen hickory hardwood used for the flooring of gyms, offices, and meeting halls that typically witnesses a lot of physical activities. Hickory flooring has the capacity to stand up to a lot of life. It also offers sufficient grip for the user so there is no fear of slipping. Also, it takes away any need to sand the floor for extra gripping.

Due to the hardness of hickory wood, one negative is that is can be difficult to work with hand tools to install. It may also be difficult to sand due to the density fo this species of wood. Hickory wood is more than 40% harder than red oak, which is the most commonly used wood in hardwood flooring. Because of the toughness of the wood, you may want to consider prefinished hickory wood for your floors and hire a professional installer.

The Unmistakable Beauty Of Hickory Wood Flooring

Perhaps the greatest selling point of hickory wood flooring is the beauty. Hickory embodies a rustic, country style appeal and warmth that is very unique to this species of wood. Wide planks especially show the great variety in coloration in this wood, from dark golden brown to very light in color. The knottiness of the wood is part of the charm of this flooring, but if you’re looking for wood that has less of these natural imperfections, a higher grade will have fewer knots than a “country grade” hickory.

Log cabin builders especially love hickory hardwood flooring. The color of the hickory floors complement pine log walls beautifully and the rustic look of the flooring gives the cabins an old world feel that consumers love! The look of antique hickory flooring gives great character and warmth to any home, but it gives log cabins a character of their very own that you will love. Also, they absorb very little moisture and hence you will never have that stale smell that is common in cabin houses. They are easy to clean and the maintenance costs are so less that they are almost negligible.

Due to the beautiful colors and strength of hickory, it’s not uncommon to see antique furniture, skis, golf clubs and walking canes made of hickory that become collectibles. The lasting power of this species of wood makes it a beautiful choice for hardwood flooring that will stand the test of time in a home.

Hickory Wood Flooring In The Home

As with most species of hardwood used for flooring, you have several options when selecting the flooring planks when you shop for hickory wood flooring for your home. The planks are available as manufactured wood flooring or solid wood flooring, in a variety of widths for the planks, and in a variety of stains, meaning you can customize your hickory wood flooring to fit your desired style.

Manufactured Vs. Solid Hickory Wood Flooring

The main thing that gets misunderstood about manufactured v solid wood flooring is that even manufactured wood flooring uses actual hickory wood. This is not a “manufactured” plank meaning the flooring planks made of a non-wood material, unlike a laminate option. Laminate flooring can be designed to look like hickory wood-and this is a perfectly viable choice for those looking for the style of hickory but not wanting actual wood floors. Here’s an example of laminate flooring designed to look like hickory, but not actually made of hickory wood.

However, if you are looking for hickory wood flooring made from real hickory, manufactured plank flooring is created from actual hickory. Unlike solid hickory wood flooring, however, the manufactured plank wood floors are made from a wood composite for the bottom layers of the plank, and then covered with a few layers of hickory. This does save on the cost, but there are also some other benefits to using manufactured hickory wood flooring over solid hickory planks.

  • Easier to Install: hickory is an incredibly hard wood, meaning it can be very difficult to nail down! A manufactured plank is significantly easier to install, though I still recommend a professional install for engineered hickory planks, because even though only the top layers of the plank are made of hickory, it is still tougher to install.
  • More Environmental Friendly: using a manufactured wood floor means that the majority of the plank is made from a wood composite, often made from recycled wood.
  • Less Expensive: due to using less hickory wood and more of a recycled wood composite, the cost per foot of the flooring is significantly less.

Some of the concerns people have about using manufactured wood flooring is that it might not be able to be refinished. However, almost all manufactured wood planks can be sanded and re-stained at least once, and possibly more, depending on the manufacturer and the layers of hickory on the top layer of the flooring. Additionally, if you are installing hickory flooring where there is a lot of humidity, you may want to consider manufactured or engineered hickory planks over solid as the bottom layers are designed to resist expansion and contraction more so than the solid planks will.

Plank Width Of Hickory Wood Flooring

Variety of plank width has a significant impact on the overall design and look of the floors. Traditionally, wider plank floors give a more rustic look, as opposed to narrow boards. However, more and more contemporary and modern home designers are choosing wider floor planks and pairing this look with contemporary wall colors and furniture. The wider planks are certainly trending upward these days! When using hickory hardwood floors, the wider the plank used, the greater the color variety and imperfections will be shown in each board, allowing for more depth and dimension in the look of the floor. One thing you will want to consider, especially when choosing a wider style plank, is that the variety in coloration of hickory may mean it is harder to match a replacement board in the future, if ever a replacement patch is needed.

Wood Staining And Sealing Of Hickory Wood Flooring

As with other hardwoods, hickory will need to be sealed and then, in future years, re-sealed. How often hickory will need to be re-sealed will depend on a variety of factors, including the amount of use and traffic on the floors and the type of sealant used. Typically, you will want to simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the sealant.

As far as the stain choices are concerned, because hickory has a great color variety within the wood naturally, choosing a complementary stain is really very simple. If you have a lot of natural light, a darker stain can really bring out the richness of hickory. If you are looking for a more rustic look, you can simply leave the hickory natural and only apply sealant. And all of the staining options in between are open to you! I typically shy away from the orange-er hues with hickory, as paired with the naturally golden tones of the hickory flooring may result in a significantly more orange final appearance for your floor than you may be anticipating. Stick with the browner tones to bring out the natural beauty of the hickory wood.

Stains are available at all big box retailers, including Amazon, in a range of colors. Always test out the stain on the actual wood flooring in your home, as not only do the wood and stain themselves make a difference in the final appearance, but the lighting in your home will make a huge difference and you want to be sure you are happy with the look once it is in the home.

Hickory manufactured wood flooring is a great choice for any home, but if you are looking for a floor that will give your home that country feel then hickory is the wood for you. The hardness of this wood will make it able to withstand anything that you can throw or drop on it and it is easy to clean and take care of. The beautiful color variations from tan to red make it a unique and beautiful choice for any home, not to mention the vintage look it can bring about.

If you are nuts about the color and durability of hickory wood in other products, then why not try installing hickory flooring in your home? It’s a unique and warm choice that I strongly suspect you will never regret!

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