Hickory flooring is a popular choice for people who like the look of natural hardwood, but want something that's durable, isn't too dark and isn't very high-priced.
It's a domestic hardwood that has one of the hardest Janka ratings among domestic woods at 1820.
Very often, we'll hear from people who owned their home for a couple of decades and they're just now talking about replacing a hickory floor that was there when they moved in with something identical because they liked how long it lasted.
Like most flooring, hickory hardwood does have its pros and cons, but we think the pros outnumber the cons.
Pros of Hickory Flooring
It's Not as Expensive as Exotic or Rare Hardwoods
Hickory hardwood is one of the most popular hardwood flooring options for people who are looking for a bargain on a hardwood floor.
Buyers get all the benefits of hardwood without paying the high prices associated with imported hardwood.
Hickory Flooring is Sturdy and Durable
Hickory is one of the hardest woods grown in the United States, making it suitable for any application that requires durability.
If you get a lot of traffic in the area of your home where you want to install new flooring, hickory is a good pick because it's one of the harder and more durable woods.
Its density makes it resistant to normal wear and tear that can show up as scratches and dents in the wood.
Hickory Flooring Does Relatively Well in Climates That Can Be Hard on Hardwood
If you live in a humid climate, hardwood can be prone to warping even when you try to keep it as dry as possible.
Hickory flooring is more stable than some woods like maple and red oak, so it won't warp as quickly in humid climates if you take good care of it.
Hickory Flooring Accepts Wood Stains Well
Hickory hardwood is actually one of the easiest woods to apply wood stains to while installing it.
This can enhance the look of the wood without having to put a lot of extra effort into it.
Hickory Flooring Can Lighten Up an Otherwise Dark Room
If a room is not very well-lit or has a dark color scheme, a light-colored flooring option like hickory can make it seem brighter.
It's also a popular option for people who prefer a light color scheme with not a lot of contrast between their floor and the rest of the room.
Many buyers like hickory because the color provides warmth without being very dark.
Cons Of Hickory Flooring
Hickory Flooring Can Be Difficult to Install
The same qualities that make hickory flooring resistant to wear and tear also means that hickory poses challenges for the installers.
The high density can make it difficult for installers to cut off the lengths they need to finish the job.
You need a set of woodworking tools and saws for cutting hickory.
For this reason, hiring a professional who has experience with installing hickory hardwood floors is usually recommended.
Hickory May Not Be the Best Pick if You Want a Bold Color for Your Floor
Many home designers will recommend installing a floor with dark and bold colors if the room has a large window that can let a lot of sunlight in, has a light color scheme, or you prefer a more rustic look.
This is where it becomes a matter of personal style.
A lot of people who are redecorating a room and expect a lot of foot traffic in that room may prefer to repaint the walls a darker color rather than choose a darker wood that might not be as durable as hickory.
Real Hickory Natural Hardwood Isn't the Cheapest Option Available
While hickory is a good hardwood if you want natural wood that gives you a good value for the money, you can still get the hickory look for less money if you choose engineered hardwood or laminate.
These options might not fool an expert who knows what to look for, but they're usually less expensive than hardwood.
Is hickory the right pick for your new floor?
We like it as a natural hardwood that provides a good value for the money, can last a long time even in the high traffic area of a home with kids and large pets, and brings a light yet warm color to the room it's installed in.
Hickory is a domestic wood, so it's not going to be as high-priced as most rare exotics, but don't let that fool you if you're looking for an affordable hardwood that's durable and looks good in your home.