Is Hickory a Hardwood?

If you’re looking at hardwood flooring and hickory caught your eye, you may be wondering if it’s a hardwood. It certainly is…with emphasis on “hard”. It’s one of the hardest woods in the world.

Coswick Wide Plank Flooring Collection

All About Hickory

There are over ten different varieties of hickory wood – sand, black, shagbark, shellbark, red, mockernut, pecan, pignut, bitternut, pecan, and scrub. The species have many uses including flooring. Hickory is one of the most popular types of wood used for floors. Typically, hickory is simply defined as “hickory” and not by its species.

Hickory Characteristics

Hickory has many features that help to define it including:

Strength and Hardness

One of the most outstanding traits of hickory is its hardness which rates an 1820 on the Janka Scale. While an 1820 isn’t the hardest wood, it’s the dense structure of the wood combined with its hardness that makes it the fourth hardest wood hailing from North America.


Hickory has a grain structure that is open and can be irregular or wavy. Because of this structure, it absorbs water beyond what most other woods do which can cause it to warp or shrink. It is therefore not the best wood for flooring in homes that are in humid geographic locations or for rooms that are prone to flooding risks.


Hickory wood is usually golden or light brown in color with drain grain lines that run through it. When stained, it tends to be reddish brown or dark brown. Some hickory is a combination of light and dark coloration.

Hickory Flooring

Hickory makes gorgeous flooring due to its unique patterns and interesting coloration. It is durable too because of its hardness and strength. It is one of the sturdiest of all hardwood flooring choices.

Hickory trees grow very slowly so the flooring isn’t considered to be sustainable. But the fact that the floors practically last forever and rarely require maintenance makes up for the slow growth.

The look and feel of a hickory floor can be customized to please most any taste because of the wide variation of grades, colors, and textures. It is available in high polished fashions and in wire brushed rustic as well. Planks can be found in wide widths and thin widths too.

Hickory can be difficult to install so be sure to get a professional to help if you’re installing it. Cutting this wood prior to installation has been known to wear the cutting edges of cutting equipment because it’s so hard and strong. On the bright side, it does glue and stain well.

If you’re going with hickory wood flooring, be sure you love it. It tends to have a very long-life expectancy so you shouldn’t be switching it out anytime soon.

Amarosa Collection

Is Pine Flooring Right for Me?

If you’re considering purchasing pine flooring, it’s a good idea to consider your individual circumstances. If you’ll have a tremendous amount of foot traffic or have multiple pets or children who will be on it, you might not want to go with such a soft wood that will dent, scratch, and ding easily. For less traveled areas, pine is a very affordable choice.

If you live where the weather is humid or the room or rooms you are thinking of laying it in may flood from time to time, pine is not wise.

In the event that none of the circumstances connected with your home are on the list of disadvantages of pine, it very well be your new favorite flooring that will provide you with pleasure, beauty, and durability for years to come.

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