Hickory flooring is a favorite choice for hardwood flooring. It has many attributes that makes it so beloved including the fact that it is one of the most durable wood floor materials on the market. But, there are some important things to consider before you nail it down as your option.
Hickory Hardwood Floors
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History of Hickory
Hickory trees are believed to date back approximately 50 million years, making them one of the first trees in the ancient world. They are in the Carya family. There are eighteen species, six common to China, a few indigenous to Mexico and Canada, and around a dozen are native to the United States. There are two kinds of hickory trees – They can take up to 10-15 years to reach maturity and to bear nuts.
Hickory trees were the subject of a travel book by William Bartram in 1792. He wrote about the shagbark variety that was bountiful among the Native American dwelling spots in Georgia.
Hickory has earned a spot in America’s most treasured woods. It is used for furniture, building structures, and wood flooring too.
Benefits of Hickory Flooring
Hickory has a ton of benefits including:
- Built Tough: Hickory is the second hardest type of commonly used wood flooring. It has a Janka rating of 1820. It will take a beating and come out fine.
- Durable: Hickory flooring is known for its longevity. That is one of the reasons it is a top choice among homeowners and realtors alike. It resists marring better than most flooring. Perhaps it’s because it practically lasts forever that hickory is a leading universal choice.
- Character: Wood grains, color variations, knots, and mineral streaks are plentiful in hickory boards. If you love character in wood, hickory flooring is the cream of the crop. Consider using wider then standard boards to maximize the look and feel of this showy wood.
- Aesthetics: Hickory is light which makes it ideal for blending with all decors. It makes a room look larger too. It can be waxed to glean a light, glowing appeal. It can also be stained to accent its attributes. The knots and other characteristics tend to contrast more starkly than many other woods, making it a fabulous choice for those who want their wood flooring to be noticed and after all…who doesn’t?
- Stylish and Classy: Hickory is known for being whatever you want it to be. It is extremely stylish and is always in fashion, no matter why type of wood is trending. It is a class act, even when used in a rustic setting.
Drawbacks of Hickory Flooring
If you are considering hickory hardwood flooring, be in the know. There are some cons that come with choosing hickory flooring including:
- Price: Hickory is on the upper end of wood flooring, price wise. It is appreciated as one of the nicer of woods and is priced accordingly. Since it is very hard, it isn’t as easy to install as some other alternatives which drives the price up with installation as a general rule.
- Buckling and Swelling: Even though hickory flooring is hard, it is prone to swelling and therefore, buckling. For these reasons, it isn’t easy to work with so you will most likely want to hire a professional who is seasoned in hickory floor installation.
Types of Hickory Flooring
There are three basic types of hickory flooring. Solid hickory is the most authentic and also the most expensive. It generally runs about ¾” thick. Finishes include standard smooth, hand scraped, and wire brushed.
If solid hickory is not within your budget, you can go down a notch and opt for a pressed, thinner version. You will sacrifice the high quality of solid but it’s a nice look and much less expensive.
Hickory laminate is another option if you can’t afford solid. It is certainly not in the same caliber as solid, but it is nice as far as laminate goes.
Sealing the Deal
If hickory is your pick of wood floor types, don’t cut corners. Purchase your flooring from a trustworthy dealer who delivers top quality. You’ll also want a skilled craftsman to install it. If you have considered the few cons and are alright with them, hickory flooring is a wonderful choice you’ll not likely regret.