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The Pros & Cons of Hickory Flooring: Durability, Maintenance, & FAQ

Hickory wood flooring

Hardwood flooring has several significant benefits, which is why it’s not surprising that it’s a favorite among many homeowners. It’s durable and warm, and it also looks good. But when picking the right flooring for your house, you need to consider your needs, the aesthetics you want, and how long you want it to last.

Hickory wood flooring is a popular choice with most homeowners because it gives the house a more natural feel. Curious about why you should pick it? Don’t stress. We’ll walk through the pros and cons of getting hickory floors.

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Why Is Hickory Hardwood Flooring Ideal?

You cannot do better than hickory when it comes to hardwood flooring. It’s one of the most durable wood floorings on the market, and since it’s not hard to come by, you can find hickory wood panels easily.

Although there are several cons to installing this type of hardwood floor, it’s worth it. Most of these cons are not specific to hickory and are common to most hardwood floors.

Hickory Flooring Pros and Cons

Wood flooring made of hickory wood
Image By: Loadmaster, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 3.0 Unported

Advantages of Hickory Wood Flooring

Hickory wood has gained much popularity in the last few years, as it has many benefits compared to other wood floors. They include:

  • Durability
  • Aesthetics
  • Increase in resale value
  • Harder than oak
  • Cheaper than exotic wood
  • Does well in all climates
  • Stains well

1. It’s Durable and Needs Minimal Maintenance

Hickory flooring is very durable, which is its most impressive quality. It can last for several decades if it’s well taken care of and this reduces repair and reinstallation costs. Since it’s durable, it requires very minimal cleaning. The maintenance basics with this flooring are polishing, wiping, and ensuring it always stays dry.

Due to its durability, hickory flooring also does well in climates where other wood floorings wouldn’t last. Additionally, it’s ideal for people with pets since it’s easy to clean.

laminate flooring
Image By: Lubo Ivanko, Shutterstock

2. Aesthetics

Hickory wood floors attract many people because they look really good. Their lighter shade brightens a room and makes it look warm and welcoming. They also reflect natural light with a warm and soft glow, giving the room an air of elegance. The wood grains and knots are darker than the rest of the wood, giving the floor a very natural look.

3. Increases Home Resale Value

Authentic hickory wood flooring increases the value of your home significantly compared to other types of wood flooring. They are more expensive and look elegant, elevating the look and feel of the home. Those who know its value love it and know it doesn’t come cheap.

stacked engineered flooring planks
Image Credit: BILD LLC, Shutterstock

4. It’s Cheaper Than Exotic Hardwood

Hickory wood tends to be less expensive than most imported wood flooring. It’s also a little more expensive than oak wood flooring, making it a great choice. It’s one of the most affordable premium wood flooring available and with the best quality for its price.

5. Harder Than Oak

Hickory wood flooring 30% is harder than oak and scores 1820 on the Janka Hardness Scale. Its hardness makes it resistant to scratching and marring when you drag furniture on the surface.

Oak wood lumber drying in the sun
Image Credit: JumpStory

6. It Takes Stains and Finishes Well

Most people love hickory floors because they take stains and finish pretty well, unlike other wood floors. You can decide on any hue you like if you are not satisfied with the natural hickory hue.

7. Does Well in All Climates

Due to its durability and hardness, hickory wood does well in hot and humid areas. It’s also resistant to water damage, so you can use it on your deck in a humid area without fear of your floor warping. However, this does not mean it should be used in the bathroom.

wood divider Disadvantages of Hickory Wood Flooring

Although there are many benefits of installing hickory wood floors, there are some cons. They are:

  • High cost
  • Slow installation
  • Warping
  • Difficult for DIYers
  • Not eco-friendly
  • It does not suit all Aesthetics

1. Cost

One of the primary reasons most people don’t get hickory wood floors installed is the high cost of buying them. Although it’s cheaper than exotic wood floors such as mahogany, it’s still a bit expensive. Flooring the entire house with hickory wood can cost thousands of dollars.

The reason why it’s so expensive has to do with supply and demand. There is a bigger demand for hickory wood floors than supply.

wiping wooden floor with white cloth
Image Credit: Kelly Marken, Shutterstock

2. Slow Installation

Hickory wood floors require a high level of expertise to install and can’t be rushed, which makes installation a prolonged process. The wood needs to be adequately dried before installation to prevent swelling and contracting, which could result in warping.

3. DIYing Is Difficult

Unlike other types of flooring, installing hickory wood floors is relatively hard, and most people cannot do it without professional help. The hardness that makes it durable also makes it very hard to cut and sand. Staining the wood also takes longer than on other regular wood floors.

Balau wood panel used for floors and walls
Image Credit: JumpStory

4. Warping

If not correctly installed, hickory wood floors can warp, especially when they are not well-dried. To avoid warping, ensure the wood acclimates to the local conditions before installing it.

5. It May Not Suit All Aesthetics

Their unique appearance, while being the most significant advantage, can also be a great disadvantage. They have a light shade, which means scuff marks are apparent. Lighter shade floors don’t work in all houses and contrast with complex and darker English styles. They do well in houses with a simpler design without too many contrasting shades.

soundproofing floor
Image Credit: pundapanda, Shutterstock

6. Not Environmentally Friendly

Although most hickory wood flooring manufacturers practice sustainable farming, it’s not enough to ensure that the hickory tree population won’t get depleted. If conservation is a top priority for you, you might want to consider alternative options, such as pine.

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Before deciding on hickory wood floors, you need to ensure they are the right fit for you. If you don’t mind the price, hickory wood is an excellent flooring choice. Ensure you factor in your budget, installation, and the rooms you want to install hickory floors. Avoid installing them in rooms with too much water or near pools. However, they are great for living rooms and bedrooms.

Featured Image Credit: Edgar Lee Espe, Shutterstock


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