Ultimate Guide on Hickory Flooring

Publish Date

March 19, 2023

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Hardwood floors are not only becoming more valuable in the real estate market, but they are also becoming more integral to people’s happiness. If you are thinking about installing a hardwood floor, we recommend hickory flooring. You have all the information you need about hickory flooring in this article to decide if it is the best hardwood flooring for you or not.

Hickory flooring is popular for homeowners who like to add warmth and character to their homes. It is known for its durability, strength, and unique grain patterns that give it a rustic appeal. Hickory wood is an excellent option for high-traffic areas like hallways and living rooms because it resists scratches and dents as well. Additionally, hickory flooring comes in a variety of colors and finishes, from light blonde to dark brown, allowing homeowners to choose the perfect look.

Hickory flooring is being installed in a home

What is Hickory Flooring? 

Is hickory good for flooring? Hickory is a durable and dense hardwood that is well-suited for flooring. In addition, it has a distinctive pattern and natural color variations that can add character to any room. The wood species hickory is widespread throughout the United States. With a Janka rating of 1820, this type of wood is the second most demanding flooring option in the United States.

Hickory panels have a unique look because of how the wood grains, mineral streaks, knots, and shades of color look on each board. However, wider boards are usually preferred when it comes to floors because they better show off the different patterns.

Even though hickory flooring is more rigid than many other types of wood flooring, it is more likely to swell and is harder to install. Hence, installing hickory floors is more expensive than installing floors made of similar woods. However, hickory floors last longer than others because the wood is durable. Because of these qualities, hickory wood is prevalent for many home improvements, such as installing flooring, cabinets, and shelves.

Hickory Flooring Options

Like almost all other types of wood flooring, hickory can be bought as solid wood and engineered wood. Solid hardwood flooring is between 5/16 and 3/4 inches. It is made from solid pieces of hickory wood cut into different sizes. Engineered hickory flooring starts with a base of plywood.

A thin layer of natural hickory wood veneer is then put on top. It comes in thicknesses of between 3/8 inch and 1/2 inch. Unfortunately, the layer of hickory wood on top of the engineered flooring is so thin; that the boards can only be sanded and refinished one to three times.

Solid hardwood flooring can be refinished more than once before it needs to be replaced. It’s important to note that you can also get hickory laminate flooring, a photo of hickory wood stuck to a composite wood base. However, despite how natural-looking they appear to be, these laminate floors are not made of natural hickory.

Hickory Flooring Installation

Hickory flooring is widespread among homeowners who want an enduring, beautiful hardwood floor. Its distinctive pattern gives any space personality, and its inherent resistance to wear and tear makes it the perfect choice for high-traffic areas. To install hickory flooring, ensure the subfloor is clean, level, and dry. Then, lay down a moisture barrier and begin laying the boards in a staggered pattern, starting from the center of the room and working your way.

Hickory flooring can also be installed using the floating method, in which the planks are not fastened to the subfloor but snapped or glued together on top of the floor below. This method of installation is also applicable to engineered and laminate hickory flooring.

Installation is much easier, and the cost is lower as a result. However, the floors may sound more hollow and noisy. Also, it’s important to note that laminate flooring sometimes wears out faster than the other two options and can’t be fixed in the same way real wood floors can.

Engineered flooring can also be installed with nails, the same way that traditional solid hardwood floors are put down. Solid hardwood floors are hammered with nails and can only be installed over wood subflooring (it can glue to concrete subfloor). You first hammer nails through the tops of the first few rows of planks. Then, you hammer nails through the tongue of the boards and into the subfloor.

Living room with a wood floor installed

Hickory Flooring Grade

The first, second, and third grades of hickory wood show the wood’s flaws, marks, and color changes. People who care about the appearance of the flooring should think about using first-grade hickory. Then, choose something from the third grade if you want something with more bumps and rougher edges. The price will decrease as you move from the first to the third tier.

The look of Grade Three in a log cabin or other rustic building would be awe-inspiring. It’s important to remember that these grades can have different names from one provider to the other, even though the descriptions will stay the same.

Hickory Flooring Color

Hickory flooring is known for its natural color variations, ranging from creamy whites to dark browns. The color of hickory flooring can be further enhanced with finishing techniques to achieve the preferred look, making it a versatile choice for any interior design style. Also, hickory flooring can be stained for a darker or lighter shade.

The color palette could include anything from light beige to crimson. It is a distinctive and eye-catching flooring option for people who want to stand out from the more typical pine or oak floors because of the different colors. However, those who prefer a more normal appearance find this variety of colors to be distracting.

Remember that lighter boards will show scratches and marks more easily, so they might not be the best choice for places with a lot of foot traffic. Unfinished hickory boards can be stained to change color, just like other types of unfinished wood flooring.

Hickory Hardwood Flooring Costs

Even though hickory trees grow all over North America, they are less common than oak and maple as hardwood flooring materials. In addition, hickory costs a lot because it is used less than other woods. When the installation’s difficulty is considered, the total cost of hickory flooring may be high. Therefore, if you want to choose hickory with a limited budget, you might have to settle for a lower grade of wood.

The cost of hickory flooring can vary depending on factors such as the grade of the wood, the thickness of the planks, and the installation method. On average, hickory flooring can cost anywhere from $4 to $8 per square foot for materials alone. However, installation costs can add $2 to $5 per square foot, depending on the project’s complexity.

Benefits of Hickory Flooring

Hickory flooring is much more popular than other wood types because it has many advantages. Even though these benefits can be put into two main groups, it is common to consider them the most important when planning long-term home improvement.

First, hickory flooring is highly stable and can withstand heavy foot traffic, making it an excellent choice for high-traffic areas such as entryways and living rooms. Secondly, hickory flooring has a distinctive and lovely grain pattern that gives any space, nature, and warmth.


How hickory floors look might have been one of the first things that caught your eye about this wood. This wood is lighter in color and comes in several different forms, such as planks and laminates. Because this wood is lighter in color, it can make a room look brighter.

When you wax, natural light reflects with a soft, pleasant glow. This gives the space you’re working in an air of sophistication. Even after the floor has been stained or waxed, it will still look natural because the wood grain and knots are usually much darker than the rest.


We all know that every floor will eventually get scratches and dents. Furniture can scratch the surface, food and drinks spill, regular foot traffic will leave dirt or grime, and natural light can fade the color over time. Because it is so hard, hickory is resistant to scratches and other damage.

In addition, hickory flooring is more water-resistant after being waxed, and it is one of the few types of wood that holds stains well than most others.

Increase Homes Resale Value

Because natural hickory floors are usually more expensive than other types of wood flooring, like oak, installing them in your home could increase its resale value even more than a “regular” type of wood flooring. But hickory usually only appeals to certain people because of how it looks.

A few people like how it looks in its natural state, but those who do are very fond of it. Therefore, installing hickory flooring gives you the advantage in negotiations with a prospective buyer.

Easy to Maintain

People often complain that hardwood flooring is hard to clean and maintain. Conversely, hickory hardwood floors require less maintenance than other hardwood floors. You won’t have to worry about refinishing them very often, and hickory hardwood floors are easy to take care of because you only need to sweep, vacuum, or mop them once in a while. As a result, you can spend little on specialized products or professional care.


Consider hickory flooring if you’re looking for a long-lasting, good-looking material that won’t break the bank. You won’t have to pay the extra cost of importing wood, but you’ll still get all the benefits. Hickory is more expensive than oak regarding high-quality hardwood floors. Still, it’s a much better deal overall.

A wood floor is installed in a house

The Disadvantages of Hickory Floors

Just as there are advantages, there are also disadvantages. Many of these disadvantages fall on a case-by-case basis and may not apply to you. However, despite its durability and strength, hickory flooring has some disadvantages. One of the main drawbacks is its high cost compared to other hardwood options, and it can also be challenging to install due to its hardness. Some of the disadvantages are listed below for more clarification.

Aesthetic Conflicts

The same features that make hickory flooring look beautiful could also harm them in the long run. For example, when designing a rustic room, you can’t always use lighter wood to contrast with a darker English-style study or another room with a similar dark theme. The best course of action is to use wider boards if you don’t want it to appear that there is too much going on visually.

Sensitive to Moisture

Use a pinless wood moisture meter to ensure your hickory wood flooring doesn’t have too much moisture. This will help you avoid problems caused by too much moisture. Even though it is not as sensitive to moisture as other types of hardwood, hickory can warp, shrink, and bulge a lot.

As a result, setting up hickory flooring can take a while because the wood needs time to acclimate to its new location before installation can start. Because of this, hickory floors are not the best choice for rooms where the humidity changes a lot or where the floors will get wet a lot, like kitchens or bathrooms.

Wrapping up 

Despite the fact that hickory flooring is preferable to hardwood flooring and yet has many desirable qualities, it is frequently overlooked. Consider every aspect of your project to decide if this is the best option. Whether or not you should use hickory depends significantly on your budget for the project and whether you intend to perform the installation work yourself or hire a professional.

Hardwood flooring is being installed by a handyman

In conclusion, hickory flooring is an excellent choice for people looking for a stable and outstanding floor. Its unique grain patterns and color variations add essence to any space. While it may be more expensive than other hardwood options, its resistance to wear and tear make it a worthwhile investment.

Additionally, with proper maintenance, hickory flooring can last for decades, making it an eco-friendly choice for those looking to reduce their environmental impact. Finally, it is an excellent choice for high-traffic areas and can add a rustic charm to any home decor. Overall, hickory is an attractive option as flooring.


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