Hickory Wood Floors: Cost, Pros and Cons

You should know how lucky you are to have hickory wood floors. It’s a popular floor among many hardwood flooring because of its durability and affordable maintenance. Whether you have it on your patio or for your living room, you won’t be disappointed with the quality it gives.

This wood is from the walnut tree family. Hickory wood is only found naturally in eastern North America and East Asia nowadays.

Hickory wood is a very hard, strong, and durable wood appropriate for processing as tool components and flooring.

It is, however, less ideal for placing on underfloor heating since it periodically cracks. Beautiful veining with different tones of dark and lighter components.

Hickory is a popular wood throughout the United States. This wood is regarded as the second-hardest floor type in the country, with a Janka rating of 1820.

Hickory boards are well-known for their unique wood grains, mineral streaks and knots, and the wide range of hues seen within a single plank. Wider planks are often favored for floors since they show off patterns better.

And if you’ve been considering having a hickory floor, you should continue reading to see if you know everything you need about having a hickory floor. You will understand the pros and cons of the floor and how to keep it affordable.

Hickory Wood floor Characteristic

Hickory is a distinctive and exclusive parquet floor, possibly already familiar with saloons and western bars. It is similar to walnut parquet since it is from the walnut family.

More than 20 species are currently found in North America, with only four being commercially exploited. The pecan nut and the mocking nut are the most well-known species.

The trunk, which can reach a height of 30 m, is normally straight and spherical, with a diameter of 0.6 to 1 m. Hickory is commonly used to manufacture tool handles such as hammers, axes, and bows. It is well-known for its extremely strong, resilient, and long-lasting wood.

Hickory has a Brinell hardness range of 39-44 N/mm2 and a flexural strength range of 117-135 N/mm2. Furthermore, it has an average bulk density of 800 kg/m3 at 12% wood moisture content. The radial shrinkage is 7.4%, and the tangential shrinkage is 10.8%.

Despite its striking color contrast, generated by the alternation of dark heartwood and relatively pale sapwood, hickory parquet is not a fashion statement. Unfortunately, it is not frequently encountered.

However, because of this lovely contrast, the space appears to be quite warm and alive. Because of its versatility, the parquet may match nearly any wall color and furniture.

Hickory Flooring Appearance, Colors, And Finishes

The difference in color between untreated and treated hickory is significant. It varies in color from dark brown heartwood to creamy white sapwood.

Because hickory is recognized for its stain resistance, most manufacturers provide pre-stained hickory floors. This enables you to select from a wide range of colors and designs while lowering the contrast colors of untreated surfaces.

In terms of aesthetics, the photographic element of laminate offers the most artistic ability due to how it is created; many hickory laminates have a characterfully painted and aged look.

Most solid and engineered hickory floors have traditional or rustic textured surfaces with varied color depths ranging from light caramel tones, common gray or greige tones, to deeper coffee and chocolate tones.

All high-quality hickory floors are coated with a clear finishing sealant, often polyurethane, To protect against everyday risks like spills and filth.

The most crucial characteristic of hickory floors’ overall appearance is that they have a clear, fairly deep grain that is more visible than maple floors but not as strong as oak.

The rich grain lends hickory its wonderful character, but if you use narrow planks, it can look cluttered.

Hickory floors pros and cons

Before coming to conclusions, knowing¬†the pros and cons of hickory wood flooring and understanding the wood’s characteristics will assist you in selecting the ideal wood floor for your home.

Advantages Of A Hickory Floor                                                                

Hickory has many advantages that make it more popular than other woods. The main advantage of using the hickory wood floor is that it is sturdy. Hickory’s high durability is kin to oak without the expense.

If you have many people in the house with kids and family members or even run your business at home, having a hickory floor is a perfect choice. You can save the cost without sacrificing the quality.

This wood type also has numerous types of grains and patterns. So you can choose the ones you like or fit your budget best.


As previously stated, hickory’s best qualities are its durability and versatility. As a result, it is an excellent alternative for busy families.

Resistant to Water and Mold

While hickory isn’t recognized for its mold or water resistance, many alternatives exist. If you have rooms below the level (i.e., in the basement), choose engineered hickory that is solid or built for installs from above.

If you are concerned about moisture and decay in the area, we do not recommend hickory.

Aesthetics and Style

Hickory’s great aesthetic appeal may have drawn you to it. This wood is available in various options, including planks and laminates. It is lighter in hue and can help to brighten up a room.

When waxed, natural light is reflected with a warm, mellow glow, giving a touch of refinement to your area.

In terms of aesthetics, hickory is a versatile wood that works well with casual, rustic farmhouse decor and more formal, textured interior designs. Hickory flooring is available in various styles, finishes, and colors. This is a significant benefit.

Low maintenance and easy cleaning

Once properly sealed, hickory flooring is generally easy to maintain. Regularly sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping should be sufficient.

To maintain your solid hickory floor looking its best, consider refinishing it every 5 years, as you should with all hardwood floors. Choose a hickory composite floor with the thickest wear layer that can be refinished at least once.


Floors will be abused, which is often neglected. Furniture will scratch the surface, food and drink will spill, foot traffic will add dirt or muck, and natural light will fade the surface over time. Hickory’s hardness makes it particularly resistant to marring.

Friendliness Hickory has one advantage: it is cultivated and manufactured in the United States. This makes it a more environmentally friendly option than exotic hardwoods.

Check for FSC certification to ensure your hickory comes from a responsibly produced plantation.

Disadvantages Of Hickory Floors

Anyhow, hickory isn’t perfect. It also has some flaws, such as a chronic case of warping. Your hickory floor may be suddenly shrinking or swelling when you least notice it.

Hickory is also unfavorable when you are in a hurry. You have to acclimate them first before the installation to prevent any problems. The wood is also famous for being at odds with moisture.

These drawbacks are often case-by-case, so they may not apply to you.


Hickory wood tones are quite variable in their natural form or with only a light stain or clear finish, with a great contrast between the heartwood and sapwood; this can provide a lovely rustic feel but is not to everyone’s taste.

Stained hickory flooring, on the other hand, often eliminates this possible disadvantage by harmonizing the opposing tones. Also, as previously said, the rich grain in hickory can make a floor appear too crowded if you use thinner boards; avoid this by using broader 5-inch-plus planks.


Although hickory hardwood floors are not the most expensive on the market, their hardness and density mean that you are more likely to choose a ready-made product and hire a professional for installation, lowering the overall cost of hickory floor installation.

While it is possible to install hickory flooring yourself, hiring a professional is more cost-effective.

Not For DIYers

Because hickory is a hardwood, cutting and sanding will be challenging. Due to the density of the wood, water popping is required to open it for staining. A wood conditioner is also required for an even stain, although the stain will last longer than on other hardwoods.

It is possible to purchase pre-engineered and even pre-finished boards. This method, however, is more expensive and requires you to stain and cut the planks yourself.

Because hickory floors are tough to install and replace, consider them a semi-permanent option and make an informed decision before committing time and money.


It takes time to install hardwood floors. If not properly cured, wood will expand and contract more than other woods. Allow the wood to acclimate to the local conditions a few days before installation to avoid these issues.

How to clean and maintain a hickory wood floor

Thankfully, hickory is practically easy to clean. But it still depends on what type of finish you have. As you know, a bad finishing job can cost you the floor. Still, you don’t have to worry because hickory is one of the hardest types of wood in the US.

It’s also primarily scratch-resistant. You can easily sweep, mop, and vacuum on a hickory floor. And if you choose the right grain pattern and texture, you can use it to your advantage.

You may not need to stain the floor and only have it finished to showcase the pattern. Call a professional when a sudden temperature change affects your hickory wood floors.

The cost of using hickory wood

Hickory is one of the most affordable hardwoods to have. You may only need to pay up to $8 per square foot, excluding the installation cost.

Of course, you must consider the method and the type of grain you choose. Remember, hickory has a wide range of grain patterns. If you aim for a unique pattern, you may have to pay more than the estimate.

You must also specify how long you must wait for the installation to be completed. Ensure that you will pay for the staining and finishing as well.

Even with all those costs combined, you still see how hickory wood floors are far more affordable than walnut or rosewood.

Hickory wood flooring alternative

The wood comes up second as the hardest hardwood in the US. On the Janka hardness scale, it scores 1820. Many families also testified how durable it is. Here are your alternatives if you want to appear to have a hickory floor.


This option is much more affordable and highly popular since you can install it yourself. You also can have it in a hurry, and it’s good against moisture. Lamination is also perfect for small apartments where it’s impossible to do a complete floor overhaul.

Vinyl floor

You can choose the regular vinyl or the engineered vinyl planks as an alternative. Both refer to different production methods. Engineered vinyl may cost a bit more, but it’s waterproof.

Wood-like tiles

Tiles are great to have when you’re in a warmer area but want a hickory floor. You can find some tiles with a wood-like pattern that you can use. But since tiles are distinctive, you won’t be following anyone.

Hickory engineered floor

Another option is for you to have a hickory-engineered floor. As you know, an engineered plank is far more affordable than having the actual hardwood.

An engineered wood plank is a cheaper alternative than having an actual plank. Instead of having a solid plank, you get multiple layers of the same wood.

It retains some hickory pros, like being easy to clean and staining well. But without the difficulty of acclimating to the weather or being selective with moisture.

Final Thought

The overall verdict of hickory wood floors is leaning positive. It’s one of the popular flooring options between oaks and walnuts.

Anyhow, it’s mostly at odds with moisture making the installation process very slow. But at the same time, it’s easy to clean and maintain.

Hickory is incredibly appealing, but the same traits that make it attractive might also be a cause to avoid it. Every component of your project must be considered to decide if it is the best option.

Whether you hire a professional or do it yourself, your budget is considered when evaluating whether hickory is the perfect wood for your flooring.