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Compare Pros and Cons of Hickory Flooring

An Expert Comparison of Hickory Floors

Hickory is one of the hardest and most durable woods available, but it only recently became an option for hardwood floors. Hickory varies widely in color from a light blonde to a warm reddish-brown. It has a beautiful and distinct grain pattern, and it is ideal for creating a rustic look.

Cost of Hickory Flooring

Hickory costs anywhere from $5 to $15 per square foot, including installation. The price is impacted by factors such as quality, width, whether the wood is solid or engineered, and whether the wood is unfinished or pre-finished.

On average, plan on spending about $4 to $8 per square foot for materials and another $2 to $3 per square foot for installation. As with all hardwood flooring, engineered wood will cost more than solid wood and pre-finished will be more expensive than unfinished.

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Hickory Flooring Pros

  • Extremely durable - Hickory is an extremely hard wood, making it durable and damage resistant. It is much harder than popular woods such as oak, maple and pine. Because of this, hickory is ideal for high-traffic areas, households with kids or pets, or commercial spaces.
  • Beautiful grain pattern - Hickory has a beautiful and distinct grain pattern marked by dramatic color and pattern variations. Hickory floors feature mineral streaks and knots that add rich character to any room.
  • Rustic look - Hickory is ideal for creating that rustic, log cabin look. If you love the look of a country cottage, hickory is a great choice.
  • Takes well to stain - Unlike some hardwoods, hickory is receptive to most stains. Lighter stains will highlight the unique grain patterns, while darker stains will minimize them.

Hickory Flooring Cons

  • Difficult to install - Because of its hardness, hickory can be difficult to install. It is not ideal for do-it-yourselfers. If you are planning to do your own installation, it’s a good idea to buy precut and pre-finished boards.
  • Can warp - Hickory tends to shrink more than other types of wood as it dries. If you hire an experienced installer, this shouldn’t be a problem. If the installation job is not up to par, you might have to deal with warping or twisting.
  • Rustic look - Clearly, this can be a pro or a con - depending on whom you ask. Some people just don’t like a rustic, country look. Hickory is not ideal in spaces where you’re trying to create a clean, modern look.

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