There are many different domestic hardwoods that can be installed throughout your home. The most popular are red oak and maple, but these are far from the only domestic hardwoods on the market. If you want a floor that has a lot of character, and that can stand up to whatever it is your family has to throw at it, consider giving hickory a look.
Color and Grain
Hickory is the most exotic looking of all the domestic hardwoods. It ranges in color from a creamy white to a rich cinnamon brown, sometimes within the same board. The grain on hickory is wild and thick, which gives a lot of color and movement to the floor. Because of this, it’s usually advised that you use larger planks, rather than thinner ones; thinner planks could make the floor look a little too busy for the room.
Like all hardwoods, hickory can be stained a variety of different colors as well. If you want to quiet the grain a little, but still let its character show, consider using a dark stain; the two colors of the wood will take the stain differently, which will preserve the pattern but make it a little less obvious.
Strength and Hardness
Hardwood floors are rated on what is known as the Janka scale. The higher the number on the scale, the harder and more durable the wood is. Hickory has the highest Janka score of any domestic hardwood – 1820 compared to 1290 for red oak – rivaling some of the harder exotic hardwoods as well. This makes hickory much less likely to scratch or dent than maple or red oak, which is highly beneficial in a busy home. To make your hickory hold up even better, consider getting boards that have been presealed or that have a manufacturer’s finish. These floors tend to have a more even finish that lasts longer than unfinished hardwood does.
When it’s time to get a new hardwood floor in your home, give some consideration to hickory. With its strength and character, you’ll find that this floor far outshines the competition.