Hickory is one of the most popular flooring choices in the real estate market, having gained a widespread reputation for being strong, durable, and beautiful.
It is widely considered one of the hardest flooring materials used in the construction and remodeling of homes.
Several hickory flooring pros are littered across the internet, starting from how it outlasts similar floor materials to how it has beautiful contrast colors.
However, are also certain cons associated with it. For instance, it is difficult to install. If you are considering adding or restoring a hickory floor in your home, it would be best to take some time to learn about the hickory flooring pros and cons.
The Pros of Hickory Flooring
1. Beautiful Aesthetics
The first thing you would notice and fall in love with immediately on seeing a hickory flooring is its beautiful aesthetics.
The hickory wood features a fine mixture of grain patterns, knots, and mineral streaks, giving it a unique look among other hardwoods. When a large hickory wood is used for flooring, these patterns come together to create a beautiful sight.
Typically, manufacturers offer several design patterns, so you can choose whichever aesthetics appeals to you the most. The hickory wood also does well at retaining stains, allowing you to create your preferred design and pattern.
One of the most popular acclaimed hickory flooring pros is its durability.
On the Janka Hardness Scale, a measurement commonly used in the flooring industry to compare various hardwood flooring for practical durability, the hickory hardwood has 1820 points.
The scale places it 370 points ahead of the hard maple, which has 1450 points, and 460 points ahead of the white oak, which has 1360 points.
The hardness of hickory makes it resistant to most forms of abuse that floors suffer, such as furniture scrapings, spilled drinks, etc.
Compared to other types of hardwood, the hickory stands a better chance of lasting for a longer period against wear and tears. The hickory's hardness also makes it an ideal flooring option for pet owners, as it can withstand scratches from pet nails.
3. Low Maintenance Cost
Maintenance cost is an important criterion when remodeling a home and choosing its flooring. Like other kinds of hardwood floorings, the hickory requires a certain level of maintenance.
However, one of the hickory flooring pros is that its maintenance cost is relatively low. After a hickory flooring has been installed in a home, the only maintenance the homeowners need to do on the floor is simple regular cleaning, such as sweeping, vacuuming, or mopping.
4. Different Styles and Designs
More than a dozen hickory tree species exist and offer various degrees of density and toughness. The major distinguishing features among the different species of the tree include their color, stain, and size.
Since the hickory has a natural color variation that is appealing, most people tend to use it for flooring without a stain.
However, because different hickory tree species exist, people can still choose their preferred option from different color variations, styles, and designs.
The plank's varying sizes also help create a difference in the flooring appearance and give different feels to a room. For instance, wider planks can showcase more of the wood's beauty, while narrow planks can make a small space seem larger.
5. Increases Home Value
There is arguably no other flooring option that can add as much value to your home as a classy hardwood. A hickory flooring can help increase a home's value, thanks to the numerous hickory flooring pros, including durability, low maintenance cost, and attractiveness.
Some things potential home buyers consider when deciding whether to purchase a home are the number of renovations they would have to make.
When a potential home buyer purchases a home with hickory flooring, they would not need to change the flooring because it would still look good if the homeowner cared for it properly due to its toughness and ability to withstand floor abuses.
6. Lightens Dark Rooms
Hickory comes in a wide range of light tones that can help lighten darker rooms. The color tones range from creamy brown to almost-golden brown.
A hickory flooring can brighten a space and make it feel airier by accenting natural light. Another benefit of the hickory's light color scheme is it lowers the cost of maintenance.
Light hardwood is easier to maintain because they hide dirt and scuffs better. If you prefer light shade flooring, the hickory provides various options to choose from. It should be noted that there are also dark hickory varieties for people who prefer dark hardwoods.
The Cons of Hickory Flooring
While there are other hardwoods that cost more than the hickory, the hickory can put some strain on a lean budget. There are some budget-friendly hickory flooring options for people who do not want to spend too much.
However, they are risky because such low-quality hickory would not offer the kind of durability expected of a high-quality one. Considering that hickory flooring lasts longer than many other flooring options, the high cost of installing it may be cost-effective in the long run.
2. Difficult to Install
One of the obvious hickory flooring cons is that it is difficult to install because of its hardness. The hickory's hardness makes it a durable flooring option, however, that hardness also makes the wood difficult to cut and sand.
Although it is possible to take the DIY route when installing a hickory flooring, more often than not, it is best to hire professionals to do it for you.
Another way to simplify the installation is to purchase pre-engineered and pre-finished boards. However, these options are very costly, another hickory flooring con.
One other hickory flooring cons is that the wood is susceptible to rot and decay.
Most hardwood floorings are prone to rot, decay, and attack from insects, so this problem is not peculiar to hickory flooring alone. Although hickory is a very hard and durable flooring material, appropriate measures must be put in place to mitigate against rot.
Like many hardwood floorings, the hickory shrinks under certain conditions. Also, it may not perform well in moist environments such as the bathroom.
Hickory is susceptible to wrapping if enough time is not given to acclimatize to its environment before being installed. That means you cannot rush the installation – another con if you are in a haste to complete the project.
6. Difficult to Stain
Hickory holds stains better than many other hardwoods due to its density, allowing you to achieve any color you want.
However, the density also makes staining the wood more difficult than other hardwoods.
If you weigh these hickory flooring pros and cons, you will realize that the pros outweigh the cons. Some disturbing hickory flooring cons, such as rot and shrinkage, are problems most hardwood floorings face.
However, with proper care and maintenance, you can eliminate them. Overall, hickory is an excellent flooring material for most homes.
If you consider getting a hickory flooring, it would be best to consult a local flooring expert to help you decide which areas of your home, aside from the living room and bedroom, are suitable.
Remember, while hickory flooring may eat into your budget, its durability makes it a worthwhile investment in the long run. Also, hickory is not the best hardwood for a DIY project.
It would be best to leave the flooring installation to professionals to avoid damages and incurring additional costs.