Updated: Oct 3, 2022
Hickory Flooring - Is This Really a Good Product? Here Is the Shocking Truth...
As far as domestic lumber is concerned, Hickory is an outstanding option for a hardwood floor. Hickory is extremely durable, it is one of the more water-resistant hardwood floors, and it has a very unique and beautiful look. With its knots and markings, hickory hardwood flooring offers a more bold and more unique look than oak flooring, and it provides a beautiful and clean look to any room in the house.
Hickory Flooring - Is This Really A Good Product?
What Are Some of the Popular Hickory Flooring Designs?
Hickory is one of the more popular species of hardwood in the U.S. Being one of the harder species of wood, hickory is a great choice for high traffic areas of the home. Likewise, hickory offers a very unique look, showing its beautiful variations in graining and color.
Wide and long plank boards continue to be a popular trend with hickory hardwood flooring. The over-sized boards give a home a very classic and clean feel.
You can purchase hickory flooring in two options: solid plank flooring and engineered planks. Both are great options, and both are extremely durable products.
You can purchase hickory products in a natural look, or in darker colors. With the natural look, you will see all of the natural beauty of the tree's variations. Mineral streaks, knots and graining will be a large part of the floor. The natural look will give the home a very crisp and clean look, providing the home with a modern feel.
Hickory flooring is also available in brown, gray and almost black colors. Again, the natural characteristics of the hardwood will offer the homeowner with a beautiful floor that will be a conversation piece with all that enter the home.
Hickory flooring is unlike any other hardwood design. The uniqueness of the graining and the natural beauty of the product, makes hickory a wonderful choice for a home. Customers that choose hickory for their home are usually quite pleased with the end result of their project.
There are many hardwood manufacturers that sell hickory flooring. Each manufacturer will have their list of good, better and best products. Likewise, keep in mind, that not every store will sell the same products. In fact, most stores will go out of their way to sell different products than the competitor that is located down the street. We always recommend checking with 2-3 stores when you begin your shopping process.
Does Hickory Flooring Scratch Easily?
In general, hardwood flooring is prone to scratch. That is why all hardwood manufacturers will advise customers to use felt pads on their table and chair legs. Wood flooring comes in different hardness ratings, depending on the species of wood. One of the rating systems that is commonly used to discuss hardwood, is called the Janka Hardness Test. The harder the wood species is, the indication will be that product will be more scratch resistant and more durable of a hardwood product.
Credit: Janka Hardness Rating
As you can see from the above picture, Hickory ranks as one of the harder products in the marketplace. This, along with the proper floor maintenance, will help prevent scratching.
However, no floor is 100% scratch-proof. Even though hickory is a very durable product, if a homeowner does not take care of their floor, it will scratch. For example, if a homeowner allows their small children to roll toy trucks, etc... all over the floor, the floor will probably scratch. If a homeowner plays fetch inside the house with their 100lb dog, the floor will probably scratch.
Oak, the most popular species of hardwood in the U.S., ranks in the middle of the chart. Hickory outperforms oak, both red oak and white oak.
Also, the beauty of hickory, with all of the graining and knots, makes hickory a product that will "hide" scratching very well. The lighter the color of hickory, the better it will hide the scratching.
Each hardwood manufacturer will have a warranty brochure, which talks about the care and maintenance of their floor. Homeowners need to pay special attention to the maintenance section of this document, and set-up specific guidelines in their home for proper floor care.
Customers can locate warranty information on manufacturer websites, or they can have their local flooring store print a copy.
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Is Hickory Flooring Good If You Have Pets?
Common sense floor maintenance should rule the day when it comes to hardwood flooring and pets. As we mentioned above, while hardwood flooring is a beautiful product, it will scratch. If you are going to purchase a hardwood floor, you need to be willing to put in the time for floor care and maintenance. Simple preventative steps will go a long way in preventing damage:
When entering the home, take off your shoes. Little stones on the bottom of your shoes can damage your hardwood floor.
Place floor mats next to all outside doors.
Put felt pads on the bottom of all table and chair legs.
Follow the guidelines provided in your warranty information.
When it comes to pets, again, common sense preventive management is the best. For example, if you have a large dog, don't "play rough" on the hardwood floor. Keep your dog's nails trimmed short.
Depending on the color of your floor, keep in mind, that if you have a dog that sheds, having a hardwood floor is difficult to keep clean. Plan on sweeping your floor on a daily basis. There is just no other way to get around it. Dogs that shed will cause havoc on your floor. The darker the color of your floor, the more dog hair will show.
When it comes to pet abuse, being on the harder end of the Janka Scale, hickory will have a much better chance of maintaining its original beauty, as opposed to some of the other softer hardwoods.
If durability is a big concern, homeowners should consider purchasing an engineered hickory floor, as opposed to a solid product. Engineered floors tend to be more stable and durable.
If you're a pet owner, you understand that sometimes "accidents" happen. When they do, with the factory finish on the hickory floor, as long as the accident gets cleaned up in a timely manner, the floor should not be damaged.
How Do you Clean A Hickory Hardwood Floor?
All floor covering hardwood manufacturers will provide a warranty brochure to buyers. Part of the warranty brochure will be information on how to properly clean and maintain the floor. As a buyer, it is extremely important that you follow these guidelines. Why? If you don't follow these guidelines, and you have a product claim, your warranty could be at risk.
Similar to all legal documents, there are all sorts of hidden language in floor covering warranties. In almost every warranty, it will state that if a homeowner does not maintain and clean their floor as recommended, the warranty could be void and no claim will be approved.
Your local floor covering store can print the warranty at the time of purchase, or homeowners can get a copy off most manufacturer websites.
In general, here are some general tips:
Homeowners should use a dust mop to sweep the floor on a daily basis.
Only vacuum cleaners approved for hard surface cleaning should be used on a hardwood floor.
Never use a vacuum that has a rotating brush that could scratch the floor.
Never use harsh chemicals on a hardwood floor.
Don't use a common broom on a hardwood floor. The bristles could damage the floor.
Water and hardwood floors do not get along. Never use a mop and water on a hardwood floor.
Water or beverage spills should be cleaned up right away. Avoid having liquid sit on the floor for any length of time.
Don't put pet water and food bowls on the hardwood floor. If they must go on the hardwood, make sure to place a protective mat under the bowls.
Always follow the cleaning guidelines as set forth in your product warranty manual.
Hardwood flooring is not that difficult to maintain and to keep clean. If a homeowner takes five minutes a day to dust mop the floor, that will go a long way in helping the floor maintain its natural beauty and color.
What Are Some of the Best Products for Hickory Flooring?
Each hardwood manufacturer will have their own product line of good, better and best products.
Likewise, not every floor covering store will sell the same products. In fact, many stores will purposely avoid selling the same products, as a means to get a competitive advantage.
For these reasons, it is really impossible to distinguish certain manufacturers as having "the best" products. We take a different viewpoint, and state "the best" product will be different for each customer. Here is how we look at it:
Each customer has their own type of project. While one customer is looking for a living room floor to walk on for the next 25 years, another customer is looking for a living room floor that will help them sell their house.
Each customer will have a different budget. That customer looking for the floor to walk on for the next 25 years, might have a large budget, and money is not really that important. Meanwhile, the customer looking to sell their home, certainly does not want to spend a ton of money on a floor they won't be using. The best product for each of these customers will be completely different.
We have a good article, "How To Buy Flooring For Your Home," that outlines this line of thought in more detail.
In order to find that best product, you need to consider the goal of your project, as well as your budget. Once you have these two factors in focus, then you can determine what your "best product" will be.
We always recommend discussing your project with a flooring professional, so they can give you the information you need to reach a product decision.
Conclusion - Hickory Flooring
Hickory flooring is a great option for a home. Hickory provides a homeowner with a very unique, clean and fresh look. The graining of hickory is a wonderful benefit to the floor, as well as the natural beauty of the knots and different color variations.
When choosing a hickory hardwood floor, you can purchase a product in either a solid plank, or in an engineered plank format.
Hickory is a very hard wood, and with its hardness level, is more scratch resistant than some of the other species of hardwood.
There are many manufacturers of hickory hardwood flooring. When starting your shopping process, it is always a good idea to visit 2 or 3 local stores to see what they have to offer in product samples. Many stores carry different products, that will have different looks.
Always take samples home and see what they look like in the light of the house. The lighting in a store will be much different than in the home. Never make a buying decision without taking the product home.
After purchase, it is always a good idea to get a copy of the full product warranty. Always follow the cleaning and maintenance guidelines in the warranty. Failure to follow these guidelines might void out the warranty of the product.
Customers can purchase hickory flooring in a natural, clear look, or customers can purchase hickory in different colors, such as brown or gray/black.
Wider planks and long boards are very popular. Engineered hickory has many different board variations that provide a stunning look in any room.
In conclusion, hickory is a great option for hardwood flooring. Its unique look makes this product a very popular choice in flooring.
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