Trends in flooring come and go over time. Some of them are based on function and others on style. Hickory has been growing in popularity and does not look to be slowing down. That’s because hickory is a wood that looks great and works great. It is hard, durable, dense, and attractive.
Hardness of Hickory
Wood is ranked by hardness on the Janka hardness scale. This is a scale that measures the amount of force required to press a metal ball halfway into a piece of wood. Red oak, the most common material used for hardwood flooring in the United States, is 1290 on the Janka hardness scale. For comparison, Brazilian cherry is another popular flooring hardwood, and it is 2820 on the hardness scale. Hickory is an 1820 on the janka hardness scale. That means it is not as hard as some of the hardest exotic woods, but it is significantly harder than red or white oak.
A harder hardwood floor has many advantages. The flooring will be faced with high heels, sliding furniture, and pet claws. Over time, these will scratch and dent the floor. A harder floor will not scratch as easily.
Hickory wood is also one of the strongest commercial woods, especially of the domestic variety. Strength means that it will not bend or break very easily. That’s very important when you’re installing solid hardwood over subfloor. The subfloor will be supported by joists but the space between the joists relies on the strength of the subfloor and the floor alone. A stronger wood will provide more stability. That will also take some stress off the subfloor and the joists. A stronger floor can help ensure that your home’s structure remains stable for longer.
Hickory is a fairly dense hardwood. It’s not the densest, but it is pretty dense for a domestic hardwood. Moreover, the combination of all three of these traits makes hickory unique. There are stronger hardwoods, denser hardwoods, and harder hardwoods. However, no commercial hardwood combines these three traits the way that hickory does.
The Appearance of Hickory
Hickory has a distinctive appearance that many homeowners like. It tends to be medium brown with some reddish hue. It can have streaks of gold or red throughout the wood. The grain tends to be dark; some trees have a black grain. Lower grade hickory has more pronounced grain and more streaking. That makes it ideal for rustic and distressed applications.
Interested in having hickory installed in your home? Call Dan’s Custom Hardwood Flooring to schedule your free consultation!