Hardwood flooring is a popular choice for homeowners, and hickory wood stands out for its durability and unique appearance. Hickory is a tough, dense wood that can withstand heavy use, making it a great choice for high-traffic areas. It also has a beautiful grain pattern that adds character to any room. If you’re considering hickory hardwood for your flooring, here’s what you need to know about choosing and caring for it.
Choosing Hickory Hardwood
Before you purchase hickory hardwood flooring, there are several things you should consider.
Color and Grain
Hickory wood has a distinctive grain pattern that can vary in complexity and color. Some hickory hardwood has a light, blonde color with minimal grain, while other hickory wood has dark brown tones and a pronounced, swirling grain pattern. Consider the overall look you want for your room and choose your hickory hardwood accordingly.
Grade and Cut
Hickory hardwood comes in several different grades and cuts. The grade refers to the quality of the wood, while the cut refers to how the boards were sawn from the log. A lower-grade hickory hardwood will have more knots, color variations, and other characteristics that some people find less desirable. However, lower-grade hickory wood is often more affordable. Hickory hardwood can be cut in several different ways, including plain sawn, quarter sawn, and rift sawn. Each cut produces a different grain pattern and appearance.
Hickory hardwood can come pre-finished or unfinished. Pre-finished hickory hardwood has been sanded, stained, and sealed with a protective layer before it’s installed. This can make the installation process faster, since you won’t have to wait for the finish to dry. Additionally, pre-finished hickory hardwood often comes with a warranty against wear and tear. Unfinished hickory hardwood must be sanded, stained, and sealed on-site, which can take longer and may require more labor. However, it gives you more control over the final color and finish of your flooring.
Caring for Hickory Hardwood
Once you’ve installed hickory hardwood flooring in your home, it’s important to take steps to keep it looking beautiful for years to come.
Hickory hardwood flooring should be swept or vacuumed regularly to remove dirt, dust, and debris that can scratch the surface. Avoid using a wet mop, as excess moisture can damage the finish or warp the wood. Instead, use a slightly damp mop or specially-formulated hardwood floor cleaner to keep your hickory hardwood looking its best.
Protecting the Surface
To prevent scratches and dents, place protective felt pads under heavy furniture and avoid wearing high heels or shoes with cleats on your hickory flooring. You can also place a doormat at each entrance to your home, which will trap dirt and debris before it reaches your floors.
Hickory hardwood flooring is sensitive to changes in humidity, which can cause the wood to shrink or expand. To prevent this, maintain a consistent humidity level in your home by using a dehumidifier or humidifier, as needed. Additionally, avoid over-watering indoor plants or spilling liquids on your floors. If moisture does come in contact with your hickory hardwood, wipe it up immediately to prevent damage.
With proper care, hickory hardwood can remain a beautiful and durable flooring choice for your home. Use these tips to choose and care for your hickory hardwood floors, and enjoy their timeless beauty for years to come.