Is Hickory a Hardwood?

Published by Heritage Oak LLC on 1-6-2023

Is Hickory a Hardwood?

When choosing hardwoods for your home, you’ll start to have a lot of questions. As you’re looking into a species of hardwoods, more specific questions will arise concerning that hardwood characteristics. The question, is hickory a hardwood, is one of the most common when considering using hickory within a home. The answer is yes, but not for the reason you might think. The terms hardwoods and softwoods are actually referring to whether the tree species is classified as deciduous or coniferous. Deciduous trees such as oak, hickory, walnut, and poplar are trees that have flowering seeds and shed leaves annually. 

Regardless, hickory is categorized as one of the best domestic hardwoods in relation to durability. Hickory’s Janka Rating of 1820 is at a remarkable level that is well beyond the industry standard’s red oak rating. Used in both home and commercial projects, hickory’s durability and hardness makes it well suited for a variety of uses. From hardwood flooring and stair parts to furniture and cabinetry, hickory is perfect for all types of high-traffic areas. 

What Color is Hickory? 

Another common question regarding hickory is about it’s coloration. Hickory is considered to be unique among domestic hardwoods thanks to its bold colors. Even within the same board, hickory can have color variations from pale brown to brown with red tinges. Its signature knots and elaborate wood grain, helps hickory become an excellent choice for many different styles and decor. Furthermore, hickory is popular due to its ability to accept a wide color variety of stains. This benefit allows homeowners to use hickory in a diverse array of interior designs. Ranging from a unique, bold style to a warm, rustic aesthetic and many others. It’s important to keep in mind that while staining hickory is easy, getting an even appearance is not. The unique variations within the boards can cause complications. If you are looking for a more uniform type of hardwood, oaks would be a better choice than trying to tone down hickory.  

Hickory vs Oak Floor

Between hickory and oak hardwoods, the most noticeable difference is the visual appearances. Despite the staining ability of both hardwood species, oak is typically viewed as the more reliable choice. Without hickory’s color variations, stained oak can be blended into any type of interior design with ease. Furthermore both red and white oak hardwoods are durable materials with long lifespans. However, hickory’s extreme durability helps it hold up better under impacts to protect it from scratches and dents. In addition, hickory isn’t as stable or as rot resistant when compared to oak. So it has a tendency to expand and contract due to relative humidity more than oak hardwoods.

Hickory Wood Characteristics From Heritage Oak

As there is a ton of personality within hickory hardwoods, some homeowners simply don’t like the visual interest. So it’s quite normal for homeowners to decide hickory wouldn’t fit into their desired interior style. There are several other hardwood options available to choose from, depending on their needs. Regardless if hickory or oak is used, they both increase the value of a home. Both the uniqueness of hickory or the timeless appeal of oak easily catch the eyes of potential buyers. Their long lifespan and each hardwood’s distinctive beauty will bring many benefits to any homeowner. If you have any questions concerning hardwoods, contact Heritage Oak today! We are happy to assist you!