Oak Flooring vs. Hickory Flooring

When you are building or renovating a house, there are many decisions that need to be made, and those choices often lead to more decisions. For example, hardwood floors have become one of the most popular features that new buyers look for in a home, but unlike some of its competitors, such as carpet or laminate, there are a plethora of hardwood flooring types to choose from, ranging from pine and oak to maple and hickory. So if you decide that you want to install hardwood floors, you aren’t done yet.

You now need to decide what type of wood you want in your home. Needless to say, each type of hardwood floors offers a unique set of characteristics that separates itself from its peers. For instance, both oak flooring and hickory flooring are worth considering as hardwood flooring options, but which one is more suitable for your home? This article looks to provide the pros and cons for each.


It is important to understand that durability and strength are essential when you are searching for the best flooring solution.

Oak Flooring. Oak floors are strong enough to safe guard from heat, sound and electricity and it gives pleasant color and considerable surface. In addition, its layers are stuck in opposite directions with a moisture resistant adhesive and this gives the floor an immense amount of stability. Unlike some of the other woods used for domestic and commercial flooring, oak is nearly unaffected by light exposure and is not photosensitive. Also, oak flooring can be sanded as many times as necessary to refresh the surface.

Hickory Flooring. As you may have noticed, Hickory wood is described as one of the toughest woods today. It is suitable for areas where there is much traffic on top. Hickory has closed, rough grain and is dense and durable. It can last well for a long time. Also, it protects and covers from heat, electricity and sound. For example, you can use them on places where there is a need for tough flooring like the kitchen and the family room. Therefore, it is ideal for homeowners who expect a lot of foot traffic over years to come.

Beautiful Aesthetic Appeal

One of the biggest pros about hardwood flooring is the look. Almost every homeowner will agree that hardwood flooring is beautiful and much more attractive than carpet or tile.


Oak Flooring. No matter what your home is like — traditional or modern, large or small — chances are that it will look even better with oak floors. And the pattern of oak flooring is unlike other hardwood flooring materials due to open porous grains revealing the true characteristics of this flooring, further increasing the demand.

Hickory Flooring. If just the right style look is important to you, it is almost impossible to go wrong with hickory flooring. This wood is known and highly sought after because of its exceptionally beautiful color variations that range from dark brown, brownish-red, coffee, to almost white. It has the ability to add warmth and light into just about any room with ease. The wood also features attractive knots and mineral streaks that enhance the characteristics of the flooring.


Increased Value

One of the most important benefits of hardwood flooring is its positive effect on property’s worth.

Oak Flooring. Oak flooring is a great choice if you think you may ever want to sell your property. Although nontraditional woods like pecan or walnut can create a dramatic appearance, oak goes with every décor, and it’s liked by almost everyone. This is good news if you are planning to sell your home or if you are considering taking out a home equity loan. When buyers see the property equipped with this type of flooring then they would be willing to pay more.

Hickory Flooring. With hickory floors being so popular, it may be easier to sell your home if you have hickory instead of mostly carpet. If you are selling then potential buyers will be enchanted by the warmth and elegance that the flooring adds to the room.

Lots of Characters

It’s much easier to match furniture to hardwood than carpet as wood is a neutral that goes with any type of style of furniture that you may want for a room.

Lots of Characters

Oak Flooring. You can choose from a wide range of colors and styles with oak flooring which means that you will definitely be able to find something to suit your tastes. And due to its variety, whether you choose to have it in the living room, the bathroom or even the bedroom, it will look harmonious no matter where it is.

Hickory Flooring. You can buy this flooring in a variety of styles, colors, widths and patterns. You can buy hickory in a wide range of finishes, so you can use it regardless of whether you want light or dark floors. Also, you can easily change the style and the floor will still match unlike some carpets and titles that may only match with certain themes and styles. It is probably the clearest example of today’s flooring that offers the comfort and richness of a room to an entire house.


Oak Flooring. Another pro about oak flooring is that it is very low maintenance when it comes to cleaning. Sweeping and mopping on a regular basis will help keep the floors looking good, and the occasional refinishing should bring them back to their original glory.

Hickory Flooring. You’ll find your floors easy to maintain. A simple vacuuming or sweeping with a duster every few days will help to keep them clean. It is also resistant to insects and heartwood decay that is commonly found in other woods. So unless you have marching band practice in your house every day, your hickory flooring will retain their beauty for years and years.

floor maintenance


Oak Flooring. Only narrower oak boards, up to ~120mm wide, can be securely glued to concrete sub-floors – wider ones have a tendency to lift away from the sub-floor.

Hickory Flooring. The use of hickory as flooring mandates the cutting of the wood into 3¼”, 4″ and 5″ floorboards because the dense coloration of the wood can cause thinner boards to look busy as a whole. As with any flooring option, pros and cons abound. Hickory is popular in wide widths to display the beautiful character of the wood’s grain, because narrow widths may sometimes create a busy appearance in the floor patterns.


flooring in kitchen

Oak Flooring. The biggest drawback that stops people from putting oak flooring in their homes is the price. Oak flooring in general is more expensive than most of the flooring materials. The main reason for this is that oak grow slowly and take a long time to replace. If you do not know how to install the flooring yourself, you will also have to call a contractor to install it, which can cost you a great deal more. So it is certainly not something that the budget conscious can afford.However, there are three types of oak floorboards we could choose from and the price varies. You can find more detailed information about different types of oak flooring in this article.

Hickory Flooring. In terms of benefits over traditional hardwood, the hickory flooring will be cheaper, and it is available in several grades, wherein the lower grades are more reasonably priced, while the higher grades have a cleaner look, straighter grain pattern. Even though hickory flooring is not necessarily the most expensive flooring option on the market, it might still not be your best choice if you are on a tight budget.

Difficult Installation

If you are thinking about installing hardwood flooring on your own you may want to reconsider. Both oak and hickory floorings are difficult to install, because hardwood flooring has a density that is pretty extreme and this means that trying to cut or sand this flooring type can be a major pain. Therefore, making and installing oak or hickory flooring is not a task that can be handled by beginner DIYers and requires the expert skills of a seasoned hardwood flooring specialist.


Oak flooring. Any wood, no matter how hard, will scratch, and oak is no exception. Dog claws, furniture, and high-heeled shoes are especially likely to scratch your floors. It is also easy to be damaged if it is placed in a room where there is heavy furniture, because it could easily get scratched or dented. To prevent damage from furniture, you should place pads underneath the feet or your furniture.

Hickory Flooring. Hickory floors are incredibly strong, but require careful detailed attention and experienced maintenance to get the best results. Any wood, no matter how hard, will scratch, and hickory is no exception. There is a way to protect it however and that is to pad out the heavy objects that are on top of the floor. Also, never wear high heels, athletic shoes like cleats, or other spiky shoes on your floors.


Both the two types of floorings are much harder than a soft carpet and can be tough on crawling babies and those attempting to walk and will be falling quite often. In addition, because of its toughness, carpenters cannot simply work on it using normal hand tools. If you have little kids or babies who may be playing on the floor, you should think twice about the flooring as a play area.

In short, there is no doubt that choosing floor is a big decision and it is important to get right. So when you find it hard to make a decision on which flooring to choose, oak or hickory, you just need to remember the down sides as well as the good points of this two flooring options in order to keep your mind clear. Hope that this article has been of some use to you and may have answered a few or your questions.