OUR MOST POPULAR HARDWOOD
From a craftsman perspective, Hickory is one of the most challenging North American wood species to work with. Seasonal availability, extreme hardness and considerable variability in grain pattern are just a few of the reasons most manufacturers don’t pay much attention to hickory, or stay away from it all together. However, despite these challenges, our craftsmen have developed a deep love and appreciation for Hickory. Its beautiful tight grain and myriad of dramatic and flowing grain patterns, make for a truly unique hardwood floor.
Hickory is one of the most unique species currently used for hardwood flooring. For starters, unlike oak, maple and larch, it grows only in North America, primarily east of the Mississippi River. Hickory is perhaps best known for its hardness, which ranks 1820 on the Janka hardness scale. It is the hardness of Hickory that makes it the preferred species for such things as baseball bats, tool handles, drum sticks, and of course, hardwood flooring. The exceptional hardness of Hickory, however, makes it a challenge to work with, and many manufacturers have problems because of this. Everything from sawing, sanding and staining need to be approached from a different angle.
From our craftsmen’s perspective, the most unique aspect of Hickory is the beautifully distinct patterns that result from the obvious difference between the heartwood and sapwood.
Unlike Oak, which has a relatively small sapwood ring (the outermost rings of a tree which are typically white or light cream in colour), Hickory has a very thick sapwood section, sometimes comprising more than 50% of the diameter of a specific tree. The white sapwood of hickory stands in clear contrast to the heartwood which can range in colour from a light beige to a dark brown. It is this sapwood/heartwood contrast that is such a dominant feature in Hickory lumber, and which makes it one of the most distinctive wood species in the world. While Hickory grows in all states east of the Mississippi, our long experience working with it has led us to become very selective about the mills we choose. CRAFT only sources lumber from a handful of the best Hickory mills in the northern states, including Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York.