Hickory wood floors and bamboo floors are both durable. However, hickory is a real wood while bamboo is grass. Bamboo furniture is made up of strands processed and glued together to create floorboards.
On the other hand, hickory is one of the hardest, most durable hardwoods used in the construction and furniture industry. The good thing is that both of them are versatile and affordable enough that they are perfect for most interior décor themes.
Characteristics of bamboo floors
According to the Janka Hardness Test which measures a sample of wood for its resistance to wear and tear, the hardness of bamboo floorboards is between 1,200 and 1400 pound-feet. This depends highly on the kind of treatment the bamboo was subjected to. Those that were darkened through carbonization become softer than its natural state. Some manufacturers use phenolic glue to compress the strands and give it a distinctive grainy pattern. This makes the bamboo floor boards harder. The resulting pattern also resembles that of hickory.
The durability of floorboards should not be judged by the results of its Janka Hardness Test, however. This is because the test only measures the amount of force needed to crush the wood by pushing a metal ball into it. Bamboo is highly resistant so the metal ball will only bounce against it. However, if you strike it with a sharp object, the material will easily be dented. When installing bamboo floor, you should never forget to provide an allowance for expansion as its joints tend to buckle.
Characteristics of hickory wood floors
The shagbark hickory is the most commonly used species of hickory when it comes to flooring. Its color is light brown to medium brown with a grainy and wavy pattern. Its Janka hardness is 1,800 pound-feet, which means that it is 25% harder than bamboo. Another type, the shellbark hickory has similar characteristics but has a more striking beauty. This is owed to the stunning contrast between the dark brown and tan streaks.
While oak is the most popular wood flooring material in the US, both hickory and bamboo are harder and cheaper. Premium hickory wood floors are only about $6 per square foot. Although most dealers usually recommend bamboo, smart buyers prefer hickory because it can resist dents and scratches better. You just need to be cautious when using it in a high humidity environment. It is also important to use a durable finish that should be reapplied after several years.