Hickory Floor in Kitchen? Why or Why not? What cabinets?

momto4inorJune 23, 2010


My husband and I are embarking on a new house. My hub is in love with wide plank hickory floors. I'm not as convinced because I can't figure out which cabinets I would put with them. Painted cream? That seems not very interesting. Dark wood? Seems conflicted. Our friends have cherry cabinets with hickory and I just didn't love the look. If any of you have these or have considered them, will you let me know whether you are happy with the floors and which cabinets you chose? If you have pics, that would be even better!!!

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

April in OR

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We are putting in wide plank floors. I fell in love with the wide plank Eastern White Pine from Carlyle. But it is quite soft, so only okay if you dont mind an aged, distressed look.

My first choice (before i decided to go w what I love, dents and all), was hickory. Have you looked at the various finishes and stains on Carlyle? You can make it look quite different.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 11:42PM
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We were going to go with hickory too, but in the end it was just too drastic of variation. Birch cabinets go well - particularly a stained birch cause it evens out the variation in the birch. I personally think it's too much when the cabinets and the floor are loaded with variation.

We ended up with a natural birch floor and stained birch cabs.

I wonder how maple would work...probably well enough.

Here is birch:

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 6:04AM
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I'm doing 5" plank distressed Hickory Floors and white cabinets. I'm going for a relaxed cottage-y feel. No pics yet.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 6:24AM
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I think that any painted finish would be gorgeous, including cream. Hickory has so much character and variation, I'd be afraid to have stained cabs in the same room. In my not-an-expert opinion, I'd say its best not to get too interesting with cabinet finishes because the hickory has so much interest!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 7:40AM
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I have friends who custom built their home, every detail carefully selected. Their kitchen, with its incredibly beautiful hickory floors, is one I will remember forever. Their cabinets were alder, stained to match one of the darker tones in the hickory. It was a breath-taking kitchen, and never failed to elicit compliments from all who saw it. They had a lot of natural light in their open kitchen/FR area, so the darker tones were not a problem at all. Just an incredibly beautiful kitchen -- and, I think the prettiest hickory floors I've ever seen!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 10:57AM
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Thanks for your insight! Beth4 - we are currently slated to have knotty alder cabinets and I was worried about it being too dark. We should have plenty of natural light -- so I'm assuming the hickory floors were left natural rather than stained? I feel much better hearing that from you.

That's the look my husband likes due to all the variations in the boards. You really lose a lot of that once the hickory is stained...

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 3:36PM
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Momto4 -- YES! The hickory floors were left natural...that's why they were so incredibly beautiful from every direction. It sounds as if you're going for the same look my friends had in their gorgeous kitchen. It truly was memorable, and absolutely lovely.

I can't remember if their cabs were knotty alder or alder...but they were lovely custom built cabs, and stained to match one of the darker colors of the hickory flooring. I truly doubt you will ever regret your choice. Very distinctive, unique and so beautiful.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 7:43PM
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The hickory floors sound great....hope you go for it!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 7:58PM
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Hi OP --

We are certainly no designers, just picking everything out on our own. But we have 7 inch plank hickory floors which will be left natural and somewhat contemporary shaker beech cabients in an espresso stain. I like how it's turning out... but I'm sure it's not for everyone. No offense taken if it's not for you! :) Here are a few current pics... we are a couple of weeks from moving in but you can get an idea of what it looks like.

An older pic to see the floor:

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 10:28PM
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With Carlyle at least, I think you could choose the level of color variation?

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 11:16PM
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Shelley K your kitchen is gorgeous! I'd love for you to send me more pics as it develops. We had not considered such dark cabinets, but you too have a lot of natural light and with that beautiful ceiling. Wow - it's really really pretty.

We are planning on 7" planks as well. Did you get yours from Carlisle? We had spoken with them, but it seemed we would be able to buy them from a local dealer for less money. Are you happy with the 7"? Do you feel it gives a more substantial feel than standard boards?


    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 12:11AM
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I have 5 inch natural hickory in my entire downstairs and thus my kitchen. We have a medium stained cherry cabinets (Sunset), which matches the darker tones of the hickory. We love it! It does kind of give a rustic feel, which I like, but the wood is so beautiful- it is like art. I had a friend that put in cherry floors, and they just didn't look real to me- too consistent. There is no mistaking that my floors are real wood.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 12:17AM
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momto4inor -- thanks for the compliments. We love the 7 inch hickory and absolutely love how solid the floor feels and how it looks. We love the natural finish, too, so that all the grain and variation really show through. My BIL has this exact floor which is where we got the idea and he love sit too. And it's so durable and b/c of all the variation, it doesn't show dirt/crumbs as much.

My husband is a bargain shopper and he ended up getting the floor online through a large wholesaler. He was thrilled with the service as well as the price and how fast they shipped the floor to us. The man he spoke with was very knowledgeable and helpful. I want to say he got it for $3-4/sq foot, but I would have to check with DH. Of course, we had to have our floor guy install it, sand it, etc.. but it still ended up being one of the least expensive flooring in our entire house.

Anyway, these are a few pics of BIL's house. He has the same floor but knotty alder cabs.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 9:42AM
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Shelly K these have been the most helpful pics I have found ANYWHERE! It's so curious that because of hickory's durability and relative affordability, that more people don't choose it. As I mentioned earlier, we had been considering the alder cabinets, so this pic of your BIL is just almost exactly what we were thinking! Would you be willing to send me all these pics to my e-mail address? That way I could print them out to have a physical copy? I would so appreciate it.
Happy Friday!!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 10:51AM
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momto4inor, you can just right click on the picture and save it directly on your hard drive. Then, just print it up. I've done this many times to add GW pictures to my growning scrapbook of ideas. I like the hard copy so I can write directly on the pictures. DH is extremely visual too, so when I present a new idea, I've got to have a picture. He gets frustrated with me if I try to give a verbal description.

I have hickory floors in my entry way installed by the previous owner. We're planning to extend them to the kitchen and family rooms, eventually. Mine are engineered. They are a product from Shaw called Vicksburg, the color is maize. We're going with a creamy white cabinet, but mostly because I bought them 2nd hand, so not a lot of conscious decision making, more like happy accident. The hicory does have many tones in it, so you probably have a lot of wood tone choices. If you have a flooring sample, keep it with you when you decide on cabinet finish, etc.

Here is a link that might be useful: Shaw Vicksburg Hickory

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 11:55AM
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Mom24 -- sure. Just give me your email address and I will send them to you.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 1:54PM
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My cousin did her entire kitchen in hickory and the floors
were wide plank hickory. I wish I had a picture for you.
We were just there for a graduation party. And her kitchen
is beautiful.

Here are a few images I happend to have. Hope they help
you with your love for Hickory.

Up to date country

Colorado Custom Wood floors

Handscraped Hickory

Wid plank Hickory

one 21 design

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 6:46PM
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Here's some pics of our 5" hickory floors w alder cabinets and painted island. We put a very light stain on them and love them.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 2:28AM
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