Is Hickory A Good Wood For Furniture

Hickory is one of the most desirable woods for constructing furniture.

Its hardness, durability, and attractive grain make it suitable for a variety of furnishings that stand the test of time.

Key Takeaways:

  • Hickory wood has been prized for centuries for its strength, hardness, and attractive grain patterns that make it ideal for furniture.
  • The density and durability of hickory allows furniture like beds, chairs, tables, and cabinets to withstand decades of regular use.
  • Hickory's resistance to scratches, dents, and moisture absorption enables furniture to retain its structural integrity and look over many years.
  • The flowing grain patterns and warm shades of hickory wood add rustic visual appeal to a variety of furniture styles and decors.
  • Responsible hickory forestry is crucial for maintaining supply, as the trees take decades to reach maturity.
  • Hickory furniture is a long-lasting investment, with pricing starting around $550 for a dining table up to $3,000 or more for a bedroom set.
  • The unique properties and beauty of hickory wood make it a top choice among woodworkers and consumers looking for sturdy, durable, and visually appealing furniture.

Is Hickory A Good Wood For Furniture

History of Use

Hickory has been used for centuries to create sturdy furniture.

Native Americans carved bows, utensils, and other items from the tough but pliable wood.

Early American colonists crafted furnishings to furnish their new dwellings.


The density of hickory wood makes it resistant to scratches, dents, and everyday wear-and-tear.

This durability makes it ideal for pieces used daily like beds, chairs, tables, and cabinets.

Hickory's hardness can withstand generations of regular use.


In addition to surface durability, hickory has exceptional strength and hardness properties.

The tough wood prevents joints from loosening and edges from chipping over decades of use.

Hickory items like dining tables and cabinets retain their structural integrity through years of duty.

Water Resistance

Hickory wood has a natural resistance to moisture absorption.

Spills can be wiped away from table tops or cabinet surfaces without water penetration into the grain.

In humid environments, hickory is less prone to warping than other woods.

Appealing Grain Patterns

While valued for function, hickory wood also provides visual appeal.

The grain patterns showcase flowing lines, waves, and flecks in shades ranging from light tan to deep brown.

Skilled artisans can stain or finish hickory furniture to enhance its rustic beauty.

Hickory for Specific Furnishings

Hickory's properties make it suitable for a range of furniture pieces:

  • Beds - The strength prevents sagging and breakdown even with decades of use.
  • Chairs - Durability withstands wear from constant pressure and movement.
  • Tables - Hardness resists scratches and stains while retaining smooth surfaces.
  • Cabinets - Ability to retain shape and structure despite continuous opening and closing of doors/drawers.

Grades and Pricing

Like other lumber, hickory is graded from common up to clear wood.

Specialty retailers offer hickory furniture in various grades.

Pricing depends on factors like:

  • Board feet required for the piece
  • Lumber grade and appearance
  • Construction techniques used by the builder

On average, expect to pay $550 to $900 for a hickory dining table and $1,200 to $3,000 for a hickory bedroom set.

Hickory furniture is viewed as a long-term investment.

Environmental Factors

Responsible hickory forestry is important for maintaining supply. It takes decades for trees to reach maturity.

The value of hickory comes not just from the lumber, but also maintaining healthy, sustainable woodlands.

Wyatt Keith

Wyatt is a hickory tree expert with 25 years of experience studying and working with these majestic trees. Wyatt has worked on various research projects and has conducted extensive field work, studying the growth and behavior of hickory trees in different regions of the country. In addition to his research, he has also worked with landowners and land managers to help them properly care for and manage their hickory trees. Wyatt is passionate about sharing his knowledge and expertise with others, and he frequently gives talks and presentations on hickory trees to various audiences.

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