Case Study: Hickory Hardwood Installation in Woods Cross Home

Client Overview

Hardwood Floor Guys recently undertook a flooring installation project in South Davis County. The homeowners desired a seamless transition of hardwood flooring throughout the main level, which previously had carpeting. While the kitchen and dining area had hardwood in need of a refinishing, the remainder of the main level needed an upgrade. The current wood had the nostalgia of yellowed oak from the 80s and the client wanted to stain the hardwood a more modern color. The homeowners decided to remove all the carpet and install hardwood instead.

Although the original kitchen, dining room and stairs had Red Oak, installed over 20 years ago, the clients chose 4” Hickory Character for the rest of the home.

Construction Challenge

Upon inspection, a significant challenge emerged. The subfloor beneath the carpet was composed of particle board, unsuitable for hardwood installation. The inherent risk lay in the particle board’s tendency to chip and degrade over time where the hardwood staples are set, compromising the stability of the hardwood. Over time, the staples can loosen and the hardwood could potentially start to squeak. To address this, our team recommended replacing the particle board with a more robust 19/32″ OSB sheathing as the subfloor.


Subfloor Replacement

  • Our team removes the existing particle board subfloor and the unnecessary tar paper, leaving only the original subfloor. (This particle board was installed prior to installing carpet for the tacks to hold.)
  • They screw down the remaining original subfloor to remove any current and potential squeaks.
  • Then they install a durable OSB sheathing over the original subfloor to ensure a stable foundation for the hardwood.

Material Selection:

  • The homeowner chose a solid unfinished tongue and groove 4″ Hickory character plank, featuring knots and distinctive wood designs.
  • Opted for the Bona Brand “Driftwood” stain to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the hardwood. Driftwood is a dark grey stain with undertones of brown and blue. The stain is dark enough to remove any sign of pink tones in the Red Oak in the kitchen, dining room and stairs. The dark stain also dissolved any color change between the new Hickory and the old Oak, making the transition between the different wood almost imperceptible.
  • The homeowner chose the Bona Brand Water-Based Commercial Finish in Satin to reduce the application fumes associated with other types of finish. The water-based finish looks great and is harder than other types of finish. We recommend water-based finishes to anyone with pets and/or children because of the durability.

Hardwood Installation Process

  • The team installs the Hickory throughout the home including three bedrooms, living room and hallway. They also install additional Red Oak in the family room directly adjacent to the dining room.
  • A custom reducer is made to even out the height differences between the wood and the tile bathroom floor.
  • Wood is usually laid the same direction as the longest side of the room. To accomplish this, we change the direction of the wood in the doorway of one bedroom and create a smooth and aesthetically pleasing transition.
  • Hickory character features small to medium knots and other character traits. These knots are filled with black knot filler that adds to the richness of the stain chosen.

Hardwood Finish Process

  • Once the hardwood installation is complete, the entire floor (new & existing) is sanded, paying close attention to sanding the planks that meet at the transition point of original wood and the new wood. The height differences between the two planks need to be resolved. Depending on the how much the original wood is already sanded; the difference could be up to 1/8” inch. In this case, the original wood had only been sanded once prior so the difference is only slight.
  • Between sanding and staining, the wood is thoroughly cleaned by vacuuming and tacking. The floor is then water-popped to allow the grain in the wood to open and accept the stain more consistently.
  • After the floor dried, the stain is applied and let dry overnight.
  • The finish (clear hard protectant) is then applied in two coats on the last day. The wet finish looks glossy, but when it dries, it will be a satin sheen. Water-based finishes dry within a few hours, so the homeowners are able to walk on the floor in stocking feet that evening. Within 3 days, the floor is cured 90% and furniture can be placed on it. Within 7 days, the floor is 100% cured and rugs can be returned to the floor.

Additional Touches

  • The baseboards are removed for hardwood installation and homeowners chose to upgrade their baseboards to a flat board adding to the upgraded, modern look.
  • The homeowners added hickory wood as a backing for their towel racks in the bathroom. They used the same stain color to a cohesive feel.

Hardwood Flooring Outcome

The choice of 4″ Hickory with character, combined with the “Driftwood” stain, results in a stunning and cohesive hardwood floor throughout the main level. The transformation not only elevated the aesthetic appeal of the home but also addresses the critical subfloor issue, ensuring long-term stability and preventing potential squeaks down the road.

Project Highlights

  • Material Choice: 4″ Hickory with character.
  • Stain: “Driftwood” for a timeless and elegant finish.
  • Subfloor Replacement: Upgraded from particle board to plywood for enhanced durability.

Client Satisfaction

The homeowners are thrilled with the final outcome, expressing their satisfaction with both the aesthetic transformation and the strategic subfloor replacement. The “Driftwood” stain complements the hickory’s natural characteristics, creating a harmonious look across the entire main level.

Completed Floor Installation Images


This case study underscores Hardwood Floor Guys’ expertise in overcoming challenges and delivering exceptional results of this hardwood installation. The successful installation of hickory flooring in Woods Cross, Utah, not only enhances the home’s visual appeal but also addresses structural concerns and ensures the longevity and stability of the newly installed hardwood.

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