When many people consider flooring for their kitchen, they automatically think of tile or vinyl plank. However, hardwood, both solid and engineered, shouldn’t be ruled out. It’s true that moisture is hardwood’s nemesis, but most kitchens aren’t as humid and wet as full bathrooms or damp basements. These are two locations where solid hardwood isn’t the best flooring option. In this blog, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages that hardwood brings to the kitchen, one of the busiest rooms in the house. We will also provide tips for keeping hardwood floors in your kitchen in top shape.
Advantages of hardwood in kitchens
Like tile and vinyl plank, hardwood gives you lots of options. There are multiple hardwood species and style options for the kitchen, and they are all naturally beautiful.
Consistency and flow
Homes with an open floor plan that have hardwood in adjoining areas can get a consistent look by installing hardwood floors in the kitchen.
Hardwood flooring can be more affordable than tile and is competitive with luxury vinyl plank (LVP) or luxury vinyl tile (LVT), when you factor in the cost of materials and installation.
Longevity and value
Kitchen hardwood floors offer outstanding value over the many years they will last. In addition, homebuyers are drawn to hardwood if you ever decide to put your house on the market.
Softer and warmer
Hardwood floors in the kitchen are warmer in the winter months and much easier on the feet when compared to stone or tile, especially when you’re standing for extended periods of time during prep and cooking cleanup.
Easy to maintain
Wood kitchen floors are extremely easy to clean and maintain.
When wood is properly sealed, it resists staining and water damage, making them low maintenance and not very problematic.
Disadvantages of hardwood in kitchens
Longterm exposure to moisture from leaking pipes or appliances, such as a dishwasher or ice maker, will damage hardwood floors in the kitchen. Water damage is not a concern with tile or concrete.
If properly maintained, hardwood floors can last indefinitely. However, this requires they be lightly sanded and recoated every 4 to 7 years for moisture protection and refinished as needed, perhaps every 12 to 20 years, depending on the wear and the finish.
- Use hardwood that has a high Janka Hardness rating. This will protect against dents and scratches.
- Select a hardwood floor with rich and varied character, perhaps hand-scraped or subtle-scraped, so that accumulated dings and scratches will not stand out. This will delay the need for refinishing.
- Adhere felt pads to the bottom of chairs and table legs to prevent dents and scratches. Pick up and move the furniture rather than dragging it.
- Clean up spills immediately. Do not let them sit on the hardwood.
- Do not allow wet shoes or umbrellas to sit on the hardwood.
- Do not use a steam cleaner to clean the hardwood. This can force moisture into the joints between the planks.
- If you discover a leaking pipe or appliance, shut off the water immediately and call a plumber. The second call should be to a local flooring specialist.
There is no reason to avoid installing hardwood floors in your kitchen. If you are currently considering making a flooring change, call Flowers Flooring to further discuss your options and to schedule a free in-home estimate.