Wood flooring is an attractive and durable option for any room, including the kitchen. Hardwood is timeless and considered by many to be the ultimate flooring material. Before you install kitchen hardwood flooring, however, there are a few aspects to consider.
What Type of Wood Works Best for Kitchens?
In general, when choosing a hardwood for your kitchen, you’ll want to consider cherry, oak and maple, which are all hard woods that won’t dent or scratch easily. The hardness of woods is determined by the industry standard method, the Janka Hardness Scale. Different types of wood are rated and given a number. The higher the number, the harder the wood. There are many of options that have a high number, so if cherry, oak or maple aren’t what you want, you should be able to find something that’s exactly what you’re looking for.
Hardwood Flooring Requires Upkeep
The better care you take of any floor, the longer it will last. This is especially true for hardwood floors. The kitchen floor experiences everything from muddy shoes to spilled milk. For that reason, it’s important to keep the surface clean and protected. Area rugs and runners are a good idea for high-traffic areas of the floor because they offer protection and a nice accent to the room. When spills occur, clean them up as soon as possible, as spills can cause stains and swelling of the wood. Water and moisture can severely damage hardwood floors. While the finish will help protect it, water or high levels of moisture will cause noticeable damage.
Regular maintenance for hardwood floors is a breeze. Sweeping up with a broom and running over it with a dust mop is usually all you need to do, but do it often. Dirt and dust work like sand paper on the finish of your floor and eliminating them will help keep your finish looking great. Avoid oil soaps when spot cleaning or mopping. Instead use a PH neutral cleaner. These won’t adversely affect the finish of your floor.
Eventually, you’ll have to refinish your hardwood floor. For most scratched floors, you can do what is called scuff sanding. All you have to do is sand as deep as the scratch goes. Once you’ve scuff sanded, you can roll on a few coats of a poly finish.
Consider Wood Laminate Flooring
If you’re still considering your kitchen flooring options, add wood laminate to your list. Wood laminate flooring is made from a synthetic material that is designed to look like real wood. Typically, wood laminate is particle board or plywood with a laminated top surface that resembles wooden floorboards. Most of the modern options are quite convincing. Wood laminate comes in a variety of appearances and textures. This type of flooring is durable, maintains its appearance over time and requires little upkeep – all of which are great traits for kitchen flooring. It’s relatively inexpensive, too. According to Freshome, wood laminate flooring is around half as expensive as natural wood.
Other Kitchen Hardwood Flooring Alternatives
Bamboo and cork flooring also work well in the kitchen. These two types of wood are highly sustainable and commonly chosen by people who are environmentally conscious. Both materials are attractive and reasonably durable, but more susceptible to dents and scratches. Cork is a good option for people who spend a lot of time in the kitchen because it provides them with a little cushion, but it can be expensive.