Wooden floors in the kitchen: pros and cons


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Decor : Wooden floors in the kitchen: pros and cons

wood kitchen flooring

Hardwood is considered one of the most desirable flooring materials, and it almost always adds value to a home. But it is also well known among professionals that hardwood floors are high maintenance and they are a poor choice for humid places.

Some flooring manufacturers claim that factory finishes make their products waterproof, but it’s worth noting that they are never described as waterproof. Hardwood fades easily from water and fibers swell, which can cause the entire floor surface to bend. Manufacturers always warn against installing hardwood in rooms where wet conditions are likely, and even installing against concrete slabs is questionable, as moisture can migrate through the concrete.

Purchase and installation of solid wood flooring

But there is a gray area when it comes to kitchens, because they are wet areas. It is possible to use hard wood as a flooring material, but a lot depends on the nature of your home. A very busy house or a house designed so that traffic comes directly to the kitchen from the pool deck or garage is probably not the best place for a wooden floor.

If you are considering hardwood floors for the kitchen, you will need to take a few precautions and also consider some of the other qualities of hardwood that might cause you to reconsider its use.

Pros

  • Attractive surface
  • Can be restored
  • Home value increases
  • Softer, warmer than tile

Cons

  • Susceptible to water damage, scratches, dents
  • High maintenance
  • Difficult to install for DIY enthusiasts
    Expensive

Wood flooring types

Many aspects of hardwood flooring (cost, maintenance, installation, etc.) vary depending on how it is used. Hardwood floors used in kitchens and elsewhere are generally divided into one of several types:

Solid unfinished boards

Installing solid hardwood planks, then staining and finishing in place, provides the best possible wood flooring for a kitchen. With this installation, the boards are tightly bonded and covered with a coat of sealer that covers the entire surface, providing protection that will not be penetrated by water or staining materials.

wood kitchen flooring

Solid wood planks have a great advantage: They can be sanded and re-polished multiple times over the life of the floor. Solid wood floors are known to last a century or more. This is the best form of hardwood for kitchens, although increasingly rare.

Prefinished solid planks

Many manufacturers now offer prefinished solid wood planks, which take some of the extra work out of flooring installation. Prefinished floors have increasingly replaced unfinished floors as favorites.

The planks are sanded, sealed, stained, and finished at the factory, which means the installer doesn’t have to do it after installation. However, prefinished wood floors are sometimes ground so that the boards have slightly beveled edges, and this design can be problematic in kitchens.

Engineering planks

This type of flooring is created by attaching a thin veneer of hardwood to a plywood base. This type of floor is always prefinished and is often created with a “click lock” system in which the boards are nailed to the edges. This makes it possible to install it as a “floating floor” without attaching it to the subfloor.

This form of hardwood is the easiest to install for DIY enthusiasts. Engineered hardwood is quite stable thanks to the plywood core, and many types are suitable for installation against concrete slabs.

Recovered planks

There is a growing market for the use of reused hardwood floors, such as materials recovered when demolishing factories, office buildings, or bowling alleys. This option is very attractive for anyone interested in ecological construction practices, since it uses recycled materials.

Most of the larger communities have retailers that specialize in reused building materials. If carefully installed so that the boards are tightened firmly and a good sealant is applied, reclaimed planks may be an acceptable option for kitchens.


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