Are wood floors in a kitchen a good idea?

  • March 5, 2021
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beautiful wood floor in kitchen

The question, “are wood floors in a kitchen a good idea?” is a very common one. It’s also a question with two answers: yes and no.

It’s also easy-to-understand question because wood floors are gorgeous. Hardwood floors add warmth and beauty to a space. These floors are so popular they can even increase property value. Wood floors are available in a wide variety of colors and narrow and wide plank styles that coordinate with almost any décor. Solid wood floors wear well and withstand years of heavy foot and paw traffic. Thicker wood floors are repeatedly sanded down and finished for years of enjoyment.

The long list of pros also come with a very notable con. Wood floors are prone to water damage from standing water. Simply, wood floors can warp and stain from puddles or moisture. The chance of water damage is especially high in a busy household, because of a higher risk of spills and water tracked in. The risk of water damage is a key reason why many homeowners opt not to install wood floors in a kitchen.

How to Protect Wood Floors in a Kitchen from Water Damage

For homeowners who are comfortable with the risk, there are ways to lessen the risk of water damage. Rugs and mats by exterior doors are a good way to keep wood floors looking new, because family members (both people and pets) can wipe their feet or paws before entering. These rugs and mats also catch debris and gravel before it scratches flooring. Regular sweeping and vacuuming removes debris and gravel so it doesn’t scratch wood floors.

Towels and dry mops are another key part of keeping wood floors damage-free. Homeowners should keep these items nearby for a quick clean-up of spills and puddles. In addition to wiping up spills promptly, homeowners also need to use manufacturer-approved cleaners to avoid damage and voiding the warranty.

Wood Floor Options

Hardwood

Hardwood floors are a classic choice for homes. They are available in narrow and wide planks, and variety of stains and finishes. Wood floors are available in pre-finished boards. This option requires no sanding and finishing, eliminating the amount of dust and odor during installation. Installation is also quicker with a pre-finished wood floor. Other wood floors are installed without a finish, then sanded and finished on-site. Wood floor installation is typically very complicated. Homeowners should contact a wood flooring installation professional for installation.

Some wood floors are available with water-resistant finishes that lessen the chance of water damage, which is ideal for a kitchen. There are a number of water-resistant or waterproof options available; talk to a local flooring professional to see wood floors with durable features perfect for a busy household.

Engineered Wood

Most people can’t tell the difference between hardwood and engineered wood floors in a kitchen. Engineered wood floors are manufactured in layers. The top layer is solid wood. If the top layer is thick enough, some engineered wood floors can be sanded down and refinished when needed. Some engineered wood floors are available in easy-to-install products, making them a good choice for DIYers who want to install the floor themselves.

Water-Resistant Floors for Kitchens that Look Like Wood

Luxury Vinyl Plank

Luxury vinyl plank (LVP) floors are available in styles that look just like wood, but are water-resistant. These floors are durable enough for kitchens and bathrooms. LVP floors are available in styles that look like wide and narrow plank floors in colors that match with almost any décor. They are also easy-to-clean, requiring only a regular sweep or vacuum and occasional dry mop.

Some luxury vinyl plank floors are made to click and lock together. These click-and-lock floors typically cost more, but save homeowners the cost of installation. Other LVP products cost less but need to be installed by a professional.

Tile

Tile floors have long been a popular for kitchens because they are water-resistant and incredibly durable. They are also available in styles that look just like wood, giving kitchens the look of wood without worrying about water-damage.

Most tiles are natural conductors of heat, which means they are a good floor to install over underfloor heating. When spills do occur, homeowners can easily just wipe them up. Tile floors are also easy-to-clean and maintain, and withstand the heavy foot and paw traffic typical in busy households.

Laminate

Laminate floors are incredibly affordable. Like engineered wood floors, they are manufactured in layers. The top layer is a wear layer that looks just like a wood floor. Some laminate floors are prone to water damage, while others are water-resistant. Ask a flooring professional for a water-resistant product for a busy kitchen.

These floors are available in a wide variety of colors and styles. They wear well in a busy space and can last for years. Laminate floors are easy to clean and maintain, making them a good wood floor in a kitchen.