A growing trend in interior design is to put wood flooring in the kitchen. If this seems counter-intuitive to you, you're not the only one. After all, the risk of damage from traffic, water, spills, stains, and even burns could certainly give one pause. But mainly to accommodate the free-flow open-concept designs and create a visually seamless aspect, wood floors are popping up in both new builds and pricey renovations. Plus, wood is warmer under bare feet on cold mornings, and it just looks nice.
If you’ve wondered how a wood floor will work in your kitchen, remember the following points about wood floors.ol>
Not all wood is the same. Solid wood flooring might come from a hard species or a soft species. While a specific color or grain might attract you, a softer wood is subject to scratches and dents from street shoes, stools or chairs, tables, and heavy appliances such as the refrigerator. While solid wood allows for some repair and refinishing, a harder wood lasts longer and requires less care. Wood floor hardness ratings called the Janka Scale, place firs and pines in the softer category and gums and teaks at the top.
Standing water is not your friend. While finished hardwood flooring holds up well to cleaning with a damp mop, standing water that seeps between the planks causes the wood to swell and warp. Wipe up spills and standing water immediately. For the same reason, don’t use a steam floor cleaner. Check around sinks and under the dishwasher and refrigerator for leaks that could damage your floor.
Take special care when moving heavy appliances or furniture. Place heavy cardboard or a rug under the wheels or feet and slide it into place to protect the wood from deep grooves, dents, or scratches.
Use area rugs under tables and chairs to avoid scratching from constant use.
What about bamboo? Technically, bamboo is a grass, not a hardwood. However, most flooring outlets sell it as hardwood. Compared to most, it is two to three times harder, including oak, so it is an excellent option for flooring. Bamboo floors install the same as hardwood and are more resistant to water and other liquids (although no hardwood, including bamboo, is waterproof).
If you’re thinking of placing hardwood in your kitchen during an upcoming renovation, ask your neighborhood real estate professional if hardwood is trending in your area.