In decorating the kitchen, the premium choice to beautify the kitchen floor is hardwood. Hardwood flooring for the kitchen is a common yet exclusive choice. The grace and elegance of hardwood are undeniable that can make your kitchen stand out in the house.
But there remains a lot of confusion regarding the design and compatibility of hardwood in the kitchen environment. Also, maintenance remains a huge concern. If such confusion is bothering you from installing hardwood flooring in the kitchen, then let me help you out. I will help you make an informed decision.
To let you know all about hardwood flooring for the kitchen, I have studied and explored the topic in detail. In this article, I am going to discuss A to Z about kitchen hardwood flooring. I am sure it will show you a way out.
So, stay with me!
4 Types Of Hardwood Flooring For Kitchen: Explore Styles:
So which hardwood flooring style are you going to try out if you don’t know the types? Hardwood floorings can be of various types for the kitchen. It not only decides the look but also has diverse textures. Also, the properties of each type of hardwood vary. These are the reasons why learning about the different hardwood flooring types is necessary.
So here are four types of hardwood flooring for your kitchen that you should think of:
1. Unfinished Hardwood Planks:
The first option is to use unfinished wooden planks on the kitchen floor. This has a raw texture just like you see in timbers. These planks are unfinished and only slightly polished. I must mention that these planks are one of the best for kitchen conditions. But why?
It is because unfinished planks are solid and durable. Besides, the planks are stained and attached together tightly for long-lasting service. With this, a protective sealant is applied so that water, spills, or stains can’t damage the flooring surface.
Another plus point is that you can polish and finish the unfinished planks several times without worrying about any damage. So the finish would stay for ages. Though rare, unfinished hardwood plank is the best choice for kitchen flooring.
2. Prefinished Hardwood Planks:
Prefinished hardwood planks, as the name suggests, are finished before installation. While unfinished planks can be polished over and over, prefinished planks are already polished with a smooth texture.
Prefinished hardwood planks are considered a newer version of the unfinished ones. These are processed in the factory where the surfaces are polished, sealed, and finished. The advantage is that you don’t need to polish it again. Rather they can be installed directly on the floor.
Caution! Don’t buy prefinished planks that are milled with beveled seams. These planks are not suitable for kitchen conditions.
3. Engineered Hardwood Planks:
Engineered hardwood is always a popular choice for most conditions. The crafting is unique and has different properties mixed together. And the very first feature of engineered hardwood planks is that it has a plywood base or MDF with a layer of veneer on it.
The sleek and polished engineered planks are installed in a click-lock mechanism which is easy to go with. In this system, the edges of the planks are locked to each other. In this way, the planks create a layer on the subfloor without being directly attached to it. Meaning, it can be used as a floating floor.
Engineered hardwood is a smart choice for kitchen flooring both in terms of durability and look. Also, as it is easy to install, it is a good option if you are interested in DIY.
4. Reclaimed Hardwood Planks:
Needless to say that the popularity of recycled construction materials is increasing day by day. As it is eco-friendly, it is a wise decision to use them. Reclaimed hardwood planks are one of those choices that are eco-friendly.
Reclaimed planks are made from destruction wastage or flooring of demolished constructions. These are then recycled and refurbished to give a polished look. In fact, there are trusted retailers who can provide you with reliable reclaimed hardwood planks that will be long-lasting.
If these planks are polished, sealed, and installed correctly, a reclaimed hardwood plank is a good choice for kitchen flooring. But make sure to get them from reliable sources.
5 Things To Consider While Choosing Hardwood Flooring For Kitchen:
Though you know the types, you may need some more guidance on how to choose the hardwood flooring. To make a wise decision, there are some considerations to think of.
Here are a few considerations before you choose the suitable hardwood flooring for your kitchen:
1. Wood Species:
There are a variety of woods that you can choose from. Each wood has different properties, durabilities, colors, and textures. So, you have to choose the wood accordingly, by scrutinizing its properties.
The most commonly used wood for kitchen flooring is oak wood. Besides, many may use other woods like maple, walnut, birch, hickory, etc.
The width of the planks decides the look and installation process. If you want a sleek and modern look, you have to go for wooden strips that are below three inches in width. If you are fond of classic wooden flooring, go for the wooden planks above three inches in width.
Besides, you may also consider installing parquet flooring of different styles and patterns. These are decorative wooden pieces.
If you want countryside and a rustic vibe, you can go for the unfinished hardwood flooring. The distressed and random veining looks classic and elegant. However, if you are fond of contemporary wooden flooring, you should choose a polished and finished texture with less raw effect.
Try to match the texture with your interior. If you have a modern house setup, go for polished planks. Otherwise, you may go for the classic one.
Thankfully, hardwoods have different color shades and tones. Starting from burgundy to caramel, hardwood flooring offers a variety of color tones. Also, both warm and cool colors are offered. Moreover, you can even paint on hardwood flooring. Given that, you should choose a color tone that matches your interior. So consider the color of the wood before installing it on the kitchen floor.
Different hardwood flooring demands different types of subfloors. While the engineered wood can be used as a floating floor on almost any type of underlayment, other woods may require a specific subfloor.
Some wood requires a cushioned subfloor for noise cancellation. On the other hand, in humid conditions, vinyl or plastic subfloor is preferred. So decide on the subfloor and wooden floor simultaneously to get long-lasting service.
These are some basic factors that you must think of before choosing hardwood flooring for the kitchen.
5 Maintenance Tips For Kitchen Hardwood Flooring:
As easy it is to install hardwood flooring in the kitchen, it is equally troublesome to maintain it. You must have heard that wood is susceptive to water and moisture. It swells, discolors, and weakens in contact with water. Also, they can be damaged in heat. So what is the way out?
To keep the hardwood flooring in the kitchen intact, you have to be cautious about maintaining it. Maintenance is a crucial part after you install hardwood on kitchen flooring.
So here are some basic maintenance tips for you to keep the hardwood beautiful and long-lasting:
1. Wipe Off Spills Fast:
Wood may not get stained easily but spills can make it swell. It can also penetrate the surface and damage the bonding. This is why spills should be cleaned immediately.
It is natural that the kitchen flooring would get spills of water, curry, spices, etc. To avoid any damage, use a slightly wet cloth to wipe off the spilled surface. Then use a dry cloth to wipe it off again. For extra safety, wipe the surfaces while leaving the kitchen so that no spill can stay on the flooring.
2. Vacuum Clean The Surface:
Try sweeping or vacuuming the hardwood flooring every day. If not that, at least do it on each consecutive day. This is a mandatory maintenance step that you must not miss out on.
Cleaning the surface would remove all the dust, furs (if you have a pet), and particles from the surface. If you don’t clean and let them settle, the wood would discolor forming grains and making the surface rough. So do vacuum clean the surface!
3. Mop Once A Week:
To thoroughly clean the hardwood flooring, you must mop the floor at least once a week. Use a wood cleaner or a mild detergent with water to mop the floor. Make sure that you dry the floor well.
Caution! Don’t wet the mop too much so that the wood absorbs the extra water. Squeeze out the water properly and then use the mop on the floor.
4. Apply Furniture Pads:
Scratches are not expected on the floor but there are some unavoidable conditions too. For example, the dining table, chairs, or cabinets have legs that can scratch the flooring.
To avoid such scratches, you can use furniture pads for the legs of these furniture items that you need to move regularly. The furniture pads would protect the hardwood flooring from getting marks or scratches.
5. Polishing And Sealing:
Despite the regular maintenance, there is another thing you should do. Hardwood flooring has a protective layer of seal for guarding the flooring against water and spills.
To keep the flooring intact and protected, the flooring has to be polished and sealed once in 3 to 5 years. Only then can you use the hardwood flooring in the kitchen. Otherwise, the condition of the wood would deteriorate over time. This is why polishing and sealing are necessary.
Which Wood Is Best For Kitchen Hardwood Flooring?
Not all woods are suitable for kitchen flooring. Hardwoods are usually preferred for surviving the heat and moisture condition in the kitchen.
Generally, oak, cherry, or maple wood is chosen for flooring in the kitchen. These hardwoods are extremely durable, and solid. They have an excellent aesthetic appearance as well as moisture and heat resistance.
Though maintenance is needed, these are suitable for the kitchen flooring. As an alternative, you may also go for polished and distressed pine wood.
How Much Does It Cost To Put Hardwood Flooring In The Kitchen?
In general, wood flooring price ranges between $3 to $7 per square foot. For installation, you may need to pay around $3 to $5 per square foot. So if you combine the labor cost and the wood materials, on average, you may need to pay around $6 to $12 per square foot.
The pricing for hardwood flooring depends on the wood being used, the installation process, and many other factors. This is why telling a definite price is difficult. But on average, a 1000 square feet wooden flooring would cost around $6000 to $1200.
What To Apply On Hardwood Flooring For Protection?
If you want a natural agent to protect hardwood flooring in the kitchen, you may use a layer of aluminum oxide on it.
Aluminum oxide leaves a protective layer on the hardwood flooring that would keep the flooring intact for a long time. Not only does it protect the flooring from water and spills, but it also makes the hardwood flooring scratch-proof. In fact, wear and tear of the wood are prevented with this layer. Thus you may consider applying an aluminum oxide layer on the hardwood flooring in the kitchen.
How To Make Hardwood Flooring In The Kitchen Look New?
To keep the hardwood flooring look clean and polished, there is no alternative to regular maintenance.
You should keep the flooring clean and free from spills. Dust and spills can discolor the wood and damage the condition. Thus to avoid any damage and make the flooring look new, you should keep it clean. Besides, polishing and sealing every 3 to 5 years is recommended to keep the kitchen floor look fresh, beautiful, and new.
Are Hardwood Floors Bad For Kitchen?
I should not say that a hardwood floor is bad for the kitchen but must say that it is not the best option.
Hardwood flooring requires extreme maintenance to keep the grace and condition intact. As woods are susceptive to water, they swell and shrink in contact with water. The bonds are weakened, and the color fades away. Thus this is not the best option for the kitchen. You can get better options for sure. But if you still want to install hardwood flooring in the kitchen, make sure that you can invest in maintaining it.
To conclude, hardwood flooring is a smart choice for the kitchen only if you can maintain it. Undeniably, replicating the beauty and grace of hardwood is impossible and thus, many may not go for an alternative. And thankfully, maintenance is all that can keep the hardwood flooring intact.
Considering all the factors, are you choosing hardwood flooring for your kitchen?