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Should You Install Hardwood Flooring in Your Kitchen?

A lot happens in kitchens that can lead to wood damage such as spills and stains. So, many people assume that hardwood flooring may not be the best choice for their kitchens. Surprisingly though, these floors work well in kitchens and are durable when sealed and cared for correctly.

Yes, hardwood is prone to water damage and plank hardwood floors require sanding and refinishing every ten years or so, but when properly maintained they can last throughout the duration of your home’s lifetime.

Deciding if Hardwood Flooring is Right for You

Unlike other durable flooring options such as ceramic, porcelain tile, or resilient floors that can be installed practically anywhere, hardwood flooring should not be installed in highly moist environments like bathrooms or water-prone basements.

You can install hardwood in your kitchen since it’s a semi-moist environment. However, if your kitchen (for one reason or another) gets relatively wet or moist, it may not be an appropriate option for you.

What about Spills and Stains?

Kitchens, occasionally, experience dropped pots of spaghetti, broken water glasses, or even overspray from faucets and taps. Yet, if you mop up these spills quickly, they will have little effect on your flooring. However, if you install hardwood, beware of disastrous water-related incidents such as a leaking dishwasher or refrigerator or unchecked water under your sink.

Options for a Durable Kitchen

1. Pre-Finished vs. Site Finished Hardwood Floors

Always opt for site-finished floors for your kitchen rather than pre-finished ones. Site-finished floors are first installed in your kitchen in their raw wood form and then stain and sealer are applied while pre-finished hardwood floors come ready for installation since both stain and sealer are applied in the factory. The difference is that the site finished floors have an additional top sealant layer to bridge the seams between your floorboards.

2. Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Another idea is to install an engineered wood floor, which is a veneer of actual wood on top of dimensionally stable plywood. The ply core resists water that gets below the surface better than solid hardwood.

3. Maintenance of Hardwood Floors

Kitchens are high-traffic zones so expect trails across the floor after some years, which you can lightly sand or screen down. To prevent dents, scratches, or sun-bleached patches on your flooring, you can use runners and throw rugs.

Yes, you can install hardwood flooring in your kitchen to give it a traditional, authentic, and warm feel, but it requires proper care and maintenance.

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