Most kitchens are the hub and heart of a home. Kids, their friends, pets and parents tromp through this room at all hours of the day and night. It’s where we eat, cook, do homework and sit down to relax with a cup of tea. This high traffic area needs a floor that will hold up to the demands of family life.
With their natural beauty and timeless elegance, hardwood floors are a good fit for the kitchen. They also make sense economically. First of all, hardwood floors last a lifetime. You won’t have to replace them as you do carpet. Homeowners generally prefer them to carpet, so they add resale value to your home. Easy to maintain and a healthy choice, hardwood floors don’t outgas as do synthetic carpets. Allergy-prone people are much more comfortable with hardwood floors because wood does not trap dust mites or mold. Wood floors also fit in with a sustainable lifestyle. Today most wood is harvested from forests that are carefully managed, which means that usually more trees are planted each year than are harvested. Manufacturers are also increasingly offering reclaimed wood for use in remodeling projects.
Most homeowners have no problem finding a wood to match their kitchen decor. You can choose from a parquet, plank or strip style, either pre-finished or unfinished. Pre-finished wood is by far quicker and easier to install because you do not need to sand, stain or seal it—all of that is done for you. If you choose unfinished, you will need to install it and then sand and finish it, a time consuming and messy process.
Choosing your wood will take a little time because of the varieties available. Consult a kitchen remodel expert to help you narrow down your choices. First you will need to decide between the domestic and exotic wood species. Realize that certain types of wood hold up better to high traffic areas. Oak and maple are two of the most popular choices for flooring, but do your research so you find the type that fits your needs.
Happily, wood flooring is also easy to maintain. Regular maintenance of the floor is as simple as sweeping or vacuuming. For more in-depth cleaning of the floor, purchase a cleaning product designed especially for hardwood floors. Also, any furniture should have protective felt pads on its legs to guard against floor scratches or gouges. Finally, since wood and water don’t mix, be sure to wipe up any spills.
Your choice of a hardwood floor for your kitchen renovation will make your kitchen a cozy, inviting place for your family to gather, and it will please even the most discriminating of tastes—from traditional to contemporary.