There's no need to settle for tile or linoleum in the kitchen. If you love the look of real hardwood floors, it's possible to have them throughout your home. Many people shy away from wood in the kitchen because they are worried about water damage or stains. The following tips can help prevent these problems by ensuring you install the right hardwood flooring.
Tip #1: Pick a harder wood
The harder woods are a better choice in the kitchen because they can stand up to high traffic. They are also resistant against dents and gouging, which can happen when you move heavy appliances or simply drop your favorite cast iron pot. The hardest woods that are commonly used include oak, cherry and maple. Softer woods, like pine, may be less expensive but they may not stand up as well inside the kitchen.
Tip #2: Opt for the right finish
The key to avoid food and water stains is to make sure the floor is properly sealed. An acrylic impregnated water-based sealer is your best option. Water-based sealers can be quickly touched up, and you can even add a fresh coat without removing the old if need be. Choosing one that has also been impregnated with acrylic means that there is an added layer of protection on the floor. This extra layer is important because it ensures that any damage that does occur only damages the finish, which can be stripped off and reapplied if the damage is severe enough to warrant repair.
Tip #3: Go for the low sheen
The sheen is the reflectability of the floor. Finishes can have a high sheen, which means they are very glossy and reflective, or they can have a low sheen, which provides a more natural look. High sheen floors tend to show every smudge and foot print. Food crumbs and imperfections are also much more noticeable on a high-sheen floor. Opt for a medium to low sheen to avoid these problems.
Tip #4: Commit to proper maintenance
You should sweep the kitchen floor daily to prevent grit from scratching the finish. It's also a good idea to use rugs in front of the sink. Just check under the rug daily to make sure there is no trapped moisture against the wood. If food or water is spilled, wiping it up quickly should be sufficient to avoid water marks and stains. You can mop it as needed with the wood cleaner of choice. Beyond daily vigilance, the kitchen floor is cared for much like any other wood floor in your home.