Have you done your research on installing hardwood floors in the kitchen? If so, you might be confused with the answers you find online.
Some experts tell you hardwood and kitchens don’t mix. If you install them, you’ll be sorry very quickly as they fade, are damaged, and may begin to warp.
Still others will tell you it’s okay. If you like the looks of hardwood, then by all means, install them throughout your home, including the kitchen.
Who should you believe? It’s you who is going to have to live with it. And that’s a lot of money if it’s a mistake.
Is it okay to put hardwood floors in a kitchen?
The short answer is: yes. Hardwood flooring can be installed anywhere in your home. But realize that there are different upkeep rules for a kitchen when compared to other rooms, such as a bedroom.
Kitchens are one of the busiest rooms in your home. That means your flooring will have more wear, and will be subjected to more spills and damage. It will require more care.
Of course, there are reasons why you’ll love hardwood floors in your kitchen.
Durable – If you install solid hardwood flooring in your kitchen, you’ll have one of the most durable flooring choices around. Today’s hardwood is better than even a few short years ago. Because manufacturers are continually trying to produce the best materials for their customers, many of today’s flooring choices come treated to make the product stronger, water-resistant, and longer lasting. With a harder finish, it means you’ll be able to wipe away spills and messes easier, without worrying about how quickly it will penetrate the wood. Hardwood still isn’t something that will stand up to long-term moisture or water spills, so it’s important to clean messes up quickly. But it is nice to know that you won’t have to worry about every spill your family makes.
Comfortable – How much time do you spend in the kitchen? Many Americans will tell you it’s one of the most popular rooms in the home. And for a good reason. Most kitchens are considered to be the central hub – the heart of the home. Your kids can do homework there while you prep for dinner. You can create memories by baking with the kids. You can even try your hand at mimicking the latest cooking show, trying your best to create something spectacular. All of that means a lot of time on your feet. It’s a good thing hardwood is soft underfoot, and holds warmth in to keep you comfortable all year through.
Versatile – What’s your idea of a perfect kitchen? Country? Modern? Traditional? An eclectic mix of the three? Whatever you desire, hardwood is one of the most versatile flooring choices, accenting any look perfectly. Even within the hardwood flooring industry, there are many different choices available. From wide planks to exotic hardwood, to colors and stains from light to dark, you can find any look and feel you’re going for.
Are you sold on installing hardwood in your kitchen? Just to ensure you consider all of your options, here are a few reasons against using hardwood in the kitchen.
Maintenance – Some flooring choices are easy care, wipe and go. Tile gives you a flooring that can stand up to whatever your family can dish out. Vinyl gives you maintenance-free living with softness and water-resistance thrown into the mix. But with hardwood, you’ll have to be more on your toes to ensure it stays clean. Daily sweeping is mandatory; you don’t want dirt and debris underfoot. You’re more likely to scratch and damage the surface if you leave messes on the floor. And it is recommended that you refinish your flooring every ten years or so, depending on how much wear you give them throughout the years.
Water – Water damage can be a disaster for your kitchen floors. And with hardwood, you’ll have to clean up your messes quickly or risk damage. Even though today’s hardwood is stronger and more durable than ever, it’s still hardwood. And if water sets too long, you run the risk of damaging or warping the floor boards.
Cost – If you’re looking for an economical flooring choice, hardwood may not be your best choice. Depending on your final selection, hardwood can be one of the most expensive flooring choices you can make. Price should never be your only factor. Nevertheless, it’s important to keep in mind hardwood is at the top of the list when it comes to costs. Keep in mind maintenance and refinishing costs too before you make your final decision.
How do you install hardwood flooring in an existing kitchen?
Are you convinced that installing hardwood in the kitchen is the right choice for you? We have a couple other suggestions for you.
Once homeowners make the decision to install hardwood, the next most popular question we hear is: Do we install the cabinets or the hardwood floors first?
In general, if you’re starting with a clean slate, it’s better to install your hardwood floors first.
This ensures proper height of both your kitchen cabinets and your appliances. If you try and install hardwood around existing cabinetry and appliances, you can sometimes “block” appliances in. If you replace them in the future, it can be a mess trying to pull them out. You might damage the flooring, or have it be improper size, meaning you’ll face a lot more headache in what you thought was a simple job.
Having hardwood underneath your cabinets and appliances also gives you more flexibility in the future. Hardwood floors will outlast cabinets. That means instead of changing out your entire kitchen when you desire a change, you can leave your floors in place, and simply change out the cabinets.
Installing your flooring first also gives you your cleanest look. You won’t have to try and fit pieces around corners, or worry about how flush it is with appliances. The hardwood will simply flow underneath.
It’s also safer on your cabinets. There’s a lot of pounding and placement that goes into installing hardwood flooring. All of that work can mean nicks and scratches in your cabinets. If you install it first, your cabinets will look their best after your remodel is through.
The only exception to this would be if you’re installing floating hardwood floors. Floating floors are clicked together, and don’t require glue to hold it in place. Because they are designed to contract and expand, trapping them underneath appliances and cabinets can reduce the way they are designed to work. This can create bulging and buckling of the planks throughout your kitchen.
So what’s your choice?
Are you thinking of installing hardwood floors in your kitchen?
What other questions do you have before you make your final decision?