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Kitchens are always a bit of a debate when it comes to the best flooring.  Tiles, vinyl flooring, these tend to be the go-to options with specialist kitchen carpet being another choice.  But what about hardwood flooring – can this work in the kitchen?

What makes hardwood flooring so desirable?

Hardwood flooring remains one of the most desired styles of flooring.  It creates an attractive surface with the natural variations of real wood and is often softer and warmer than options such as tiles. Hardwood floors are often seen to increase the value of a home by being in the rooms.  It has that luxury association that makes people love it but there are also practical benefits to having it.

Types of hardwood flooring

To consider hardwood flooring on a kitchen floor, it is worth taking a moment to get to know the different types.  There are four main options.

Solid unfinished planks – These allow you to have the hardwood floor in place then stain it any colour you want.  Then a sealer coat is applied to the whole of the surface to help with water resistance and to seal the stain in place.  If the stain becomes chipped or damaged, it is easy to sand the planks down and reapply.

Solid prefinished planks – These are the same idea, but they come with finish in place so there’s less work for you to get the floor ready for use.  They are usually sanded, sealed, and stained before being dispatched so all that needs to be done is installation.  But this means you have to take the finish as it comes rather than selecting your own.

Engineered planks – Engineered planks add a thin veneer of hardwood on top of a plywood base to create a pre-finished look.  They usually install in a ‘click and lock’ style so they are ideal for things like floating floors where there is no attachment to the subfloor.  They are also the easiest option for DIY floor installation.

Reclaimed planks – These are the least common option but can be sourced.  These are salvaged from different places and given some treatment before being re-sold for use in homes.  If recycling materials is a big point on your list, these are a great option.

Is hardwood flooring right for the kitchen?

Now we understand the different types of hardwood flooring, the question becomes whether it is right for the kitchen or not?

Kitchens offer unique challenges, mostly through water and spillages as well as increased heat and moisture levels.  That’s why some laminate flooring doesn’t recommend use in the kitchen.

However, hardwood flooring is a little different.  If you choose unfinished or prefinished planks, you can add a sealant to them that helps the wood become water-resistant.  This will withstand many common spills and water drops without soaking into the wood.

Engineered wood is even tougher and can withstand more in the way of water damage.  So, these options can all work in the kitchen although a little care is always the best approach, as with any type of flooring.