A question that raises its head often in the wooden floor world is whether or not wood floors are a good idea in kitchens and bathrooms. As a result of this question we’ve chosen whether or not you can have wood floors in kitchens as the subject of our article today.
Lots of people are in the situation whereby they’re re-doing their kitchens and want to get the detail spot on. It may be that you’re doing a full kitchen renovation and re-design or it might be the case that you’ve decided to compromise and opt only for a change of cabinet doors and worktops. Either way, a huge part of the overall “Wow” factor at the end of your efforts will depend on the flooring you choose.
Lots of people argue that tiles, rubber, marble or slate are the most effective flooring options for kitchens, but many others seek out the warm and natural look that only comes with wood. As any regular reader of this blog will know, there are two main types of wood flooring and they are solid and engineered. Solid wood flooring, as the name suggests is made from planks of solid wood and nothing else. Engineered wood flooring on the other hand is made from layers and layers of ply that are bonded together to form a really strong and stable core board which is then topped off with a solid wood lamella or top layer.
Because wood is a natural product, it expands and contracts as moisture and temperature levels rise and fall. While in small amounts this isn’t an issue, in the likes of a kitchen, where heat and steam are commonplace, it can become a problem. This is precisely why solid wood flooring isn’t recommended for fitting in kitchens. That said, there is no reason whatsoever that engineered wood flooring won’t be a great hit in your kitchen.
Engineered wood flooring quite simply doesn’t expand and contract to the same extent as solid wood flooring, which means that it’ll withstand pretty much whatever your busy kitchen throws at it. As temperatures rise and steam starts to fill the atmosphere, it will expand, but only very slightly, contracting again once temperatures fall back to normal. Because when you fit your floor you’ll have allowed for a 10-15mm expansion gap around the room, your floor will be comfortably able to deal with these atmospheric challenges without batting an eyelid.
All of that said, it is important in a kitchen environment that your engineered wood floor is well protected and that you are conscientious when it comes to mopping up spills and splashes. Any spills or splashes, whether they be grease or acid based (the likes of tomatoes) are best mopped up immediately. If they are left to sit on the surface of your floor, they could cause staining that will not only spoil the look of your floor, but could mean a whole lot of work to get rid of them.
Water is another issue in kitchens that you need to be aware of if you choose engineered wood flooring. As you would expect, any excess water sitting on a wooden surface isn’t a good idea. Because of this, you should make sure that your plumbing is in good order and isn’t leaking. This, alongside making sure any machines, such as washing machines or dishwashers should be checked regularly for water-tightness. All of that said, one great thing about engineered wood flooring in kitchens is that you can plan around your plumbing to create unobtrusive, easy to access inspection points. Inspection access points will make your life a whole lot easier in the event of plumbing problems and with a wood floor the can be made pretty much invisible.
When it comes to cleaning your wooden kitchen floor, a daily sweep and damp mop around should be all that’s required on an ongoing basis. However, regular topping up of finishes, such as oil or lacquer will make sure that your wood stays protected for the long run.
When fitting your engineered wood floor in a kitchen, either the click system, floating or glue-down methods will work. If you have under floor heating, then you’re probably best with the glue-down or floating installation method, depending on the type of under floor heating you have. And finally, if you happen to choose nail or staple down as your preferred fitting method, do be wary of inadvertently piercing any plumbing pipes as you go!
If you’re looking for the perfect wood flooring for your kitchen and would welcome some help, why not get in touch? At Wood and Beyond we’ll provide you with all the help and support you need to make the right decision for your project.