Wood floors always give great vibes to every interior design. They are classic, simple, warm, and elegant. As for a kitchen, wood floors even come with more benefits. As one of the highest-traffic areas in the house, this cooking space should be covered with something that can withstand regular wear. This is how the wood floors will be beneficial the most for you since they are not only durable but also easy to clean. If you want to install this flooring type in your cooking area, here are easy tips to help you find the best kitchen wood floors.
Solid Hardwood Vs Engineered Hardwood
When it comes to the wood flooring for kitchens, your option will be narrowed down into two, they are solid hardwood and engineered hardwood.
Generally speaking, solid hardwood used for kitchen floors comes from a single piece of wood. It is often considered the most common option for wood “purists”. This is a floor type that allows you to refinish and sand it repeatedly.
Using solid hardwood for the kitchen also allows you to pick up between prefinished or unfinished options. If you expect an easier installation, the prefinished solid hardwood can be a better option to take. But, if you need solid hardwood for on-site finishing that provides you with more stain options, you can take the unfinished options. But, whatever you choose, both the prefinished and unfinished options are equally stunning.
Solid hardwood is usually stapled or nailed to a wooden subfloor. For some very thin types of solid hardwood, you might need to glue them. However, you need to keep in mind that this type of kitchen flooring is susceptible to humidity. In this way, you can’t install it in damp spaces. You need to provide extra care especially if your cooking space is prone to water spills.
Engineered hardwood will provide you with more stable material for kitchen wood floors. Being made by bonding some layers of hardwood together in a cross-grain construction, this engineered hardwood can withstand humidity well. Not only that but you can also install it over concrete subfloors.
Most of the time, engineer hardwood found in the market is pre-finished. Hardwood engineered is considered a more environmental-friendly option since it uses less milled lumber. When it comes to installation, this man-made wood floor provides you with greater flexibility, allowing you to glue, float, or staple it.
Kitchen wood floors’ finishes have sheen levels that range from high-gloss to low-shine satin. The sheen on the hardwood flooring will provide your kitchen floor with a reflective shine. This also makes it possible for you to add natural light around the cooking area.
Though each sheen created by the hardwood flooring fits a certain area in your house, only one style is often recommended for kitchens. It is a satin-sheen finish. This sheen is considered suitable the most for kitchen space since it can hide food particles and dirt perfectly. The higher the sheen you choose, the dirties your kitchen floor might look. The low-shine satin also does a great job when it comes to hiding floor scratches and footprints often found in high-traffic rooms like kitchens.
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Another thing you should put into consideration when choosing kitchen wood floors is the species of wood. You need to keep in mind that not all materials used in wood flooring are just the same. Hardwoods like maple, cherry, and oak are considered the most durable ones. Meanwhile, softwoods such as pine can easily dent even if you treat them with a penetrating finish.
Depending on your kitchen design, different species used for the cooking area will create a different effect. For instance, if your kitchen design is rustic, a distressed pine floor will likely meet your expectation. When comparing wood species used for your kitchen, it is also important to think about the grain. Wood species with a pronounced grain pattern like oak will help you to hide dirt better than the ones with subtle grains. Not only that but it can also dent better than subtle-grained wood species.
When it comes to selecting wood species for kitchens, you also need to consider the color. Hardwood species like maple and oak come with a light spectrum. They are followed by cherry and teak. If your kitchen design requires dark flooring, mahogany or walnut will make a perfect option.
Kitchen Wood Edges
You need to keep in mind that kitchen wood floors are usually installed simply by laying interlocking planks. Depending on the design of your cooking space, you can cut the planks into different styles and sizes. Additionally, you can also pick up how you want the edges of the wood to be cut.
To allow have a nearly undetectable and smooth seam from plank to plank, you can cut the edges to square. This square edge is often recommended if you want to have the best flooring for your cooking area. This is simply because the square edges can help you create tight seems. In this way, debris can be blocked out effectively.
But if you want to create a rustic kitchen design that provides vibes of real wood, a scraped edge or beveled edge will be perfect. However, you need to keep in mind that it might not the best edge option to take. A kitchen floor covered by hardwood with beveled-edge strips tends to make food and dirt more visible than the square-edge one.
Depending on the thickness, finish, and species, the cost for kitchen wood floors can vary. Most of the time, you will need to pay per square foot for the wood material. In this way, keep in mind to measure the size of your kitchen accurately before shopping. If you are on a tight budget, softwoods might be a good option, though it is not recommended. Generally speaking, the cost for softwoods is only 3 to 6 dollars for square feet.
As hardwood provides more benefits for kitchen wood floors, the cost is also higher, around 14 dollars per square foot. Aside from the price of the material, you also need to consider the installation of hardwood. Depending on the wood species, most services will ask for 4 to 8 dollars per square foot for the installation.