Wood flooring is a popular choice in the kitchens of today’s homes. It’s often specified for open-plan ground floors, kitchen extensions and modern interiors with the same floor finish running throughout rooms. It provides a timeless, quality feel, is hygienic and easy to look after.
As wood is a natural material, there are some things to consider when choosing it for this practical space. Yet as long as it’s properly maintained, wood flooring is perfectly suitable for a kitchen.
Here are some things to think about:
- Type of wood
Engineered wood flooring is the best option for a kitchen as it has a multi-layered construction which provides excellent stability in changing moisture conditions. We don’t recommend solid wood for a kitchen as it’s more prone to natural movements and could become distorted with continuous exposure to heat and moisture changes.
- Wood finish
We recommend a lacquered wood finish for a kitchen floor. It’s harder wearing than oil and shields the wood at surface-level so liquid and stains can’t penetrate so easily. A lacquered finish is also more hygienic as it helps to prevent a build-up of bacteria in the floor – great for such a practical space.
That’s not to say that oiled wood floors aren’t suitable for kitchens. Our advice is that this type of finish needs to be cleaned more regularly to prevent any spills or stains from causing damage. And more regular cleaning could wear away the finish sooner than it would elsewhere in the home, meaning the floor may need re-oiling sooner to ensure it’s well protected.
- Fit the kitchen first
Fitting units on top of a wood floor could prevent natural movement in the wood potentially causing gaps or buckling in the floor later down the line. With this in mind, we recommend that kitchens are fitted before the wood flooring.
Wood flooring naturally expands and contracts as heat and moisture levels rise and fall. In most rooms of the home, these changes are small but heat and steam from cooking can cause larger fluctuations in the kitchen. To control these changes and ensure the wood floor stays in tip top condition, the kitchen should be well ventilated and fitted with an extraction fan.
If a washing machine or dishwasher is kept in the kitchen, ensure these are plumbed in correctly to avoid the risk of a leak. Water can warp wood if it isn’t cleaned away quickly.
There’s also the oven to think about. Most modern, fitted ovens are well-insulated and unlikely to cause issues. However, some traditional floor-mounted ovens produce a lot of heat and could create hotspots. A hotspot may dry out the wood around the area of the oven, causing the planks to shrink and distort. Consider a tiled hearth around the oven if there are concerns.
Tips for the homeowner
- Opening the windows while cooking will help to dispel heat and moisture, protecting the wood floor.
- Appliances should be checked regularly to avoid any surprise leaks.
- Cleaning up spills straight away will avoid damage or stains.
- Placing mats next to stoves and sinks will help to catch any splashes or rogue bits of food that might otherwise go unnoticed.
- Floor should be swept regularly with a soft bristled broom and our safe Cleaning Kit used for routine cleans. One Coat Soap can be used for more intense cleans on oiled floors every so often.
Click here for more information about wood flooring from Buildbase, or find your nearest Buildbase branch to pop in and talk to our team about flooring options.