Whether you’re a keen cook or more experienced with the microwave, you’ll know that a lot goes on in the kitchen. Steam from the stove, splashes from the sink and the daily run of the dishwasher – all of these things could cause damage to your kitchen floor.
So if you’re wondering whether wood is a good option, here’s our advice: wood flooring can look beautiful, be durable and long-lasting in a kitchen as long as it’s looked after.
Lots of homes have lovely, natural wood flooring in their kitchens with no problems. All it takes is a little care and attention. Here are some things to bear in mind:
Heat & Moisture
Wood 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.
Keeping control of these changes will help to ensure your wood floor stays in tip top condition. Check that your kitchen is well ventilated and fitted with an extraction fan. Opening a window while cooking will also help to dispel heat and moisture, protecting your wood floor.
When it comes to choosing a type of wood for the kitchen, engineered is a great option as it has a multi-layered construction which provides good stability in changing conditions. We don’t recommend solid wood as it’s more prone to natural movements and could become distorted in a kitchen environment.
Unless you have a utility room, the kitchen is usually home to your washing machine and dishwasher. If these are plumbed in correctly then they shouldn’t cause a problem but the risk of a leak is always there. A significant leak has the potential to damage any type of kitchen floor but just bear in mind that water can warp wood if it isn’t cleaned away quickly. We recommend checking your appliances regularly to avoid any unwanted surprises.
There’s also your 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 your oven if you have concerns.
Spills can happen anywhere in the home – a tipped glass of wine or a greasy spit from the pan. As long as they’re cleaned up straight away, they shouldn’t cause damage or stains to your wood floor. In the kitchen, keep an eye out for spills when using the sink or the stove. Mats are a good idea in these areas, helping to protect your floor by catching any splashes or rogue bits of food that might have gone unnoticed.
Another way to help protect your wood floor is to choose wood with a lacquered finish. 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. 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.
TIP: We recommend fitting a new kitchen before a new wood floor. Fitting a kitchen on top of wood flooring could prevent natural movement in the wood and potentially damage your wood floor.
As with any room in your home, taking good care of your wood floor will ensure it performs to its best and lasts longer. Regular sweeping with a soft bristled broom will help to remove any bits that find their way onto the floor from cooking – these could cause stains or scratches if left around.
The beautifully warm and comfortable feeling of a natural wood floor can look fantastic in a kitchen. Browse our collection for inspiration.