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Is Hardwood Floor a Good Choice for Kitchen Flooring?

Choosing the right kitchen flooring should be done meticulously as it is one of the high-traffic areas of a house. A hardwood floor is a great option as long as you choose the right type of wood. This guide will help you select the best hardwood that will match your kitchen preferences.

Kitchen with hardwood flooring and wooden cabinetry.

A hard floor is an excellent choice for kitchen flooring.

There is a beautiful saying- “The fondest memories are made when gathered around the table.

The kitchen is an important part of our homes. It is one of the high foot-traffic areas in our houses. From spending hours cooking to watching the kids search through cabinets, our kitchens are rarely left alone.

Thanks to the continuous foot traffic in the kitchen, it continuously withstands spills and stains.

Hence, choosing the right kitchen flooring is an important decision.

When looking at the kitchen flooring options, we should think about the durability, sustainability, and ease of maintenance of the material.

There is a misconception that hardwood flooring is prone to water damage and that it requires high maintenance. While it is true that we must properly maintain our hardwood flooring, the benefits of having hardwood flooring in the kitchen outweigh the few downsides.

Let us talk about a few reasons why hardwood flooring is a good choice for the kitchen.

Beauty & Aesthetics

Eat-in kitchen with dark wood cabinetry and cherry hardwood flooring.

Like most other natural things, natural wood is beautiful. Given the wide range of wood grain patterns and colors available with hardwood flooring, we can all have our pick.

When looking into interior design, we might find it challenging to find the right balance between style and functionality.

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This is where hardwood flooring comes to our rescue.

I enjoy the unique character of hardwood floors. With their natural tones and warm aura, hardwood floors exude an inviting feeling to your kitchen.

Durability

Light wood plank floor with spilled water.

As we know, the porous nature of hardwood allows easy absorption of moisture. 

When exposed to water for long periods of time, hardwood can start having issues.

This is a big reason why we question whether hardwood will make a good flooring material for our kitchen.

One way to address the moisture issue of hardwood is to look into the Janka hardness chart.

This chart helps determine the relative hardness of different types of wood. Put simply, woods that have a higher rating on this scale are harder than those with a lower rating.

Once we understand the characteristics of hardwood, we can reduce the water-related issues related to hardwood flooring.

Appeals to both traditional and contemporary kitchen designs

Contemporary kitchen with hardwood floor and stark white walls.

The versatility of wood makes it a perfect choice for all kinds of kitchen designs. I have come across several traditional homes that have beautiful hardwood floors. In addition, I have visited contemporary homes that boast stylish kitchens with exotic hardwood flooring.

Choosing the right type of hardwood

Close-up of hardwood samples in different styles and shades.

When we are shopping for hardwood flooring, we generally come across two main options, namely, solid wood and engineered wood. I believe it is important to understand these in a little detail to have clarity about the benefits and downsides of each.

Unlike solid wood, which is made from a single piece of wood, engineered wood combines a veneer layer of solid wood and a high-density fiberboard (HDF) core. 

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One of the biggest advantages of solid wood is that we can refinish it time and again. In other words, solid wood can last a lifetime.

The feel (or touch) of hardwood is miles apart from that of engineered wood.

We get a large number of customization options available with hardwood.

Now that we have talked about the pros of having hardwood flooring for our kitchen, let us dive into the different types of hardwood species available for flooring.

Polished cherry hardwood floor

Cherry tops the list of most popular hardwood species.

The American cherry or black cherry is particularly in demand due to its red and pink hues. This hardwood also has a tight and wavy grain, adding to its lustrous finish.

One thing to note here is that the cherry is soft hardwood. However, it does not rank poorly in dimensional stability. Also, cherry hardwood should not be exposed to sunlight for long periods of time. It also costs more than other hardwood types.

The American walnut is another popular hardwood species. I love its rich brown-purple color and dark swirling grains. Like cherry hardwood, walnut hardwood is also a bit expensive.

If we are going for old-fashioned warmth, oak hardwood might be one of the best choices.

Another thing I like about oak hardwood is that it goes well with a wide range of home decor and furniture styles. Most popular oak hardwoods include red oak and white oak.

I would like to add here that oak hardwood falls in the mid-range of hardness rating, and costs less than cherry and walnut hardwoods.

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Other options such as maple, teak, birch, pine, and hickory hardwood flooring are also available.

What should we consider when shopping for kitchen hardwood flooring?

Kitchen with vaulted ceiling, wooden cabinetry, and matching hardwood floor.

Several factors go into making the right choice of hardwood flooring for our kitchen. Cost, design, style, and maintenance are some important areas to consider before we hop on the shopping wagon.

Done the right way, hardwood flooring can add to the beauty and appeal of not just the kitchen but of our entire home.

References:

Overstock: Best Budget-Friendly Kitchen Flooring Options

Wayfair: Oak Solid Hardwood Flooring