For some people, when it comes to putting wood floors in a kitchen, the jury is still out. For me and a lot of other folks, the issues of wood floors vs tile, hardwood vs linoleum, and kitchen designs with hardwood floors are solved. The kitchen with hardwood floors has emerged as practical alternative. Let us deal with some of the myths and facts, as it may help to understand some of the reasons behind this trend.
Water Based Polyurethane Floor Finish: Improved Finishes
There have been dramatic improvements in the quality of the finishes developed for hardwood floors. In particular, waterborne polyurethanes are proving to be more durable and easily maintained than any finish we have ever seen. When I first evaluated waterborne finishes, it was on my own kitchen floors some 15 years ago. I took away the “splat mat” under my daughter’s high chair and let her spill and throw as much food as she liked on the floor. When I saw how well the finish held up and how easy it was to clean, I became a believer.
Improved Care and Maintenance
Perhaps the biggest issue with any flooring material used in wood floors in a kitchen is how to care for and maintain the surface. Regardless of how decorative
the surface may be, the inability to clean and maintain it usually trumps all concerns. There have been some technological breakthrough in cleaning products, and we have the manufacturers of waterborne finishes to thank. These products eliminate the need for homegrown cleaning formulas and any question about whether to damp-mop the floors. These cleaning kits that are available from BonaKemi and Basic Coatings are simple to use, and replenishing your stock of cleaning products is a snap. Along with the improvements in finishes, the improvement in cleaning products makes all the difference in the world.
Have you ever tried to change the color of linoleum, or a ceramic tile? It is not an option, so you better choose the colors carefully. On the other hand, with a wood floor you just gently sand and then stain to whatever color you want. The selection of wood species available now is in the dozens. Area rugs and floor cloths only add to the color and décor of the room. Decorators and designers have been quick to appreciate these options and they are a driving force behind the move to wood in the kitchen.
Wood Floors vs Tile: lower back pain
Long ago, manufacturers found out that employees who stood on wood floors as opposed to concrete or tile suffered less back pain. Wood is a better shock absorber than most floor products and this translates into a more comfortable surface to work on. If your kitchen is like most, it is the family nerve center and where everyone gathers to interact and work. Lower back pain may not be a problem with your children, but how does your back feel at the end of the day?
Prefinished Wood Flooring
Manufacturers have caught on and the number of engineered floor products on the market has skyrocketed. The selection of colors, species, widths and finish options has never been so varied. A surface that once was considered a maintenance challenge now has the potential for making a bold design statement and contribution to the most active and heavily used room in the home.
Wood Floors in a Kitchen
Wood floors in a kitchen really bring out the best in this regal material. Practical and utilitarian, it provides you with more options than any product ever offered. The care and maintenance of the surface is easier than it has ever been before. And the option to refurbish and recoat extends the life of the floor indefinitely. Do yourself, and your house, a favor and explore the options “cooking with wood” can bring to your home.