Can you put wood flooring in your kitchen?
We are often asked if wood flooring is suitable for kitchens and the answer is. YES but note the following advice.
Any wood floor in a kitchen is going to need to be mopped frequently – one or twice a week as a minimum. This means moisture and wood
does not like excessive moisture.
The first think to note is that you should be minimising the moisture you use to clean the floor by using a well wrung out flat bottomed mop rather than the stringy varieties. See more information on Wood Floor Care and Maintenance.
I think the single most important thing is to use a wood floor in the kitchen which is finished with a hardwax oil rather than a lacquer. In the long run moisture can creep between the header joints on the ends of the boards where it is then readily absorbed by the end grain of the wood. With lacquered finishes, this moisture is trapped and can cause blackening of the grain at the ends of the boards. You may heave seen the same effect with Beech work tops which are particularly susceptible to this.
Hardwax oils are micro-porous so they breathe and you avoid this problem.
Should you use solid or engineered wood floors in a kitchen?
Wood floors respond to changes in heat and humidity. Solid boards respond much more readily than engineered boards and you will find both heat and humidity in a kitchen so an engineered wood flooring would be a sensible choice. Having said that I would not rule out using a solid board in a kitchen but avoid Beech which is too unstable and avoid very wide planks (over 180mm) for the same reason.
Should you fit the wood floor before the kitchen or vice versa?
This is tricky and there are pros and cons to each approach.
It is certainly easier to fit the wood floor first when you have an empty room against this you have to weigh up the likelihood of the floor being damaged during the kitchen installation but more importantly, there is the risk albeit a small risk of a leak at some stage.
If this happens you will wish your new floor did not extend beneath your nice new kitchen units. The wood floor will expand and tent up this can cause serious dame and getting the flooring out at this stage is a big problem.
If the floor is just tucked under the kitchen plinths it can be removed and replaced much more easily in the event of a leak or minor flood.
One thing to remember however is that any subfloor preparation must be done before the kitchen is fitted. Don’t fit the kitchen then invite the flooring guy or company.
See our how to install wood flooring guide.