Hardwood flooring needs no introduction to any one looking for a classic and traditional looking kitchen flooring option. Hardwood kitchen flooring adds timeless warmth, beauty, and style to any space, and with today’s premium finishes, hardwood easily takes its reign as the king of flooring in the kitchen as well.
We will discuss the pros and cons of using hardwood kitchen flooring in your home and hopefully can help you make the right flooring choice for your home
Cost of Hardwood Kitchen Flooring
Hardwood flooring is respectfully more expensive than all other flooring materials starting at $4 a sq. ft uninstalled . Although hardwood flooring can be quite an expense, there is no question that it is a fantastic investment for any home. Hardwood is highly regarded as an asset in the real estate industry and its presence can add thousands of dollars to the value of your home. Its worth every penny!
Color & Design Choices for Hardwood Kitchen Flooring
Hardwood flooring presents plenty of opportunity to introduce a personalized sense of style and color to your kitchen. There are over 50 species of hardwood available to the consumer today, each offering their own unique color, strength and grain. Adding style and texture is easily achieved as hardwood manufacturers offer more than a few options that will affect the overall look of your kitchen floor space:
Strip Hardwood Flooring
This form of hardwood flooring is restricted to widths of 1 ½”, 2″, and 2 ¼”. Strip hardwood flooring creates a very linear appearance and creates the impression of length in smaller spaces.
Plank Hardwood Flooring
Plank hardwood flooring is available in widths from 3″ to 8″. This style also creates a linear appearance but is generally wider than strip flooring.
Hand-Scrapped Hardwood Flooring
Hand-Scrapped hardwood flooring leaves the product ribbed rather than smooth. This style aids in disguising damage and makes for a more rustic appearance.
Unfinished Hardwood Flooring
Unfinished hardwood flooring is a natural state flooring where stain and finishing has not yet occurred. Here manufacturers give you complete control over the look you want to accomplish. Beware that many manufacturers are less likely to give you the same warrantee that you would receive with a pre-finished floor.
Pre-finished Hardwood Flooring
Pre-finished hardwood floors are entirely sanded, stained, and finished making for easy installation. Pre-finished floors account for more than half of the hardwood market today as this product is very cost effective.
Parquet Hardwood Flooring
Parquet hardwood flooring is right back in style again resembling various geometric patterns and or arrangements made from individual wood pieces.
Tip * * There are also several grades to choose from when finding your perfect hardwood kitchen floor. The type of grade you choose will also affect the look of your floor as each grade exhibits more or less natural characteristics of the wood.
The Durability of Hardwood Kitchen Flooring
It is no surprise that hardwood can last a lifetime however this product requires care and can require more maintenance as well.
Scratch resistance – Hardwood flooring being a natural product makes it susceptible to scratching. Although certain woods may be harder than others, wood is still quite soft. Floors can be repaired professionally but there are fillers and tools to help the do it yourself ers make a quick fix!
Strength - Strength is important when choosing hardwood for your kitchen space as the lovely kitchen is generally the busiest room in most homes. The Janka table represents the strength variations of hardwood species. Refer to this list when choosing a species for your flooring surface.
Fire resistance - Hardwood floors are generally treated with fire retardant material to help slow the progress of any fire.
Water resistance - The finishes used on hardwood flooring today are quite tolerant of water, traffic and staining, however like all natural flooring products water left standing for an extended period of time can lead to your floor cupping, and or cracking. Introduce rugs or mats to your kitchen space to prevent any water related damage.
Maintenance – Sweeping, dry mopping, and vacuuming are easy ways to keep your floor in great shape. Prevent scratching and scuffing by placing fabric pads under furniture and appliances and be sure to follow the manufacturers suggestions for product and finishing before using any other over the counter products.
Construction & Installation of Hardwood Kitchen Flooring
In the past hardwood flooring could only be glued and nailed down to specific sub flooring construction, but with the likes of the new click flooring systems, it is possible to install hardwood flooring over existing floors and concrete, easily and on your own. Professional installation of hardwood can significantly raise your cost but there is value in knowing the job will be done right.
Hardwood flooring construction also presents a few choices:
- Solid hardwood - This form of hardwood is a solid piece of wood cut into planks but can only be installed over a sub-floor. This hardwood flooring is not suitable for ground floor structures.
- Engineered hardwood - This hardwood flooring is becoming incredibly popular today due to its stability, durability, and versatility. This product is made from several piles of wood that are then glued and laminated to form a single wood plank. Engineered hardwood can be installed just about anywhere.
- Long strip hardwood - Also engineered but is shaped into longer strips and is generally wider as well. A single piece of long strip hardwood, depending on the style, will give the appearance of several rows of wood on one plank.
Environmental Impact of Hardwood Flooring
The use of hardwood flooring has often been frowned upon as trees are removed from their natural environment but today forest management takes precedent over depletion where there is twice as much timber planted annually as is harvested. This is also known as sustainable hardwood. Hardwood that is harvested is also replaced to ensure future growth. Rest assure that this industry is equally concerned for the environments well being. Hardwood is a natural product so it can also be recycled.
Hardwood flooring finishes allow for these floors to be protected from mildew and mold and their construction does not harbor dust.
For further information on hardwood flooring, be sure to utilize the knowledge of the National Wood Flooring Association at www.woodfloors.org Other recommended resources on hardwood are the National Hardwood Lumber Association which you can visit at www.natlhardwood.org or visit the American Hardwood Information Center at www.hardwood.org
Hardwood floors were not titled King for being lame! They certainly reign their kingdom well as their beauty, durability, and value are unmatched throughout. Whether you plan on settling or selling, hardwood kitchen flooring is always a great investment.
The Martini Factor
There is some comfort in having hardwood as the surface below the feet of your party participants. Although hardwood flooring possesses shock absorbent qualities some hardwood floors are softer than others. So not all stemware and china may be saved but certainly some will!