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Aug 1, 2005 02:12 PM

hardwood floor in kitchen

  • m

we are starting a kitchen remodel and I would love to put hardwood floors in but my wife thinks I'm crazy. For those who have them would you do it again? My wife thinks they will wear fast and we won't be able to keep them clean. What do you clean them with?

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  1. My mom has hardwood in the kitchen, with little rugs over the most trafficy areas (in front of the stove and sink). It's so much easier to clean than the blah linoleum in my apartment kitchen. I would think that since it has a smooth surface, hardwood would be easier to keep clean. Linoleum has that bumpy surface that catches dust and other particles, and things seem to stick to the plastic surface.

    It also depends how clumsy you are: we all loved the slick hardwood, but my dad said "What are you, trying to kill me?"

    4 Replies
    1. re: nooodles

      Plus, any contractor worth his/her salt will be able to suggest flooring that's been used in other people's kitchens. Your contractor might even be able to get photos of other floors he's done so you can see what wear and tear looks like. There might be new coatings made in the last few years that posters on this board didn't have when they installed their floors. My mom's never used anything but soap and water, and there's no damage or discoloration after 5 years (even after the ceiling leaked water onto the kitchen floor one winter).

      There's also that new synthetic material that looks just like hardwood. Don't know if that would be up your alley, but people do seem to love it and it eliminates a lot of the traditional problems of hardwod.

      1. re: nooodles

        After they have lived with laminate flooring they begin to hate it. It can be broken, it is a floating floor and if your dishwasher melts down and floods the floor, the water will get under the laminate and soften the glue and the joins will lift and it will never look the same. I made the mistake of putting it in my laundry room lowerlevel hallway. The washer over flowed within a month of the floor being installed and it looks horrid. I just cannot replace it right now so I have to live with it. Also the laminate that looks like wood is pretty obviously laminate. As a Realtor I see a lot of floors and I can pick out the laminate without having to touch it.

        1. re: Candy

          Yes, it "floats" which can also be spelled S-E-P-A-R-A-T-E-S! It has an almost hallow sound when you walk on it. Opt for the real thing. The laminate is cheaper for a reason.

        2. re: nooodles
          JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

          You're thinking of laminate flooring. It is better for use in rooms that don't have water splashing around... putting it in the kitchen, laundry room, or bathroom is asking for trouble later down the line.

          On the bright side, if you do ruin part of the floor, it isn't incredibly difficult to pull up the floor, take out the bad bits, put in new ones, and put it back down.


      2. moisture is the biggest problem. if you get a spill or leak and don't tend to it immediately, the liquid will be under the boards in no time. a little spill probably won't matter, but a leaking dishwasher can cause it to swell and buckle in no time. it's impossible to seal between boards as the grain pattern causes each piece to breathe differently.

        it's a beautiful look in the kitchen, but you do have to be prepared for the wear and tear. of course, wear patterns are part of the charm of a hardwood floor. the finish in high-use areas (in front of the stove, fridge and prep stations will wear faster than the rest). you also have to accept that dropped knifes, etc. will ding it up. you have two choices, go with a very durable finish (think basketball court) that will hold up as long as possible. the drawback is these types of finishes are either difficult or impossible to do spot touch-ups on. or go with a wax-type finish that is less durable, but can be touched-up.

        if you're doing an extensive enough remodel, i'd have custom drip pans made and installed under any wet areas to prevent moisture from getting onto the floor if you have a leak.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mark

          forgot to mention. regular sweeping and occasional damp mopping is the generally proscribed method of cleaning. in a kitchen it's just important to stay on top of the cleaning. don't let anything dry on it.

        2. I've had hardwood floors in my kitchen for more than three years and cherish them. They are tongue and groove, prefinished at the factory and very sturdy. Installation was both glue and nails - unusual but sturdy. We insisted. Vacuum and a damp mop is all I've done for cleaning and I must admit to being a messy cook. So far, the only downside that I've found is that if you drop an eight pound frozen roast on them, they can ding and our dogs slip a bit when they round a corner at full gallop. After twenty years of hard tile floors, these are a treat! I find less "back fatigue" with them and for this reason chose them over truly gorgeous stained concrete or the French limestone I was oogling.

          Check out the "Wood Hardness Council" on the internet (or some name like that) for your best choices. Hardwoods are not all equal. Pay more now, you won't regret it later.
          P.S. -- I'd do this again in a heartbeat.

          1. I swear by mine and I plan on redoing them again when we do our big remodel in a few years. I find them easier on legs/back, easy to clean and maintain. However the biggest caveat is that you need to like the worn in look all wood floors will eventually get. You will notice marked differences in high traffic area. You have to be careful that all chairs have pads on the leg bottoms and even so you will still eventually get drag marks. Plus as a PP said you will get dings and divots if you drop heavy things like frozen turkeys or Le Creuset pans.

            1. We've got them in the house we bought 4 years aro, and LOVE them. I believe the floor is about 6 years old and I haven't noticed any wear patterns, or major dings like other posters mentioned. It's a highly trafficked area and we cook a lot, so it's not like it's not getting a lot of use. I don't notice any problems with slipping or slickness either.

              I sweep and mop with Murphy's Oil Soap. If I was redoing a kitchen myself, I'd definintely put them in.