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Is wood flooring suitable for kitchens?

Updated: May 9

Wood Flooring in the Kitchen: A Comprehensive Guide by Forté Flooring Ireland

Enhance your kitchen with the timeless beauty of wood flooring, but make an informed choice based on design, feel, warmth, and durability.
At Forté Flooring Ireland, we understand the importance of a kitchen's aesthetics and functionality. Wood flooring is a popular choice, but it's essential to weigh the pros and cons for a decision that combines style and practicality.

Kitchen Wood Flooring. Is wood flooring a good idea in kitchens. Kitchen Wood Flooring Ideas.
Luxury Kitchen With Hardwood Engineered Wood Flooring

For Engineered Wood Flooring:

Engineered wood flooring, consisting of layers of compressed materials with a solid hardwood top layer, presents distinct advantages over solid wood flooring. Wood's natural tendency to expand and contract with changes in moisture and temperature can pose challenges in kitchens where heat and steam are prevalent. Engineered wood, with its dimensionally stable base, mitigates these issues by minimizing expansion and contraction, making it a superior choice for kitchen environments.

Advantages of Wood Flooring in the Kitchen

Timeless Look:

Wood flooring adds natural warmth and elegance, ensuring a timeless aesthetic that complements various design styles.

Versatility allows for seamless integration with contemporary or traditional kitchen designs.

Comfortable and Warm Underfoot:

Provides a warmer and more comfortable surface compared to alternatives like ceramic tile and stone.

Ideal for those spending extended periods in the kitchen, offering a pleasant underfoot experience.


Lacquered finishes and quality Oil finishes contribute to the durability of wood floors, offering resistance against scratches and dents.

Long-lasting quality, with the ability to sand and refinish lacquered floors if needed, extending the lifespan of the flooring.

Outlasts wood-like flooring options such as laminate, providing decades of service with proper maintenance.

Open plan Kitchen Living Area with Wood Flooring Tying to two areas together with a wood chevron floor.

Drawbacks of Wood Flooring in Kitchens


Wood flooring can be a significant investment, but its durability and timeless appeal often justify the cost.

Limited Moisture-Resistance

Wood flooring, especially solid wood, has limited moisture resistance. Engineered wood flooring, however, mitigates this issue with a stable base that minimizes expansion and contraction.

Requires Ongoing Maintenance

While durable, wood flooring requires ongoing maintenance. Choosing the right finish and proactive care can significantly extend its life.

Optimal Finish for Kitchen Flooring

Lacquered Finish

In high-traffic areas like kitchens, a lacquered finish is recommended for ease of cleaning. It reflects more light, making it ideal for smaller or darker rooms. A matt lacquer surface offers a tougher, resilient finish.

Oiled Finish

Oiled finishes bring out the natural grain and color but require more maintenance through regular reapplication. Suitable for those who prioritize the floor's natural aesthetics.

Kitchen Wood Flooring FAQ. Wood floors in Kitchen Areas

Water Resistance Test for Hardwood Floors: Ensure Longevity and Durability

Performing a water resistance test on your hardwood flooring sample is a crucial step in ensure the quality of a wood floor for kitchen areas. Follow these steps, to assess the quality of your floor samples

Water Beading:

  • Pour a few drops of water onto the chosen sample.

  • If the water beads up, it indicates that the sealant on your floors is effective and intact. This is a positive sign, suggesting that the finish is doing its job, and there's no immediate need for refinishing.

Darkening with Beading:

  • If the water beads but the wood still darkens slightly, it suggests that the finish is partially compromised. While not an urgent concern, it signals that you should monitor the situation. Consider periodic assessments to ensure the finish continues to provide adequate protection.

Immediate Absorption and Darkening:

  • If the water is immediately absorbed, and the wood darkens noticeably, it's a clear indication that the finish is no longer effective. This compromises the water resistance of your floors, making them vulnerable to damage.

  • Prompt action is recommended. Refinishing should be considered before further deterioration occurs, preventing the need for complete floor replacement.

Importance of Testing Before Purchasing:

Testing a wood floor sample before making a purchase is a prudent practice for several reasons:

Evaluate Water Resistance:

  • Testing allows you to assess the water resistance of the flooring material. This is crucial, especially for areas prone to spills or moisture, such as kitchens and bathrooms.

Quality Assurance:

  • By testing a sample, you can gauge the quality of the finish and its effectiveness in protecting the wood. This ensures that you invest in a product that meets your durability expectations.

Prevent Unpleasant Surprises:

  • Testing in advance helps you avoid unpleasant surprises after installation. It provides insight into how the flooring will perform in real-world conditions, allowing you to make an informed decision.

Long-Term Cost Savings:

  • Ensuring the water resistance of your chosen flooring reduces the risk of water damage, potentially saving you from costly repairs or premature replacement in the future.

In conclusion, a water resistance test is a simple yet effective method to gauge the health of your hardwood floors and make informed decisions when purchasing new flooring. Regular assessments and proactive refinishing can contribute to the long-lasting beauty and durability of your hardwood floors.

FAQ For Wood Flooring In Kitchen Areas

Q: Can wood floors be installed in kitchens? A: Yes, engineered wood flooring is suitable for kitchens, providing a stable and durable option resistant to moisture and temperature changes.

Q: Why is solid wood flooring not recommended for kitchens? A: Solid wood expands and contracts significantly with changes in moisture and temperature, making it unsuitable for the kitchen environment.

Q: How does engineered wood flooring perform in kitchens? A: Engineered wood flooring is an excellent choice for kitchens due to its minimal expansion and contraction, ensuring durability in kitchen conditions.

Q: How should spills and splashes be managed on an engineered wood kitchen floor? A: Promptly clean up spills, especially grease or acid-based substances, to prevent staining. Regular maintenance ensures the wood's appearance and longevity.

Q: What is the recommended cleaning routine for a wooden kitchen floor? A: Daily sweeping and damp mopping are sufficient. Regularly applying finishes like oil or lacquer protects the wood, and addressing plumbing issues promptly prevents water damage.


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