Wood Floors in the Kitchen?

by Wayne Corley 06/30/2019

A growing trend in interior design is to put wood flooring in the kitchen. If this seems counter-intuitive to you, you're not the only one. After all, the risk of damage from traffic, water, spills, stains, and even burns could certainly give one pause. But mainly to accommodate the free-flow open-concept designs and create a visually seamless aspect, wood floors are popping up in both new builds and pricey renovations. Plus, wood is warmer under bare feet on cold mornings, and it just looks nice. 

If you’ve wondered how a wood floor will work in your kitchen, remember the following points about wood floors.ol>

  • Not all wood is the same. Solid wood flooring might come from a hard species or a soft species. While a specific color or grain might attract you, a softer wood is subject to scratches and dents from street shoes, stools or chairs, tables, and heavy appliances such as the refrigerator. While solid wood allows for some repair and refinishing, a harder wood lasts longer and requires less care. Wood floor hardness ratings called the Janka Scale, place firs and pines in the softer category and gums and teaks at the top.
  • Standing water is not your friend. While finished hardwood flooring holds up well to cleaning with a damp mop, standing water that seeps between the planks causes the wood to swell and warp. Wipe up spills and standing water immediately. For the same reason, don’t use a steam floor cleaner. Check around sinks and under the dishwasher and refrigerator for leaks that could damage your floor.
  • Take special care when moving heavy appliances or furniture. Place heavy cardboard or a rug under the wheels or feet and slide it into place to protect the wood from deep grooves, dents, or scratches.
  • Use area rugs under tables and chairs to avoid scratching from constant use. 
  • What about bamboo? Technically, bamboo is a grass, not a hardwood. However, most flooring outlets sell it as hardwood. Compared to most, it is two to three times harder, including oak, so it is an excellent option for flooring. Bamboo floors install the same as hardwood and are more resistant to water and other liquids (although no hardwood, including bamboo, is waterproof).
  • If you’re thinking of placing hardwood in your kitchen during an upcoming renovation, ask your neighborhood real estate professional if hardwood is trending in your area.

    About the Author
    Author

    Wayne Corley

    Born in Detroit, Michigan, Wayne Corley was raised in Central City, Kentucky then attended high school in Ogden, Utah. After a year at Columbia University he graduated with a B.A. in Business Psychology from Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA. 

    After two years of serving in the Peace Corps in Sabah, Malaysia, Wayne returned to the USA and work in a variety of positions in the hospitality industry in Southern California, Rhode Island and Virginia in the 70's.

    In the 80's Wayne developed Lake Vista in Forest, a 750-acre planned development in Forest, Virginia. He was also President of the Greater Lynchburg Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of Greater Lynchburg's Vision 2001,and on the Board of Directors of The Community Bank of Forest.

    In 1995, Wayne and his wife, Kathy, moved to Salem, Massachusetts where Wayne became the founding Executive Director of the Salem State College Assistance Corporation, transforming a former industrial site adjacent to the college into a business incubator, The Enterprise Center at Salem State University. 

    In 1999, Dr. Kathy Corley was hired by the Beaufort County Board of Education to open the new Bluffton Elementary School, and the couple moved to the Low country. Kathy is now the principal of Red Cedar Elementary School in Bluffton. 

    In 2000, Wayne joined Harden Tuten Custom Homes and became the Director of Sales and Marketing until 2012. He has been a licensed real estate broker since 2005. As an Associate Broker with Charter One Realty, he specializes in the listing, marketing, and sales of luxury properties in the Bluffton-Hilton Head area private golf communities. 

    Wayne is a 2006 graduate of the Hilton Head-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program and has served as Chairman of the Board of the Palmetto Chapter of the American Red Cross and as a member of the Beaufort County Tax Equalization Board. Wayne's experience in real estate and the sales and marketing of custom homes in communities throughout the Low country brings an added benefit to clients seeking to purchase, sell, or build residential properties.