Many clients ask whether or not wood flooring is a practical choice for a kitchen floor. The answer is yes and no. How’s that for definitive?
Like so many things in the home, so much depends on how you live and what your tolerance level is for certain materials.
Wood floors have been extremely popular in kitchens for at least the last 15 years, as more and more traditional homes break down walls between kitchens and living spaces. I’ve always intensely disliked flooring materials that change willy nilly in the middle of a room to demarcate a space. To me, choppy changes of materials looks careless. If there’s a doorway with a thresh hold, GREAT! Change the flooring material. Otherwise, continue the same flooring though to achieve continuity and flow. A wood floor can create a rich grounding for light cabinets and furniture. The Contrast in tone gives the room visual interest where there might not be a lot of color.
Having said that, if you have a passel of kids and dogs and crazy activities that take place in the kitchen, the finish will take a bit of a beating so wood flooring might not be the best choice for you if you want to keep it looking pristine and glossy all the time. However, a great choice in this case would be a reclaimed, antique wood floor which is already distressed, so a few more dings just adds character.
Or a new floor could be hand-scraped with a matte finish, which would hide a multitude of sins.
But whenever I suggest wood flooring for a bathroom, clients gasp as though I’ve suggested something a very naughty! Reclaimed wood for a bathroom floor can be fantastic!
It’s warm underfoot, it looks great, and if the wood came from a demolished barn, which many reclaimed flooring materials do, that barn withstood the elements and a bunch of farm animals doing who-knows-what to it for probably 100 years, so there’s not much that’s going to hurt it!
An antique floor often needs no stain. Once it’s been milled for flooring material and given a sanding, a few top coats of urethane are all that’s needed to bring out the rich color and grain and protect it. The caveat with a wood floor in a bathroom, is that if you take, long, luxurious, steamy showers, you should use a fan so that you don’t have a build-up of moisture sitting on the floor, but that’s true of a bathroom even if you don’t use wood in it, to discourage the growth of mold. And if you’re like a walrus in the tub, a splishin’ and a splashin’ leaving pools on the floor, then that should be wiped up before you leave the room and turn on the light.
A little bit of care goes a long way.
Have you ever used a wood floor in a kitchen or bathroom? What did you think?
Coming up: More floors! Bamboo, glass tile, ceramic and porcelain and my personal favorite: cork