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Hardwood Flooring in Kitchens and Bathrooms: Yes or No?

Hardwood flooring is a timeless flooring choice. There is a reason why most homebuyers covet a well-kept hardwood: it’s cozy, inviting and increases the value of your home.

But should you consider installing hardwood flooring in your kitchen and bathroom?

It’s a common question with no overarching answer. We’ve been installing hardwood flooring in the Greater Toronto Area – and even special projects across Canada – for years, and we know when (and when not) to use hardwood flooring.

The Benefits of Hardwood Flooring

There are many good reasons why hardwood is an excellent flooring choice. Here are some of the most impressive:
● It’s warm and inviting. Hardwood flooring is a traditional building material that sparks a sense of familiarity. It also retains heat so it’s literally warm to walk upon.
● It’s neutral in colour and design style. Unlike carpet, hardwood floors go with just about anything.
● It’s easy to clean. Caring for hardwood flooring is not complicated. Wipe away spills, vacuum or sweep up dust or debris, and use floor polish every so often to make them shine.
● It’s durable. If you regularly maintain and care for your floors they can last a long time.
● It can be refinished. Whether to restore their original beauty or to give them a new look, you can bring out the best in hardwood by sanding and refinishing them. Once every 10 years is ideal.
● It’s allergen-free. If someone in your family suffers from allergies, hardwood flooring is the perfect choice as it doesn’t trap irritants the way other floorings, like carpets, do.
● It’s popular. Because it’s desirable, installing hardwood flooring increases the value of your home.

Installing Hardwood Flooring in the Kitchen and Bathroom: Should You?

In all our years installing hardwood flooring in the GTA and beyond, we’ve learned that there is no one answer for flooring considerations that applies across the board.

For hardwood flooring in kitchens, you can make an argument for both sides but generally speaking, installing hardwood in the kitchen is fine. The main thing to remember is that the kitchen is the heart of the home, so it sees a lot of action and will incur mishaps from having utensils dropped to liquid spills. Hardwood flooring is water-resistant, not waterproof.

With these considerations in mind, you should select a dense and durable hardwood, such as walnut or engineered hardwood (which, granted, isn’t pure hardwood but looks just as good). Softwoods like Douglas Fir are not suitable to keep up with the unique challenges of the kitchen as they tend to scratch easily.

Pro-tip: It’s a good idea to consider a runner or mat in front of the sink. This will help protect against any water, but also avoid any slips while standing– without taking away the aesthetic beauty of the floors.

To further protect the hardwood flooring from spills, you’ll want a finished surface like a polyurethane. But by far, the most important thing is maintaining your floors by immediately cleaning up spills, vacuuming regularly (prevents scratches), mopping infrequently and when the time arises, refinishing the floors to remove scratches and then reapplying a protective surface.

When it comes to your bathroom, this area is both humid and moist, so it’s not ideal for hardwood flooring. The moisture and humidity will compromise the hardwood flooring.

Instead, consider tile flooring. There are a variety of tiles that mimic the pattern of hardwood flooring so you can achieve a timeless look. What’s more, tile flooring can make your space even cozier by heating your tile floors. This functionality will imbue your tile with some of the same qualities that people love about hardwood flooring.

We’re happy to help you make the best flooring decision for your space, and when you’re ready we’d love to install it beautifully. Contact us anytime for honest, expert advice.

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