Benefits of Hardwood Floors in Kitchens

  • Aesthetics – Hardwood brings a natural, elegant look that pairs beautifully with many kitchen designs from traditional to modern. The rich grains and variety of wood species and stains allow for limitless customization.
  • Durability – Modern engineered hardwoods can withstand moisture far better than solid hardwood. With a quality protective finish, hardwoods hold up well to heavy foot traffic.
  • Ease of cleaning – Hardwood floors are smooth and seamless, making them simple to sweep and mop. They don’t trap debris and allergens like carpeting.
  • Resale value – Wood floors are an attractive upgrade for home buyers. They add monetary value by increasing the desirability and perceived quality of the home.

Considerations for Hardwood Floors in Kitchens

Moisture protection – Extra precautions must be taken around sinks, dishwashers and other wet areas. Use waterproof mats, seal edges with silicone caulk, and immediately wipe up spills.

Spills and stains – Acids like vinegar, oil, wine and citrus can damage finishes. Address spills quickly with damp mopping and mild cleaner. Reapply finish over time.

** indentations** – Dropped pots, pans and appliances can dent softer woods. Use floor protectors under furniture legs and appliances.

Scratches – Apply protective finishes rated for heavy traffic. Sweep daily and use felt pads under chair and table legs. Refinish as needed.

Appliance vibrations – Use sound dampening materials under appliances prone to vibration like refrigerators. This prevents long-term movement and damage.

Sunlight fading – UV rays can discolor some wood varieties over time. Use curtains and blinds on windows to limit direct sunlight exposure.

Best Types of Hardwood Floors for Kitchens

The best hardwood flooring types for kitchens are:

  • Engineered wood – More stable construction resists moisture and is ideal for kitchens. Top real wood layer offers durability and classic look.
  • White oak – Dense, extremely hard oak that withstands indentations. Has good moisture resistance with natural tannins.
  • Brazilian cherry – Rich reddish-brown color. Naturally water-resistant and hard for a tropical wood. Handles traffic well.
  • Wenge – Nearly black African wood with distinctive parallel grain lines. Density prevents dents and resists water damage.
  • Teak – Prized golden hardwood from Southeast Asia. Contains natural oils that repel moisture and prevent warping.
  • Maple – Very hard Canadian wood with uniform golden tones. Withstands heavy impacts. Finish protects from moisture and stains.

Maintenance Tips

  • Use floor mats at sinks, stoves, and work stations
  • Immediately clean up any liquid spills
  • Sweep and mop regularly using proper hardwood cleaners
  • Apply new protective finish coats 1-2 times per year
  • Install floor protectors and furniture pads
  • Control indoor humidity between 30-50% year-round
  • Limit direct hot sunlight with window treatments


With proper protective preparations and ongoing care, hardwood floors can perform beautifully in kitchen spaces despite heavy use and moisture. Consider moisture-resistant wood species, allow floors to properly acclimate to the home, use protective window coverings, and address spills quickly to keep floors looking pristine. With routine maintenance, hardwood offers an elegant and distinctive look in the heart of the home.