With condo living and a desire for hospitable, no-walls concepts growing in popularity, consumer habits are shifting. Open living spaces are multiplying and having open kitchen is becoming the norm. Long gone are the days of formal dining rooms, living rooms and enclosed kitchens à la Mad Men!
Incorporating a dining area with the kitchen and family room to create one large living space continues to trend. One of the biggest dilemmas for these open living space concepts is the choice of flooring. You want to tie all the areas of your home together using one floor choice, making it appear larger and more uniform.
But can you use the hardwood flooring you so deeply fell in love with? Can you dare put hardwood floors in your kitchen? Yes, with the appropriate attention, it can easily be done!
Here are five main things to consider to help you choose the best hardwood floor for your kitchen and maintain it.
1. KITCHEN TRAFFIC
The kitchen is a high-traffic area in any home. Nowadays, this is especially true with open living spaces, in which kitchens are used for both eating and socializing. Kitchen islands—a hot commodity right now—are proof of this; they are one of the most popular places in the house to gather around with family and friends.
We all know that floors are meant to be walked on. But one of the fears powered by entry-level hardwood floors is that too much foot traffic can rob your floor of its beauty due to traffic patterns.
This concern can easily be tossed away when you look at premium quality hardwood floors like Lauzon. Why? Thanks to our premium Titanium finish, our hardwood floors are uniquely designed to withstand a high level of traffic over a long period of time. There is therefore no need to worry about traffic patterns; your Lauzon hardwood floor will maintain its lustre for years to come!
2. WEAR AND TEAR
If you are like me, you probably drop and spill more things in the kitchen than in any other room in your house. This means that generally speaking, you have a higher rate of wear and tear in your kitchen. You can overcome this fear of visible wear and tear by choosing the right hardwood floor along with some prevention:
─ Choosing a hardwood floor with texture
Adding texture, like Wire Brushed and Hand Scraped, makes hardwood floor harder and a lot more forgiving than its smooth counterparts when it comes to the hazards of everyday life. Learn all about hardwood floor textures.
─ Choosing a species with character
With their visible grain pattern, species with character, such as Red Oak or Hickory, camouflage imperfections better than other species. Learn all about hardwood floor styles.
─ Choosing a hardwood species
Harder domestic and exotic species, such as Oak, Hard Maple and Brazilian Cherry, may do better in terms of hardness than softer wood species, such as Fir. These species are more resistant to denting under pressure according on the Janka Hardness Scale. Learn all about hardwood floor hardness and the Janka Scale.
─ Choosing a hardwood floor with a top quality finish
Hardwood floors with a top quality finish offer better durability because the finish will flex with the wood instead of cracking when a heavy item is dropped on the floor. It will not leave a chalky trace if scratched, as is the case with standard Aluminum Oxide finishes. Wear and tear will therefore be less apparent. Learn more about our top quality Titanium finish.
─ Choosing a hardwood floor with a character grade and style
Thanks to its multiple colour variations, wood flooring with a character grade and style will camouflage imperfections better than a classic uniform selection. Learn all about hardwood floor styles.
─ Choosing a hardwood floor with a low sheen
Gaining popularity in recent years, a low sheen is best at enhancing the natural look of the wood while hiding marks, scuffs and scratches. Low sheen hardwood floors usually make excellent options for high-traffic areas and homes with kids and pets. Learn all about hardwood floor sheen.
─ Choosing prevention
Using small mat at strategic places will help protect your hardwood floor from wear and tear. We can never say it enough: your hardwood floor needs proper care and prevention no matter what room you are talking about! For more maintenance tips, check out our guide.
If you want to put all the odds in your favour, check out our Authentik Series or our Urban Loft Series. All of the hardwood floors in these series are consistent with the advice we have just provided.
3. HEALTHY CHOICE
With about 22 hours a week spent in the kitchen and 98 hours spent at home, finding a healthy flooring solution is one of the smartest choices you can make for the health of your family.
─ Caring for your indoor air quality
Always make sure to look for hardwood floors manufactured without solvents, VOC or formaldehyde. Ask your retailer if it meets the strictest health standards, and whether these claims are certified by credible third-party organizations.
At Lauzon, you can have peace of mind knowing that all our hardwood floors are manufactured responsibly and without the addition of harmful chemicals. All of our hardwood floors are fully compliant with CARB phase 2 – the strictest norm in the industry. Click here to learn more about our healthy hardwood floors.
─ Indoor air purification through your floor
Moreover, with our exclusive Pure Genius air-purifying smart floor, we go beyond the competition by destroying VOC! Pure Genius constantly transforms toxic airborne particles into harmless water and carbon dioxide molecules, making the air in your home up to 85% purer. Discover all the other benefits of our Pure Genius technology here.
─ Choosing an anti-microbial solution
These days, many quality hardwood floor finishes, such as our Titanium finish, also use advanced antimicrobial treatment to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi—a plus in kitchens!
At Lauzon, our commitment to improving your family’s well-being extends beyond this promise, with our exclusive Pure Genius advanced technology. Pure Genius, our proven antimicrobial finish, decomposes up to 99.6% of bacteria, viruses, and molds. This is reassuring when you use the three-second rule or when you see what babies and toddlers put in their mouths… Click here for an overview of all Pure Genius tests.
4. VISUAL EFFECT
Harmonious visual effect is one of the main reasons many consumers are looking at putting hardwood floor in their kitchen and their entire open space. There are two interesting options to consider in this case.
─ Long and large
Larger and longer hardwood floorboards add visual interest to a room and perfectly bring together the open living concept. They make any room in the house look larger, and because fewer boards are needed to cover a given area, there are fewer visible joints, yielding a spectacular, even look.
To unite the open spaces and give the best wood authenticity, our Organik Series now features new board lengths up to 6 feet, with a 5 3/16 width in our NextStep engineered construction.
On the other hand, if you are more adventurous in your décor choices, you can opt for a combination of patterns, such as herringbone hardwood in the kitchen or dining room and conventional multi-length boards everywhere else. This gives an interesting, trendy look, and you still have the harmonious effect, using the same type of hardwood floor.
Most hardwood floors at Lauzon are offered in both multi-length and herringbone length, so express your creativity! Discover all our Herringbone wood floors here.
Exposure to water is one of the main reasons why some people shy away from hardwood floors in kitchens. Most consumers are concerned with the fact that, during cooking and cleaning, there might be water droplets that fall on the hardwood floor, causing damage.
If not stagnant or in big quantity, water does not damage hardwood floors. A few droplets will not kill your wood floor; just swipe it when you see it.
It is true that cracks in hardwood floor finishes, such as Aluminum Oxide, might allow water to seep in and cause unsightly stains. However, as we saw in point no. 2 above regarding wear and tear, choosing a hardwood floor with a top quality flexible finish, such as Lauzon’s Titanium finish, will prevent it from cracking when a heavy item is dropped on your hardwood floor. It will significantly reduce the chance of this happening.
We encourage you to place a small mat under your sink and the dishwasher so that droplets will land on these mats rather than on your hardwood floor. Plus, these small mats will help protect your hardwood floor from wear and tear. We can never say it enough: your hardwood floor needs proper care and prevention in any room! For more maintenance tips, check out our guide.
You can put hardwood floor throughout the entire house—including the kitchen—without fear. Just follow these simple guidelines.
If you have any questions or concerns about our hardwood floors, please contact one of our specialized retailers. They will be happy to help you make the best decision for your home and family. Because you want your child to move, play and live everywhere in the house!
Take a look at our Kitchen Gallery for more inspiration!
Photo 1: Natural, Hickory, Émira Series – Project: Campanale Homes
Photo 2: Sabbia, Hickory, Émira Series
Photo 3: Sincero, Red Oak, Authentik Series – Project: Rosewood Show Home
Photo 4: Sabbia, Hickory, Émira Series
Photo 5: Mystic Barn, White Oak, Homestead Series – Project: Stars Lottery Home of Saskatchewan