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Question:

What woods would be best for a kitchen floor? Any suggestions for a finish? I saw some thick, natural planks at a show recently that were beautiful, that are waxed but not polyurethaned. How are such floors for a kitchen?

Thanks very much.

Jon

Answer:



Dear Jon

No woods are good for kitchen floors. I wish you could have seen the water damaged maple floor I saw today. I'll probably be contracted to repair it and this will cost about 300 bucks. Plus I'll need to resand the floor for another 600 bucks. So far it's about almost a grand of fixes on a four year old floor. All frost-free fridge's will leak someday from the lower evaporation pan. Sweaty pipes or leaky pipes will seep into the edge of the floor near the sink. And the worst culprit in this case was the 4 year old dishwasher, that leaked harsh soapy water. I saw ALL this today on ONE floor.

So now that I have read you the riot act, I would suggest a quarter sawn grade of white or red oak. Use a 2 1/4" unfinished floor, NAILED down (no staples), on a 3/4" PLYWOOD subfloor. Apply one coat of poly on the backs of this floor before you install it. After installation have the floors professionally sanded and apply 4 coats of oil modified polyurethane. Expect to apply another coat of finish every 2-4 years EVEN if it looks good when 4 years rolls around. Keep extra boards on hand, and learn how to do minor repairs and re-coats yourself.

Sounds like a lot of work, well yes. And I would never have a wood floor in my kitchen or bathroom, even though I can install one for free. And you can just guess by now how I feel about the waxed finished floors. They are really excellent for living rooms and bedrooms. I really like using paste wax on a hardwood floor in these areas. But in a kitchen it is the least water resistant of all finishes. Even worse than shellac. It will water spot with the first spill and be a headache from there on.

You may also find these articles helpful:

1. How to remove various stains from wood floors

2. How To Repair A Hardwood Floor For D.I.Y

3. How To Apply Oil Based Polyurethane WITHOUT The Pits And Bubbles

4. How To Sand Wood Floors Without Leaving Machine Marks

5. How To Take Care Of Your Health And Safety when Installing, Finishing, Repairing or Cleaning your wood floors