Hardwood floors offer a number of advantages. They are both incredibly beautiful and incredibly easy to clean. They are a great option for people with allergies, because carpets can make the symptoms worse. Even homeowners without allergies can enjoy the seamless appearance of hardwood floors.
However, water can easily damage or deform such materials. So, is it a good idea to install hardwood floors in kitchens and bathrooms? Freshome asked several experts, including designers, brokers and experts in the field of water damage restoration to investigate this topic.
Pros of hardwood floors
Dave Murphy, the Director of Education N-Hance Wood Refinishing, is of the opinion that hardwood floors are an excellent choice in the kitchen. “Hardwood floors are stylish and durable, have a variety of natural colors and do not absorb dust or debris, making them easy to clean and maintain,” he says. Murphy says it is also a good choice for the kitchen, because you rarely have to replace hardwood floors. “Most repairs can easily be completed by a professional,” he notes.
Erin Davis of Mosaik Design and Remodeling in Portland Oregon says that hardwood in the kitchen is a very popular choice. “It is softer and warmer under the tiles than tiles and looks more luxurious than vinyl or laminate floors,” says Davis. “Wood also adds a comfortable, liveable feel to a room thanks to its warmer color palettes and natural essence.”
She admits that liquids are the enemy of wooden floors. “If the wood is left too long, it may show swelling or staining, so it is important that leaks are quickly cleared.” Davis also recommends placing a large floor mat in front of the sink.
Susan Serra, a certified kitchen designer at Susan Serra Associates, believes that hardwood floors if properly finished, are an ideal choice for the kitchen. She agrees with Davis that you should clean up as soon as you notice them. “Small spills, which will be noticed later, will not damage a wooden floor, but larger leaks such as a leaking ice machine in the refrigerator or a leaky dishwasher will most likely damage the floor, especially as leaks often appear underneath the appliance,” Serra out.
“The good news is that solid wood floors last for decades, even in the kitchen, because they can be finished every 5 years or so and look like new,” says Serra. “They give a warm atmosphere to the kitchen and it is especially nice if the same floor is connected to the surrounding rooms for a beautiful visual flow.”
There are sealants that can protect hardwood floors. But according to Joan Slaughterbeck of Slaughterbeck Floors in Campbell, CA, there are restrictions. “Sealants on hardwood floors – whether they are fixed or processed – are” finished “on the top only as a protective wear layer”, says Slaughterbeck. “Wood and water do not mix, so wooden floors can not be 100% sealed – it expands and contracts with heat, humidity and moisture.”
As a general rule, she says, hardwood floors in the kitchen or bathroom only experience problems due to leaks. “If you live in a house with a wooden frame, you would have a problem, regardless of the damage to the floors in such a situation,” says Slaughterbeck. “Very often the water comes from one of these types of fixtures or appliances under the wood and is not packed until the floor has swollen or swollen.” By that time, she says, the leak would damage other types of floors.
Disadvantages of hardwood floors
John Manning, manager-broker at RE / MAX on Market in Seattle, WA, advises against hardwood and even parquet products. “They are prone to warping and warping when exposed to moisture over time,” says Manning. He adds that drops and spills can penetrate even the best finished floors, especially around the dishwasher. “In addition, kitchens and bathrooms are high pedestrian areas and if the hardwood wears and gets scratched, water can get under the finish, creating ugly stains in the wood grain.”
Tanya O & # 39; Coyne, owner of TSC Restoration, a restoration company for water damage in San Diego, is completely against hardwood floors in the kitchen or bathroom. “If your dishwasher, toilet, refrigerator, sink or plumbing pipes leak, your choice of floor can have a major impact on the extent of the damage,” she explains. “Wood floors can cause water to seep into their cracks, hide mold growth and deform even after minimal exposure to water.”
O & # 39; Coyne says that vinyl, tile or linoleum floors would cause a lot of water damage that her company in kitchens and bathrooms experiences less seriously. “We also had to pull out several rooms with interlocking hardwood floors because of damage to only a small half bathroom, because it is not always possible to replace just a few hardwood planks,” she explains.
O & # 39; Coyne believes that hardwood floors are beautiful – but says she would never put one in her own kitchen or bathroom.
Although Serra and Davis recommend hardwood floors in the kitchen, they do not recommend them for bathrooms. “Hardwood floors can are used in bathrooms, but with all the water that we use in this small area, it is probably best to use them, “said Serra.” Children splash, leaks in fittings, steam and other water problems are ready for wood damage, especially if the floor has holes. “However, she recommends ceramic or porcelain tiles – they look – although they may not feel – just like wood and come in different styles and sizes.
Davis does not recommend wood floors in bathrooms with bathtubs and showers. He says they are doing fine in powder rooms. “Installing the same floor in the powder bath, because the kitchen is usually the designer’s first choice because of the proximity of the two rooms,” says Davis.
For house owners who want an appearance of the wood without moisture problems, Slaughterbeck recommends waterproof floors. “We have installed a lot of our hybrid fusion line and there are also other remarkable brands that make waterproof floors,” she says.
What do you think of hardwood floors in the kitchen or bathroom? Let us know in the comments.
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