Hardwood in a kitchen

Q: I am wondering about the long-term appearance of hardwood in a kitchen. We were at a home last night that had light-stained hardwood in the kitchen, and there was a lot of wear and tear on the busier areas of the kitchen (by the sink and fridge).

I would like to do hardwood in my kitchen, but this made me question how long it would hold up to the regular busy-ness of a kitchen.

Are there types of hardwood or stains that hold up better? Do I just need to prepare to re-finish in the kitchen every 5 years or something?

A: I generally suggest placing small mats in front of the sink and stove. However, a well finished floor should not be showing severe wear to the point that the finish is worn off in just 5 years. Clean regularly. Vacuum. Use an approved cleaner for polyurethane finishes. When the floor starts to look a little banged up, you only need to have it lightly buffed and re coated. This buffing or screening creates scratches in the existing top coat which provides a profile for the new coat to grab.