Best hardwood floor for a kitchen?

Q: Is a prefinished hardwood floor suitable for a kitchen?

A: Generally, I am not a great fan of prefinished floors. However, especially in a kitchen setting where spills are inevitable, I don’t think it is your best choice to install prefinished hardwood in a kitchen.

A site finished floor, properly finished with good quality finishes will give you a multi-layer coating over the entire floor surface to help prevent damage from those spills seeping between the boards.

What’s the best wood floor for a kitchen?

Q imported from our old site, Face Lift Floors: We are doing a new kitchen for our house. What wood flooring would be the ideal choice? I cook a lot and invariably our kitchen is a gathering place. I love wood because it feels softer and warmer underfoot; however, it also tends to show dings, etc. Maybe there is a wood floor that would be better for the kitchen?

Also, we are looking for a darker hardwood that would contrast with our natural cherry cabinetry. Your suggestions would be appreciated.  

A: I would definitely recommend a site finished floor rather than pre-finished with the bevels on edges and ends. Site finished, with square joints has the coating over the entire floor surface reducing the possibility of a spill seeping between the planks.

Though maple is harder than oak, it isn’t a good choice for stain, and because of fine grain lines, it does a poor job of hiding dings and scratches. If you wanted a very hard wood that is more resistant to dents and is a naturally dark color, perhaps Jatoba is the choice for you. Hickory is also very hard but does tend to shrink unless you have very good climate control.

Oak is still the most prevalent wood for flooring. It is harder than cherry and stains nicely. My preference would be quarter sawn white oak which is more stable as far as side to side movement is concerned.

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