Hardwood floors offer a number of benefits. They are both incredibly beautiful, and incredibly easy to clean. They are a great option for allergy sufferers as carpets can aggravate symptoms. Even homeowners without allergies can enjoy the seamless look of hardwood flooring.
However, water can easily damage or warp these types of materials. So, is it a good idea to install hardwood floors in kitchens and bathrooms? we asked several experts, including designers, realtors and water damage restoration experts to weigh in on this topic.
Cons Of Hardwood Floors
John Manning, manager broker at RE/MAX on Market in Seattle, WA, advises against hardwood, and even engineered wood flooring products. “They are prone to buckling and warping when exposed to moisture over time,” Manning says. He adds that drips and spills can penetrate even the best finished floors, especially around the dishwasher. “In addition, kitchens and bathrooms are high foot traffic areas and as the hardwoods wear and gets scratched, water can get under the finish, causing unsightly stains in the grain of the wood.”
Tanya O’Coyne, owner at TSC Restoration, a water damage restoration company in San Diego. Thus, totally against hardwood floors in the kitchen or bathroom. “If your dishwasher, toilet, refrigerator, sink or plumbing pipes leak. Hence, your flooring choice can have a huge impact on the extent of the damage,” she explains. “Wood floors can let water seep into their cracks, hide mold growth, and warp after even minimal exposure to water.”
In fact, O’Coyne says vinyl, tile or linoleum floors would make a lot of the water damage. Thus, her company sees in kitchens and bathrooms less severe. “We’ve also had to rip out several rooms of interlocking hardwood floors. Because of damage to just a small half bathroom. Hence, since it’s not always possible to replace just a few hardwood planks,” she explains.
Pros Of Hardwood Floors
Dave Murphy, the training director of N-Hance Wood Refinishing, believes that hardwood floors make an excellent choice in the kitchen. “Hardwood flooring is stylish and sustainable. Hence, it comes in a variety of natural colors and doesn’t absorb dust or debris. Thus, making it easy to clean and maintain,” he says. Murphy says it is also a good choice for the kitchen because you rarely need to replace hardwood flooring. “Most repairs can be easily refinished by a professional,” he notes.
Erin Davis of Mosaik Design and Remodeling in Portland Oregon, says hardwood in the kitchen is a very popular choice. “It is softer and warmer underfoot than tile and looks more upscale than vinyl or laminate flooring,” Davis says. “Wood also adds a comfortable, livable feel to a space due to its warmer color palettes and natural essence.”
Susan Serra, a certified kitchen designer at Susan Serra Associates, believes that hardwood floors. Hence, when properly finished, make an ideal choice for the kitchen. She agrees with Davis that you should wipe up spills as soon as you notice them. “Small spills, noticed later, will not damage a wood floor; however larger spills, such as a leaking icemaker in a refrigerator, or leaking dishwasher. Therefore, most likely will damage the floor, especially since leaks often appear under the appliance,” Serra explains.