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When choosing a wooden floor for your kitchen, there’s a lot more to the process than choosing a wood that looks the nicest. Kitchens are messy and full of liquids, so you need a flor that can cope with all of the messes and the high traffic. While wooden flooring might not always be the wisest choice to use in the kitchen, if you choose the right kind and keep up with maintenance and cleaning, there’s no reason why a wooden floor can’t look great and last.

What type of wood should I use?

For a kitchen you’re going to need something durable. Softwoods like pine will get dented and over time and although a distressed pine floor can give your kitchen a rustic charm, it’s not going to look the same after a few years in your kitchen. Your best option would be hardwoods like cherry, maple or oak that are strong and will take longer to get wear out.

What grain pattern do I want?

The grain pattern can affect the look of your wooden floor in different ways. Wood with a pronounced grain pattern, like oak, tends to mask dents and dirt. The same effect will be had when you get wood with a less uniform grain pattern like some plain sawn timber. You can get a mix of the three cutting styles – plain sawn, rift sawn and quarter sawn – to make your kitchen floor look more organic and varied but be wary of light, rift sawn wood with a lighter grain pattern which can make stains and damages obvious.

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What will go best with my kitchen?

When it comes to finding the best wood to compliment your kitchen design the first question you need to ask is whether you want your wooden floor to match or contrast the rest of your kitchen. Floors that match other wooden surfaces in your kitchen can tend to look a bit plain or flat unless you’re hoping for a monochromatic colour scheme. Wooden floors that contrast other wooden surfaces in your kitchen can flesh out your kitchen’s colour scheme and atmosphere. To make your wooden floors really stand out and to give your kitchen a more modern feel, avoid using wooden colours elsewhere around your kitchen. Wooden surfaces other than your floor can be painted or stained in more interesting colours to create contrast. If you’re short on ideas, and need some inspiration, look at some Schuller kitchens to see examples of strong contrast. Schuller kitchens often have bold wooden surfaces and floors that tend to be the centre of their kitchen designs. If you want to have your own Schuller kitchen then refer to Lambert Welch kitchens. They install Schuller kitchens in London and can give you excellent advice on the right style of kitchen to suit your space.

What sort of finish does my floor need?

These days most wood floor finishes are kitchen friendly although some are easier to maintain than others. Water-based finishes will keep your wooden floors looking new for longer and can easily be touched up over time without looking blotchy. Unlike oil-based finishes, water-based finishes tend to protect the colours of your wooden floor. The strongest water-based finish you can get is a factory applied, acrylic-impregnated finish. This type of finish penetrates the wood rather than just coating it, which means that it will last longer, require less upkeep and tends to be less resistant to stains and dents. However, this type of finish is seen as a long term investment as it can be quite expensive, but will save you from having to keep refinishing your floor.

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