Most homeowners love the idea of hardwood floors in their kitchen. We see it in high-end design magazines all the time, the pictures conjuring daydreams of baking bread in our La Cornue range while standing on our 8-inch hand scraped reclaimed pine floors. That's not just us, right?
While a custom French stove or even homemade bread might be a flight of fancy for most homeowners, hardwood floors in your kitchen shouldn't be.
The number one concern with installing hardwood floors in kitchens is water, and rightly so. With a refrigerator, sink, and dishwasher in one room, the risk of water leaking on your floor is far higher in a kitchen than in a living room (unless you live with a toddler, who would somehow find a way to extend the dish sprayer 20 feet. No room is safe with them around. We speak from experience.)
But...and this is a big but. And I cannot lie. Your kitchen is not your bathroom, where large amounts of water are being splashed around on purpose. Unless you like to pour water on your floor while you rinse dishes, the amount that would fall to the floor is minimal. And if you did have a leak (which no one actually counts on having,) a homeowners policy generally covers the cost to repair the floor.
"BUT YOU HAVE TO CLEAN UP THE WATER RIGHT AWAY OR IT WILL DAMAGE THE FLOOR!" you yell at me. First, you don't need to yell. Secondly, as someone who has lived with a (white) tile kitchen floor and lived to tell the tale, you should ALWAYS clean up water right away. Because water won't damage a tile floor, but it will cause you to slip and fall so hard on your hip that you swear at everyone in your house who dares to talk to you for the next three days. True story.
Moving on, now that we have that out of the way. Hardwood floors, while their name implies the opposite, are actually much softer underfoot than tile. As a former pregnant lady who once stupidly stood on a tile kitchen floor for four hours straight, let me assure you this one is true. While we're talking about comfort, let's also mention that hardwood floors are also warmer than tile or other kitchen flooring options. That's especially important to people like me, whose feet stay at a constant 57 degrees Fahrenheit, year-round.
If you have hardwood floors in the rest of your home, to continue them into the kitchen also allows for a much better flow than breaking up that room alone with another type of flooring. This advantage is especially true for those whose homes have the ever-coveted open floor plan.
We're not saying you HAVE to install hardwood floors in your kitchen; there are many beautiful tile floors that deserve the limelight. But we don't want you to be afraid of them. Consider them. And consider this: if you install hardwood floors in a kitchen, you don't have to clean grout. And that, friends, is worth its weight in gold.