The kitchen is a busy, high impact room that is tough on its surfaces, especially the floors. From spills and splashes to food stains to dropped utensils and dishes, there are a number of different challenges that your floors will have to face. While hardwood is an acceptable material for this space, it does require some regular maintenance and may be susceptible to a few dangers that could ruin the flooring or its finish.
Care and Maintenance of Wood Kitchen Floors
The most important thing that you can do to maintain your hardwood kitchen floors is to keep constant vigilance over them. If anything spills, wipe it up immediately, and never allow water to stand on the surface for any amount of time. It will also be necessary to sweep or vacuum the floors regularly, in order to keep them free of dirt and grit that can scratch the wood and wear away the finish.
As a general rule, it is best to mop wood floors only occasionally and to do so with a slightly dampened mop or towel. Wet-mopping brings too much moisture in contact with the flooring and should be avoided.
When a hardwood floor starts to get damaged and worn down, you have the option of refinishing it. This involves sanding the surface down past the finish and any other defects, then re-applying stain (if desired) and a protective finish, as with an initial on-site finishing. Standard 3/4-inch-thick hardwood planks usually are refinished about 10 times over the life of the flooring.
If you maintain a floor with care and do not apply wax or oil that can prevent a bond with a new finish, you also have the option of recoating the finish every few years without having to sand off the old finish.