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Discovering the Best Type of Wood Flooring for Kitchens 

When it comes to choosing flooring for your kitchen, wood flooring often tops the list for its timeless beauty and durability. However, selecting the right type of wood flooring is crucial, as kitchens are high-traffic areas prone to spills, humidity, and fluctuations in temperature. In this blog, we’ll explore the best wooden flooring options for kitchens.

Choosing the Right Wood Flooring for your Kitchen

Solid vs. Engineered Wood

Solid Unfinished Hardwood Planks
Solid unfinished hardwood planks are a fantastic choice for kitchen flooring because they can be sanded and refinished multiple times over their lifespan. This ability to refresh the surface makes them a long-lasting option. However, keep in mind that using unfinished boards requires the additional steps of staining and finishing during the installation process.
Pre-Finished Solid Hardwood Planks
If you prefer to minimize installation time and effort, pre-finished solid hardwood planks are an appealing alternative. These planks come pre-sanded, sealed, stained, and finished, and are ready for immediate installation.
Engineered Wood Planks
For those who love the look of natural wood flooring but need something more durable, engineered wooden planks are an excellent option. Engineered wood offers superior moisture resistance compared to solid wood, allowing it to better withstand humidity and accidental spills. Its plywood core provides added stability, making it ideal for installation over uneven subfloors.

modern kitchen with hardwood flooring

Choosing the Right Wood Species

Domestic hardwood flooring comes in more than 20 distinct species, each offering unique characteristics, strengths, and limitations. When selecting a hardwood species, it’s essential to consider both the wood’s cost and durability and the desired style and look of your floors. The wood species you choose will influence all these aspects to varying degrees.
When selecting a hardwood species for durability, consider your lifestyle and the level of stress your floors will endure. If you have kids, pets, or frequently host events, opt for a tough species that can withstand constant traffic and activity. Some of the most durable hardwood species include:
-Hickory: Known for its exceptional hardness and resistance to wear and tear.
-Oak: A popular choice for its durability and classic appearance.
-Maple: Offers a high level of hardness and can handle heavy use.
Color and Staining Capacity
If the color and staining capacity of the wood are important to you, softer species might be more appealing. These species are typically lighter in color and offer greater flexibility when staining:
-Pine: A softwood with a light color that takes stain well but is more prone to dents and scratches.
-Ash: Known for its light color and good staining properties, but softer than species like oak and hickory.
-Birch: Offers a pale color and is relatively easy to stain, though it is softer and more susceptible to damage.
Choosing Based on Lifestyle
-High-Traffic Homes: For households with kids, pets, or frequent gatherings, choose a durable hardwood species like hickory, oak, or maple. These species can withstand high levels of activity and maintain their appearance over time.
-Low-Traffic Homes: If your home experiences less activity, you might prefer the aesthetic appeal of softer woods like pine, ash, or birch. These species offer beautiful, lighter finishes but require more care to avoid damage.

white kitchen with dark wood flooring


Once you’ve decided on a color and finish for your hardwood flooring, the next step is to consider the desired texture. The texture you choose will significantly enhance the overall appearance and feel of your floors. There are four primary types of hardwood textures to choose from: smooth, wire-brushed, hand-scraped, and distressed.
Smooth Texture
-Ideal for Modern–Contemporary Designs: A smooth wood grain offers a clean, sleek look that complements modern and contemporary interiors.
-Popular Choice: Smooth textures are one of the most popular choices for homes, providing a classic and timeless appeal.
Wire-Brushed Texture
-Subtle and Authentic: Wire-brushed textures add small, subtle scratches to the wood surface, giving the flooring a genuine, lived-in appearance.
-Versatile Appeal: This texture works well in both traditional and modern settings, adding character without being too bold.
Hand-Scraped Texture
-Distinctive and Rustic: Hand-scraped textures feature more pronounced knots, scrapes, and ridges, creating a distinctive and rustic look.
-Crafted Appearance: Each plank has a unique, handcrafted feel, making it a great choice for adding warmth and personality to your space.
Distressed Texture
-Aged and Weathered Look: Distressed textures mimic the appearance of aged, weathered wood, with noticeable imperfections and wear marks.
-Vintage Charm: This texture is perfect for creating a vintage or industrial aesthetic, instilling a sense of history and depth to your floors.

Some Top-Tier Wood Flooring Options

Brown-Toned Oak
For those who love farmhouse-style designs, white oak wood flooring with a brown-toned stain offers a charmingly weathered appearance, adding warmth and authenticity to your kitchen. For a more relaxed and rustic look, choose flooring with a distressed texture which features intricate knots and rings. Beyond its traditional elegance, oak’s distinct grain pattern is excellent for concealing scratches and everyday wear and tear.
Whitewashed White Oak
In a coastal contemporary kitchen, white oak flooring with a whitewashed stain creates a perfect harmony of light and texture. The light tones maximize natural light, fostering a bright and airy atmosphere that embodies the breezy coastal feel. The stain, however, doesn’t compromise on warmth. It highlights the natural wood grain of the white oak, infusing a touch of organic warmth while maintaining a sleek, contemporary aesthetic.
Distressed Pine Wood
Distressed pine adds rustic charm to your kitchen. While it’s softer than oak initially, pine’s fibers become denser and harder over time. The unique, timeworn character of the distressed texture creates a warm, inviting feel, perfect for kitchens that embrace a rustic aesthetic.
Hand-Scraped Maple
Maple is a tough wood that can withstand the wear and tear of a busy kitchen. While it naturally comes in lighter tones, maple readily accepts stain, allowing you to achieve a wider range of colors if you prefer a darker look. For added depth and character, consider a hand-scraped texture. Plus, maple’s versatility ensures it complements a variety of design styles, making it a great choice for your kitchen.
Dark Hickory
Hickory reigns supreme for durability in high-traffic kitchens. This incredibly hard and stress-resistant wood is perfect for busy households with active families. It can handle the constant foot traffic kitchens endure. To achieve a modern look with a touch of sophistication, consider a gingerbread stain. This warm stain enhances the hickory’s natural variations without venturing into overly rustic territory. It adds character to your kitchen floors while maintaining a sleek, contemporary feel.

rustic wood kitchen

By considering your lifestyle and the specific demand of your floors, you can choose the right domestic hardwood species that balances durability, appearance, and cost, ensuring you end up with the best wood flooring for your kitchen.

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