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Wood floors in the kitchen


Dave the Cook
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Wood floors in the kitchen, yes, first choice. My second choice was bamboo.

My previous two kitchens both had 100 +/- yr old hardwood floors and were in very good condition, despite a century of wear and tear. I am sure they'd never been coddled. The comfort level was significantly better than anything I'd experienced before and I never found them hard to maintain. I hate cleaning grout between tiles much more than cleaning hardwood. I was a convert within a week of living with them.

When renovating my current kitchen the original hardwood floors had been significantly damaged by some evil force and sadly had to be replaced or I would have jumped for joy at keeping them. I could not find new wood that matched the 100 yr old floors that were also in the rest of my condo, and for sustainability reasons replaced then with bamboo (either that or exhorbitantly priced reclaimed wood, which I could not afford). They're as comfortable as wood, with a similar look, and are as easy to maintain. I like them a lot but, honestly, bamboo doesn't compare w/ the beauty of wood floors. Still, they are heads and shoulders above any tile floor I've ever lived with. Worth considering as an alternative to wood.


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I love the look and feel of wood, but do not get the standing arguments. I stand on terrazzo kitchen floor for many hours a day and because you are moving back and forth perhaps there is no physical issue.

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  • 12 years later...

We have hickory floors for about 6 years in the kitchen.  Looks great ...no negatives about it.

 

We would however not get random width planks.  The wider ones have cupped a little. No biggie, but avoidable.

 

No water marks at all, they are well-sealed.

 

No chair marks either a few chairs have rubber feet a few don't.

 

The animals don't love it, Henry and t he cats spin their wheels on fast starts.

Edited by gfweb (log)
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Maple here. Was not my choice. I prefer 18 x 18 stone tiles for clean up and look.. Plus so bleeping drought dry here am getting some creaks. The mid century modern kitchen chairs leaked some dark glue but seem to have stopped. It is a very matte finish. 7 years old floor. No scuffs.

 

 

IMG_1832.jpg

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Planting tongue firmly in cheek, I relate how we tore up asbestos tile in the kitchen of our weekend place and found "boards".    We decided on paint.   Since I make all of the decorating decisions, I told husband he could choose this one.   He picked "International Orange".    I cringed, but a deal is a deal.    He gave it two coats, roughly 20 years ago.   I vacuum it daily and mop it down every stay.    I actually love it, and it fits the place's funky vibe.

 

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In our first home in town, the former owners, two guys,  had put cork in the large kitchen.  It looked great when we moved in, but my spike heels rutted it terribly, and our sheepdog puppy did a number digging at it one day when we left him alone.    Again, it was great for guys without pets.

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eGullet member #80.

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Real wood is the best.  15 years ago my wife and I bought a house with 40 year old red oak floors.  Before we moved in we sanded off the old finish and put two coats of polyurethane on.  Unfortunately we had to sell the house six years later.  Otherwise those floors would still be one of my favorite parts of the house.

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In a first house we uncovered oak hardwood under creepy orange, green, yellow shag carpet. Re-did with polyurethane finish. Beautiful (and kids allergies vanished) but unfortunately the kitchen was linoleum. Wood is a sturdy durable surface and lovely to look at. Sliding across in socks is also a favorite child activity. 

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1470265824_2017_10_1703742.thumb.JPG.2f94fb67fab89acc6b1b51904e7083ce.JPG

 

Wish it stayed this lovely, but I still like this oak floor a lot. It's 4" wide white oak, on a 1/2" plywood subfloor over concrete. 

Has held up quite well over the past 4+ years - though it definitely has some gouges, as someone might have dropped a few heavy items on it over that time period.

 

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Our previous apartment, which was in a probably 80 or 90 year old walkup building, that wood floor was the old-school narrow planks, and I think it will last another 100 years.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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We just bought a house, and this topic newly relevant to us. We've got 120 year-old wood floors (probably northern white pine) that seem to have their full 3/4 inch thickness. In the kitchen there's a hideous vinyl floor, glued to an even more hideous layer of some kind of cement board, that was aggressively nailed down to the original wood floor. 

 

My inclination is to rip up the vinyl and the cement board and have those wood floors refinished. Quotes are coming in at $2-$3 for this.

 

Comments in this thread (including my own from years back) seem to support this, but I'm wondering if there's anything I should know when discussing with flooring contractors. We don't want the floors to look too pristine (they'll look strange alongside all the other wood floors that we're not refinishing anytime soon). And we want them finished in a way that will best hold up to use in a busy kitchen. I am not gentle with kitchen floors. I wear non-slip shoes, and am usually followed by rivulets of dishwater and oil. 

 

There is no subfloor. the pine planks are attached directly to the big old basement joists. Which at least means there's no place for water to get trapped. There's nothing immediately below in the basement that would be damaged by a bit of soap or pasta water. 

 

Is this common construction? Does the lack of subfloor / underlayment add any concerns for a kitchen floor? Anything special I should ask the flooring people?

Notes from the underbelly

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20 hours ago, paulraphael said:

My inclination is to rip up the vinyl and the cement board and have those wood floors refinished. Quotes are coming in at $2-$3 for this.

 

I like this idea a lot.  I think these are the best products, and the web site offers a host of info...https://www.bona.com/en-us/homeowner/

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

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22 hours ago, paulraphael said:

We don't want the floors to look too pristine (they'll look strange alongside all the other wood floors that we're not refinishing anytime soon). And we want them finished in a way that will best hold up to use in a busy kitchen. I am not gentle with kitchen floors. I wear non-slip shoes, and am usually followed by rivulets of dishwater and oil. 

 

 

My brother has a 200+ year old house with heart pine floors that he and his wife had refinished.  There are people who specialize in this type of thing, but they probably will be more pricey than your standard floor contractor.  It's almost more of a restoration trade than a refinishing trade.  That said, I think my brother just had a contractor with experience in old houses.

 

I think you will want some sort of new finish, unless you are really into a weathered look.  Otherwise, it sounds like you can expect pretty swift staining around the sink and stove.  A lower gloss option might give what you are looking for, or maybe some sort of oil finish.  I am definitely not one of those expert contractors I referred to above.

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23 hours ago, donk79 said:

My brother has a 200+ year old house with heart pine floors that he and his wife had refinished.  There are people who specialize in this type of thing, but they probably will be more pricey than your standard floor contractor.  It's almost more of a restoration trade than a refinishing trade.  That said, I think my brother just had a contractor with experience in old houses.

 

I think you will want some sort of new finish, unless you are really into a weathered look.  Otherwise, it sounds like you can expect pretty swift staining around the sink and stove.  A lower gloss option might give what you are looking for, or maybe some sort of oil finish.  I am definitely not one of those expert contractors I referred to above.

 

Yeah, I think we want some kind of urethane that can take abuse. 

 

I actually have no idea how the floors in the house are finished now. Could be anything, depending on what decade they were last finished. The ones under the vinyl in the kitchen are probably quite beaten up.

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Notes from the underbelly

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On 8/28/2022 at 11:17 AM, paulraphael said:

We just bought a house, and this topic newly relevant to us. We've got 120 year-old wood floors (probably northern white pine) that seem to have their full 3/4 inch thickness. In the kitchen there's a hideous vinyl floor, glued to an even more hideous layer of some kind of cement board, that was aggressively nailed down to the original wood floor. 

 

My inclination is to rip up the vinyl and the cement board and have those wood floors refinished. Quotes are coming in at $2-$3 for this.

 

 

 

I love refinishing. Nail holes add character.

 

Careful who you get to do it. There are butchers and artists out there.

 

If you can, find a hidden area to see what stain looks best.

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