Many people might balk at the idea of hardwood floors in the kitchen – after all, it’s one of the most used rooms in the house and sees a lot of food and liquid spills. Won’t it get ruined? Well, as long as you clean up spills and messes immediately, the hardwood should be fine. Some options are better than others, though, so let’s look at which hardwoods and finishes are the best for the kitchen.

Type of Wood

When choosing the species of wood for your kitchen floor, durability and hardness are key. The kitchen is a high-traffic area, so look for hardwoods like oak, maple, and cherry. If you’re going for a rustic aesthetic, a softwood like pine will distress nicely, but it will be more susceptible to damage.

The type of wood you choose will also determine the color and graininess. A more prominent grain pattern, like that found in oak, will camouflage dirt and scratches. Darker woods like mahogany or walnut may do also do well at hiding stains and grime.


The finish of a floor refers to the type of coating that protects the wood underneath. Water-based finishes are the most popular because they don’t discolor over time like oil-based finishes tend to do. This discoloration makes touch-ups difficult, so it’ll save you money and time to choose water-based. In addition, some new impregnating water-based finishes seal the wood from the inside out, making the hardwood floors even more durable.


Cost can vary vastly depending on the type of wood and the finish you choose. Hardwoods are more expensive than softwoods, but they’ll also last a lot longer. And if you select the acrylic-impregnating finish, you’ll be paying even more. Don’t forget to factor in the installation costs if you’re not opting to DIY.


You may have never thought about the shine of your floor, but when you’re having a new kitchen hardwood floor installed, you’ll want to think about what look you’re going for. A high-gloss floor may look great when it’s newly mopped, but it can be slippery when wet and show every bit of dirt and food! A lower sheen, like satin, does an excellent job of hiding imperfections and crumbs, making it suitable for a kitchen setting.


The edges of hardwood floorboards come in square or beveled. When the planks are locked together, a square edge creates a seamless, smooth surface. Meanwhile, a beveled edge is great for a rustic aesthetic. However, these beveled edges trap dust, dirt, and whatever else falls to the kitchen floor, making square edge floorboards a much better choice.


A properly installed and finished hardwood floor in the kitchen is relatively easy to maintain. Clean up spills right away and follow the cleaning instructions left by your installer or the manufacturer. Protect the floor from scratches and dents by using felt pads under the chair and table legs. When regularly maintained, a hardwood floor in the kitchen should last for decades.

Contact Central Mass Hardwood

If you’re still not sure which hardwood to choose for your kitchen, the professionals at Central Mass Hardwood are happy to help. As an expert hardwood flooring contractor, we’ll be able to help with installation, repairs, and replacements. Call us today at (508) 460-0199 or fill out a form to request a custom quote for your project.