Tiles have long been the kitchen floor covering of choice for reasons of practicality. However, the development of modern techniques and materials has seen specially designed wood floors take centre stage. The kitchen is the hub of the home; a room where careful attention is paid to fittings and decoration. If you’re wondering how to strike the right balance between style and practicality, here are a few guidelines to follow when installing wood floors in the kitchen.
The kitchen is one of the most humid rooms in the house. The ambient humidity increases when the space is in use, not to mention the risk of household ‘accidents’. From spilt food and drink to splashes from the sink, the kitchen floor is under constant attack from stains, knocks and spills. In winter, the situation worsens with major temperature fluctuations each time the oven or stove are switched on.
It is therefore important to choose a hardwood that's suitable for high-traffic areas and resistant to general wear and tear. This is where exotic woods such as teak come into their own, as their natural environment is humid and prone to fluctuations in temperature.
However, European woods can also work, especially when finished with a treatment designed especially for kitchens. Panaget offers a wide range of different woods so you can choose a floor that fits with the rest of the rooms in your home.
Nevertheless, it is important to choose the best possible finish for your wood floor so that it can withstand the wear and tear that comes with everyday use.
In the kitchen, an oiled wood floor is your best bet. Panaget offers 14 different varieties with a total of 72 products to choose from. Oiled wood floors are easier to maintain and spot-clean when stains or watermarks appear. Once installed, finish your floor with a thin layer of Panaget maintenance oil for superior protection. In case of stains, oiled floors can be sanded, cleaned and re-oiled (either partially or completely). In the absence of any damage, you need only reapply a coat of protective oil once a year to keep your wood looking and performing its best.
Prefer lacquered wood floors? Why not mix and match materials? Whilst lacquer is less resistant to wear and tear, it is possible to install lacquered floors across most of the room and only tile the kitchen island. Pair wood floors with cement or ceramic tiles for a unique look.
We do not recommend installing floating wood floors in the kitchen as moisture can easily seep in between and underneath the strips. It is also important to ensure the floor is very stable to reduce the impact of fluctuations in temperature and humidity. Finally, the floor needs to be completely flat as even the slightest slope can enable moisture to accumulate on its surface.
Therefore, we advise ‘full’ glue-down installation to ensure the floor is as watertight as possible. Use a specially designed polymer glue spread over the floor in an even layer. This installation method will ensure your kitchen wood floor is firmly adhered and will prevent moisture from seeping in.
Finally, expansion joints should be placed around the edge of the kitchen to enable the wood floor to expand and ensure it remains stable. The use of silicone gaskets will prevent moisture from seeping in between the strips. See our video guide for step-by-step instructions on installing glue-down wood floors with specialized gaskets.