Hardwood floors are a classic look for the home, and they’re especially beautiful in the kitchen. But there are dangers in the kitchen that can hurt your hardwood floors. Spilled water or food can lead to staining or warped floorboards, and using strong chemical cleaners around food and dining areas is a major concern. But your flooring contractor has a solution: pre-engineered wood flooring.
Why Pre-Engineered Wood?
Pre-engineered wood is an excellent compromise for people looking for the rich look of hardwood who also worry about its longevity when exposed to water and moisture. That’s because pre-engineered wood doesn’t quite live up to its name. It’s only moderately engineered, and it’s made from real wood!
The term pre-engineered has to do with how the wood is made, not what it’s made of. Several sheets of real wood are glued together in layers called plies. Layering wood like this makes the boards sturdier, so they won’t twist or buckle out of shape when exposed to moisture. They also hold up better to temperature fluctuations. Regular hardwood is just one solid board of wood, so it doesn’t have much protection from bowing out of shape if it gets wet or too hot.
That’s what makes pre-engineered wood such a great option for the kitchen. While it’s not impervious to water, the smaller-scale spills and heat changes in the kitchen will do less damage to pre-engineered wood than regular hardwood. As long as larger spills are cleaned up quickly, they shouldn’t do any damage to the floors.
Keeping Pre-Engineered Wood Clean
Make sure to give your pre-engineered wood floors a good dusting. Your floorboards come from the factory with a protective finish already applied. Dirt and debris can scratch this coating, eventually rubbing it off if your floors aren’t cleaned consistently. Make sure to invest in a good dry mop to get as much dust off the floor as possible.
Also make sure to avoid steam-cleaning your floors. Pre-engineered flooring may last longer under the routine moisture found in the kitchen, but steam-cleaners force that water down into the floor, damaging the boards’ protective coating and potentially doing serious damage to the structure of the wood.
Vinegar is another cleaner to avoid. It may be a more natural cleanser, but its acidity will eat away at the protective coat on the wood, which will let more moisture in and reduce the lifespan of your beautiful new floors. Find a cleaner with a neutral pH that’ll keep your floors spotless without causing any damage.
If you’d like to bring the timeless look of hardwood flooring into your kitchen, but want a material that’ll hold up against spills and the heat of the oven, ask your flooring contractor about pre-engineered wood flooring. It’s the perfect material you never knew your kitchen needed!