By Puja Gupta
January 13, 2020 (IANSlife) Wood flooring in kitchen and bathroom -- s it a good idea? Probably not the best idea taking into consideration our weather conditions and lifestyle as wood does not go well with moist environments. However, there are good options available if one prefers to go ahead with wood flooring. Aashish Poojari, Director, Havwoods India, underlines the pros and cons of it and suggests ways how you can maintain and make it durable.
Indian Kitchen is a very busy area, while being used from early hours of the morning and throughout the day till night. From spills and splashes to food stains to dropped utensils and dishes, there are a number of different challenges that your floors will have to face. While tiles and ceramics are popular for this area, one can opt for wood flooring provided, it has been well taken care of.
Wood is a natural product and it expands and contracts depending on the temperature and moisture levels in the environment. Since, the moisture levels in the kitchen are generally high, due to cooking, steaming etc., hence, wood flooring is not advisable for such areas.
That being said, if one still wants to opt for wood flooring then engineered wood should be the preferred choice. This type of wood is more stable and does not expand and contract as much as compared to solid wood. As temperatures rise and steam starts to fill the atmosphere, it will expand, but only by a small percentage and once the temperature stabilizes, it will retain its natural size.
The pros of wood flooring in the kitchen are that wood gives a natural and aesthetically elevated look to the space. If maintained appropriately, wood can last for years and is versatile in nature. However, the drawbacks, as mentioned above, constant maintenance and vulnerability to water, splashes, stains etc. Moreover, wood is an expensive product compared to the other alternative options available in the market.
Since we all use the bathroom barefoot, wood gives a more warm and earthy feeling, if installed inside the bathroom. Solid wood floor, due to its constraints, may not be the best option in terms of durability. Bathroom, like kitchens contain high levels of humidity and moisture does not go well with wood. Moreover, spills and splashes will damage the floor if not wiped, mopped or cleaned immediately.
Of all the hardwood flooring options available, engineered wood is a better choice, as it has higher stability and withstands moisture much better than solid wood. However, proper maintenance and care should be taken. In case of large households where children are involved, there is bound to be water spilled on the floor. This will lead to formation of moss and mold which can be quite dangerous. Wood flooring can be a good option for guest room or powder room where there is minimal chance of spills and water on the floor. Ensure that the installation if fully glued down and the wood has a tougher lacquered coating.
The pros of installing wood flooring in the bathroom is they are more soothing and comforting to the feet due to its warmth, it entirely changes the ambience of a bathroom to a unique space, giving it character and appeal. A well maintained wood flooring will last around 25 years.
The cons are similar to the kitchen, small spills and splashes will damage the wood. Even droplets that fall out while washing your face may be troublesome. The floor needs to be aligned and balanced well, or else it may cause hollow spaces within the floor. This will lead to accumulation of water in one particular area due to the imbalance in the leveling. Bathroom flooding is a nightmare even when you have tiles installed. This can be disastrous in the case of wood. The water will seep through the wood and nooks and corners where there is any scope of space. This will lead to bacteria, mold and mildew forming into the floor.
In order to avoid all this, one should foremost regularly maintain the floor, use bath mats, and install a tub with shower curtains to minimize the spill on the floor.
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Puja Gupta can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org