The Best Wood Flooring for Kitchens

November 4, 2019

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Text by Kaitlin Madden

One of the most common questions homeowners ask during kitchen remodels is, “Can I install wood flooring in my kitchen?” We asked the experts at Carlisle Wide Plank Floors, and they gave us a resounding yes. That being said, there are some specific floors that are ideal for hosting dinner parties and withstanding whatever crumbs may fall. When it comes to choosing hardwood flooring for your kitchen, not all options are created equal. Characteristics such as wood species, stain, and wood grain affect the durability, style, and functionality of your kitchen.

So which wood species and stains are some of the best for the kitchen? Carlisle Wide Plank Floors shares some of its top choices. Let’s review a list of the expert’s favorite floors and why each one works well in any kitchen space.

Ash Hardwood Flooring
Stain: Driftwood
Style Profile: Urban, Modern

Ash is an excellent option for a kitchen thanks to its durability and resistance to impact. “This wood is commonly used to make baseball bats and is very resistant to the dings and dents of everyday life,” says Robert Ellington of Carlisle Wide Plank Floors. “Ash is also versatile, style-wise, since it stains well and features a prominent grain, as seen with the Driftwood stain above.”

wood flooring for kitchens white oakWhite Oak Hardwood Flooring
Stain: Custom Brown
Style Profile: Farmhouse

For a farmhouse-inspired space, White Oak hardwoods in a brown-toned stain are a great match. The classic grain and unique, timeworn texture of this species creates an authentic aged appearance that brings charm and warmth to the kitchen, while the dense fibers make it extremely durable. Visible knotting gives the floors a laid-back, casual vibe, and also helps to camouflage wear and tear.

wood flooring for kitchens white oak with amber stainWhite Oak Hardwood Flooring
Stain: Amber
Style Profile: Traditional, Classic

If you’re leaning toward White Oak flooring but prefer a more traditional feel, opt for White Oak in an amber stain. This warm-toned hue is a perfect complement to colonial architecture, white kitchens, and neutral home decor. To recreate original flooring in a historic home, the team at Carlisle suggests amber-stained White Oak floorboards in random instead of uniform widths for a more authentic look.

Hickory Hardwood Flooring
Stain: Gingerbread
Style Profile: Elegant

According to Ellington, hardness, bending strength, stiffness, and shock resistance are the top reasons why Hickory is a go-to wood species for kitchen flooring. He recommends the company’s Gingerbread stain to highlight the floor’s beauty. “The Gingerbread stain allows the natural variation and character of the wood to come through without it feeling too rustic or ‘busy,’ and it gives a warm feel to the floors without being too dark,” says Ellington.

hickory custom darkHickory Hardwood Flooring
Stain: Custom Dark
Style Profile: Dramatic, Contemporary

If you’re after a bold or modern look for your kitchen flooring and your space gets plenty of natural light, a Hickory wood with a darker stain, like the custom color seen in the kitchen above, is a beautiful choice. To complement a contemporary aesthetic and stainless-steel appliances, Ellington suggests choosing planks in a single width, which gives your space a consistent, linear look.

whitewashWhite Oak Hardwood Flooring
Stain: Whitewash
Style Profile: Coastal, Contemporary

Light-colored floors are a complementary option for contemporary or coastal design. To get the look, the team at Carlisle recommends White Oak floors in a whitewash stain. This light-toned combination bounces natural light around the room to create an airy feel, while also highlighting the wood grain to add an organic element to a more minimalist design.

Visit the Carlisle Wide Plank Floors showroom at the Boston Design Center in suite 541 or at for more information on the products mentioned above.

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