When you are designing or renovating your kitchen, wood is a material that you might consider for the cabinets. However, the versatile natural material can look good on the floors or even the counters. The best part is that it blends beautifully with any kitchen design, whether you like traditional wooden kitchens or sleek modern ones. Wood also matches with any shade you choose for the appliances, making it an ideal material for the kitchen.
Of course, using wood in the kitchen comes with pros and cons. While it is non-toxic and natural, it also absorbs moisture and isn’t heat-resistant. Additionally, wood can get scratched easily. If you love the beauty of natural wood and are wondering whether to use it in your kitchen, we present the best wooden kitchen ideas to inspire you. It will also help you to decide whether you want to set up the entire kitchen in wood or use it only for the cabinets or flooring.
Wood has been a popular choice for kitchen cabinets since the 1980s. Irrespective of the tone of wood that you use, it brings a warm and cosy ambiance to the kitchen. Before you install wood cabinets, make sure that the rough wiring and plumbing are complete. It’s best to fix the wooden kitchen cabinets before you lay the flooring so that you don’t risk damaging the floor. Additionally, you can save on flooring material as you can use only as much as is not covered by the cabinets.
Natural wood kitchen cabinets aren’t as expensive as you think, especially if you use wood only for the doors and build the base and the shelves from cheaper materials such as engineered wood or heavy duty plywood. Even if you get them built by a carpenter, depending upon the type of wood that you use, it will cost less than getting a modular kitchen designed from scratch.
Start with the wall cabinets first as it will be easier to move around without the floor cabinets underneath. Remember that wall cabinets will get heavier once you store utensils and crockery, so ensure that you use strong screws to hold them in place. You should also install a support rail at the bottom of the wall cabinets. While you can go the DIY way to install cabinets, especially if you are buying readymade wood cabinets for kitchens, it’s always best to get help from professionals.
When it’s time to fix the cabinets, start with corner units first so there’s no risk of them not fitting in once the other units are fixed. While fixing the wall cabinets, join adjacent cabinets together so that they remain sturdy. Mark the area carefully before you start fixing the cabinets to ensure that the lower cabinets align with the ones on top. At the final stage, wooden kitchen cabinets can be polished and coated to make them resistant to moisture and steam. That way, it will be easier to maintain them for a long time by wiping the surface regularly. If cared for well, they can last for many years without needing to be replaced.
Learn more about the best materials to use for kitchen cabinets.
Most people hesitate to use natural wood for the kitchen floors as they get scratched easily and rot if they absorb moisture. However, besides being beautiful and having the advantage of coming in a wide range of shades and grains, wooden flooring in kitchens is durable. All you need to do is sand the surface and polish it every few years to make it look good as new.
The disadvantage of using wood for the kitchen floor is that unlike ceramic tiles, they can’t resist moisture, making them prone to warping and cracking if they absorb too much water. This can be prevented by mopping up any spills immediately to make sure that water is not left on the wood surface for long. While wood is tougher than vinyl and linoleum, it is not as strong as tiles and natural stone, so it can get damaged and scratched easily. Getting wooden kitchen flooring is also more expensive than tiles, and it needs periodic maintenance to keep the floors looking beautiful.
The first step is to measure the area to assess how much wood you need for the kitchen floor. It’s advisable to buy around 15% more than you need to provide a buffer against cutting mistakes and imperfect planks. If you are using hardwood, place the material in the area for a couple of weeks before installation so that it acclimatizes to the conditions. This will help the wood to handle the temperature and moisture in the kitchen throughout its life. Next, you should ensure that the floor on which the wood will be installed is completely levelled. In case there are dips or cracks in any area, fill it up and let it dry before you start installing the wood floor. Place a layer of substrate material over the sub floor. At this stage, check of creaks and take care of them by driving a screw through the material and into the floor below. Before you install the wooden flooring in kitchens, vacuum the area to remove any dust and debris as it can interfere with the levelling. Next, lay a vapour barrier such as tar paper. Even is moisture is not an issue in the region where you live, installing a slip sheet will help to eliminate the friction between the wood and the plywood, guarding against creaks.
After this, it’s time to lay the floor. Start from the longest stretch of the wall in the room. Make sure you keep at least a half-inch gap along the perimeter of the room to allow for the expansion and contraction of the wood. To get a perfect result, it’s best to hire a professional tiler to ensure that you have well-finished wooden kitchen flooring.
Like with wooden cabinets and floors, wood counters can look beautiful in the kitchen. Additionally, they are not expensive. However, they are prone to scratches. These can be sanded away quite easily, so if you want to bring a unique look to your space with a kitchen counter in wood, it’s well worth considering.
It’s quite easy to install wood counters in kitchens. If you have open-top cabinets, then you need to provide a support for the wood countertop to rest. You can use plywood or block board for this. For closed top cabinets, you should install furring strips, using sealant, to provide a bit of breathing space for the wood. Like with wooden floors, you should place the wood blocks for the counters in the area for 10-15 days to get them acclimatized to the surroundings.
When you have a kitchen counter in wood, you want it to be free from visible screws that take away from the beauty. Decide where you will have the screws, and before you fix the blocks on the surface, drill holes from underneath the surface of the cabinet top. Next, measure and cut the wooden block in the required size and place it on the cabinets. Drill in the screws from underneath so that it joins the cabinet to the countertop. Ensure that you use the correct size of screws and drill carefully so that the screw doesn’t come through the surface of the block.
As you can see, setting up a wooden kitchen is not difficult, and it can be cost-effective in the long term, especially if you are willing to give it the love and care that it deserves periodically to keep it looking great. While you can do this yourself, we recommend that you hire a professional kitchen planner to help you with the task so that you get every element right with minimum wastage of resources.
Find inspiration for your home in this lovely apartment in wood.