Creative Backsplashes

There's a backsplash design for every decorating style. Find design inspiration in these beautiful surfaces that amplify interest by adding texture, color, and pattern to kitchen walls.

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DIY Kitchen Decor

Add personal style and fun decor to your kitchen and adjoining eating area without spending a lot of money. Take a look at these easy DIY projects.

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One-of-a-Kind Backsplashes

In a hardworking kitchen, a backsplash is an ideal opportunity to add a little personality. See how pretty materials and unique installations can bring a fresh face to your kitchen.

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Squeeze an Instant Pantry Into Any Space

Don┬┐t have built-ins in your kitchen? All you need is a sliver of empty wall to set up this instant pantry.

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Guide to Cabinetry

From Better Homes and Gardens, ideas and improvement projects for your home and garden plus recipes and entertaining ideas.

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Kitchen Countertop Ideas

Countertops are big part of your kitchen. Consider these up-and-coming materials to make a statement in your space.

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Dream Kitchen Designs

Attention to details, pro-grade appliances, and gorgeous materials and finishes all weave together in these dream kitchens that exude style and sophistication.

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Popular in Kitchens

What's the Best Wood for Your Kitchen Floor?

Although wood is a simple, classic flooring material, today's choices of finishes and wood types can be overwhelming. Use our advice to select the best look for your kitchen.

More than any other surface in your home, the kitchen floor takes all -- spilled juice at the breakfast table, muddy paw prints from the pooch, even your children's spontaneous games of indoor hockey. That's why this high-traffic room needs a floor that can withstand ordinary wear. So you may wonder: Does a wood floor belong in the kitchen? Sure -- as long as you're willing to wipe up spills and stick to a maintenance routine.

Finish

Pair similar color woods for a sleek,monochromatic look.

Most of today's wood floor finishes are suitable for kitchens. Clear water-base finishes are often best because they retain the wood's color and can be easily touched up or re-coated. The strongest water-base finish is a factory-applied, acrylic-impregnated finish that penetrates the wood instead of just coating the surface. Acrylic-impregnated floors are more expensive, but are stronger and require less upkeep. Oil-base finishes often fade to an amber color over time, making future touch-ups difficult -- a disadvantage in a high-traffic room such as the kitchen.

Sheen

Finishes come in sheens from low-shine satin to high-gloss. Satin-sheen finishes are best because they hide dirt and food particles.

Species

Consider oak, maple or cherry foran attractive and long-lasting floor.

Hardwoods, such as oak, maple, and cherry, are the most durable. Softwoods, such as pine, will dent -- even if treated with a penetrating finish. For a rustic kitchen, however, a distressed pine floor may be just the look you desire. As you compare wood species, also consider the grain. Oak, for instance, features a pronounced grain pattern that hides dirt and dents better than woods with subtle grains.

Edges

Choose flooring strips with square edges. These create tight seams that block out debris; a floor with beveled-edge strips will collect food and dirt.

Upkeep

Proper maintenance will preserveyour floor's sheen.

In general, wipe up spills immediately to prevent stains. Follow the flooring manufacturer's cleaning guidelines. To protect floors from wear and sand and grit damage, place rugs at outside entrances and in front of the appliances and sinks. And use protective tips and pads under furniture.

Cost

This varies depending on species, finish, and thickness. Plan on paying about $11 or more per square foot for an installed oak-strip floor.

Complementing Other Wood Surfaces

Create contrast with a combinationof color and styles.

Unless you want a monochromatic look, the floor and the cabinets should have contrasting looks. For instance, if you choose a dark floor, you may want cabinets painted a pale color or made from a light wood. Remember that the floor you choose may look different at home than in a showroom. The amount of light in your kitchen will make floors appear lighter or darker.

How to Refinish Your Hardwood Floors

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