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floor choices

Hi, I posted this question in the kitchen board, but it really is about our whole first floor, so here it is again...
We are remodeling our kitchen, which is part of a fairly open first floor. We want to put the same wood flooring throughout. The main considerations are: ease of installation (diy), and occasional water and other spills in the kitchen. The question is, what type of floor to install? Solid wood or engineered? Nail down or floating? If floating, will lock-click be ok? We know what liquids in the seams of lock-click laminate flooring will do(ugly); will the same thing happen with engineered wood?
Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

A. Spruce
Re: floor choices

Neither laminates nor engineered flooring are good in wet locations, such as kitchens, bathrooms, laundry areas. Any major spills or leaks and you'll have a flooring disaster on your hands. Having said that, you can put these products in these locations IF you go into it with knowledge and understanding.

If the household is primarily responsible adults who will take care of the floor, then you can install it anywhere you like. I put engineered in my kitchen and half bath with no problems what so ever, because we took precautions to prevent spills and leakage.

If the household has a lot of kids, animals, or traffic in general, then I would not recommend the installation of wood/laminate products in wet locations. Stick to tile or vinyl.

As for what product will be the best? That will be a personal preference. Laminates have a composite core, usually HDF (high density fiberboard ), or similar, which absorbs water and swells like a sponge. Once this stuff is wet it will never go back to it's original size or shape. With Engineered wood products, the wood will swell if it gets wet, but it will take a substantial spill and a lot of soak time before it does, giving you plenty of time to get it cleaned up. Minor swelling will go back to normal, though it can mar the finish or leave a stain in the wood.

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