There is a wide plethora of inexpensive methods to protect hardwood floors in a kitchen. Hardwood floors are said to last a lifetime, but you also need to maintain them accordingly. Be enthusiastic about the protection and remember that kitchen is more aggressive than other parts of your home. It is exposed to moisture, humidity and all kinds of substances that you may not actually use in other areas.
As a general rule of thumb, you have to clean a spill as soon as it occurs. Use a steam mop. A little moisture will not ruin the floor anyway, yet a dry mop will just spread the corrosive substance around. As long as it can dry within a minute, you can congratulate yourself for a good job.