Choosing laminate floors for a kitchen
Vinyl flooring, including luxury vinyl tiles (also known as luxury vinyl plank) and vinyl roll, as well as porcelain or ceramic tile are generally considered to be the best flooring options for a kitchen because of their ability to stand up to moisture and humidity.
Laminate flooring can be installed in the kitchen. However, due to the constant presence of moisture, you'll need to apply special care and maintenance. Firstly, you’ll need to choose a laminate floor that is highly water-resistant, and you’ll need to ensure that seams are very tight between the planks when installing the floor. This ensures that there are no gaps and prevent moisture penetrating the core of the laminate, which contains wood composite materials.
The joints in between the planks can also be sealed with silicon sealer to make your laminate floors more water-resistant. Even good quality, water-resistant laminate flooring can suffer water damage if it isn’t installed correctly and if it isn’t well maintained.
Benefits of laminate flooring in kitchens
Pros of using laminate flooring in your kitchen
• Easy to clean
• Easy to install
Affordable – Laminate flooring is relatively inexpensive when compared to natural stone, ceramic tile and hardwood flooring alternatives. And thanks to the printed design layer, you can get the look of these natural materials without the higher price tag.
Durable – Laminate has a treated, extra-strong top layer of laminate, which makes it highly scratch and stain-resistant. This durability makes it a good choice for areas with high foot traffic. The top layer also provides water-resistance, which is an essential requirement for your kitchen flooring. Warranty periods vary depending on the quality of the product, but most laminate floors come with a minimum 10-year warranty. At Tarkett we provide a 25-year residential warranty.
Easy to clean – Laminate floors require a simple cleaning routine of wiping, vacuuming or sweeping. Kitchen spills and food stains are easily cleaned up with a damp mop with warm water and a mild cleaner.
Easy to install – Laminate floors 'float' on top of a foam underlayment which sits on the subfloor. This means there is no need to glue or nail the laminate boards to the surface. Homeowners can quickly and easily install laminate floors themselves, usually following a simple DIY click-and-lock or fold-and-lock system. This means that you generally install a new kitchen floor within a day.
Drawbacks of laminate flooring in kitchens
Cons of using laminate flooring in your kitchen
• Susceptible to water damage
• Difficult to repair
Susceptible to water damage – You’ll need to take extra precautions in a kitchen to prevent water or seeping through the seams to the core layer, which is composed of a composite wood material. If water does seep through the seams into the lower layers, your laminate floors will potentially buckle, causing permanent and irreversible damage.
Difficult to repair – If your laminate floor suffers water-damage, due to water seeping through the top layer or seams down to the layer of wood chip, it can be challenging to repair. If the problem is isolated, you may be able to repair individual planks. However, depending on the age of the floor, finding laminate boards that are an exact match will be difficult. The manufacturing of laminate boards continues to evolve, and new designs and colours are regularly being released. If you can't isolate the damage, or find replacement boards, the only solution is to rip out your laminate floors and replace them.