Laminate flooring is a popular solution in both modern and classic interiors. But many people are afraid to use this coating in the kitchen. What if you want to add a beautiful texture to the interior without losing practicality? Is it a good idea to put laminate flooring in the kitchen? You are about to find that out.
Can you have laminate flooring in a kitchen? You can have laminate flooring in a kitchen if you choose the right type and class of coating, prepare the base well and protect the joints from moisture. The best floor is moisture resistant class 33, 8-12 mm thick, with a durable top protective layer, matte, slightly embossed, non-slip surface. After installation, the joints of the panels must be treated with a special water-repellent compound.
Do you want to know more? Keep reading.
Pros and Cons of Laminate in the Kitchen
Laminate Flooring Pros: What Are the Advantages of Laminate Flooring?
- The main advantage of laminate is that it copies expensive materials well and it is not much inferior to them in durability and practicality while being cheaper. The affordable price does not deprive the coating of functionality.
A high-quality laminate floor can be laid in the kitchen since the coating is easy to clean, does not fade under UV rays, is not afraid of stains, bumps, cracks or scratches. Really high-quality material will be resistant to abrasion.
- A high-quality laminate flooring is not afraid of scratches, cracks, temperature changes and does not fade in the sun. It is easy to clean, abrasion-resistant and stain-resistant.
- Laminate panels are warmer than ceramic tiles or porcelain stoneware and are more pleasant to walk on barefoot. Some types of coating allow you to make a warm floor in the kitchen.
- Unlike linoleum, laminate has no dents on it from the legs of the refrigerator and kitchen furniture.
- Laminate flooring is appreciated for its resemblance to a natural wood floor and a variety of designs. It attracts thrifty owners with an affordable price and practical ones with ease of installation.
- Laminate flooring is warmer than tiles and less noisy.
- Unlike parquet and solid boards, traces of stiletto heels do not remain on the laminate. There are no dents on the laminate from heavy kitchen furniture.
- Laminate can be easily installed with your own hands.
Laminate Flooring Cons: What Are the Disadvantages of Laminate Flooring?
Nevertheless, if in the bedroom and living room the laminate can be called an ideal coating in all respects, then in the specific conditions of the kitchen it still has some disadvantages.
- Cheap laminate is not resistant to moisture. For kitchens, a special option is chosen that can withstand not only condensation in the joints but also stagnant water for several hours, which might be expensive.
Some types of laminate really cannot (or can, but with caution) be placed in the kitchen, as they cannot withstand high humidity, temperature fluctuations or spilt colouring liquids such as wine or beetroot juice, and can be deformed from falling heavy and sharp objects.
- Laminate flooring is not eco-friendly. Usually, it is very hot and humid in the kitchen, so if the laminate is purchased from unknown vendors, this guarantees an increase in the percentage of formaldehyde in its composition that can be released into the atmosphere. All certifications must be provided for the cover.
If we talk about formaldehyde resins, then they can be present in the flooring in different quantities and these substances are quite dangerous for human life. When you buy laminate flooring, carefully study the labelling that is present on the packaging. If you find the E-1 badge there, then this indicates that it contains a minimum amount of formaldehyde and such material is quite safe for human health.If you cannot create the necessary conditions to minimize the negative qualities of the laminate, then it is better to choose some other type of flooring, so that after a while, due to high humidity, you do not have to change the floors in the kitchen again.
- Laminate is not made from natural materials. No matter how realistically it imitates the original materials, it still remains a copy and, to one degree or another, loses to them in aesthetic and operational qualities.
- Laminate is noisy. The disadvantages of laminate flooring include a fairly sonorous sound that forms a coating when objects step or fall. However, this drawback is more likely a consequence of incorrect installation than a problem of the material itself. The “defect” is eliminated with the help of a special sound-absorbing substrate.
- Even moisture-resistant kitchen laminates are likely to swell. For example, it can be caused by a pipe burst or your neighbours. Even a waterproof sealant in the seams will not protect the laminate flooring in your kitchen from a large amount of water.
- A laminate coating without a preparatory layer, expanded polystyrene cannot be perfectly levelled, and over time it will also begin to creak. The material is not immune to scratches and chips. They can appear from the impact of pinpoint impacts or heavy objects.
Laminate Floor Review, Tips | Pros & Cons
Despite all the cons, laminate flooring for the kitchen is in demand, since, in addition to strength qualities, it has a decent appearance and will create any style in the kitchen.
The laminate used for the kitchen has some features. First of all, it is moisture resistant. It is made from several different layers, each of which is responsible for different functions: colour, heat and water resistance. Due to the fact that laminate flooring allows you to simulate different kinds of materials, it can be installed with a variety of types of design and decoration.
Plus, it is very easy to install the laminate in the kitchen, because for this you do not need to specially prepare the entire floor, make screeds and so on. If the floor does not have any large unevenness, then it can be installed even on the old floor, whatever it may be. An interesting fact is that you can purchase exactly the type of laminate under which the warm floor is placed.
A feature of this flooring is that its parts simply snap together. And this means that if necessary, the floor can be disassembled at any time, and then reassembled. If you still do not know what type of material to buy, then you can consider the option, the parts of which are glued together, by using special glue.
How Can I Protect My Laminate Flooring in My Kitchen?
Before starting to remove scratches, you need to know how to protect your laminate flooring. All scratches differ in the degree of their damage to the floor covering:
- Small damage. These defects occur due to the influence of abrasive substances. Dust, sand can act as these factors. The sand can be easily brought in along with the shoes.
- Medium scratches can be caused by the activity of pets which they can leave them with their claws. Also, damage can appear when walking in small women’s heels, they can be left by fallen small objects.
- Large and deep defects result from the installation and rearrangement of large furniture. They can appear when moving lockers, computer chairs or tables on wheels. Also often deep, large damage appears when installing a large cabinet or piano.
These problems can be prevented in advance, so from the very first days after installing the coating, you need to monitor its condition and take care of it. If defects have arisen, then it is imperative to make every effort so that they do not appear again.
Silicone and wax-based products will help protect the wood from moisture and improve the overall appearance of the surface. Despite handling, spill water and other moisture should be immediately removed from the laminate flooring.
If this leads to the appearance of stains, do not use alcohol-based liquids or solvents. They can damage the coating. Your best bet is to buy cleansing pastes or products that won’t harm your laminate flooring and improve its appearance.
How Do You Protect Laminate Floors from Scratches?
To protect the laminate floors from scratches, you need to do the following:
- Place a protective mat by the door to prevent dirt, sand and small stones from your shoes from getting on the floor and ruining it.
- Do not move heavy furniture over the laminate. If you need to move something so heavy that it is not possible to lift it, you need to make a backing.
- Initially, in order to protect the flooring from damage, it is better to equip all furniture on the legs with special felt or silicone thrust pads.
- It is recommended not to walk on the laminate with dirty shoes and to regularly vacuum and wash the floors (since it is not only sharp objects that scratch it but even fine sandy dirt). Ladies should refuse to walk on the floor in sharp thin heels. If you really need to be in elegant shoes, you can always choose something less harmful to the flooring and, moreover, more stable.
- When cleaning the laminate floor, do not use products containing abrasive particles, they can leave minor damage and make the floor rough to the touch.
- If initially, before buying a laminate, you understand that scratches cannot be avoided in your case (pets, small children in the house), then choose a coating of a heterogeneous colour, on which the damage will not be so much visible.
No matter how the rules are followed, it is impossible to predict events, so always keep a wax pencil within reach, with which you can quickly respond to the problem. And remember that it is better not to ignore the scratch that appears. The sooner you close it, the better. In this case, the laminate will serve you faithfully for a long time.
Recommendations for Installing Laminate in the Kitchen
Having learned what the pros and cons of the laminate in the kitchen are, everyone can conclude how justified the laminate installing in the kitchen will be. In the case when the choice is made, here are some tips on how to install the laminate in the kitchen.
- In order for the floor finishing material to serve for a long time, it is necessary to purchase only high-quality products.
- If family members are absent from the apartment for a long time, then it is better not to choose a laminate for the kitchen.
- A noteworthy solution would be a combination of laminate and floor tiles in the kitchen which are installed in working areas — near the sink, stove, in the place where the dishwasher is installed. Combining the pattern and texture of these two materials for the floor surface will allow a huge selection of these products in the domestic building materials market.
- A careful attitude to it will help to extend the life of the laminate. It is necessary to protect the flooring from scratches and impacts with sharp objects, which is recommended for all floor coverings.
Can You Put Heavy Furniture on Laminate Flooring?
You can put heavy furniture on laminate flooring, however, experienced experts advise placing felt or other dense but soft linings under heavy furniture. It will also simplify the rearrangement of furniture in the future. If the laminate is installed correctly on a flat surface, it will not crease, but it is not recommended to put heavy furniture around the perimeter of the room as then the load on the seams between the slabs will be too great.
According to the international classification, the laminate class is determined by numbers from 21 and above. Classes 31-33 are considered very durable, so furniture can be placed and moved around them relatively safely. Of course, sharp parts and protruding corners must not come into contact with the coating.
So, you can put heavy furniture on laminate flooring, but with some reservations. Furniture should not occupy the entire laminate board along the long side. Otherwise, it will act as a termination, rigidly fixing the laminate, and preventing it from expanding to one side.
At the same time, the area of contact between the furniture and the floor should not be very small, because in this case, the pressure exerted on the panel will be large enough to push the laminate. To avoid this, you can place special stands under the legs.
How Many Years Does Laminate Flooring Last?
Class 32 laminate should last 3-5 years, but if you use it at home, then the lifespan will increase to 10-15. 33 class laminate lasts 5-6 years, as the manufacturers say, but in residential premises, it can last up to 30 years and even more.
What affects the laminate’s service life? First of all, proper installing is important, therefore it is very important to install it on a flat surface. And of course, care is important. Laminate is not afraid of moisture, but it should not be washed with water every day as well as harsh chemicals should not be used. Compliance with such simple rules will allow you to enjoy a beautiful floor for many years.
How Often Should Laminate Flooring Be Replaced?
Laminate flooring should be replaced once it loses its original appearance when the surface is wiped off, the gloss and colour disappear. Equally important is the condition of the inter-panel seams. If the boards begin to diverge, then noticeable gaps appear between them, which means that the coating has served its purpose and must be replaced.
Laminate flooring is renowned for its durability and strength. Naturally, a solid wood board will last longer in comparison with it, but it also costs more. Considering options from more or less budget flooring, laminate flooring remains the most durable and inexpensive type of flooring.
The service life of a laminated floor directly depends on its class. And the manufacturer’s warranty is based precisely on the coverage class.
Today the market offers us materials of 31, 32 and 33 strength classes which are also called commercial. The name indicates suitability for use in commercial premises. But now these classes are also used for laying in apartments, houses and cottages for more gentle household use.
If the laminate is laid in rooms with high traffic, the service life will not be unlimited, but quite decent. An approximate guarantee of operation for 31 classes – from 3 years, 32 – from 5 and 33 – from 6 years. In fact, the operating time of the coating will be 2-3 times longer.
A class 31 coating, laid in a room with high traffic, where the abrasive effect is minimal, will perfectly serve for 7 or more years, without losing its original appearance.
A 32-grade coating used at home will last at least 10-15 years. At the same time, the floor will not lose its colour, it will not fade under the influence of ultraviolet radiation, the quality of the upper protective layer and the strength of the panel connection will be preserved.
Covering 33 class houses will literally last indefinitely. Choose a really worthy manufacturer, competently prepare the base on which the floor will be installed, and replacing the laminate in the future may not be required at all. It is not for nothing that serious brands can give a lifetime warranty on their products under 33 strength class.
What else needs to be considered when choosing a class of laminate is the reputation of the manufacturer and the country of manufacture. It often happens that laminates of the 31st class of Polish production can have a guarantee of 5 years, they will last about 5-7 years, as for Germany, there will already be 10-15 years. But the price will be much bigger.
And in conclusion: each manufacturer, providing any guarantees has the right to demand compliance with the technological requirements for the installation and operation of its products, this also includes recommendations on the use of certain types of substrates and competent preparation of the base.