Best Laminate Flooring for Kitchen 2023 – What You Must Know

Kitchen Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is a perfect choice for those who want to give a wood look to their kitchen flooring at a low cost.

Its latest versions are water-resistant, which makes a durable kitchen laminate flooring. This article will explain some of the best laminate floorings for the kitchen.

Since the kitchen is humid, special care and maintenance are required to install laminate, and it must be highly water-resistant.

During floor installation, ensure the seams between the planks are very tight, preventing moisture from seeping into the laminate core.

Types of Laminate Flooring for Kitchen

The structure of most of the laminates is the same, with a rigid core made of fiberboard or plywood. The top of the laminate is the image layer – glued on the core.

The image layer is the picture of solid hardwood or stone flooring; therefore, it looks like a floor of natural material.

The top of the laminate is a long-lasting and scratch-proof wear layer – fixed to the bottom.

An underlayment made of cork or foam is attached to the bottom of the laminate to reduce noise and provide comfort.

Moreover, water is the most important thing to consider when installing laminate flooring in the kitchen. There are three types of laminate;

Standard Laminate

This type of laminate does not provide complete protection against humidity. A few spills do not damage its surface, but damp mopping will ruin it, and steam mopping must be strictly avoided.

Standard Laminate

Clean spills with a dry towel as quickly as possible. Processionals don’t recommend standard laminate for kitchen use because moisture can harm its core and can damage it.

Water-Resistant Laminate

Water-resistant laminate provides limited protection against moisture because its core’s top is sealed. But, if you do not clean spills and water quickly, they may seep into the core.

Water-Resistant Laminate

If you are looking for an inexpensive laminate option, you can use it. But it would be best to keep it dry every time and clean spills as soon as possible.

Waterproof Laminate

It is one of the best laminate floorings for the kitchen because its core is sealed and protected from every side.

When you have to buy this, read all the details. It is not a waterproof laminate if it provides limited protection against moisture.

Waterproof Laminate

A waterproof flooring provides 24 hours protection against standing water on the surface. It does not damage daily household spills. However, repair the leaking appliances and pipes.

To install laminated flooring, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to put a waterproof material along the borders of the room. It will protect the boundaries of the room and subfloor from moisture.

Factors to Consider When Buying Kitchen Laminate Flooring

  • Make sure the flooring is waterproof. If it is water-resistant, it will not be suitable for the kitchen because it requires flooring that can fight moisture. Read the warranty details before buying.
  • If you pay more, you will get a more durable option, but an inexpensive option will not be so reliable.
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are a danger to indoor air quality. Testing organizations such as GreenGuard or FloorScore have recommended mostly good quality laminate brands with low or no VOCs. Select a laminate floor for the kitchen, which has low VOCs.
  • If your neighbor’s houses do not have laminate and you install it at your home, it will affect the resale value of your house.
  • Pick laminate flooring with wax edges to prevent humidity from seeping into your floor. If your kitchen flooring is more prone to spills, then it’s a good idea to select laminate with wax edges. The spills will become stains if not cleaned on time and will take longer to remove.
  • Select a laminate flooring that will remain in good condition for many years. Laminate floor with an AC (Abrasion Class) rating of AC3 or higher must be selected to get durable flooring. Higher AC ratings are perfect for high-traffic areas.
  • You can select a color of laminate that matches everything in your entire home, or you can select a different color for your home. Light and white colors are popular for the kitchen’s clean look.
  • Plank flooring is recommended for your kitchen floor lamination if you want to match it with the tiles of your house. If you want a different look from the other areas of your house’s flooring, you can use square-shaped planks similar to tiles.
  • Various matte or glossy finishes are available and durable; choose according to your taste.

Pros and Cons of Laminate Flooring for Kitchen

Before choosing laminate flooring ideas for your kitchen, make sure to go through the positive and negative aspects of it:

Advantages

Appearance

Laminate kitchen floor tiles are available in various charms, colors, and designs. You can easily find and match your flooring with kitchen decoration.

Less Costly

Laminate provides the comfortable appearance of stone or natural wood at a very low cost compared to other floorings.

Durability

Durability is another big advantage of laminate. It withstands high foot traffic and pets with its hard layer on the top. It is also resistant to water, making it best for the kitchen.

So, it will not be an issue if liquid drops fall while cooking, washing the dishes, or any accident happens due to your pet.

Easy Maintenance

The top layer of laminate is smooth and flat, making cleaning and maintenance easier. You must sweep the floor with a soft broom regularly and use a slightly damp mop once a week.

Easy Installation

The latest laminate versions come with a new structure and design, which has very easy installation in less time. They have a unique locking system with new features for smooth installation.

It also allows you to select the installation option of your choice; row by row, plank by plank, or tapping. Professional laminate installation is less costly than installing ceramic tile or other natural stones.

Fewer Defects

Laminate manufacturing aims to look as realistic as possible and remove the defects related to stone or wood.

For example, in wood or stone flooring, you may find different planks or tiles of different shades and textures. This looks like these pieces are not in place, and people must compromise on the appearance.

However, laminate planks do not come with these defects. The shades and designs remain uniform throughout, and while manufacturing laminate tile and planks, the product quality is more easily controlled.

Resist Fading

The latest laminate flooring comes with high-quality material that does not discolor with exposure to sunlight or in other extreme conditions.

Disadvantages

Prone to Water Damage

Water or any liquid standing on the floor surface will ruin the flooring. Take extra precautions to prevent water from seeping into the surface or seams between the planks.

Difficult Repairing

If the planks of laminate are ruined by moisture or any other problem, it isn’t easy to repair. You may be able to replace the planks if the problem is with them. But if the laminate is aged, you may not find the same plank again.

The surface of the laminate can’t be re-sanded or re-finished. In case of any damage, you can replace the damaged plank, but if you cannot find the exact match, you will have to change the whole laminate flooring.

Cost of Kitchen Laminate Floors

The table given below shows the prices for laminate flooring for the kitchen. Only for comparison, the prices of standard laminate flooring are given.

(Make a cost table for laminate flooring for the kitchen)

Installation Price


The expected installation cost of labor is around $2.75 – $5.00 per square foot. The wide range of prices is due to a few labor cost factors:

Kitchen Complexity


More trimming is needed for your kitchen – around the peninsula, on the doorways, or surroundings of a built-in dining table. This increases the cost of the laminate installation.

Kitchen Size


As laminate becomes expensive, the price per square foot drops a little. For example, by getting 60 square feet of flooring in a kitchen, the cost will reach $5 per square foot, and if the kitchen is more than 300 per square foot, the price might be $3 or  $4 per square foot.

This is because the labor considers travel time, price, set up and clean up time, and other factors. If the labor has to install more area, the price will decrease.

Old flooring removal and laying underlayment may charge an extra cost.

Best Brands of Laminate Floors for Kitchen

Many brands manufacture different types of kitchen laminate flooring such as tile with basic, better, and greatest quality. Following are the best brands of laminate.

Budget Kitchen Laminate

This is the most inexpensive brand of laminate with a price range of $1.35 – $2.00. Cheaper products than this are not sealed to protect against water damage.

Budget laminate floors are manufactured by companies such as Dream Home at Lumber Liquidators, TrafficMaster sold by Home Depot, Mohawk Home at Costco, Home decorators collection, and Tarket.

New models of laminate floorings are manufactured by Quick-Step, Shaw, Bruce, Mannington, and Mohawk.

Mid-Priced Range

Most brands manufacture premium laminate flooring at the cost of $1.85 – $2.50.

The best options are manufactured by Mohawk, Bruce, Mannington, Dream Home X20, Swiss Krono, BerryAloc, Armstrong, Allen, Roth, and LifeProof.

Forbo Marmoleum is a brand of linoleum laminate floor mixture. The image layer is substituted with a coating of linoleum. It is not a water-proof laminate; it is water-resistant and costly.

Premium Brands

Premium brands are available in waterproof guarantee, but before buying, read its warranty information. Expected flooring prices are $2.50 – $5.00.

Newton, Mohawk RevWood, ShawRepel, Pergo lines with WetProtect, Tarkett AquaFlor, Mannington with SpillShield, Armstrong Audacity, and AquaGuard by Floor and Décor all provide laminate with a waterproof warranty.

Features of Best Kitchen Laminate Floors

The features of a laminate kitchen floor that can last for more than 15 years in good condition are given as follows;

Kitchen Laminate Floors

Higher AC Rating

Depending on the construction of the material, especially the wear layer thickness, there are five grades of laminate.

The system of rating the laminate is called Abrasion Class rating or AC rating. The five grades are given as follows;

1. AC1 – Moderate Residential

This rating is for the areas that are lightly used, such as a bedroom.

2. AC2 – General Residential

The areas at home which are a little more in use like dining room, home office, or living room laminate flooring.

3. AC3 – Heavy Residential + Light Commercial

It is for home areas with high foot traffic and low-traffic commercial areas.

4. AC4 – General Commercial

This rating is for all the areas of the home and light-traffic commercial places.

5. AC5 – Heavy Commercial

This grade is for all home areas and high-traffic commercial areas.

The 3rd grade or higher gives laminate protection against spills, furniture scratches, kid’s toys, pet’s nails, and other reasons for scratches.

HPL Construction Method

Laminate floors with good grades possess High-Pressure Lamination (HPL), which helps compress and fuse the layers more efficiently than older methods.

Laminates manufactured by HPL are more durable, harder, and stable.

Thick Wear Layer

This feature differentiates high-quality laminate from cheaper grades. A coating of tough melamine or any material that resembles it is attached to the image layer or wood veneer layer to create a strong surface.

The wear layer must withstand dents, scratches, and fading. Moreover, it must be long-lasting to protect for years. Getting information about the thickness of the wear layer might be difficult.

Still, the information about laminate’s grades indicates that the product will be stronger and the wear layer will be better.

The Right Underlayment According to the Area

You need a vapor barrier to install laminate on a concrete subfloor. For example, installing laminate in a basement, underlayment with a vapor barrier is required because the basement is humid.

Underlayment According to the Area

An underlayment with an acoustic pad is used for upper floors to reduce sound. If you want to insulate the floor, foam underlayment is used. Many more options are also available with different grades.

Many laminates come with already attached underlayment, which greatly reduces the cost. The installer will determine the right type of underlayment according to the subfloor.

An Experienced Installer

Always select an experienced installer for floor lamination because a skilled person will know all the requirements according to the location.

You will get the best results when you request estimates from different qualified installers. Every installer must be interviewed about the experience of the team doing the work.

If you install laminate by adopting a DIY route, you must gather all the necessary tools and material and ensure you are comfortable cutting the planks.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Is Laminate Flooring Best for Kitchens?

Laminate flooring is durable and can be used as a kitchen floor. It will last for years because it is scratch-resistant and withstands stains.

Installing it with vapor barrier underlayment and acoustic pad will protect laminate from moisture and help in sound absorption.

Which Type of Laminate Flooring is Good for A Kitchen?

Waterproof laminate flooring is best for a kitchen because it has a strong, moisture-resistant wear layer that gives 24 hours protection.

However, if spills happen on the floor, you must clean them as soon as possible.

In Vinyl or Laminate, Which One is Better for a Kitchen Floor?

Vinyl and laminate floorings are durable, water-resistant, and scratch-resistant, so they are good options for kitchen floors.

But, vinyl is more cost-effective than laminate. Laminate is often picked for a beautiful wood-like appearance on your floor.

Is Waterproof Laminate Necessary for the Kitchen?

Waterproof laminate flooring is necessary for a kitchen because it provides complete protection against moisture. The floor does not damage due to a strong waterproof layer.

Which Flooring is Good for A Kitchen?

Laminate flooring is the best if you want to achieve wood-look flooring. However, it must be waterproof.

Always select a high-quality flooring for your kitchen because the kitchen is more prone to moisture damage.

What Will Happen if the Laminate Gets Moisture?

If you do not dry the spills quickly, moisture will seep into the laminate layers and core. It will cause the planks to warp and swell.

If you have installed them by gluing down, it will also weaken the glue, and the planks will fall apart.

Final Thoughts

By reading all the types of laminate flooring and other circumstances, you can select the best laminate flooring for the kitchen. It is the best choice if you want your flooring to look like wood.

The most important thing is selecting the right kind of underlayment for laminate installation. The kitchen is the most humid place in the home, so you should lay a vapor barrier before laminating.

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