Kitchen Laminate Flooring [2021 Guide]

Kitchen Laminate Flooring [2021 Guide]

Planning your flooring for kitchens comes with a plethora of considerations; it has the most foot traffic, kitchens have a higher risk of leaking pipes, and half of home fires originate from the kitchen. That begs the question, are laminate floors suitable for kitchens? 

This guide will explain the pros and cons of laminate flooring in kitchens, and also provide four better alternatives.

Key concerns for kitchen flooring

  1. Waterproofing – When it comes to the kitchen, the primary factor to consider is water. Water from the tap, water from spills, even water from the leaky pipe in the cabinet or beneath the subfloor. The easiest solution is waterproof flooring.
  2. Durability – The kitchen experiences the rough and tumble of life, especially for those who love to cook. Can your floors withstand the continual footfalls and occasional knife drops?
  3. Fire Testing – According to the National Fire Protection Association, 49% of house fires begin from the kitchen. It is advisable to examine the fire test certifications of laminate flooring.

Pros and Cons of Laminate Flooring in Kitchens

Laminate flooring has been historically a popular option due to its low price, high durability and water resistance. However, every product has its drawbacks.

Advantages of laminate flooring:

  1. Scratch and Dent Resistant – The biggest reason people love laminate floors, especially for high traffic areas like kitchens is because of their hard wearing surfaces. Laminate floors are even more abrasion resistant than solid timber.
  2. Water Resistant – The vast majority of laminate floors are designed to resist absorbing water. Some of these can last up to 72 hours before water damage becomes a risk. This is a great attribute for wetter areas like the kitchen.
  3. Very Affordable – Laminate floors are one of the more economical flooring options in the market. This is because it’s easier to manufacture and the recycled materials are cheaper to procure. You can certainly save on laminate floors.

Disadvantages of laminate flooring:

  1. Not Waterproof – As the kitchen is very exposed to spillages and has a higher risk of pipe leaks, water damage is almost inevitable even with water resistant laminate floors. Waterproofing is one way to safeguard against these problems, which laminate floors lack.
  2. Not Fireproof – Laminate floors are made of wood particle boards which risk catching fire when exposed to a flame. This is more important in kitchen areas.

laminate flooring is a good solution, but nowhere near the best when it comes to kitchens. The number one attribute for kitchens should be waterproofing. Whilst they win on durability, laminate floors are not waterproof and will ultimately be exposed to much more moisture in the long run from spills and leakages.

Laminate flooring is not the best kitchen flooring. That poses the question, what is the best flooring for kitchens?

Best Kitchen Flooring Options

No.1 Ceramic & Porcelain Tiles

Tiles have long since been the most trusty floor covering in kitchens. Porcelain tiles are more durable and expensive than the ceramic counterparts. Both are hardwearing, 100% waterproof and we all know that stone doesn’t catch fire.

Advantages of Kitchen Tiles:

  1. Waterproof – Tiles are nonabsorbent and can withstand any amount of water thrown at it. This makes it perfect for areas with higher exposure to moisture.
  2. Durable – Tiles are extremely durable compared to wood type floors. They can easily withstand the heavy traffic which kitchens experience.
  3. Maintenance – Tiles are very easy to maintain even if you have pets. 

Disadvantages of Kitchen Tiles:

  1. Expensive – Tiles are a lot more expensive to install than floating floors like laminate or hybrid flooring, as they require screeding and higher skilled labour.
  2. Hard Surface – Tiles do not go well with water or oil on the surface. Whilst they are waterproof, you will need to be careful to not slip over. One way to overcome the hazard of falling is to select a product which offers certified slip resistance.

 

tile kitchen modern d

No.2 Hybrid Flooring

Hybrid floors are not only 100% waterproof and strong, but also made up of a stone and plastic composition which makes them less flammable than wood. They now allow homeowners to achieve a seamless wood-look floor covering throughout the house, including kitchens areas.

Advantages of Kitchen Hybrid Floors:

  1. Waterproof – Hybrid floors are waterproof since they are made of a stone-plastic or wood-plastic composite. This is why hybrid floorings are very popular in residential areas as of late.
  2. Durable – Hybrid floors are not only waterproof, but are also hardwearing against scratches and dents. They can definitely stand up to the usual traffic in kitchens. (Although not as strong as tiles)
  3. Fire Resistant – Hybrid floors are less flammable than wood type floors since they are made of either a stone and plastic composite (SPC) or wood and plastic composite (WPC).
  4. Affordable – Hybrid floors are on the more affordable side of flooring options and are also cheap to install since they are floating floors. This means repairing damaged floorboards down the line are also easy.

 Disadvantages of Hybrid Floors:

  1. Unlevel Subfloors – Hybrid floors require very even subfloors as they may crack and move over time otherwise. This can potentially incur extra subfloor levelling fees during the installation process.
  2. UV Fading – Heavy exposure to sunlight can cause some of the colours to fade over time. Make sure to purchase higher quality hybrid floors which have UV resistant wear layers which can help them look beautiful for longer.

Looking to learn more about hybrid flooring? Check out our ultimate guide to hybrid flooring, or explore our hybrid product range!

 

No.3 Luxury Vinyl Planks 

Vinyl planks are similar to hybrid floors as they are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Fully waterproof and fire retardant, vinyl planks are great for kitchens and even commercial settings.

Advantages of Kitchen Luxury Vinyl Planks:

  1. Waterproof – Luxury Vinyl Planks are also fully waterproof which makes them very attractive for kitchen areas.
  2. Impact Resistant – Since Luxury Vinyl Planks are made of a slightly soft PVC, they can cushion and resist most impacts which may occur from dropped utensils whereas a laminate or hybrid floor may scratch slightly.
  3. Affordable – Luxury Vinyl Planks are relatively affordable (similarly priced with hybrid floors) and use glue to install. It is more affordable than tile flooring in the kitchen.

Disadvantages of Kitchen Luxury Vinyl Planks:

  1. VOC Ratings – As vinyl planks are made of PVC, low quality options are more prone to releasing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which may cause respiratory irritation.
  2. Cuts & Scratches – Since vinyl planks are softer than other types of flooring, they are more prone to cuts from sharp objects than harder floor coverings like laminate floors.

Interested in Vinyl Plank Flooring? You can explore our entire range of vinyl floors here!

No.4 HydroPro Timber

HydroPro Timber is an engineered timber range which uses a 100% waterproof, limestone based core. The surface has 8 coatings of UV and water/scratch resistant lacquer, giving you the peace of mind and beauty of real timber in one package.

Advantages of HydroPro Timber:

  1. 99% Waterproof – HydroPro Timber can easily hold against spills and moisture exposure thanks to water sealing surface lacquer and its limestone composite core which is fully waterproof. This makes it suitable for kitchens and laundry rooms.
  2. Dimensional Stability – HydroPro Timber is impervious to warping which other wood type floors are prone to in moisture or temperature fluctuations. This can be attributed towards the composite core and backing layer.
  3. Real Hardwood – Natural, authentic timber is definitely the most loved and high valued floor covering in the market. HydroPro comes in our favourite native Australian hardwoods including Blackbutt and Spotted Gum.

 Disadvantages of HydroPro Timber:

  1. Abrasion Resistance – Whilst timber is not weak, real wood is less abrasion resistant than synthetic laminate flooring and hybrid flooring. This means it will scratch slightly easier.
  2. Expensive – Flooring which has real timber is always more expensive than synthetic options. HydroPro Timber is hence more expensive than laminate, hybrid and vinyl flooring.


Kitchen Laminate Flooring FAQ

Laminate flooring is not water proof which makes it ill advised to lay in moisture prone areas like kitchens. Whilst laminate floors usually have water resistance and can resist the occasional spill, we recommend choosing a waterproof alternative like tiles or hybrid flooring instead if you are hoping to live there for many years to come. That way you won’t have to worry about leaky pipes or kitchen flooding.

Porcelain or ceramic tiles have always been the best solution for wetter areas like the kitchen. However, in recent years many homeowners are beginning to prize the waterproof hybrid flooring technology as it can allow a seamless wood-look straight through the dining room, living room and kitchen without the risk of water damage.

At FloorVenue we recommend waterproof flooring and something which can withstand the foot traffic and occasional utensil drop for kitchen areas. Tiles, Hybrid floors and Vinyl floors would be our top picks. Solid timber is also a viable option.

Recent trends from 2020 and 2021 show a significant rise in waterproof hybrid flooring as it allows you to lay a wood-look floor straight through your home (save the bathroom). Tiles are still a big hit for kitchens as it has been historically. Home owners love wood-look floors, especially lighter colours in the kitchen areas.

At FloorVenue, we would recommend choosing a colour which isn’t too light since it will be easier to see stains. Consider viewing our definitive guide to flooring designs for some inspiration.

Porcelain tiles are more dense and less porous than ceramic tiles. This makes it harder for stubborn stains to form on porcelain tiles which is great. Hybrid floors and vinyl floors are both simple in cleaning as well, as they are designed to resist staining from the accidental spills. If it was a contest, porcelain tiles would be ever so slightly easier to maintain than hybrid and vinyl floors although both are very easy to clean.

Porcelain and ceramic tiles would be the most hard wearing flooring, followed by laminate flooring. Both tiles and laminate floors are very strong against scratches and dents. Solid timber can be re-sanded and polished every decade or so to get rid of scratches and defects. They can retain the beautiful look and last a lifetime.

Contact Us Form

Get in Touch

Get a FREE consultation immediately, Free on-site consultation and
quote. No-obligation and Receive a callback within 24 hours.

    DOWNLOAD "COMPLETE GUIDE TO CHOOSING A FLOOR"

    How do I choose a floor? We put together a 20 page complete guide to choosing flooring. Enter your details to receive the E-book via email:

    Have all your questions answered and
    arrange a free on-site quotation.

    FloorVenue services all of New South Wales

    0