How Laminate Flooring Stands up in the Kitchen
I have laminate flooring in my kitchen and I like it very much. I have moved often enough over the last forty years to have experienced everything in the realm of kitchen floors from ugly linoleum to indoor-outdoor carpeting and have hated them all.
I now have attractive and easy to care for laminate in my kitchen that blends nicely with the cabinetry. You don’t have to read between the lines to pick up on my preference. I love the hardwood flooring that we found under the carpeting in much of the house but laminate was the perfect choice for the high traffic areas in the kitchen and dining room (where our sliding glass doors lead out to the deck--an oft traveled route by the dogs).
Laminate floors are a good choice for the kitchen. Laminate is durable and withstands the wear and tear that most kitchens receive.
If you're trying to decide if it's right for you, consider the type of traffic that goes through your kitchen on a daily basis. Kids playing on the floor, dogs with dirty paws, friends with wet shoes, and of course food spills. Sticky liquids and food spills are not a problem because laminate flooring is easy to clean. It's also pretty stain and scratch resistant. If you're the one who does the housework, it doesn’t get much better than that.
Laminate flooring is machine made, and its top layer is actually a picture of hardwood that has been fused on fiberboard. It looks like the real thing, but is less expensive, more durable and it requires less maintenance than actual wood floors.
Laminate is available in a wide range of wood tones as well as marble, terra cotta, ceramic, slate, and stone. It is laid as a floating floor, with boards that click together without nailing or gluing, so you can put it right over your existing vinyl or linoleum floor without ripping anything up. Also laminate is relatively easy for a non-professional to install as a do-it-yourself project.
Buy the best laminate that you can afford. The fiberboard is sensitive to moisture so you will want to follow the advice aimed at preventing water from seeping into the joints or under the flooring. Your supplier will tell you about using a layer of foam and waterproofing that can give you more peace of mind and increase the wear of the floor. When considering laminate for bathrooms or kitchens ask about the “core” density and treatment. Quality laminate cores are treated with water repellent chemicals. Also consider laminates with Paraffin wax worked into the joints that acts as a water repellent.
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