Laminate flooring in the kitchen?

Swainsboro, GA(Zone 8b)

We need to replace our old vinyl flooring in the kitchen. I would love to go with solid hardwood, but the house is on a concrete slab, so that's not an option. A relative advised us to put in laminate. She's had laminate in her house for a number of years, and it looks great. She does not have it in the kitchen, although she says they do plan to put it in the kitchen in a year or so.

The flooring guy at Home Depot said that while laminate can be put in a kitchen, he doesn't really advise it. He says that even small water splatters can cause the laminate surface to buckle or wave. He said we would have to be meticulous about wiping up every little drop of water right away. He suggested we go with engineered hardwood, which he says is not as easily water damaged as the laminate. As an alternative, he recommended the resilient vinyl planks that look like wood. He says they are very durable.

Now we are confused about which flooring to choose. We don't want a ceramic tile floor, as it is too hard underfoot. Has anyone here had any experience with laminate or engineered hardwood on the kitchen? Or with the vinyl wood planks? I would appreciate any advice or recommendations. We are seniors on a budget, so whatever we choose will have to last a good while.

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

We installed tile-look laminate in our kitchen (we had oak-look laminate throughout the rest of the house.) We had a water explosion one night while trying to replace the dishwasher. We took up all the affected flooring (it was click-and-lock, let the particle board subfloor dry thoroughly, and put it back down. Not a bit of problem. I had heard the same admonition when we were looking at our options for replacing tile, which we had to pull it all up when it popped and buckled. The laminate didn't give us any problems in the 6-7 years we had it down. It's still holding up now that the house is a rental. (for how long, only time will tell.)

We did put real tile in the bathrooms, due to the amount of water that can drip off and accumulate after showers and baths, but the laminate held up fine in our kitchen.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Have you run it by the folks in the "From House to Home" kitchen remodeling section of the communities forums? They have tons of information in there. They are really interesting. Other than that I would say to do some research on your own thru Google. However, Terry says no problem.

Also, there are contractors on there you can discuss it with too. The good thing about this is these folks have no dog in the fight. i.e. not going to make any money off of any decision you make.

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

It's possible we were just plain lucky.

I will add this: I used an O-Cedar type sponge mop with the traditional bucket of water + ammonia + a dab of dish soap on my laminate kitchen floor once every 7-10 days. I used a Clorox "ready-mop" to touch up in between. If I had had a Shark steam-cleaner back then, I would have used it instead, but I didn't. I never used any special made-for-laminate flooring products, and no homemade products with alcohol to help it dry faster, etc.

I never sloshed water on my floors when I mopped, nor did I let a spill stand any longer than necessary, but it certainly had more than a few stray drops of water on it quite frequently. Hopefully some others can share their experiences, but mine was positive. And Jnette is right - I'm no flooring salesperson, so I have no dog in the hunt :-)

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Terry, did you put the floor down yourselves? Or have it done? I guess it is not real difficult to do. Do you use any adhesives? Water proof glues etc?

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

We installed all the flooring ourselves. The first floors we did were in the den, hall and formal living/dining as part of the original renovation. They were glue-together planks - ugh. The kitchen was next a year or two later; it was click-and-lock pieces about 15 inches wide and four feet long (resembled four large tiles plus grout lines on each piece.) We eventually replaced all the bedrooms and bonus room carpet with newer oak-look laminate that was click-and-lock.

The only room we had professionally installed flooring was when we re-did our bedroom and added a new bathroom. It involved knocking out a wall of closets, moving them to the old bathroom, and adding a new bath. The contractor re-used and re-laid the same laminate - we had enough left over to finish it and the closet. Here's the original laminate flooring project, and then towards the end of the thread was the post-remodel pics:

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/498753/

It's fairly easy to install if you have reasonable carpentry skills (can saw a straight line, understand how to measure around doorways, etc. One key is to prep the floors very well - all carpet pad tacks and staples must be removed and the floors thoroughly vacuumed to remove any debris. Buy good laminate padding/vapor barrier and compare laminate products before you buy.

To be honest, we used very inexpensive discount laminate in the bedrooms (less traffic, no need for the ultra-tough finish that the more public rooms needed.) If I had it to do again, I'd probably opt for bamboo or engineered flooring instead of the plastic-y laminate. But those options weren't available when we were renovating the house when we moved in back in 2000 (and continued in 2001 and 2002 and 2003 and so on - it never really ended until we moved!) And we got a lot of compliments on the flooring over the years. The golden oak color fit the era of the ranch-style house and many people assumed it was wood and original to the house.

Swainsboro, GA(Zone 8b)

Terry, your positive experience has me leaning back toward the laminate. The photos of your bedroom project look great! The floor guy had said to never use water to mop laminate, so it is quite interesting that you mopped with water regularly. I think we can be careful enough, since it's just usually the two of us here anymore. The DIY aspect is definitely in the laminate's favor, as hubby has carpentry skills. Also the relative's laminate was installed by her husband, and he would probably be willing to give us a hand. The laminate would be less expensive than the engineered hardwood too. Thanks for giving me a real-life viewpoint!

Jnette, thank you too! I will check out that forum. I do have a lot of research to do before we make any kind of final decision, but I knew that I could get honest, trustworthy advice and opinions from the folks here at DG.

Dallas, United States

Your relative give to you a good suggestion... If you want laminte your kitchen floor then you should be...I have also laminated my ground floor of kitchen!!

Swainsboro, GA(Zone 8b)

Thanks, good to hear someone else is happy with laminate in the kitchen.

Dallas, United States

It's my pleasure!!

Canal Fulton, OH

We have engineered floor over the concrete slab in our dinning room. I think engineered floor or click-lock flooring planks in real wood would be good option as they look very stylish.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

We did our kitchen last year with a laminate that comes in large squares and looks like stained concrete in choice of brownish, greenish, or beige tones- think earthy looking. It clicks together. Installed ourselves with no major headaches. It is super easy to clean with a damp mop/ swifter type thing. Very happy with it.
I ruled out ceramic as too hard plus needing subfloor for us, and hardwood because I read that the refrigerator would make tracks on it and afraid of water damage,

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

I have had people who actually used some of these, plus my sister, a Realtor who sees a lot of floors.

The consensus was that:

Real wood floors have to be finished after being put down.

Laminate floors have a finish, but not as tough as Engineered flooring.

Engineered flooring has the toughest finish AND can be refinished as many as 5 times if necessary. Don't know why you would have to unless of course it lasted a lifetime I suppose.

Whereas Laminates can only be refinished a couple of times.

I am leaning towards Engineered for my livingroom mainly because of the finish (even tho, I have no intentions of refinishing it in my lifetime), and I want 6" boards, medium color. By that I mean no dark. Have seen that and it shows every little bit of dust. Especially under furniture with short legs. i.e. not far off the floor. Difficult to get at with a dust mop. etc. Also do not want too light. Have seen that too and don't like it at all. Think it was a light Birch.

Another reason for the Engineered floor with the best finish is that I have a dog with toenails. I know, clipping helps, but they still could damage a floor without a good finish. No kids, but that would be another reason if I had some.

Have not known anyone who used it in Kitchens.

Swainsboro, GA(Zone 8b)

Our kitchen flooring project has been delayed because of well/water problems. We may end up having a new well dug, so it will probably be springtime before the kitchen floor is put in. We are also considering taking out the carpet in the living room and putting down engineered hardwood in there. This has us reconsidering the laminate in the kitchen as it may be better to go ahead and put the engineered flooring in the kitchen too.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Wow, if the cost there is anywhere near what wells cost here, that is one lot of money.

Do you have children? Pets? If so, I would think, from what I have found out in researching it, the Engineered would be a better floor for you. I have never used either so, I would check into them for yourself and see what you find out.

Good luck with the well and let us know what you decide.

Swainsboro, GA(Zone 8b)

Thanks Jnette. Yes, it is a lot of money, so it has put other things on hold. We don't have children at home anymore, but we do have 5 active grandchildren who come visit fairly often. Also we have a small dog, but she wouldn't be much a problem on any flooring.

After we get past this well problem, I will start researching more about the engineered hardwood. I do not think there is a big difference in the price between the engineered and the laminate. It would certainly look nicer to use the same flooring in both rooms. Whatever we decide, it will certainly be better than the old, old vinyl that is currently in the kitchen!

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

I know what you mean. I shopped around a lot for my kitchen floor and everything seemed to be squared off in blocks. I really didn't like that and then I found one that wasn't, and I did like it but it was Inlaid Vinyl. Where the pattern of the design goes all the way thru the vinyl so with any wear the pattern is still there. Problem is that it was really as expensive as carpet or anything else. But, my kitchen is 12 feet x 25 feet. That is counting a space for a table etc. So, it was really expensive, therefore, I don't feel I can just take it out any old time I want a change. I think If I want a change, I had better paint the walls or something. LOL

Oh well, I will worry about the carpet in the living room. It has got to go. Would also like to do the bedrooms. Problem there is, I like carpet in the bedrooms. Therefore I would have a lot of different flooring on one floor.

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

We did laminate and tile all the way through our last home and I loved it. My husband would have preferred carpet in the bedroom, but with my allergies (and our kids' allergies), the hard flooring was a godsend. I would run a microfiber dustmop under the beds when I was vacuuming - it easily pulled out all the hair balls and dust to vacuum up without the hassle of moving the entire bed. We have carpet in our bedroom currently, but I'm petitioning for oak flooring when we decide it's time for a change. That still leaves carpeting upstairs, but with our kids growing up and moving out, I'm less concerned about the dust and pet dander in those areas now.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Terry, are you telling us that the kids are taking the pets with them? LOL, never happen. They usually bring you more to keep 'cause they are in apartments etc.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

funny Jnette! Other thing is, they grow up but maybe can't move out-$$

One downside to our two click together floorings is the slight plasticky hollow sound when you walk on it. You use underlayment to counter it but still, real wood doesn't sound that way.

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Oh, no....when he leaves, it will be to a house, and the cat goes with him :-)

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

dream on Terry. LOL, Jeanette

Agawam, MA

Kitchen floor should be the best, because here we do cooking, children love to do their homework there, family gathering and many more. Therefore, the flooring and the environment of the kitchen should be welcoming. Laminating floor requires very little maintenance and cost are also generally moderately.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

James, have you compared the cost of flooring? Really curious on that. Can you install the laminated flooring yourself? And the rest?

Agawam, MA

Before you head to your nearest home shop to purchase laminate flooring, you must do some of homework required for this work. Calculate exactly how much flooring you need. Simply measure in length and breadth. This will give you square footage of room. Now you need some tools like glue, hammer or rubber however, rubber mallet is preferred to join the pieces together, a universal tape to join end sides. These things are need and some creative mind and effort can make you to do this work by yourself.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

OK, but what is the cost comparison??

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Jnette, I think that's going to vary widely by region and your choice of specific flooring. Laminate can be as inexpensive as $1 a foot or as much as high-end pre-finished hardwood, hovering around $20 or more a foot. There's also the cost of underlayment, and it pays to not skimp on that. Somewhere in the middle of the price range is where I'd guess most of us wind up.

Can you do it yourself? If you are fairly handy with a saw, a hammer and tape measure, yes. You will have to remove and replace trim. You will probably have to cut door jams to accept the thickness of the laminate, unless you are taking up existing hard flooring. You'll have to measure and cut pieces to fit around doorways.

We had a decent compound miter saw and a portable saw - we bought some special laminate blades for it, and bought a few packages of plastic spacers and a plastic tapping tool (you place it against the laminate pieces and hit it with the hammer to snug them together.) We learned through trial-and-error exactly how to get pieces fitted together without damaging them. We learned how to stagger the starting size of each run to keep from having a seam running across the flooring.

We laid all of our laminate in our last home; we also did the tile work in two of the baths, and we've laid prefinished hardwood in another home. (We also hung sheetrock, removed and re-hung interior and exterior doors, installed and painted miles of wood trim, quarter round and crown molding; installed kitchen and bath cabinets and bathtubs, sinks and commodes.) We farmed out countertops and serious electrical installations like stoves and whirlpool tubs.

None of what we tackled is rocket science, but you need the right tools, and enough strong backs and at least one person who is patient enough to measure correctly and read and follow installation instructions.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Yes Terry, when I was that age I did it all too. As a matter of fact my husband never knew when he came home where a new wall was going to be, or where one was missing. Hmmm, wonder if that is why we divorced. LOL. The one time I screwed up and got a bearing wall fortunately a friend was there and I ran out to the garage and grabbed a 2x4 to shove under the ceiling for support until we could do it right.

But,it was a fun time doing all that stuff. Now I am too old and my health will not handle it. Fun to think of it tho. Also sure would like to work with the new technologies.

You are absolutely right. Nothing like having the right tools for the job right in the beginning so you aren't running to the hardware store all the time.

My dad was a contractor and always had custom homes in the works when I was growing up. Might be why I enjoyed it too. Also, when I got stuck with anything all I had to do was get on the phone and call him. However, he couldn't help other than telling me how on the phone. There were 400 miles between us.

Agawam, MA

Hey Jnette,
Hope this can help you,
Laminated Floor:-
Repair: - Cannot be done. Installation: - Floating or Glue down. Durability: - Less susceptible to scratches and easier to clean. Cost: - $7-$11 per sq. floor.

Hardwood Floor: -
Repair: - can be done by sanding. Installation: - nail down. Durability: - Up to 75yrs if maintained, resurfaced 15-20years. Cost: - $10-$25 per sq. floor for basic wood.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Thanks James!! What about engineered? Where does that fit in the picture? LOL, I don't think I would be around for the 75 yrs or 15-20 yrs to resurface. No, I don't think I would go for the laminate, but the engineered might be a different issue??? Thanks again. Jeanette

Agawam, MA

Well Said Jnette goes with laminated floor.

I prefer to use engineered hardwood flooring in the kitchen - it's really not easily water damaged and there is no problem with installation. I order such stuff online in demyanovskie manufactures

jessup, United States

Quote from Pinetucky :
We need to replace our old vinyl flooring in the kitchen. I would love to go with solid hardwood, but the house is on a concrete slab, so that's not an option. A relative advised us to put in laminate. She's had laminate in her house for a number of years, and it looks great. She does not have it in the kitchen, although she says they do plan to put it in the kitchen in a year or so.

The flooring guy at Home Depot said that while laminate can be put in a kitchen, he doesn't really advise it. He says that even small water splatters can cause the laminate surface to buckle or wave. He said we would have to be meticulous about wiping up every little drop of water right away. He suggested we go with engineered hardwood, which he says is not as easily water damaged as the laminate. As an alternative, he recommended the resilient vinyl planks that look like wood. He says they are very durable.

Now we are confused about which flooring to choose. We don't want a ceramic tile floor, as it is too hard underfoot. Has anyone here had any experience with laminate or engineered hardwood on the kitchen? Or with the vinyl wood planks? I would appreciate any advice or recommendations. We are seniors on a budget, so whatever we choose will have to last a good while.


Sounds great. but if your flooring isn't installed right now than you can check bamboo flooring for the kitchen because it's water-resistant & highly durable. it can save money as compared to laminate flooring.


This message was edited Jun 27, 2020 2:10 AM

Coos Bay, OR

Laminate flooring is a multi-layer synthetic flooring product fused together with a lamination process. Laminate flooring simulates wood with a photographic applique layer under a clear protective layer. The inner core layer is usually composed of melamine resin and fiberboard materials.

Thumbnail by midwestcoastflo

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