Before we look at the different types of laminate flooring for kitchens, we will talk about what laminate flooring is. There are numerous laminate flooring manufacturers, but the basic construction of the flooring is very similar. You will also find that different manufacturers offer warranties on their flooring, and they do vary widely. The warranty is indicative of the expected longevity of the flooring, so you will want to consider it very seriously. It can be expensive and take time and expense to install, so this is important over the long term.
Laminate flooring simulates wood and sometimes stone. The basic construction of laminate flooring starts with a top layer that is a protective coating. This protects the underlying materials from scratches and spills. The next layer is the simulated wood or stone appliqué. The last layer is a resin composite material that provides the backing and rigidity of each piece. Many manufacturers design their laminate flooring so that the pieces will interlock with each other. This provides for ease of installation.
If you are a do-it-yourselfer, you may not feel the need to hire an installer. The tongue and groove interlocking system makes it easy to do this job on your own. Should you be doing the job yourself for the first time, maintain a small gap between the floor edge and immovable objects, such as walls, to allow for expansion and contraction. Install an underlayment or film to prevent moisture from penetrating and reduce sound. There are a number of books and tutorials to review before you start if this will be your first installation project.
Everyone wants a durable and beautiful floor covering in the kitchen, and choosing laminate flooring for kitchens is the affordable way to have both. Laminate flooring for kitchens provide a durable surface in a room notorious for lots of activity. With children, pets, traffic, and the typical kitchen mishaps, durability is extremely important for most. Since kitchens are high traffic areas, you must choose a laminate rated for that type of wear. High traffic rated laminate has you covered with its durable construction. It comes in different thicknesses and with coatings that vary from extremely durable commercial to residential strength. Some have the pad already attached to each piece. Warranties can vary from ten years to a lifetime. To ensure the validity of the warranty, you must adhere to the manufacturers care, maintenance, and installation instructions completely. Even with a warranty in place, there are typically certain issues that are outside of the warranty. Do read the documentation that comes with your flooring.
The installer must use any tools and materials for installation according the manufacturer’s specifications. This may include using certain adhesives, pad or film, tools for seating each piece properly, and specified gaps. There is no sense installing your laminate flooring while not observing all manufacturers specifications. Doing so will void your warranty, and could create many headaches for you down the road.
An experienced professional installer knows about following specifications. He or she can advise you about your final choice in laminate for kitchen floors. With their expertise, you can relax about the installation and focus on the myriad of styles and colors available to you. Always consider the overall scheme of your kitchen, and if you plan on making any major changes in the coming years. If you do, it may be best to stay with a neutral color. Extreme colors, one way or another, may be difficult to adhere to with later kitchen designs. Kitchen styles change every few years, so keep that in mind. You may find you do not desire to change your kitchen for a long time.