While hardwood has been a traditional choice in kitchens designed around a hardwood floor, the advent of moisture-proof laminate flooring opens up the kitchen to the broader world of floor fashion treatments. This is more than just laminate simulating the look of wood. Laminate offers the possibility of stone and slate and ceramic tile looks even hand-scraped, reclaimed and vintage wood designs that are hard to tell from the real thing!
Laminate is an excellent flooring choice for kitchens because it can stand everyday wear and tear and high foot traffic. It even resists scuffing from kids’ ride-on toys.
Laminate is non-porous and non-staining. It’s easy to clean and maintain, spills wipe up quickly leaving no residue. Virtually nothing sticks to it.
Cleaning up is simple. Forget the swab the decks routine. It’s actually counter- productive. An industry approved laminate cleaner available at supermarkets and hardware stores works best. And there are simple but special tools designed to remove things like gum and dried food that makes the mess hall cleaning a thing of the past.
What makes this possible are the new manufacturing techniques that give laminates stronger, and more durable surface wear layers. This also makes them impervious to moisture. Some laminates which are installed using a click-together system—are warrantied for a lifetime to take a direct, clean water hit from a broken sink, dishwasher or ice machine line. Though these floors do expand when soaked, the core-board is designed to return to its original dimensions when it dries out.
Laminate is comfortable on the feet—important in a kitchen—because the underlayment that goes between the laminate and the subfloor has give to it, making standing and working on a laminate floor easier on the legs than wood, stone or ceramic. So area rugs or mats in front of the sink are no longer required, further opening up your design options. A custom, mixed-media look can be achieved by using different laminates. For example, a wood and tile patterns together create a very custom look. If you go this way, buy both patterns from the same manufacturer. This will ensure that both selections are the same height and eliminate installation problems.