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MollyB

Laminate flooring in kitchen?

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I'm buying a new house, and we are renovating the kitchen before we move in. We're working with a kitchen designer, and she is suggesting laminate (from Eternity Flooring). She says that this flooring is fairly moisture resistant and durable, and says clients she's worked with have been happy with it. While I would prefer solid hardwood, we're considering going with laminate because:

 

  • Durability: It's supposed to be really durable. The kitchen has the door out to back yard, and will get a lot of traffic, and we have a 4-yr-old and a dog. 
  • Resistance to fading: The side of the house with the kitchen faces south, and here in Nevada it's going to get a lot of really direct sun. The current floor is engineered wood (fairly low quality, I think), and shows serious fading where the sun has been hitting it for the 15 years it's been in place; it has also worn through the veneer in spots. This laminate is supposed to hold up well to sunlight, and real wood is susceptible to fading.
  • Cost: It's a lot more cost-effective and would let us replace more of the floor (including the cream colored carpet in the dining room). We also might be able to do more in the kitchen--like installing a downdraft vent or getting an induction cooktop plus new pots--if we go with a cheaper floor. 

 

Searching various flooring threads, I'm not seeing a lot of fans of laminate. Are there people who are happy with it? Does anyone have experience with Eternity floors? Some of their flooring lines have a moisture barrier and come with a 50 year residential warranty.

 

Should we be considering this, or would it be a mistake? 

 

Thanks for any advice you might be able to offer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I have regular laminate flooring in a couple rooms, but not the kitchen.

I like laminate flooring but I'd only install something like highly durable resilient vinyl planks in a kitchen or bathroom.

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~Martin :)

I try to find the good food in every situation!

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse, curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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1 hour ago, DiggingDogFarm said:

I have regular laminate flooring in a couple rooms, but not the kitchen.

I like laminate flooring but I'd only install something like highly durable resilient vinyl planks in a kitchen or bathroom.

 

My brother and SIL (+ 3 golden retrievers) have vinyl plank flooring and are very happy with it.  I was very impressed with the look and feel of it when I visited.   I own a townhouse that has been subject to slab leaks which have damaged laminate flooring in adjacent units.  I am planning to replace all the flooring there with vinyl planks.  Just trying to sort out how to handle the stairs. 

 

Brother & SIL's place:

IMG_2186.jpg

 

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These types of flooring off-gas nasty chemicals like formaldehyde -for years. There are US federal guidelines for how much, but the manufacturers often ignore them. I put in ceramic tile (75¢ per sq ft tile) and love it. I have black grout. No worries about spills, fading, pet nails, etc. Doesn't need any special formula cleaners. I purchase an extra box of tile in case some broke, I haven't had to use them yet. It's been 5½ years and I am happy. You can now get tiles which look like wood planks, too.

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I also have laminate flooring in most of my house, including my kitchen. I like the durability and ease of cleaning. I like it everywhere but in the kitchen where I  have had  2 water-related problems: We had a hot water tank leak and seep under the wall of the utility room and under the kitchen floor and ruin a big patch of it. We replaced that and a couple years later a tube that was supposed to drain condensation from the air conditioner backed up and that seeped under the floor and damaged it again. After the second leak I discovered that the particular product I had was no longer made so I was going to have to replace the kitchen floor with something else that would tie in with the rest of the house. I decided to live with the damaged floor for a while and over the course of several months the appearance of the damaged area improved. It's not perfect but I doubt anyone notices but me. It may be noted by an inspector if I was selling but I will cross that bridge when I come to it. I would probably choose something else if I had it to do over.  

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Thanks for the feedback! Another variable in our choice is that we're hoping to do a continuous floor through the kitchen and family room (and maybe into the adjoining dining room), as the space is really open. I'd probably go with tile if it were just the kitchen, but I don't really want tile in the family room. 

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I've had several big mishaps with water in my kitchen similar to cyalexa's. A broken pipe under the kitchen sink that happened behind the cutoff valve was definitely the worst. Unrestricted water flowed into the kitchen from under the cabinet for thirty minutes until my husband found a whole-house cutoff valve in the crawl space under the house. At least we know where that is now, and it's accessible from outside through a vent. Another time, a dishwasher leaked, and I've had cyalexa's problem with the A/C condensation drain backing up into the kitchen four times over 25 years. That's in addition to everyday kitchen spills that are going to occur in a kitchen that get used as much as mine.

 

I have and like vinyl sheet flooring, and wouldn't have anything else in a kitchen or bathroom. The original vinyl flooring lasted through 31 years of hard use, and was replaced about 10 years ago. Only once was there any damage to the subflooring which is only pressboard, and when that gets wet, it's toast. A small area of subfloor had to be replaced (with marine plywood) the first time the A/C backed up. I had no idea this was possible, it was a slow leak, and went on quite a while in the closet in the kitchen that houses the furnace and where the drain pipe is that gets clogged when the A/C system backs up. I would not have anything that was "moisture resistant" in my kitchen if it was free. But that is only my opinion. While I love beauty, if it's not also utilitarian when I'm trying to get some work done, I will opt for function every time. That said, there are many designs of vinyl sheeting and some are very beautiful to me, and might even be to you to.


> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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laminate should work great!

As long as you never drop anything on it.

Oh ya, don't ever spill a bunch of liquid on it either.

 

Problem with laminates is they will swell and deform if they get soaked (big spill of liquid), and their surface cracks/breaks when struck by a heavy object.

Hardwood, you can always refinish it, or live with the "patina" it develops. Laminate just looks broken. 

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6 minutes ago, Heartsurgeon said:

Problem with laminates is they will swell and deform if they get soaked (big spill of liquid), and their surface cracks/breaks when struck by a heavy object.

 

Yep!

Years ago I installed some left-over, supposed, 'moisture-resistant' laminate in a tiny utility room.

Knowing that exposure to moisture was a possibility, I coated the laminate with a couple coats of polyurethane.

Moisture eventually caused some issues in spite of the precaution.

 

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~Martin :)

I try to find the good food in every situation!

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse, curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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As others have said, I wouldn't consider laminate in the kitchen (or anywhere to be honest). We had it in our last place and although it started out looking good it quickly got tired. Even fairly minor spills were enough to warp it. 

 

We've now got engineered oak and it's perfect. Incredibly hard wearing and if you get decent stuff you can resand and finish it if you need to. Not sure if it's available where you are but its from kahrs, I'd definitely go with them again. 

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