How to Choose Best Laminate Flooring for Kitchens

Choosing the best laminate flooring for your kitchen can be a daunting task, as there are numerous factors to consider. Kitchens are prone to spills and moisture, which can cause problems for some flooring options. However, laminate flooring offers a balance between aesthetics, durability, and ease of maintenance, making it a popular choice for many homeowners.

In this in-depth guide, we will explore the critical factors to consider when selecting the best laminate flooring for your kitchen, such as moisture resistance, ease of cleaning, and design choices. We will also discuss top-rated laminate flooring brands and their features, helping you make an informed decision for your home. Stay tuned for valuable insights and expert advice.

Understanding Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is a popular choice for kitchens due to its durability, affordability, and the wide range of styles available. Understanding the materials and construction of laminate flooring, as well as its performance and durability, will help you choose the best option for your kitchen.

Materials and Construction

Laminate flooring is composed of multiple layers which contribute to its unique features. These layers include:

  • Wear layer: A transparent, protective top layer that resists scratching and staining.
  • Design layer: A high-resolution printed image that mimics the appearance of different materials like wood or stone.
  • Core layer: A high-density fiberboard (HDF) or medium-density fiberboard (MDF) that provides stability and strength.
  • Backing layer: A moisture-resistant layer that protects the floor from warping and adds support.

Durability and Performance

One of the key aspects to consider when selecting the best laminate flooring for your kitchen is its durability and performance. There are several factors that can help you gauge the quality of a laminate floor:

1. Thickness: Laminate flooring typically ranges from 7mm to 12mm in thickness. Thicker laminates tend to be more stable and can withstand additional wear and tear. According to Forbes Home, it’s essential to consider the best thickness for your specific needs.

2. AC rating: The Abrasion Class (AC) rating indicates the durability of a laminate floor on a scale of 1 to 5. Higher AC ratings (3 to 5) are suitable for areas with high foot traffic, such as kitchens. Be sure to select an option that meets or exceeds the recommended rating for your intended use.

3. Water resistance: While not completely waterproof, some laminate flooring options are more water-resistant than others. Look for options with a water-resistant core and tight locking systems to prevent moisture damage in your kitchen.

How to Choose the Best Laminate Flooring for Kitchens

Kitchens are high-traffic areas that require durable and water-resistant flooring. Laminate flooring is a popular choice due to its cost-effectiveness and versatile design options. To select the best laminate flooring for your kitchen, consider these factors:

Water Resistance

Water damage can be a concern in kitchens, so it’s important to choose laminate flooring with enhanced water resistance. Some brands offer water-resistant or waterproof laminates specifically designed for areas prone to moisture, such as kitchens and bathrooms. For instance, look for options with special coatings and tightly sealed edges.

AC Rating

The Abrasion Class (AC) rating measures a laminate floor’s resistance to wear and tear. AC ratings range from AC1 to AC5, with higher numbers indicating greater durability. For kitchens, an AC3 rating or higher is recommended to ensure the floor can withstand heavy traffic and daily use.

Thickness and Plank Size

When choosing laminate flooring, consider both the thickness and plank size. Thicker laminate (usually 8-12mm) offers better stability, noise reduction, and the feel of real wood. Wider planks can create a more spacious and modern look in your kitchen. For a more traditional appearance, narrow planks are an excellent option.


Various laminate flooring textures are available to imitate different types of wood grain. You can choose from options like smooth, hand-scraped, or embossed for a more realistic wood appearance. Textured surfaces may also provide better slip-resistance in a kitchen environment.

Color and Pattern

The color and pattern of your laminate flooring have a significant impact on the overall aesthetic of your kitchen. Consider the existing color palette and design style of your kitchen when selecting a laminate floor. Lighter colors can create an open and airy feel, while darker shades can add warmth and depth. Patterns such as herringbone or mixed-width can make your kitchen flooring unique and eye-catching.

Keep these factors in mind when choosing the best laminate flooring for your kitchen. With a wide range of water-resistant, durable, and stylish options available, you can find a laminate floor that suits your needs and enhances your kitchen space.

Installation Factors


One crucial aspect to consider when installing laminate flooring is the underlayment. The underlayment is as important to the success of an installation as is the flooring itself. All laminate flooring requires an underlayment, which can range from ½-inch-thick sheets of cork to rolls of 6mm- or 8mm-thick felt or foam. Underlayment serves multiple purposes:

  • It provides a smooth surface for the laminate to lay on.
  • It helps reduce noise and improve acoustics.
  • It provides a level of insulation and moisture barrier.

When choosing underlayment, consider the specific requirements of your kitchen and your laminate flooring product, as some products come with an attached underlayment.

DIY vs. Professional Installation

If you’re considering installing laminate flooring in your kitchen, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of DIY versus professional installation. Laminate flooring is designed to be easy to install with a click-lock system, making it a popular choice for DIY enthusiasts. There are resources available to guide you through the process, such as The Home Depot’s YouTube tutorial. However, there are some factors to consider:

  • Proper tools: Ensure you have the necessary tools to complete the installation, including a miter saw, jigsaw, and tapping block.
  • Subfloor preparation: The subfloor must be clean, level, and dry before installation.
  • Cutting and fitting: Carefully measure and cut the laminate planks to fit around cabinets, appliances, and other obstacles in the kitchen.

On the other hand, hiring a professional installer ensures a high-quality result, minimizes errors, and saves time. Moreover, some manufacturers offer warranties that may be voided if the flooring is not installed by a certified professional. Weigh the costs and benefits of each option and choose the best route for your project.

Maintenance and Cleaning Tips

Keeping your laminate flooring in good condition is essential for preserving its appearance and longevity, especially in a kitchen where spills, stains, and foot traffic are common. Thankfully, maintaining and cleaning laminate floors is relatively simple with the proper techniques.

1. Regular Sweeping or Vacuuming: Gently sweep or vacuum your laminate flooring on a daily basis to remove dirt, dust, and debris. It’s important to use a soft-bristle broom or a vacuum cleaner with a hard floor attachment to avoid scratching the surface. 

2. Cleaning Spills and Stains: When spills occur, it’s crucial to clean them up promptly to prevent moisture from damaging the laminate flooring. For small spills, use a damp cloth or paper towel. For larger spills, use a damp mop or microfiber cloth on the affected area.

3. Avoid Harsh Chemicals and Abrasives: Laminate flooring should never be cleaned with harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaning tools, as these can cause damage or discoloration. Stick to gentle cleaning solutions specifically designed for laminate flooring, or a mix of water and mild dish soap, as suggested by FloorVenue.

4. Use Furniture Pads: Placing furniture pads under the legs of chairs, tables, and other heavy items can help prevent scratches and scuff marks on the laminate flooring. This is especially important in high-traffic areas like the kitchen, where chairs are frequently moved.

5. Control Humidity: Excessive humidity can cause your laminate flooring to expand and contract, potentially leading to warping and separation between planks. Maintain a consistent indoor humidity level, ideally between 30-50%, to help prevent this issue.

Following these maintenance and cleaning tips will help ensure that your laminate flooring stays looking great and lasts longer in your kitchen. Remember to always consult the flooring manufacturer’s guidelines for specific care instructions.

Price and Budget Considerations

When choosing the best laminate flooring for your kitchen, it’s essential to consider your budget. Laminate flooring prices can vary based on factors like quality, thickness, and design. On average, laminate flooring costs range from $0.70 to $6 per square foot, not including installation expenses (Lowe’s) .

Professional installation costs for laminate flooring typically range between $4 to $8 per square foot. Budgeting for these installation expenses will help ensure that you pick a laminate flooring option that suits your overall project costs.

Beyond the basic flooring expenses, it’s important to factor in additional costs for underlayment and trim. Underlayment is necessary to create a moisture barrier, ensure proper sound absorption, and provide a stable surface for your flooring to lay on. It can cost between $0.25 to $0.75 per square foot, depending on the type and quality of the underlayment material.

Trimming materials, such as baseboards and transition strips, are essential for a professional-looking and seamless finish. These materials can range from $2 to $6 per linear foot, with prices varying based on style, material, and quality. You’ll also want to budget for any potential repair or maintenance expenses, as laminate floors occasionally need to be replaced due to damage from water, scratching, or wear and tear.

To ensure you get the best value for your money, make sure to compare pricing between different laminate flooring options and retailers. Don’t forget to read customer reviews and gather details on the warranty offered by the manufacturer. Balancing price and quality will help you make an informed decision when selecting the best laminate flooring for your kitchen.


In summary, choosing the best laminate flooring for your kitchen requires a good understanding of the different factors that influence its performance and durability. Among these factors are thickness, quality, and water resistance.

Selecting the right thickness is essential, since it has an impact on the flooring’s stability and feel. Additionally, opting for high-quality materials and construction ensures your laminate flooring will last longer and require less maintenance.

Water resistance is particularly important in kitchen environments, where spills and moisture are common. According to Home Flooring Pros, laminate flooring now ranks behind ceramic tile, solid and engineered wood in terms of popularity for kitchen use, but can still be a suitable option if you prioritize water-resistant materials.

Finally, it’s crucial to consider your personal style and preferences when selecting the best laminate flooring for your kitchen. With the wide array of design options available, there’s a high chance you’ll find a product that matches your aesthetic and functional needs.

Leave a Comment