Laminate kitchen flooring ideas have associations of being cheap and tacky, but we want to prove those negative connotations wrong with a roundup of gorgeous kitchens featuring practical and pretty laminate to suit a variety of interior schemes.
We've spoken to the experts and designers who reveal why they think laminate kitchen flooring is an excellent choice in a modern home as well as what to watch out for when choosing your flooring.
If you're about to embark on a kitchen revamp or simply looking at some kitchen flooring ideas because you want a quick and affordable update, then laminate kitchen flooring could be the perfect solution for your space.
Laminate kitchen flooring that prove this material can be pretty as well as practical
1. Laminate has come a long way in the style stakes
From shaker and retro to sleek and modern kitchens, a laminate floor provides a practical solution underfoot with a design to suit most schemes.
'When it comes to choosing flooring for your kitchen, in addition to style and design, there are three main things to consider: safety, durability, and ease of cleaning,' says David Snazel, Buyer, Hard Flooring at Carpetright (opens in new tab). 'Kitchens are at the heart of most homes and usually see a lot of traffic, so it’s best to opt for high quality, durable flooring that is low maintenance and will stand the test of time.'
'It is likely there will be spills and splashes from food and drinks so choosing a material that is easy to clean is essential, particularly for busy households. Darker designs and styles will be a little more forgiving to everyday marks,' he adds. 'Laminate flooring is a durable, practical, and affordable option for kitchens. In recent years there have been many developments that mean the effects laminates can create, such as slate and stone, are incredibly realistic.'
'Wood is a particularly popular choice in laminate as the grain is very detailed; effectively emulating real wood flooring whilst being low maintenance and lower cost. In addition tile style laminates, such as chevrons, in wood designs offer the opportunity to add an eye-catching design to the floor without the hassle of intricate measuring and laying out,' he says.
2. Laminate is scratch and stain resistant
There's nothing worse than installing a brand new kitchen floor and then it gets instantly scratched so it's worth getting up to speed with how to choose kitchen flooring. Luckily with laminate that's not a concern because it tends to be scratch and stain resistant, making it the perfect choice for high-traffic areas and households with toddlers and pets! Prices do vary massively and you will get what you pay for so make sure you're aware that choosing cheap laminate may result in ill-fitting, bouncy boards and less realistic patterns.
'Laminate is a cheaper alternative to tile, natural stone, and solid wood in kitchen zones. It matches their aesthetic appeal while factoring in the benefits of being watertight, scratch and stain resistant,' explains Aurélie Schotte PR & Content Manager, Quick-Step (opens in new tab). 'It’s also a great solution for homeowners that have open-plan homes where continuity of floor choice allows for an uncluttered and consistent design.'
3. Laminate is easy to install
Supplied in planks that fit together for easy installation, laminate is a great alternative to wood and stone flooring if you’re on a budget. 'Laminate floorIng is ideal for DIY installation, explains David Snazel, Buyer, Hard Flooring at Carpetright, 'Our laminate flooring is installed using a click system, meaning installation is straightforward and there is no need for adhesive. Ensuring you remove the planks from their box 24 hours prior to installation to allow the flooring to acclimatize.'
'However, bear in mind that not all laminates are suitable for use in kitchens or modern bathrooms as moisture can cause them to warp. Our New Traditions range is one of Carpetright’s most realistic laminates and has been developed to be water-proof and easy to maintain, making it a perfect choice for kitchens.'
4. Laminate is a budget-friendly option
Laminate is a fantastic option if you're after a quick and cheap floor replacement. And you don't have to compromise on style anymore when it comes to flooring trends. Just make sure you choose a laminate that is suitable for kitchen use as some are not suitable in damp environments.
'Laminate flooring is a great option for anyone who wants to get that real hardwood look for a fraction of the price, and adding it to a kitchen can bring some warmth and coziness to a space that can easily look and feel quite cold,' says project design lead, Marc Husband: Leader Floors (opens in new tab). 'Laminate flooring is hard-wearing and highly durable when properly cared for, which is ideal for a room with such a high daily footfall. It also comes in a huge range of finishes, from wood types to layout styles such as herringbone which makes for a much easier install.'
'However, personally, laminate wouldn't be my first choice for a kitchen, simply due to the likelihood of spillages,' he adds. 'Whilst laminate has many benefits, its water resistance isn't one of them.'
5. Be aware that laminate can be damaged by moisture
Laminate might be easy to wipe and rub away stains but it isn't waterproof so if you're planning it for your kitchen or bathroom make sure you check how water resistant it is first as those rooms are prone to splashes and spills, no matter how careful you are.
'Whilst laminate flooring may look as good as hardwood, it should not be approached in the same way for cleaning, as the surface can’t be refinished if it gets damaged or stained,' says Colin Lincoln-Evans, Buyer, Flooring Mountain (opens in new tab). 'Laminate floors should be gently cleaned with as little water as possible and any spills should be wiped us as soon as they are made.'
6. Laminate flooring is durable
Due to its multiple layers, laminate is a really durable option compared to other kitchen flooring options like natural wood kitchen flooring ideas which can mark, dent and warp more easily.
'Laminate is made up of a number of layers: A base layer that provides stability and prevents warping, a core layer that gives strength and flexibility, a décor layer then shows off the design, and the protective layer (a clear melamine resin) that creates a tough durable finish that is resistant to deep scratches and gouging,' explains Inga Morris-Blincoe – General Manager Lifestyle Floors (opens in new tab). 'Laminate flooring is suitable for kitchens although we recommend choosing a specialist option such as our ‘Love Aqua’ range which has a water repellent coating and lacquered bevel and a locking system that prevents water ingress.'
7. Laminate flooring is a hygienic option
After the year or two we've all had, hygiene is becoming far more a priority in our daily lives, so picking a flooring that offers extra protection from viruses and bacteria can only be a good thing, right? Laminate is easy to clean and disinfect compared to carpeted and grooved floors and can even come with antibacterial coatings.
'Available in a wide range of styles, colors, and patterns, laminate flooring offers a luxurious look without a high price point. Laminate is much more hygienic than carpet (especially with Wickes’ antibacterial coating) making it suitable for busy households,' says Paul Bangs, Category Director, Kitchens, Flooring & Office, Wickes (opens in new tab).
8. Pick the pattern you want
Love the look of rustic oak planks or solid veined marble but lack the budget to realize that dream? Laminate is your friend. Available in tons of colors and styles, mimicking most materials, you're sure to find something you love that suits your kitchen's vibe.
'Laminate flooring is cost-effective, hardwearing, and available in plenty of colors, from cool-toned greys, to warm oaks and there are even options that look just like tiles. Make sure you choose laminate that’s water-resistant to protect against those inevitable spills,' says ' says Ryan Short, Flooring Buyer, Homebase (opens in new tab).
Is laminate flooring a good option for a kitchen?
Your kitchen is probably the busiest room in the house, so the floor needs to be hardwearing. You should carefully choose flooring that will withstand the odd spillage from washing up, and the temperature and moisture changes that happen while cooking.
Laminate is fantastic at protecting against marks and scratches but it's not always waterproof so when you're shopping around keep an eye out for waterproof or at least water-resistant options.
Which is better for a kitchen laminate or vinyl?
Laminate and vinyl kitchen flooring ideas are pretty similar, the key difference is that laminate tends to be cheaper, although both floors can vary dramatically in price depending on the pattern and where you buy it from.
Both floors offer a huge variety of styles to pick from and both are super durable. However, luxury vinyl is more waterproof than laminate and so will probably last longer in a kitchen or bathroom setting.
What flooring is best for kitchen?
Laminate combines the attractive appearance of real wood or stone and the low price and low maintenance of laminate. Plus, it’s a kitchen floor that is easy to clean; just give it a sweep or a light mop once a week.
Laminate is a versatile choice and is warm and comfortable underfoot - perfect if you’re entertaining or spending a lot of time in the kitchen. But there are so many cool kitchen flooring ideas out there, so it can be challenging picking the perfect one – from stone and reclaimed vintage wood to vinyl and engineered flooring, there are pros and cons to each material so pick one based on your budget and style.
As the Houses Editor on Livingetc, Rachel has been obsessed with property ever since she was a kid. With a diploma in interior design and more than a decade working on interior magazines under her belt, she feels very at home sourcing the best contemporary houses the world has to offer for Livingetc. It's not just the day job either, she admits she's spent a scary amount of her own time researching schemes for her own renovations - scrolling Instagram, stalking Rightmove and Modern House, flicking through magazines and snooping in other peoples' windows - so she really does live and breathe houses on a daily, if not hourly, basis. Before Livingetc, Rachel had a stint finding homes for Ikea Family magazine where she was lucky enough to gallivant around the world on shoots meeting and interviewing interesting people, all with a very keen eye for blending high-end design with everyday items from Ikea. It inspired her to not be afraid of mixing new and old, expensive and affordable, vintage and modern and so Rachel's current Victorian terrace in north London is very much an updated, contemporary take on a period property; think open-plan modern kitchen with concrete floors, feature fireplaces and her grandmother’s paintings on the walls. Rachel is currently crushing on reeded glass, large gingham prints, squishy curved furniture; like Buchanan Studio’s Studio chair, and vintage wall sconces; she especially adores Retrouvius for sourcing antique finds and feels inspired by Lonika Chande, Beata Heuman and Matilda Goad and already can’t wait to start planning her next home, wherever that might be.