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Question DetailsAsked on 10/15/2013

Wood or laminate floor in kitchen?

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Depends on how much money matters to you, and whether you want the kitchen to be functional or a showpiece. I recommend that one assume the there WILL be water spills - things being dropped, splashing or dripping from the sink, maybe a dishwasher or garbage disposal leak causing local flooding during the life of the floor.

That said, hardwood rarely survives being flooded and commonly behaves badly under even small spills if not cleaned up immediately, so commonly becomes a tearup within just a few years of installation. A lot of people say well let the insurance cover that, not realizing your rates will probably go up, and the second time will probably be cancelled.

Laminate is cheaper and more water resistant, especially with glued joints. 100% plastic snap flooring such as Pergo and other make is essentially totally waterproof, and can actually be taken apart and removed in the event of flooding, then laid back down in most cases.

For my money, I recommend full-surface glue-down single sheet (no joints if possibly with size of kitchen, which almost always is) vinyl ror linoleum. The patterns and designs today are such that they are hard to tell from the real thing (stone, tile, brick, wood, etc), is softer on the feet, far more resistant to spills, etc. I recommend requiring in the contract that it all be one sheet with NO joints except at the transition to adjacent rooms (not the seamed-in-place so called invisible seam sheet products which have a nasty tendency of comign apart at the seam in a few years), and that it be run all the way to the cabinets and walls, with rolled up edges or silicone caulked-down baseboard and toekick boards and transition strips, to provide as waterproof a seal as possible around the edge so water does not get under it in a leak. This also means putting the same or similar product under the sink and under the dishwasher and reefer and stove so any leak comes out the front onto the floor (or if really fancy, down a dedicated drain) so it cannot get under the flooring.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD

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