New floors are a great way to transform your tired kitchen, and it’s no surprise that we often get asked what the best flooring is. There are many options to choose from, different materials, finishes and colours. When it comes to choosing the best laminate flooring for kitchen (or other types) it’s all about striking that balance between style and practicality. After all - you want your new floor to last!
In this article, we will explore the flooring options available, and how they measure up for the title of ‘best flooring for kitchen’.
Let's start at the beginning - here's some of the most popular flooring solutions available in the market right now.
The closest thing to solid wood flooring, engineered wood floors are our first contender. With a solid wood upper, this durable floor is constructed from layers of timber to create a super stable surface. This natural beauty offers the look of solid wood floors at a more affordable price point.
For the look of real wood at a fraction of the price, laminate is a firm household favourite. Constructed from layers of high quality timber and topped with a photographic layer. So if the natural look isn’t your fancy, you can also choose from a range of more contemporary designs.
Stone Plastic Composite flooring (also known as SPC flooring) is a new player on the market. Considered the up-market cousin of laminate flooring, SPC floors have a similar construction but with a special difference. A super solid core which reinforces the plank for added durability.
So which flooring is best for kitchen? Well to answer that... let's explore how these different floors stand up against the most common kitchen flooring questions.
Which kitchen flooring is the most durable?
Your kitchen is where the magic happens - experimenting with new recipes, family dinners, entertaining friends and even doubling up as a workstation. With all this action, the best flooring for kitchen will need to survive food and drink spills, foot traffic and whatever else life throws at it!
Laminate was once known as the tacky lino-like flooring. Not anymore - modern laminate offers a relatively durable solution that looks the part. This floor can moderate low levels of moisture, as long as you wipe up any spillages, and foot traffic. Although that doesn’t mean that you have to walk around on eggshells. With the help of a professional, it can be repaired if dented or scratched.
Whilst SPC floors have a similar composition to laminate, constructed of high quality fibreboards, it features a special middle layer consisting of natural limestone and other stabilisers. The solid core lends its superior 100% waterproof protection and stain resistance, which makes it perfect for the kitchen.
Last but not least, engineered wood. Offering the beauty of solid hardwood floors and an affordable price tag, this flooring has been engineered (sorry for all the puns!) to last. It has a higher tolerance to heat and moisture changes than solid hardwood. With proper maintenance this floor will last, and as an added bonus a highly-quality engineered wood floor can be refinished to revive it’s natural beauty.
For the durability round the winner is pretty clear - SPC!
Which kitchen flooring is easiest to install?
Now we know how they shape up in terms of performance, let’s look at installation. The great thing about modern flooring solutions, is that you can install most of them yourself - with varying DIY knowledge required.
The best SPC and the best laminate flooring for kitchen usually come with a click and lock system, installed with very little DIY know-how. Most of these floors do not require any adhesive, which saves valuable time and extra costs (although be sure to check with the manufacturer first!). The planks are simply ‘floated’ across the top, and the lock system keeps them firmly in place.
Whereas engineered wood floors are installed with a tongue and groove system, much like that of solid hardwood floors. There are three main options when it comes to installing your floor: floating, gluing or nailing. If you want a more stable fit, then you can secure down your floor using hidden nails or a suitable adhesive. This requires a little bit more knowledge, as you once secure the planks down they are difficult to lift back up!
For ease of installation it's a tie between SPC and laminate, with very similar installation methods.
What kitchen flooring is best for dogs?
We have covered durability and installation, now for a slightly stranger question perhaps. They say the kitchen is the heart of the home, with that in mind you want a solution that is suitable for everyone - including your four-legged friends!
Dogs, puddles and mud go hand-in-hand, which means… mess! So most pet owners want a solution that is easy to clean - especially in a kitchen. For any dog-related messes, all three flooring types can be easily moped with a suitable disinfectant. However, as laminate and engineered wood are not waterproof, unlike SPC, an overly wet mop or standing pools of water can permanently damage the planks and lead to warping (something to think about).
Another consideration would be the finish. Most laminate and SPC floors have an anti-slip coating bonded to their photographic top layer. Great for pets, and small children, so an excited run around the kitchen doesn’t lead to a disaster!
For pet-owners asking which flooring is best for kitchen, SPC is the one for you. Tough as boots and excellent waterproof properties, this floor is easy to keep clean and hygienic, even if you have pets.
It’s official, the winner of the best flooring for kitchen is in!
Each of the three contenders have a lot to offer, each with their own great benefits. SPC vinyl flooring is definitely the best all-rounder, offering 100% waterproof protection, fantastic durability, all at a cost-effective price point.
Whichever floor you choose for your kitchen, Underfoot offers high-quality modern flooring solutions that are built to last. Talk to our friendly team to begin your kitchen transformation today!