Laminate flooring is an excellent choice for busy kitchens. Water resistant and hard wearing, laminate can replicate the effect of a wooden floor at a much lower cost than the real article.
If you're installing laminate flooring in your kitchen, you need to decide whether the flooring should have a bevelled edge, or a square edge.
Bevelled edge laminate flooring features a groove between each 'tile'. This edge makes the flooring easier (and quicker) to install, and creates a natural finish to the room.
Each 'tile' will look more like a genuine piece of wood, which is ideal for those who are looking to achieve a natural or traditional looking kitchen floor.
Square edge laminate flooring doesn't feature any grooves, meaning the 'tiles' sit against one another completely snug. Of course, there will be miniscule groves, but they can't be easily seen.
Modern kitchens tend to prefer this look, but there are other advantages beyond the aesthetic. Laminate flooring is water resistant, but not water-proof. Square edge flooring is more water resistant than bevelled edge flooring, which is important in a kitchen.
The choice is both an aesthetic and practical one. The main concern about bevelled edge flooring in a kitchen is water spills can creep between the grooves, which could cause cupping or warping. This is significantly less likely to happen with square edge laminate, though it can.
If you have a very busy, active kitchen, it's recommended that you choose square edge flooring for the longevity it provides. However, there are certain steps you can take with any laminate flooring that will extend the life of the floor.
When installing the laminate flooring, whether it has a bevelled edge or square edge, use waterproof glue between each piece. This will reinforce the water-resistant quality and reduce the likelihood of moisture creeping between the planks.
Ensure you clean up any spills quickly, and in line with the care guidelines that come with the flooring. For laminate flooring, this means using a specialist laminate cleaning solution to clean, and using damp – rather than wet – cloths and microfibre mops.
You can also consider placing rugs beneath the sink area, which will reduce the likelihood of spills penetrating between your laminate flooring. Choosing a thin, non-slip rug that's easy to clean will make this area much more resistant to water.
Both bevelled edge and square edge laminate flooring looks beautiful, and is a great practical choice for your kitchen. To find out more about kitchen flooring, take a look at our full range of expert guides for practical ideas and advice for your kitchen floor.