Laminate is a material consisting of an average density (HDF) of a fibreboard and paper impregnated with melamine resins, onto which a pattern is applied.
- The upper acrylic or melamine overlay layer with a thickness of no more than 1 mm, protects against wear.
- Decorative layer - several or one paper with a pattern, impregnated with melamine resins.
- Demers - intermediate protective and decorative, sound-absorbing, impact-enhancing layers. Most often made of impregnated kraft paperboard.
- HDF slab is a basic dibbed fibrous layer 6-8 mm thick.
- Stabilizer - defends against warpage a layer of paper impregnated with paraffin or resin. Does not allow the board to react to changes in temperature and humidity.
Pros - cons
The main advantage of the laminate is that it copies well the expensive materials, not yielding to them in durability and practicality, at the same time it is cheaper.
Affordable price does not deprive the coverage of functionality - a quality laminate floor can be laid in the kitchen, as the coating is easy to clean, does not lose color under the ultraviolet rays, is not afraid of stains, shocks, cracks or scratches. Really quality material will be resistant to abrasion.
Than it is better than other floor coverings - tiles, linoleum, a bulk floor, a parquet and a massive board?
- It is warmer than tiles and less noisy;
- Unlike a parquet and a massive board on a laminate there are no traces from heels-hairpins;
- On the laminate does not remain dents from heavy kitchen furniture, which is typical of linoleum;
- You can easily put it yourself and without a partner - unlike the bulk floor, for example;
- Laminate is almost the most affordable type of floor finishing.
Nevertheless, if in a bedroom and a living room a laminate can be called an ideal covering in all respects, then in specific conditions of the kitchen it still has some disadvantages.
- Some types of laminate can not (or can be done with caution) in the kitchen, as they can not stand either high humidity, no temperature fluctuations, no spilled coloring liquids like wine or beet juice, and falling from heavy and sharp objects can deform. About how to choose a laminate for the kitchen, we'll tell below;
- To lacks of a laminate it is possible to carry and enough a sonorous sound which forms a covering at steps or falls of subjects. However, this defect is more the result of incorrect installation than the problem of the material itself. Eliminates the "defect" with a special sound-absorbing substrate;
- There is an opinion that the laminated flooring is not environmentally friendly. But manufacturers with a well-deserved reputation in the market refute this error by conducting serious tests on the toxic safety of their products. Conducting such tests is confirmed by a hygienic certificate that accompanies each batch of material;
- Artificiality - no matter how reliably he imitated the original materials, he still remains a copy and, to some extent, loses to them for aesthetic and operational qualities.
How to choose a coating for strength class
How to choose a laminate for the kitchen? First of all, you need to focus on the strength class.
This class is denoted by two digits. For household use, coatings of class 21, 22, 23 are designed in order of increasing durability. According to this classification in the kitchen you can put a laminate of class 23, it is inexpensive, but it will last no more than 4 years, since it consists of only three layers.
In fact, laminate of household type 21 and grade 22 in stores is no longer sold. The reason is the lack of demand. In Russia, the commercial type is more popular.
The material of commercial classes is considered to be more durable - 31, 32, 33. But the 31st class of durability is more suitable for bedrooms and living rooms, and for the kitchen it is better to choose 32, 33, 34+ classes. This floor can serve in the kitchen for about 25 years. More information about laminate classes can be read on Wikipedia.
Commercial coatings consist of five layers:
- Moisture resistant film in the base;
- High density wood board;
- Decorative layer of strong paper;
- Acrylic resin to protect the decor;
- Moisture resistant upper film.
Waterproof or waterproof coating?
Quality modern laminated panels are practically not afraid of water - as a protective layer special water-repellent compositions based on wax are applied on them. However, joints between panels are not handled by all manufacturers, and therefore these parts of the coating remain susceptible to moisture.
For the kitchen you can choose:
- Moisture-resistant coating - does not react to high humidity in the room, but the base may be deformed if water gets into the joints. It is able to withstand drops, sprays and even small puddles, but the time of exposure to liquids should not exceed 20 minutes. In this case, sealing requires seam sealing.
- Waterproof laminate is more expensive, but can withstand moisture for 6 hours. Here the joints are processed in the factory, so that additional measures to protect them will not be required. The most reliable is a laminate with a plastic base, but it is also the most expensive.
Types of decor
Choosing a laminate for the kitchen can be confused - the options for drawing, color and texture are very many: from copies of the cork floor to the imitation of snake skin. The most popular option is a "wooden" design for a massive board with a format of 1: 9 or 1: 6. Quality laminate is so similar to parquet that it even has a fibrous texture on the surface.
In addition, manufacturers offer laminate with chamfers on its transverse and longitudinal sides to make it look as much as possible on wooden parquet boards.
Also, before going to the store, keep in mind that the laminate can have one, two, three or many strips in the die. Think about what you like more.
Color, texture, "tree species" should be chosen based on personal preferences and focusing on the color of furniture and flooring in other rooms. In addition, if the interior of the kitchen is dominated by cold shades, then the laminate is better to choose with a cold podtonom. In the photo below the floor design in the "cold" interior of the kitchen was chosen based on this rule.
And the next photo is a brown laminate in the interior of the kitchen with the predominant warm colors in the furniture and decoration.
But this recommendation, of course, is not a dogma. Neutral wooden shades can harmoniously fit into the kitchen of any color and design.
More information about the combination of colors in the interior of the kitchen can be found here.
Light and dark laminate - not the easiest in the care options. On the dark surface you will see crumbs, dust, stains, light wool from pets, etc. On light coatings, all defects such as chips and swollen joints will be visible.
In terms of practicality, the best colors are gray and traditional brown.
The tile coating also has a similar "ceramic" texture with roughness and porosity, and a 1: 3 or 1: 4 aspect ratio. But this option is not in high demand, because instead of "copy tiles" it is better to use real tile.
Laminate laying rules
Cover with a modern lock system is easy to lay even a beginner without any experience. To do this, it is necessary to take into account only a few nuances. So, how to put a laminate with your own hands.
As a basis for such a floor, concrete, wood or even tiles are suitable. It is important that the substrate is flat, without cracks and with high-quality waterproofing. Clearances under the rule are not more than 2 mm / m.
When buying a laminate, you need to purchase the material with a 10% margin. Subsequently, it will help to easily perform local repairs.
Laminate can be mounted along or across the room, as well as diagonally. It is believed that the joints will practically not be visible if the floor is laid in the direction of the sun rays coming from the window.
The technology of laminate mounting is simple:
- The base is leveled. In the case of concrete surfaces - a new screed is poured.
- The substrate is mounted, always overlapping over the entire surface of the floor.
- Flooring is from the corner of the room.
- A compensating gap of about 8-10 mm (but not less) is left around the wall and around the pipes, allowing the material to "float". Subsequently, it is concealed by a skirting board.
- Laminate is staggered - so that the transverse docking seam is interrupted.
If the laminate still seems to you not strong enough for the work area, then you can lay ceramic tiles, as shown in the photo below.