To the floor covering of kitchen requirements are especially high due to the specificity of the premises. The most common solution is ceramic tiles. However, it is increasingly replaced by moisture-resistant waterproof laminate, which has a number of advantages.
Laminate selection - highlights
Kitchen - a room with an abundance of steam in the air and constantly falling to the floor with splashes and dirt. Mechanical loads on the floor are increased - abrasion due to constant walking, the possibility of falling of various objects.
Laminate can be accidentally scratched with a sharp object (a fallen knife, for example). Therefore, only laminate varieties suitable for the kitchen are suitable here.
When choosing a few things to consider:
- Class of abrasion resistance. Minimum - 32, and optimally - 33 class. This guarantees operation without loss of species for at least 15 years. Even more durable is 34, but it is much more expensive.
- Mandatory instructions in the marking for water resistance (image of a faucet with water, umbrella, Latin word aqua);
- A laminate board without chamfer is preferred - this reduces the penetration of moisture through the gaps inward.
- Coupling locks must provide a monolithic coating without wide gaps.
- Producer - it is not worth saving, choosing cheap material, manufactured by an unknown person. The cheapest laminate of a well-known manufacturer is preferable to a product from an unknown one. It is advisable to pay attention to the manufacturer's warranty.
- The class of emission of formaldehyde is to select the material with the E1 marking, and if there is a financial possibility, E0: the health of the people living in the house depends on this.
- Laminate for the kitchen is preferred with a rough surface (on a smooth it is easier to slip).
- Antistatic treatment of lamellas is desirable.
- Thickness - a thicker laminate is preferred for the kitchen.
It is worth remembering that the laminate can produce noise - "clinking" and sonorous knocking when walking or falling objects. This effect is especially noticeable in the presence of an air layer under the laid coating.
To avoid this, the laminate is laid on a sound-insulating substrate. Laying on unprepared floor is possible if the surface is flat. To reduce the "noisiness" of the floor allows a substrate of expanded polystyrene or cork with a thickness of 1-2 mm.
Pros and cons of the material
Like any material, laminate has its advantages and disadvantages.
Pros of laminate flooring:
- The material is affordable and easy to install, not demanding in operation, easy to clean.
- Warmer tiles - on the laminate it is more pleasant to walk barefoot, and you can not be afraid of catching a cold. A number of types of laminate allows installation of a warm floor.
- Unlike linoleum, it is not pierced by feet of kitchen furniture and a refrigerator.
- Multilayered material.
- Quality coating is not afraid of mechanical damage, temperature changes, sunburn, stains, is resistant to abrasion. It does not form chips and scratches.
- The laminate is similar in appearance to a natural tree, gives the room a gloss. It has many varieties of exterior coating, which allows you to choose a cover for any style of the room.
The material also has weaknesses:
- Sensitivity to prolonged water retention, especially if the laminate is not waterproof, but moisture resistant. If there is a flood in the absence of the owners, there is a high probability that you will have to replace the entire cover.
- Laminate flooring is not as sensitive to damage as a massive plank or parquet. But on it chipped and cracked. Such defects are easily masked by means of special wax pencils of the appropriate color.
- "Noisiness" of the coating in the absence of a sound-insulating substrate. The problem is solved by laying the substrate at the stage of mounting the coating or using noiseless shoes, rugs in the walking zone.
- Can contain formaldehyde, which processes wood materials in industrial processing. Laminate with a safe formaldehyde content is indicated in the marking E1 or E0.
Advice! For kitchen coating, the "joint to butt" method is preferred, without a clutch. In this case, the seams of the plates can be treated with a water repellent compound. The only downside - with a breakage of one lamella, all the coating will have to be dismantled.
Is the laminate waterproof or waterproof?
Waterproof and moisture resistant laminate - two different materials. The difference affects their behavior in the water.
The surface of the moisture-resistant laminate does not allow water to pass through, but the joints between the plates are a vulnerable part. If it hits the joint, water seeps into the structure, causing the sheet to swell. If he managed to deform, the original form will not be returned.
The basis of waterproof laminate is a plastic plate, the water can not be absorbed into it. The base plate of waterproof laminate is a dense wood plate, which has a fibrous structure.
The top layer is a strong adhesive composition and a decorative layer of water repellent polymer on top. This protects against moisture and mechanical damage.
For increased protection from water, the joints of a moisture resistant laminate are often treated with a special grout. And in any case, a long contact with water is unacceptable - it is recommended to wipe the spilled liquid no later than 15-20 minutes.
Types of textures and colors
A variety of textures and color solutions allows you to choose from different types of laminate so that it fits perfectly into the kitchen of any style. They produce a laminate that imitates the surface of natural wood or stone, stylized as a tile.
Colors are offered the most diverse - white, light shades, gray, black, brown in different shades. It is possible to find a laminate with a texture that mimics the "shabby" under the old days. There are varieties of expensive laminate that copy the skin surface of exotic animals.
The most common laminate, with color and texture, imitating natural wood. Such a floor looks beautiful and democratic in price. The most popular varieties are stylized for oak, cherry, beech, walnut.
There are different types of processing, forming different surfaces:
- Fine-grained - imitates fresh wood with a porous structure.
- Synchronous texture - looks like a natural relief pattern of a tree.
- Rustic stamping - looks like a tree after traditional processing.
- Treatment for oil - a characteristic appearance and a matte gloss of a massive board, the laminate feels velvety to the touch.
Options for finishing the surface of the laminate to make it similar to wood, are different:
- Embossing - a thick protective layer is pressed or cut along the length of the bar, has increased strength.
- Brushing - embossing and staining of furrows are combined with repeated application of a protective coating.
- Embossing in the register - cut out on the protective cover pattern repeats the grooves of the decorative finish.
- Chrome-zone - the grooves are decorated with a chromium alloy.
Most often choose a laminate that copies wood of light colors - this adds light to the room and makes it visually more spacious. For kitchens in oriental style there is a laminate that repeats the structure of bamboo. And for classic and country styles, a dark brown or black laminate that mimics the wenge structure is often chosen.
Tile or laminate?
At a superficial glance, the choice is obvious: the tile is easy to care for and is not afraid of water and moisture. It is practical, easy to clean, easy to clean.
However, it has a number of significant drawbacks:
- Coverage is cold, walking on it barefoot is not too pleasant, and there is a risk of getting cold.
- Organization of a warm floor under the tile is quite expensive.
- A smooth surface creates the risk of slipping and injury.
- The working area around the sink and the stove with the passage of time is able to take the form of a "lunar landscape".
- Falling solid heavy objects (cup, saucepan, cutting hat, etc.) can lead to chips and potholes, and even to splitting tiles.
- Tile coating is expensive in itself - tile, glue, grout, work on its laying - since laying such a coating requires certain skills, and on their own can not be dispensed with.
Laminate, specially designed for such premises as kitchen (waterproof or waterproof, increased strength) is devoid of these drawbacks. This coating looks good and meets operational requirements.
Rules for installing the coating
The material is simple in styling, but there are a number of rules that must be followed so that the quality of the coating is preserved for a long time.
Before installation, it is necessary to align the roughing floor (permissible difference by 2 mp - not more than 1 mm).
It is possible to use self-leveling liquid formulations. The smooth floor should be treated with coating waterproofing near the sink, water and sewage pipes.
To exclude various noise in the future, the substrate is placed under the laminate. It will also absorb the mechanical stress on the floor. The substrate is cork or polypropylene. Lay the joint in the joint, without overlaps. Connect with adhesive tape.
In the gap between the wall and the laminate to be laid, dies of 15 mm in thickness are inserted. The gap is necessary to compensate for the expansion of the floor covering. Laying of lamellas is made perpendicular to the window - the source of natural light.
The joints of each successive row should be offset relative to the joints already laid. The displacement between joints in adjacent rows is not less than 40 cm. When laying, the lamellas are adjusted to the maximum. After stacking, the plates are taken out of the gaps and the plinth is installed.
The laid coating must be treated with a sealant to prevent moisture from entering under the laminate. Apply it to the docking locks.