While I was working at the most serene jobsite (see this post), I was transforming a kitchen by upgrading the flooring to a new high-quality laminate.
Laminate flooring these days refers to a type of flooring that is often meant to resemble some type of wood flooring, even though it is not. It’s quite thin and is actually fairly easy to install. Much less labor involved than with real hardwood or tile.
The flooring actually ‘floats’ which means it’s not nailed or glued down to the subfloor. This is important because the flooring is expected to expand and contract with changes in weather and humidity. For this reason, I left at least a 1/4″ gap all the way around the edges to give it room for expansion. This gap is easily covered with shoe moulding.
The change in this kitchen from the old vinyl is amazing. The homeowner is going for the cute cottage look but didn’t want to go to the expense of tiling the kitchen. Laminate is a great and affordable choice for quickly transforming the entire space.
This particular flooring was called “Casual Living” from Pergo. I think the homeowner bought it at Lowe’s. Anyway, I wanted to report that it went in well and made great connections throughout. With any pre-finished flooring, I think that you tend to get what you pay for most of the time. Some of the less expensive brands tend to have more gaps because they don’t fit together as well, at least that’s been my experience.
There’s a small stairway off of this kitchen that leads down to the basement stairs and the backdoor. Installing the laminate flooring on the stair required a fancy piece of trim called the stair-nosing. The trim has a notch in the back to overlap the flooring and curve around the nose of the step. This trim had to be special ordered and wasn’t cheap! However, if you want it to look right, this is the way to go.