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Laying laminate in the kitchen: Put the kitchen on the laminate?

Laminate is not only popular as a floor covering in living rooms, but can also be installed in kitchens. When choosing and laying laminate in the kitchen, however, there are a few things to consider. In this article we show what is important and why a fitted kitchen should often not be set up directly on the laminate floor!

Contents overview:

Laminate and its suitability in the kitchen
Can you put the kitchen on laminate?
When can you still put a kitchen on laminate?
Laying laminate in the kitchen - this is how it works properly
Conclusion - laying laminate in the kitchen

Laminate and its suitability in the kitchen

A laminate floor consists of individual laminate planks that are connected to one another using a tongue and groove system (click system). The boards are only ever connected to each other and not to the sub-floor itself. Laminate is therefore not glued to the sub-floor, which is why the laying is also called floating designated. The planks, in turn, consist of a simplified one pressed fibreboard, the with a decor made of paper and one Protective layer is provided.

Laminate is suitable for the kitchen, but not ideal. Since laminate is largely made of wood, it is sensitive to moisture. The seal on the surface protects the laminate. However, when it is very wet and regularly wet, the protective layer quickly reaches its limits. Moisture can also penetrate the joints and cause them to swell.

Especially in the kitchen Exposure to high humidity, Spots on the floor, etc. often high. If you install laminate in the kitchen, you should therefore ensure that you use a high-quality laminate that is best explicitly marked with a high resistance to moisture. Alternatively, it is a good idea to lay vinyl laminate or click vinyl instead of conventional laminate. More on this in our article on laminate or vinyl.

Can you put the kitchen on laminate?

Laminate is therefore basically suitable for installation in a kitchen. But can the kitchen itself be placed on the laminate, or cannot the laminate floor withstand the weight?

The good news is: Laminate is a very hard and, above all, pressure-resistant floor covering. The surface of the laminate can withstand high pressure and weight without any problems, so you could also place a kitchen on laminate.

The bad news is: Laminate needs room to move. The main component wood in the laminate ensures that the laminate expands or contracts depending on the temperature and humidity. For this reason, a laminate floor must always have an expansion joint on all sides of the room.

If you set up a heavy fitted kitchen on the laminate floor, the laminate can no longer move properly where the kitchen is. The laminate then only has to expand in the areas of the room where there is no kitchen. The effect of a kitchen unit on laminate flooring is roughly comparable to the lack of an expansion joint. If the laminate cannot expand properly, tensions will arise in the floor. These can then lead to the laminate floor lifting or tearing open completely. Therefore you should keep an expansion joint on all sides of the room. And for the same reason you shouldn't put a kitchen on laminate!

When can you still put a kitchen on laminate?

Conversely, the fact that a kitchen should not be placed on laminate because that can lead to damage does not mean that the laminate will always be damaged if you do it anyway. Although I always recommend working as cleanly as possible, I advise you to only lay the laminate behind the plinth panel of the kitchen or to decouple the laminate under the kitchen. Both methods can be found under explained.

Still it can makes more sense in some cases or the only solution will be that Laying laminate under the kitchen, or to install the kitchen unit on an existing laminate floor.

A missing piece in the laminate cannot be closed again: Of course, if you don't lay laminate under your kitchen, that also means that when you remove the kitchen, you will have one Missing spot in the kitchen floor arises. If you are planning to move or change your kitchen, it makes sense to lay the laminate over the entire area and accept the risk of damage. Otherwise you will have to relocate a large part of the floor if you make changes to your kitchen. Even in a rented apartment, you should of course not remove an existing laminate floor without consulting the landlord.

The size and weight of the kitchen play a major role: A small single kitchen is so light that it can also be set up on laminate without any problems. A high-quality, large L-shaped kitchen, on the other hand, weighs many times more and should therefore not stand directly on laminate. Logically, the bigger and heavier the kitchen, the higher the risk of damage. Also plays the Position of the kitchen a major role. If the kitchenette is only on one wall, the risk of damage is not as high. If, on the other hand, there are two kitchen units on opposite walls, the risk is particularly high, as the laminate hardly has any chance to expand here.

You waive your guarantee claims: If you place your kitchen on a laminate floor, you have to assume that you will lose all warranty claims against the manufacturer! Most laminate manufacturers stipulate that kitchens must not be placed directly on laminate flooring. Here you always have to weigh up whether full-surface installation or the manufacturer's guarantee is more important to you.

Laying laminate in the kitchen - this is how it works properly

A fitted kitchen should therefore not stand directly on the laminateso that it can expand and contract and no damage occurs. Instead, the laminate just gets it until just behind the plinth of the kitchen unit relocated. Alternatively, the laminate can be used initially laid throughout the room and then decoupled in the kitchen area become.

Lay the laminate up behind the plinth in the kitchen

If you don't have a laminate floor in the kitchen yet, but want to install it first, this method makes the most sense. Ideally, you should first lay a film throughout the room as a vapor barrier * (only necessary for mineral substrates such as screed). Then you set up the entire kitchen. This then stands directly on the solid surface, only with a thin vapor barrier in between.

The laminate floor is only laid after the kitchen has been set up. You then put the laminate up to the feet of the kitchen, as you can see in the drawing below. But also keep an expansion joint of at least 8 mm at the feet. Also make sure that you lay the laminate with sufficient offset in the strips. You will inevitably get cut edges in the area under the kitchen, but these will later disappear behind the plinth of the kitchen.

By the way: This technique is very suitable for kitchen renovations. If your kitchen already has a glued floor covering (PVC, linoleum, tiles, ...) you do not have to remove it, you can leave the kitchen directly on it and just put the new laminate under the plinth of the kitchen!

Decouple the laminate under the kitchen afterwards

If you've already laid laminate on the entire kitchen floor, that's no problem either. Then the following technique is right for you: First, the kitchen is fully assembled. It is placed directly on the laminate. The laminate under the kitchen is then decoupled from the laminate in the rest of the room with a cut. To do this, first draw a straight line around the entire kitchen along the front of the kitchen feet. You widen this line by 1 cm towards the front. You should now have a 1 cm wide mark on the laminate floor, as shown in red in the drawing below.

You then saw out this 1 cm gap with an oscillating saw or a circular saw with plunge function. I use the Worx WX427 hand-held circular saw * for such cuts. With this, the cutting depth can be adjusted precisely to the thickness of the laminate, which is why it is ideal for such cuts. In addition, the saw can also be used very well to saw the boards to size when laying the laminate. The laminate is now only fixed directly under the kitchen. The rest of the room can move freely thanks to the newly created expansion joint.

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As an alternative to a gap around the kitchen, it is also a good idea to only remove the laminate where the feet of the kitchen are. With this technology, however, the kitchen would have to be dismantled. It is therefore only recommended if the kitchen has not yet been set up. First, the positions of the kitchen feet must be marked on the laminate. Then holes are drilled through the entire laminate at these markings with a large Forstner bit * (diameter of the feet + 16-20mm). The kitchen is then set up. Because the kitchen feet are now in the holes directly on the surface and no longer on the laminate, the floor covering is decoupled and has sufficient room to move.

Conclusion: laying laminate in the kitchen

  • Laminate is for laying suitable in a kitchen, but not ideal. When choosing the laminate, care should be taken to ensure that this as robust as possible against moisture is. An alternative is vinyl laminate.
  • A kitchen should be if possible do not stand directly on the laminate, because laminate can expand due to fluctuations in temperature or humidity. Can't move enough, can move quickly Damage arise.
  • The The bigger and heavier the kitchen, the higher the risk of damage. A small single kitchen can stand on a laminate floor.
  • Is laid correctly Laminate only laid under the plinth in the kitchen. The kitchen itself remains on the solid surface (e.g. screed).
  • Alternatively, it can Laminate in the kitchen area can be decoupled. An expansion joint is then cut into the laminate floor behind the plinth panel or the laminate is removed around the feet of the kitchen.

Frequently asked questions about laminate in the kitchen

Should you glue laminate in the kitchen?

Laminate must never be glued to the substrate! Laminate can expand or contract significantly due to fluctuations in temperature or humidity. In order for the laminate to move, it must not be glued to the substrate. With laminate, only floating installation is allowed. However, it makes perfect sense to glue the individual boards of the laminate together with a joint glue *. By gluing the joints, there is less risk that moisture will penetrate there. This is particularly advantageous in the kitchen, where there is regularly high humidity!

Should you lay laminate before or after installing the kitchen?

It actually makes the most sense to lay the laminate floor only after the kitchen has been installed. Because laminate should not lie directly under a kitchen. The laminate consists largely of wood, it can expand or contract depending on the temperature and humidity. If the kitchen is located directly on the laminate, the floor does not have enough room to move and can be permanently damaged. It therefore makes sense to set up the kitchen directly on the screed and only lay the laminate under the plinth of the kitchen unit.

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