Laminate flooring can give you the look of real hardwood flooring at a fraction of the price and without the same type of maintenance that real hardwood floors require. If you are looking to install laminate flooring in your kitchen, it’s important to understand that not all laminate flooring is the same. In addition to the color and style, here are a few of the factors that you need to consider or keep in mind to help you find the right laminate floors for your new kitchen.

Direct Pressure Versus High-Pressure Laminate

Laminate flooring is made with four layers of materials that are fused or pressed together. Direct pressure presses all of the layers together at once using 300 to 500 pounds per square inch. High pressure involves pressing the floor together in multiple stages, using resin and up to 1300 pounds of pressure per square inch. High-pressure laminate typically costs more than direct pressure, but it is able to withstand higher foot traffic, minor scuffs better resists dents and dings, and is least affected by small amounts of moisture. If you are looking for a long-lasting laminate that will hold up to the rigors of daily use, a high-pressure laminate is typically the better option.

Durability Ratings for Laminate

Another element to consider when selecting the best laminate flooring for your kitchen is the durability rating for the laminate flooring. Floors are tested and given a durability rating ranging from AC1 to AC5. The higher the rating, the more resistant the flooring is to scratches, scuffs, heat, stains, and moisture. Most experts recommend looking for a laminate floor that is rated at least an AC3 or higher. If you have kids, pets, or heavy amounts of foot traffic, you may want to select a laminate option that is rated an AC4 or higher,

The Laminate Flooring Warranty

Finally, when you are looking for the best laminate flooring for your kitchen, look at the warranty for the flooring. Different manufacturers offer different warranties for their flooring. One of the common mistakes is to solely look at the length of the warranty. In addition to looking at the length of time that the floor is warrantied, look at what is covered by the warranty. There are some companies out there that offer lifetime warranties against things like separation, delamination, and peeling. These tend to be the best warranties since you’ll know that your laminate floors are protected in case any issues or flooring repairs arise.

By learning the difference between direct pressure and high pressure, learning about durability ratings, and comparing warranties, you can find a high-quality laminate floor that will look great in your kitchen and withstand the test of time. Angi, formerly known as Angie’s List, hopes these tips will help you to better understand laminate flooring and find the one that is best suited to your needs.