Laminate or carpet?

11 Oct 2004
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United Kingdom
Hi All

I was hoping to use laminate flooring in my lounge and linked kitchen. However, the advice I am getting is somewhat confusing.

I was advised that provided I choose 'green' coloured core board that this means the laminate is water resistant - I believe one of the trade names is Wetlock.

However, I was later told by a carpet shop advisor that laminate is ill advised in the kitchen because though the surface may resist water ingress provided any spills are mopped up immediately. The risk lies in any condensation from the fridge or washing machine 'dripping' down the gap at the wall edges and eventually settling in the lowest point on the floor under the laminate eventually causing swelling and other damage.

So, is it OK to use laminate in the kitchen/lounge and if so what do I need to ask to be sure I get the right quality?

If not OK, am I being told the correct reason?

I hope I have described things that make sense and that you might be able to clarify the matter for me.

TIA :)
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Searcher said:
I was advised that provided I choose 'green' coloured core board that this means the laminate is water resistant - I believe one of the trade names is Wetlock.
I think you mean Witex ???
If so, look here.

I think your carpet shop advisor was thinking of normal laminated flooring but they are about if you read the manufacter details on the instruction package which some are suitable for kitchen and bathroom.
Laminate is not water resistant and if there is any kind of steady leak in the kitchen, from a fridge etc. ( or in my case were the dog's bowl was usually placed :( ) then the water will penetrate and cause the joint to gap and tent up at the edges. It does settle down again when the water is removed and it is dried out, but, certainly after a couple of soaks, the damage will be done. The other big disadvantage is that its difficult / impossible to repair.
Because of this I wouldn't use laminate in a kitchen area...again!
Its up to you though, if you havn't got kids, havn't got a dog or cat; and have nice new appliances that don't leak, then you might get away with it!
Why not lay your laminate in the livingroom and switch to something else in the kitchen? Vinyl sealed cork tiles, or slate, can look brilliant alongside wood flooring. The two surfaces tend to set each other off and enhance each other
Aqualoc laminate floor is recommended for kitchens and bathrooms. Only seen it at about 2 1/2 years old though, but still looking as new. 3 to 4 times the price of ordinary.
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how much are you looking to spend on the material a sqm?
What is the condition of your floor ? - having worked in a carpet shop for years, there's one product that I'd be much more keen to use in a 'wet area' than laminate.
There are some new vinyl floorcoverings that are simply superb, some moreso than others, with one (think it might me called 'Woodstar' or similar, can find out if you want) - this particular one is simply amazingly realistic, and because it's in sheet form, it doesn't suffer from the light 'picking out' the joints in the laminate, something that really annoys me about wood.
the one key thing that you do need, is an almost perfect floor, because if it aint, you eye picks it up and gives the game away, but screed your concrete or plyboard you timber floor first, and the job will be perfect.
When we've fitted this stuff in the past, we've even beaded around the edges so it looks just like the real thing, with no joints, and more importantly is totally waterproof for bathrooms and kitchens, and some (woodstar in particular) don't have any shine
Fitting is a mile cheaper and the material is very reasonable too. You would be looking at wood costing you several times as much

Just a thought !


The more I research laminate the more convinced I am that it is a poor choice in kitchen (or bathroom).

So, "Woodstar" sounds very interesting. If you can confirm the product name that would be great.

As for the floor, it is a floating floor i.e. high chipboard tongue/groove panels on top of polystyrene sheets. It has suffered some damage and and replacement so a suitable ply covering would be best especially in the bathroom whatever I choose for that area that has old stuck down cork tiles.

TIA for any info about Woodstar.

PS Would you think Woodstar is of high enough visual quality for laying in a lounge area?

I'd say it's a really nice visual effect, I've been fooled before into thinking that this stuff really is wood, it's so hard to tell. You see, there are hundreds of different vinyls, and some with very similar names, infact vinyl books that just contain wood patterns, not surprisingly are all called 'woodthemes' or 'wonderwoods' or similar. the biggest difference with this one, is the matt finish, it's real nice stuff, and it costs no more than normal vinyl. When I'm at work tommorow, I'll double check it for you, and I'll give you the name of the distributer too, I know it's one of the big two, so almost every carpet shop should have the stuff now.
One word of warning though, if you do go looking at vinyl, don't look at thickness and assume it means the quality. It's true that more costly vinyls tend to be thicker too, but in real terms, this is only for show in the shop. If you have a good floor, you'll never know once it's down. The price will denote the quality of the wear layer, which like your kitchen worktops, or the artificial (plastic) laminate, is only very thin, but seriously tough !
If you make sure that your floor is 100% before the vinyl goes down, and you get good fitters, the finished job should look great. The beading idea, was one of mine really, it isn't usual, but seems to go down well with customers....thats something you could always do yourself......worth doing because it's around the edges where you may tell that it's vinyl
What will you do with all that money you'll save......and you can delight in telling your friends that they can't tell the difference between wood and vinyl ;)

Hi Paul

Yes, any feedback you can give me would be welcome.

I have already found Woodstar as a name by Tarkett (is that the stuff you were thinking of?) but availability seems very limited - I am in Surrey.

Ideally, I need Allied Carpets to offer it. Reason, I had fire damage to my house and the insurers designated supplier is Allied. Though I believe I can take settlement it is not in my interests because they reduce the payment value by 15%.

TIA :)
you know, I can feel myself boiling up inside, you've just hit on my pet hate. First things first. Tarkett may well be the manufacturer of the material, but it is brought into the country and sold on by a distributer, either Mercado carpets or Wilkies, but this matters not, just ask your shop for it's range name, and they'll produce the book.
Pet hate time ! ----- mark my words, you don't have to go to a particular shop. I don't think that it would be right for me to point out reasons why insurance companies tell you to go to certain shops, lets just say that you can likely guess !
It was your insurance money that you paid, and you can honestly spend it where you like, so don't worry about that. Wherever you find the product you like, insist you always shop there, and would never go anywhere else, and you'll be fine.

Hi Paul

Hmmmm!!!!! yes, as I indicated Allied are designated and the insurers when I sorted out the contents their designated suppliers was Empire Commercial for electrical goods (white & brown).

I decided on settement for my personal convenience because I like to choose my goods very carefully and not be tied to what could have been offered.

Subject to confirmation I suspect that the insurers will not 'wear' arranging the payment via another outlet for the carpets. However, if Allied can not offer Woodstar (assuming I can find somewhere that stocks it for my appraisal?) there can be no harm in asking the insurers about such a shift.

Thanks again :)

PS Talking about pet hates - I found the sales advisor in Allied very hard to talk to ~ he made the insured figure and its relationship to what I could 'spend' (without any extra payment on my part, that I fully expect to have to do) more like rocket science than (simply?) buying some floor coverings.
BTW, did you know that allied as BIG retailer (i.e. many outlets etc) is much mor expansive on wooden flooring the us small retailer?
I normally check their prices once a month and am still amazed that so many people go for an Allied Carpet wooden flooring, which is twice as much in price then we (and other small independent retailers) can supply?

And that's my pet-hate;))
WoodYouLike said:
I normally check their prices once a month and am still amazed that so many people go for an Allied Carpet wooden flooring, which is twice as much in price then we (and other small independent retailers) can supply?
Just to shows the TV advert is working then :!: Ask anybody and the first carpet name spring to mind is Allied which is a shame and I'm surpised that people don't shop around.
The vinyl is called 'Woodstar', but someone broke the top page off my book, just ask for it by name, it's supplied by Wilkies or Mercado's

hope this helps

carpetpaul said:
The vinyl is called 'Woodstar', but someone broke the top page off my book, just ask for it by name, it's supplied by Wilkies or Mercado's hope this helps.....Paul

sounds like stuff i may have had in my kitchen in my other home which was a new bovis one..
the edges were sealed with silicone looked like boarding but was plasticy to the touch...and it resisted a washing machine leak over a period of about 9 months...and cleaned up everyweek well with mr muscle

slightly OT but

i am now redoing the bathroom and will be finishing off the floor in places where its not so good with filler....and then sealing painting the whole thing with floor paint
still googling to find it though...
mrs crow wants vinyl so i imagine this is just the one for the job as well...thanks..

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