Pros & Cons of Kitchen Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is a popular choice with many homeowners because it is cheaper and easier to install than natural flooring. However, the drawback is laminate's limited lifespan. In the end, natural flooring will last longer. When deciding which type of flooring to install, consider up-front costs versus long-term durability.
Affordability
Laminate flooring is a cheaper alternative to natural wood, ceramic and stone flooring. Depending on the type of laminate flooring you purchase, you could spend 1/4 to 1/2 the amount that you would spend on natural flooring.
Installation
The installation process for laminate flooring is much easier than it is for natural flooring. Unlike natural flooring, laminate flooring can be installed directly over existing flooring, reducing labor significantly. The individual laminate floor pieces snap together, eliminating the need for nails.
Appearance
A diverse variety of laminate flooring is available on the market. You can purchase laminate flooring that imitates natural dark wood, light wood, bamboo or stone. Laminate flooring can fool the casual observer at first glance, but upon a close investigation, it is apparent that the flooring is an imitation of natural flooring.
Durability
Laminate flooring is less prone to scratches and marring than natural flooring, making it a good choice for households with young children and pets. Natural flooring is a better choice for areas that are prone to water exposure, such as bathrooms and kitchens. Laminate flooring does not effectively protect the sub-flooring from water exposure. In addition, water exposure can cause laminate flooring to buckle or warp.
Lifespan
The lifespan of laminate flooring is considerably shorter than natural flooring. The longest that you can expect laminate flooring to last is 15 years. Natural stone and ceramic flooring can last almost indefinitely. Natural wood flooring can be refinished to extend its lifespan; laminate flooring cannot.
Resources
reference
Flooring 101; Matthew Paymar; Sep. 15, 2006
reference
Pros and Cons of Laminate Flooring
reference
Laminate Flooring Issues
resource
Laminate Flooring FAQ