Laminate kitchen flooring ideas - hardworking finishes that could almost be real

Get a natural look and feel on your floor that's practical and budget-friendly

Laminate kitchen flooring ideas are ideal for those who want the look of real wood or tiles made from natural materials in the kitchen but need a more practical option. And, what's more laminate flooring is a practical and cheaper alternative to natural flooring which can offer almost the same stylish results.

Often described at the heart of your home, the kitchen is a hardworking space. Knowing how to buy kitchen flooring and what material to choose will lead to making a durable choice with you kitchen flooring ideas. Better equiped than natural wood, a scratch and water-resistant, laminate kitchen floor will last a long time in a busy kitchen.

'It’s no surprise that laminate is our most popular selling flooring type,' says Jessica Fox at Flooring Superstore. 'It’s highly durable, affordable and easy to clean. As it’s water-resistant, it’s a great choice for kitchens.'

Thanks to new technology, most laminate boards are now coated making the surface water-resistant, easy to clean and more hygienic. Look for a brand which uses a hydro-seal system, says David Snazel, buyer of hard flooring at Carpetright.  'This extends the life of the product by keeping water out. It helps prevent the water from penetrating past the top layer and seeping into the MDF which will expand and blow.'

Laminate kitchen floor ideas

'For those looking for a cheaper alternative to real wood, there are also some realistic-looking laminate options,' says Jessica. 'But there are lots of different types of laminate to choose from so there are a few things to look out for, including laminate AC ratings and thickness.'

There is no longer a need to stick to the regular warm oak tones. Laminates now come in a variety of replica wood shades from white Ash to black Walnut, meaning you can tailor the floor to suit your kitchen cabinet colour scheme.

However, it isn't just wooden options that have exploded, you can now get laminate flooring looks in a range of striking tile effects too. From imitation textured stone to statement-making, patterned ceramic copies. The choice of colour, material and pattern is endless.

At such an attractive price you can afford to be brave and follow trends with your laminate kitchen floor ideas. The reasonable price-bracket makes stand-out laminate floor options easy and low-cost to update later when tastes change.

1. Choose a classic oak finish

powdery pastel blue walls and marble top table

(Image credit: Future Plc / Paul Raeside)

Laminate offers a durable option and a traditional wooden style finish remains the safe choice. Its natural and neutral tone makes it versatile to suit every kitchen scheme and colourway.

That being said, there are so many variants to natural wood style laminate that selecting the right one can still be tough. When choosing, ask for a couple of samples to take home and try in your kitchen's natural light and against your cabinets. You'll be surprised how the tones can differ in varying environments.

2. Warm up a kitchen with dark cherry

kitchen with wooden flooring

(Image credit: Berry Alloc)

Although there is plenty of choice, classic laminate flooring colours are slightly restricted. Shades echo natural materials,  and range from black and grey to light brown and white.

Walnut or cherry toned laminate colours offer rich character and a refined atmosphere to a kitchen. Larger areas with light walls can benefit from a dark floor, especially if there is plenty of natural light. If you are looking for a brighter and more colourful look, vinyl flooring might be a wiser choice.

3. Complement scandi decor with white ash

kitchen with dining table

(Image credit: Carpetright)

If you are looking for Scandi kitchen ideas, a pale 'Ash wood' laminate tone will channel the Nordic look with a light and clutter-free style.

'Neutral colours and natural elements form the backdrop for Scandi interiors, so choosing an appropriate flooring is a great place to start when creating a Scandi scheme. Pale woods such as oak lend themselves particularly well,' explains Inga Morris-Blincoe, General Manager at Life Style Floors.

Look for contrasting Scandinavian elements such as black kitchen cabinets and warm natural materials to balance the stark backdrop.

4. Give a modern flourish to a traditional kitchen

kitchen with cabinets

(Image credit: Future Plc)

In the same way that a sleek wooden floor can add a modern twist to a traditional shaker-style kitchen, so can a laminate floor. Neutral colours of laminate in shades of grey, or mimicking ash are the perfect cost-effective alternative.

To avoid your kitchen ideas looking washed out, pair with bold kitchen cabinet colour such as the blue and green kitchen colour scheme seen in this space.

4. Use rustic grain for an eclectic aesthetic

kitchen with dining table

(Image credit: Future Plc / David Giles)

With the searches such as country kitchen ideas going wild on social media, rustic wood flooring is a laminate finish is soaring in popularity. It's an easy-to-live-with option that's warming and homely.

This type of finish has lots of natural features such as nots and grain patterns so adds interest and texture to all schemes. Some are even textured rather than smooth for the ultimate rustic vibe. It is the perfect companion for a traditional country kitchen, or a more eccentric kitchen scheme.

5. Fake a trendy parquet floor

Faux Parquet Stone Laminate in kitchen

(Image credit: The Floor Room at Carpetright)

'With over 780k Instagram posts of #parquet, this style of flooring has been rising in popularity over the last few years and it shows no signs of slowing down,' says Jessica Fox at Flooring Superstore. 'Wood parquet flooring comes with a price tag and ongoing maintenance, but now with parquet laminate, you can get the look for a fraction of the cost. The parquet style suits both traditional or modern decor in equal measures.'

You don't need to be restricted to a wood parquet effect, you can also opt for a slate grey option for a chic industrial vibe.

6. Opt for a matte effect

kitchen with cabinet

(Image credit: Future Plc / David Giles)

7. Add interest with a herringbone pattern

kitchen with wooden flooring

(Image credit: Carpetright)

The herringbone pattern is a hot flooring home decor trend that is here to stay. The texture and interest add character to floors that are refined and rich.

One of the advantages of laminate flooring is that it's so easy to install. The herringbone version will take a little more concentration to slot all the pieces together, however, unlike the more expensive wooden version it is DIYer friendly and shouldn't require a specialist to fit it. It might mean a little more work, but the beautiful effect is certainly worth the effort.

8. Be bold with geometric blocks

Grey patterned laminate flooring in Milkshake pattern

(Image credit: Carpetright)

A positive perk about laminate flooring is that you can get creative with pattern to break new ground. This grey kitchen laminate floor scheme is composed of a parquet style print on each plank that can be laid in chevron, block or right-angles for a visually stunning, abstract twist.

However, make sure you scale your design to the size of your kitchen. Going to big on the pattern can potentially overpower small kitchen ideas, however, don't let that scare you away from using a bold patterned floor altogether. Often a bold design is a statement that can make a small kitchen really stand out.

9. Try a patterned tile effect

Grey patterned laminate flooring in Milkshake pattern

(Image credit: Flooring Mountain)

Tile-effect laminate flooring can be a low-level kitchen flooring idea for wall to wall style, making a great visual impact that makes a statement.

A Victorian-style tiled pattern with time-worn effect adds charm to a traditional kitchen or contrast against simple and smooth contemporary kitchen cabinets.

10. Add a touch of luxury with a pale marble effect

kitchen with cabinets

(Image credit: Flooring Superstore)

Marble is a kitchen trend that is going nowhere. The slick finish will always have luxe appeal, but it can cost a small fortune to fork out for the real thing. Faux marble can be controversial, some designers hate it, other love it. The key to making it work is choosing a realistic design.

In this case, the attractive grey veins and stone effect gradients recreate the natural features of expensive polished marble flooring with eye-catching mottled texture. The neutral tones make marble effect laminate flooring the ideal complement to on-trend black kitchen ideas plus navy blue and forest green schemes.

11. Keep things streamlined with grey

kitchen with chair and cabinets

(Image credit: Future PLC)

When choosing your kitchen laminate flooring ideas keep in mind the size of the space and the elements of the kitchen you want to stand out. If your kitchen cabinets are the star of the show, stick to a neutral colour in the same shade of your cabinets, or a complimentary neutral.

In this kitchen the grey laminate flooring is a simple, but elegant supporting act that echoes the colour used on the cabinets. It is a great tip for how to make a small kitchen look bigger, running the colour throughout the whole room creates the illusion of space.

What is laminate flooring?

Versatile and easy to clean, laminate floor planks are made by laminating an image onto board backing and then treated.

Conventionally the images are photos of a natural material such as wood or stone but advancing technology and demand for decorative innovation means there is more choice now with tile effect pattern and colour.

'Laminate is made up of a number of layers:  A base layer that provides stability and prevents warping, a core layer that gives strength and flexibility, a décor layer then shows off the design, and the protective layer (a clear melamine resin) that creates a tough durable finish that is resistant to deep scratches and gouging,' explains Inga Morris-Blincoe General Manager at

How do I clean laminate flooring?

 While laminate floors are more hard-wearing these days, you still need to take care when cleaning them to ensure they look their best for years to come. 'For wood, vinyl and laminate surfaces, you should try to use as little moisture as possible to avoid any warping,' says cleaning expert Henry Paterson of Housekeep.

'You should wring your mop or cloth as much as possible – until it's almost dry – before cleaning and run over with a dry mop or cloth afterwards to quickly dry the floor.'

Can I install laminate flooring myself?

A huge benefit of laminate flooring is that is relatively easy to install and usually an easy DIY project.  Marc Husband, project design lead at Leader Floors, suggests these key tips:

  • Make sure you measure your room correctly in square metres.
  • Add an extra 10% to your measurements to account for small errors.
  • Clean and clear the existing floor.  Preparation is key.
  • Remove your skirting boards for a super clean finish.
  • Acclimatise your laminate floor. Let the laminate flooring climatise for 48 hours before laying as laminate is known to expand and contract.
  • Make sure to choose the correct underlay - this will affect sound quality and insulation.

Rachel Homer has been in the interiors publishing industry for over 15 years. Starting as a Style Assistant on Inspirations Magazine, she has since worked for some of the UK’s leading interiors magazines and websites. After starting a family, she moved from being a content editor at to be a digital freelancer and hasn’t looked back.