I'm considering laminate floor for my kitchen and dining room. I ran into a site that says "don't put the laminate under counters, as it will pinch and keep the laminate from expansion and contraction.

How much weight will it float with?

We have LOTS of bookcases in our house. Nearly every wall has at least one, and often two. My office has 3 book cases and 2 filing cabinets.

Room 1: Kitchen

Kitchen: South wall has two 4 foot wide counter sections, stove and fridge. 4 foot aisle 9 foot long island containing two drawer units, a door unit, sink, and dishwasher. 6 foot aisle Wall with bookcase, pot shelves, and a 5 foot low cabinet with a counter top slab on top with microwave and small industrial mixer.

Room 2: Living room

Two 8 foot high book cases full loaded (hardbound books) separated by 18 feet length wise planks between.

Room 3. Dining room

Hutch (base and shelves) and two 4 foot book cases on one wall, two 3 foot book cases on the other side, and a 400 pound 3" thick wood slab dining table. laminate parallels the sides.

It occurs to me that for borderline conditions:

  • A: do not use an attached underlayment. Friction between the smooth laminate bottom and the underlayment is likely to be lower than the friction between underlayment and sub floor.

  • Use of a dry lubricant, such as talcum powder or graphite between the underlayment and the laminate.

  • Use an underlayment that has a sealed surface (but breathable) that is smooth.

    Or do I need to reconsider and not use any form of floating floor?

2 Answers 2


Let's not reinvent the wheel here. No need to lubricate your floor. The key is that every room should allow movement on both axes. You wouldn't want to pin the flooring under cabinets because they're often installed on opposing walls.

Regarding your bookcases... If they're not built-in units, don't worry about it. Folks use heavy furniture, aquariums, etc. on floating floors all the time. If the floor can move elsewhere it's probably fine.

Be sure to acclimate the flooring well. Even one pinned side along with severe moisture or temperature change could cause problems.

  • The bookcases ARE on opposing walls. We have Doesn't the whole floor expand and contract? How does it do this if there is a 600 pound bookcase on one side of the room, and a 1200 pound baby grand on the other side? (We have 45 bookcases and 4 drawer filing cabinets in our house...) Mar 6, 2018 at 19:17

Just FYI floating floor manufacturers do have weight guidelines and with the thinner types there is a good chance big bookshelves or desks could have issues on them. It is akin to putting heavy furniture on cheap carpet albeit you can restretch cheap carpet. Luckily if you have a mistake with the floating floor it usually doesn't ruin the floor but just requires you to remove heavy object and reinstall.

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