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We are looking at getting a laminate floor fitted in our kitchen. I have heard stories good and bad about washing machines damaging them when you get them in and out from under the work top. I'd love to hear some experiences please

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Hello there. If fitted properly, and all the way back under the washing machine it should be ok. However, if the washing machine leaks, and they often do, it can damage the flooring. Laminate flooring does not react well to water although if fitted well and a leak is dealt with promptly it should be ok. Floor tiles are probably a better choice. 
 

A washing machine can slide about a bit on a shiny laminate floor, although the same applies to floor tiles. If it’s a problem you can always put a thin rubber mat under the washing machine or try some rubber feet especially made for appliances. 
 

The worst thing you can do is only have (any) flooring fitted up to the front of the washing machine as described in my article here appliance stuck behind flooring

Also check out my other article what is the best way to pull a washing machine out

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