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Maintenance  /  October 27, 2022

Installing Cabinets and Flooring: Which Comes First?

Should cabinets or flooring be installed first

During a kitchen installation, you’ll need to team with a handyman in Etobicoke in order to ensure correct procedures are followed. Whether performing a full kitchen remodel or installing a kitchen the first time, there is a certain order to how things must be installed. Certain circumstances can influence the order of installation, but in general, when installing cabinets and flooring, cabinets must come first.

Why Cabinets are Usually Installed First

Installing cabinets before the flooring is a widely accepted standard amongst cabinet installers. As far as appearances, no one will ever be the wiser when inspecting the kitchen floor. That’s because the flooring will be laid flush with the cabinets, leaving minimal space which will be covered with baseboards.

Cost Effectiveness

The main reason for installing cabinets before the flooring is that it’s the most cost-effective approach. When cabinets are installed before the flooring, the cabinets rest directly upon the subfloor beneath them.

Since the floor beneath the cabinets will never be seen, there’s really no reason for them to be adorned. In the long run, this approach saves the homeowner money since the entire square footage of the kitchen will not require covering.

Future Remodels

Not continuing the run of the flooring under the cabinets also allows for easier future remodels. If the cabinets are still in good condition, it might make sense to keep them. After all, a good set of cabinets can last decades and cabinet styles don’t change as dramatically over time as flooring does.

When the homeowner is ready to remodel the kitchen again, perhaps the hardware on the cabinetry is replaced and the surfaces are cleaned and given a fresh coat of paint or varnish. As for the flooring, it’s easily removed because it’s not covered by cabinetry.

Things to Keep in Mind

To keep the cabinets at a standard height, you might want either want to use risers or install thinner flooring. Thicker flooring can take away from cabinet height, and you want to keep your cabinets between 34 and 36 inches high.

Kitchen flooring should be installed directly onto the subfloor without an additional underlayment. Underlayment will add to the thickness of the flooring, causing you to lose more cabinet height.

Not only do you want your cabinets to be standard heights for the comfort of the people who will be using them, but you also want to be sure appliances such as dishwashers and trash compactors can easily slide in as designed.

Situations When Flooring is Installed First

For every standard practice, there are exceptions. This is also true when it comes to kitchen remodels. Unforeseen circumstances happen often when it comes to home design and construction.

If for any reason there is a need for the entire kitchen floor to be higher, then it might make sense to go ahead and install your flooring wall to wall. However, you wouldn’t want to install expensive hardwoods under your cabinetry, so you could also opt to install plywood risers if the flooring is cost-prohibitive for use as a riser itself.

However, for something like laminate flooring, it might just be easier to install it wall-to-wall. Every circumstance will have its own set of considerations.

Work With a Professional

During a kitchen remodel, for best results always work with a professional who has years of expertise and experience. Ask for recommendations from friends. If you’re going to search online for “cabinet installers near me,” be sure to read the reviews.

If you’re in the Etobicoke or Toronto West region, look for Handyman Connection. We’re available to provide friendly and courteous service for your home remodel and repair needs.

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