Main Navigation

Additional Information

Site Information

 Loading... Please wait...

KraftMaid

Before or After Cabinet Installation? Four Considerations to Help Finalizing Your Flooring

Posted by KraftMaid on

While it’s not typically the focal point of a kitchen renovation, what lies beneath your feet is the foundation for your home’s design. Wood versus tile, cork or rustic slate—the options for kitchen flooring have evolved greatly over the years. Though the decision shouldn’t just be about what you choose, but also when to install your floors during the reno process.

Some contractors may have a general preference on whether to install flooring before or after cabinet installation, but as a homeowner, it helps to understand the pros and cons of both options so you can be confident in your decision. The path you choose can mean the difference between ordering flooring months before your cabinet selection or finalizing your options while waiting for cabinetry to arrive.

Before you finalize flooring and the next step in your renovation process, here are four things to consider about installation.

Protect your investment:

Investing in a New Kitchen

Installing cabinets first lends to less flooring damage from heavy kitchen materials. For example, if you’ve selected a hardwood, cork or laminate floating floor that clicks together, heavy cabinetry should not sit on top of it. This restricts movement and increases the chances of flooring separation, buckling and breaking.

The counter: By installing the floor first, you can avoid potential nicks or stains to your cabinets that could happen during the demo, install, and/or sanding process of the floors.

Compare the cost:

Cost of a New Kitchen

When flooring is laid down before cabinet installation, it’s placed underneath where the cabinets will ultimately sit. Many contractors and homeowners consider this a waste of materials because you are paying for products that you will never see.

The counter: The cost of labor to cut flooring to fit around cabinetry after they are installed may be a pricier option for your budget. Consider all the nooks and crannies that need precise cutting to fit flush around your kitchen layout.


Consider the height:

If you are simply replacing your floors and not your cabinets (some DIY homeowners choose to reface, paint or replace cabinet doors), a thin flooring can be installed right up to the cabinets. This works with luxury vinyl, laminate or tile. The edge of the flooring is then covered by baseboard or molding adhered to the bottom of the base cabinets to create a finished look.

A great alternative to solid hardwood is engineered wood flooring that gives you the same look and feel by using wood veneer on top and high-grade plywood below. Regardless of what you choose, the established standard for the top of the counter is about 36 inches above the floor.

It’s also important to note that, if you’re including toe kick drawers in your kitchen design, put flooring down first to ensure that the bottom drawers can function properly.

Consider the height

Create flexibility for future change:

Kitchen Flooring

It might be years down the road, but if there’s a possibility of updating your kitchen in the future, laying your flooring first is a better option. Having flooring under your cabinets creates a level foundation to allow for new appliances or cabinetry to be easily swapped out. The alternative is replacing parts of your flooring or your entire kitchen floor should you add on or tweak the layout in years to come.

Wherever you are in the journey of your kitchen renovation, having an idea of the types of flooring you’d like is a solid first step. Most homeowners are able to narrow flooring selections after choosing cabinetry. How about you? We’d love to hear and see the ideas you’ve brought to life in your dream kitchen.

View Comments


No Kitchen? No Problem. How To Maintain Your Sanity During Construction.

The good news? Demo day is nearing. The bad news? You’re going to be without a kitchen for a short while. Rest assured, you will make it through and your dream kitchen awaits you at the end. Here are five easy ways to make life work during your kitchen renovation. CREATE A PROJECT HUB: Here’s an easy [...]

Read More »


THE BASICS OF HIRING A CONTRACTOR

What we often don’t see in the pretty “after” pictures of a kitchen renovation is what went on behind the scenes. Demo, plumbing and cabinetry install – the list goes on. For first-time renovators or those looking to maintain normalcy during their project, hiring a contractor is the next step to get things started. Before you sign a contract, [...]

Read More »


5 TIPS TO MAKE THE KITCHEN RENO EASIER FOR YOU

Congratulations! You’ve finally decided to build your dream kitchen. If only you could harness the excitement you feel right now and keep that same outlook throughout your project. We know it’s going to be both exciting and challenging along the way, so here are a few tips we hope will help your renovation go a little easier for you.  Choose [...]

Read More »


WHERE TO SPLURGE AND WHERE TO SAVE

 Tough lessons learned by homeowners during their own kitchen renovations It’s the heart of the home. No matter the size of your great room or dining room table, everyone always gathers in the kitchen. While homeowners spend an average of 15-20% of their home’s value on a kitchen remodel, there are always some who go above or [...]

Read More »


SMALL KITCHEN IDEAS WITH BIG PERSONALITY

Even when you're remodeling a small kitchen, there's plenty of room to add your own personal flair. In fact, clever storage solutions can be part of what makes your space feel unique. Use these small kitchen ideas to save space and pack your new kitchen full of effortless style.1. BUILT-IN BOOKSHELVES With  built-in bookshelves that match your cabinetry, you get extra storage, [...]

Read More »


HOW TO MAKE YOUR FAMILY'S KITCHEN A WELL-OILED MACHINE

The kitchen is the hub of the house, which makes it a perfect place for the whole family to connect and spend quality time. But the more people who use it, the easier it is to fall out of sync. Your day can get derailed by as little as a missing measuring spoon, or another argument over who moved [...]

Read More »


3 EASY TRICKS TO HELP YOU FIGHT GERMS IN THE KITCHEN

Let's face it: Life is messy and, unfortunately, germy. That's especially true during cold and flu season. The kitchen is the last place you want to risk letting illness-causing bacteria and viruses fester, but it can be hard to eliminate what you can't see. Fortunately, even small habit changes can make a big difference in protecting you and your family. [...]

Read More »


8 TIPS TO HELP YOU CREATE A KITCHEN FOR (ALL) THE AGES

If your kids have grown up and moved out, the day-to-day demands on your kitchen have probably changed. But if grandkids are in the picture (or the future), you’ll want a kitchen that can adapt. Here are a few tips to help your kitchen shift seamlessly from quiet couple’s nest to grandparents’ funhouse. 1. PULL-OUT TABLE Create more counter space or more [...]

Read More »


3 KITCHEN TRENDS FOR 2018 AND BEYOND

When designing a new kitchen, one of the first decisions you’ll want to make is the overall look you’re aiming for. You may want to pick a style trend or color theme to help guide your choices. This blog post can help give you a place to start. These three kitchen trends are expected to be on the leading [...]

Read More »