Kitchen Flooring Under Cabinets??

44 Replies

Old thread, I know....but the answer depends primarily on the type of flooring:

Flooring that floats above the floor… Such as interlocking vinyl planks, Should NEVER go under the cabinets… Doing so will cause the floor to Buckle (and/or break the locking system) because that type of flooring needs to expand and contract as temperature changes.

Flooring that is glued to the floor permanently,  can go under the cabinets without any issue… But realize that you may STILL  very well want to replace the floor but sooner than you will want to replace the cabinets… So you could go either way when it comes to glued down flooring. 

Cabinets first for lvp and laminate. If tile I would do the floor first. The contractor wants to make it easier for him, but it will make it more difficult down the road when you need to replace the floor.

Originally posted by @Craig Jeppesen :

Cabinets first for lvp and laminate. If tile I would do the floor first. The contractor wants to make it easier for him, but it will make it more difficult down the road when you need to replace the floor.

 While there is some dependancy / leeway based upon how your cabinets are to be installed (hung versus pedestal) and the toe kick used, we usually paint, put down finish floor, install cabinets, install backsplash, put appliances in-place and hang lighting fixtures.

Hello all,

I am planning to install IKEA kitchen , difference is in having 4-legs under cabinets AND Not box base cabinets.

I understand that floating luxury vinyl can withstand up to 200 lbs per sq.inch , so like any piece of appliance on 4 legs or couch on 4 legs , the IKEA cabinets would look better on already installed Floating Luxury Vinyl (28 mil).

My contractor is telling me that my floor will loose warranty if installed as I ask before IKEA cabinets.

My point is about 4- legs cabinetry , not base box cabinetry.

Please give me your opinion.

Greatly appreciate. 



Originally posted by @Alena Nicole :

Hello all,

I am planning to install IKEA kitchen , difference is in having 4-legs under cabinets AND Not box base cabinets.

I understand that floating luxury vinyl can withstand up to 200 lbs per sq.inch , so like any piece of appliance on 4 legs or couch on 4 legs , the IKEA cabinets would look better on already installed Floating Luxury Vinyl (28 mil).

My contractor is telling me that my floor will loose warranty if installed as I ask before IKEA cabinets.

My point is about 4- legs cabinetry , not base box cabinetry.

Please give me your opinion.

Greatly appreciate. 

I agree that the flooring should be installed first before the cabinetry in almost all cases and especially yours. As to the warranty, that sounds a bit fishy to me. Get your hands on the actual warranty language and read it, does it really specify your warranty is lost if you install cabinetry on top of them? Then what if you put furniture on top of it too, does that void the warranty? Sounds like your contractor is mistaken or the product you have selected has a crap warranty and if that is the case, choose another flooring manufacturer. 

 

@Alena Nicole

We've installed several Ikea kitchens in the past couple of years ... most retrofitted into century old apartment buildings and are aimed at a mid-level market.  As such loose-lay vinyl, linoleum, or vinyl plank are the flooring we use (unless we retain the original pine or hardwood floors). Tile would be in our higher end units where the underlaying subfloor can provide sufficient stability.

In these installations, we always lay the finish floor before installing the cabinets (at least the lowers).  Similarly, you paint the walls before installing the finish floor and cabinets.

I have converted over to LVP for my rentals but sometimes still do tile in the bathroom. 

If I am laying tile in a bathroom, I put the tile everywhere and then the cabinet in. That way, if I ever replace the cabinet, then the tile will work and there wont be gaps. Also most of my bathroom cabinets I install rest on legs giving the room a bit more classy look. 

If I am doing a room that has a lot of cabinets in it, I put the cabinets in first, then the flooring. If you do a real good job with LVP you can get away with just calk by the cabinet, or you can replace the kick board or bottom molding.  I also keep some of the new flooring ( I use the same flooring product in all my rentals until it goes out of manufacturing ) and hence going back and fixing the flooring later if I change the cabinets is not a lot of work.

Carpet and Wood flooring are really going out of style, especially in rentals because they do not wear like LVP. 



My husband says don't do it on any kind of floating flooring due to expansion and contraction. Most of the instructions for the floating flooring say don't do it for that reason. I don't like to because flooring is removed more than cabinets and it's a pain when that has been done. We do put flooring under freestanding ranges or slide ins and refrigerators which all have adjustable legs.

@Jill F.

Running a floating floor under cabinets and anything really heavy is really a bad idea, I would completely agree. Ever kitchen floor rehab we've done to date on a rental has been porcelain tile, and I'm doing the rehab, so I expect to get more than 20 years out of these floors. I run the floor under anything that will move (ranges, fridges, dishwashers, etc.) but not cabinets. Since I don't intend to change the flooring layouts of these places while I hold them and most likely when I sell them, I don't see a hard need to run the floor under the cabinets as long as I can use quarter round and other trim to hide the gap.

I think it's important to mention how important it is to run any replacement floor under a built-in dishwasher. These things slide in and out for installation. If you run the floor in front of but not under them when you install, sooner or later, when the dishwasher breaks and you try to pull it out, there's a good chance there won't be enough clearance to get it out. This more typically happens when you take out a sheet vinyl floor that's been run under the dishwasher and replace it with a tile floor running in front of the dishewasher. The difference in floor thickness above the subfloor between the stapled-down plywood covered by sheet vinyl (3/8-1/2 in.) and the cement board underlayment+tile+layers of mortar (3/4-1 in.) is often enough to make pulling the dishwasher problematic, depending on how the leveling system was set up on the dishwasher originally.

Originally posted by @Jill F. :

My husband says don't do it on any kind of floating flooring due to expansion and contraction. Most of the instructions for the floating flooring say don't do it for that reason. I don't like to because flooring is removed more than cabinets and it's a pain when that has been done. We do put flooring under freestanding ranges or slide ins and refrigerators which all have adjustable legs.

Jill:

If you allow the loose-lay {fibre} floor to fully relax when first installed, it does not move that much afterwards (1/8 - 1/4") when expanding and contracting.

If you are using Ikea cabinetry - or any similar rail-based installation - the cabinets are hung off rails on the wall and the weight on the adjustable legs will not restrict the floating floor from small movements.

When using floating floor under these style cabinets, we run it wall-to-wall and run baseboard all the way around the room (sometimes we use cove behind the cabinets).   When flooring needs replaced, we can do so by simply removing the toe-kick (which snap in-place) and temporarily removing the legs from the lower boxes (allowing them to hang from the wall) while we change the floor.   Though often it is just as easy to remove the countertops and lower cabinets (rails stay in-place); change the floor, then set the cabinets back in-place).

If we are using pedestal cabinets, we will install the pedestal framing directly on the subfloor and, after the cabinets and flooring are installed, use the toe-kick to pinch the loose-lay flooring.

If we are tiling or refinishing existing wood floors (in period buildings), the floors always run wall-to-wall under the cabinetry regardless of type.  It has been our experience that such floors last as long (or longer) than cabinetry in rental units.

One big advantage of running the finish floor wall-to-wall is it does a much better job of containing water spills and mitigates water that runs under the cabinets (think leaky dishwasher) from seeping under the finish floor. 

 

@Roy N. Are you just talking about loose lay or installing floating click-lock plank (contrary to manufactures instruction)? really just curious at this point-- lol, I just do what I'm told on that stuff I'm the the measure and cut girl ;)

@Jim K. Oh my yes last reno we fought with old DW to get it out

@Roy N. I am having LVP installed in one of my projects right now. A very reputable flooring contractor refuses to install LVP under kitchen cabinets due to expansion (they actually don’t like LVP because it is so unstable)

Additionally they recommend never installing it in bathrooms because, although waterproof itself, it can allow water to pass through the joints and cause issues with the subfloor

@Scott Weaner

Like others have said, if cabinets are not in yet, lay the floor first. It looks better, and if you ever need to replace the cabinets before the floor needs replacing, you are good to go.

Originally posted by @Alena Nicole :

Hello all,

I am planning to install IKEA kitchen , difference is in having 4-legs under cabinets AND Not box base cabinets.

I understand that floating luxury vinyl can withstand up to 200 lbs per sq.inch , so like any piece of appliance on 4 legs or couch on 4 legs , the IKEA cabinets would look better on already installed Floating Luxury Vinyl (28 mil).

My contractor is telling me that my floor will loose warranty if installed as I ask before IKEA cabinets.

My point is about 4- legs cabinetry , not base box cabinetry.

Please give me your opinion.

Greatly appreciate. 



 Mark there the cabinets will go, specifically the legs, or put the cabinets in but don't finish the trim and then lay the floor up to that point.  If all the weight is on the legs and you simply have a baseboard covering them, the flooring can go under the trim covering the legs, but not under the legs.

Originally posted by @Jill F. :

@Roy N. Are you just talking about loose lay or installing floating click-lock plank (contrary to manufactures instruction)? really just curious at this point-- lol, I just do what I'm told on that stuff I'm the the measure and cut girl ;)

@Jim K. Oh my yes last reno we fought with old DW to get it out

Jill,

I was talking about loose-lay fibre floor (the checkerboard depicted in the photos above).   I have also laid linoleum and commercial vinyl plank (the self-adhesive type) under rail-hung cabinets.   I have not used the "click" floor in a kitchen - I'm not a big fan of it.

 

Originally posted by @Parker Eberhard :

@Roy N. I am having LVP installed in one of my projects right now. A very reputable flooring contractor refuses to install LVP under kitchen cabinets due to expansion (they actually don’t like LVP because it is so unstable)

Additionally they recommend never installing it in bathrooms because, although waterproof itself, it can allow water to pass through the joints and cause issues with the subfloor

If the cabinetry is pedestal based, then you would lay the pedestals on the subfloor and lay your finish floor.

The OP was using Ikea cabinets.  Ikea uses a rail mount which hangs the boxes from the wall.  Shallow lowers, like uppers, could be hung without the feet attached.  Even with full depth lowers, the wall mount carries the bulk of the load ... the legs carry the toe kick and the front edge of the cabinet boxes.

We've had no issues with running flooring wall-to-wall under Ikea cabinets and prefer the better water protection.

In bathrooms, if we are not laying tile, we prefer to use linoleum or loose-lay fibre floor (without any seams).  For vanities we typically use wall-hung models (easier cleaning in student rentals) or 'furniture'-style and run the floor underneath either.   We also make  point to run our plumbing out of the wall rather than the floor.

 

Originally posted by @Theresa Harris :

 Mark there the cabinets will go, specifically the legs, or put the cabinets in but don't finish the trim and then lay the floor up to that point.  If all the weight is on the legs and you simply have a baseboard covering them, the flooring can go under the trim covering the legs, but not under the legs.

Theresa:

With the Ikea cabinets, unless you are building an island, most of the weight is carried by the rail mount. 

Originally posted by @Roy N. :
Originally posted by @Theresa Harris:

 Mark there the cabinets will go, specifically the legs, or put the cabinets in but don't finish the trim and then lay the floor up to that point.  If all the weight is on the legs and you simply have a baseboard covering them, the flooring can go under the trim covering the legs, but not under the legs.

Theresa:

With the Ikea cabinets, unless you are building an island, most of the weight is carried by the rail mount. 

 Thanks. I didn't know the base cabinets worked the same way.

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