Kitchen flooring - before new cabinets or after?

7 Replies

I am having a kitchen renovation done which includes new cabinets and appliances, as well as a new LVP floor. Home Depot, who is doing the kitchen install, says to wait until after all the cabinets are installed to put in new flooring. My flooriing guy says the old cabinets should be removed and he should lay a complete floor before the cabinets are installed. I don't know enough yet so I am reaching out to the BP community to get your insights. Thank you in advance!

Your flooring guy is right.  Doing the flooring before the cabinets means later on if someone wants to change/move the cabinets, they don't have to redo the flooring.  Home depot contracts out all of their installs to another company.

The instructions say not to set  permanently installed cabinets on top of floating (click lock) LVP. If you are doing a glue down install then it's fine. But  I would not install on top of the flooring because your cabinets are going to outlast your flooring. and it will be a pita because you'll have to cut it out to re-floor.

@Sally Berry

Usually on a remodel the "correct/better" way to do it is do the floor first and put the cabinets on top.  One argument is for hygenic reasons as spills on a kitchen floor are generally inevitable.  Another semi-silly issues that arise might be changing out the dishwasher since that little height difference becomes a problem --- I've known a few homeowners who have had to remove several inches of the flooring in front of the dishwasher to change it out...

New builds tend to do it in reverse mainly because of the new construction process and the order you get the trades in.  Flooring can "tend" to be last because you don't want it damaged by the trades who may be going fast and generally making a mess.  Not all of them are used to doing "finish work" (where you need to keep the place tidy).

Good luck.

Thank you all. It is a floating floor and the kitchen is where everyone comes in and out of the house so it sounds like it makes sense to do the flooring last. I appreciate your time!

Originally posted by @Sally Berry :

Thank you all. It is a floating floor and the kitchen is where everyone comes in and out of the house so it sounds like it makes sense to do the flooring last. I appreciate your time!

 I agree you don't want to put cabinets on floating floor, but you may want to consider putting a 1/4 inch underlayment under the cabinets to build them up higher. This is for the dishwasher, so that the floor is even with the floating floor. I had to replace a dishwasher where they had built up the floor and I had to cut the flooring out to get the dishwasher out. 

I suspect these contractors are thinking about what is easier for them. A flooring installers job is easier if there are not objects in the room to install around. A cabinet installer prefers no floor, so they don't have to worry about damaging it. As a general rule if the floor is floating, do it after. If it is glued or nailed, do it first.