Kitchen flooring renovation

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Here’s my current strategy for a kitchen remodel, let me know if you’d do it differently

Our original plan was to replace the broken tile, nasty countertop, and paint the cabinets. But we just found existing hardwood flooring under the tile. Well really the tile was cemented to hardiebacker, when was installed on plywood, which lays over the hardwood floors

The hardwood floors are in decent shape. A little rough, but after refinishing should look nice. There is about a 3’x4’ spot of hardwood that would need replacing, but the rest should be good.

Our new favorite plan is to remove all the existing tile/cement/hardiebacker (including under cabinets), put a coat of poly on the plywood where the cabinets will be, install back the cabinets, remove the plywood everywhere else, refinish the flooring.

I know normally you’d remove the plywood under the cabinets too, and refinish all the flooring before installing the cabinets back, but I’m currently in a time crunch and won’t be able to do that. Also we plan to refinish the whole floor at the same time, and the rest of the floor isn’t ready for that.

What are your thoughts? Is there any reason to avoid this strategy of leaving the plywood under? Would you do this strategy or just install tile?


Layered floors can be a real pain to remove. Screwed and glued. Sometimes we end up cutting them in cherboard squares down to the joists. Bring them down to a flat suface the easiest way possible and install LVP. We have used floor leveler or 1/4" plywood.