Cabinet Installation vs. Flooring: Which Comes First?
When planning a home renovation, it’s critical to determine the order of operations. That is, what must be done first and what can wait? For example, most people begin with big-picture items like walls and floors before moving on to smaller details like cabinets and fixtures.
There is one major exception to this rule: when installing new cabinets and flooring at the same time. In this case, it’s actually preferable to install the cabinets first, followed by the flooring. Here’s why:
1. Because cabinets are usually heavier than floors, they must be installed on a solid foundation. If you try to install them after the flooring has been installed, you risk damaging your new floors.
2. It is easier to cut flooring around cabinets than it is to cut cabinets around the flooring. If you have any irregularly shaped areas (such as an alcove), it’s best to install the cabinets first and then fill in the gaps with flooring.
3. Cabinets can serve as a support for flooring materials such as tile or stone that must be set in mortar or adhesive. If you try to place these materials directly on the subfloor, they may crack or break under the weight of the cabinets.
In most cases, kitchen cabinets are installed prior to the floor covering but after the subfloor and underlayment. The floor covering or finish is usually cut to fit and butted against the cabinets, with a small gap between the two covered by nailing a shoe molding or baseboard to the bottom of the base cabinets. This helps to create a unified look and feel in your kitchen. If you are unsure whether your flooring should be installed before your cabinets, it is best to consult with a professional contractor or installer.
Installing Cabinets and Flooring
When starting a kitchen remodel, it’s critical to decide whether to install cabinets or flooring first. This can be a difficult decision because both projects are critical to the function and appearance of your kitchen. Here are some pointers to consider:
– It’s best to install new cabinets before laying down new flooring. This way, you won’t have to cut around the cabinets when installing the floor.
– If you plan to replace both your cabinets and your flooring, it may be easier to install the flooring first. This way, you won’t have to worry about damaging the new cabinets while removing the old ones.
– Keep in mind that cabinets typically cost more than flooring. If you’re on a tight budget, it may be better to install the flooring first and save the cabinets for later.
Whatever project you choose to begin with, make sure to plan ahead of time and leave enough time for both projects. Installing new cabinets and flooring can be a major undertaking, but following these tips will make the process go more smoothly.