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Old 12-01-2007, 08:52 PM   #1
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Tile or Plywood under cabinets

I am redoing the kitchen that is in my basement.

Being it is in the basement, I have a concrete slab.

I intend to install 18" x 18" tiles on the slab. Problem is, cabinets are here now and tile is not due for another week. I would like to keep things moving along.

Would it be a bad idea to simply put plywood under the cabinets to raise them to the height of the tile so that I can install now? Or am I much better off just waiting for the tile to arrive?

if I do the plywood, what size would I use if the tile is 3/8". I am thinking 1/2" to allow for the thinset, but not sure if that is enough.

How do I attached the plywood to the slab? Tapcon screws would be a lot of work. Can I shoot it on a 35 year old slab? Should I put contruction adhesive first?

thanks for any suggestions


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Old 12-01-2007, 10:10 PM   #2
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There's two distinct trains of thought on this and general discord amongst each camp.

I don't install cabinets unless the floor is down. I think for a tile floor I'd rather wait especially. I think it's a much neater and easier job to wait on the floors and you don't have to do any guessing. A tile guy who I recommend from time to time also prefers it this way.

That said, I know several shops who don't wait and they will go the plywood route and let the floor guys deal with whatever problems arise.


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Old 12-02-2007, 08:46 AM   #3
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I think tile guys prefer to not get stuff on the cabinets or accidentally scratch them when doing new construction they think the cabinets could have waited in the order of things. But when doing remodelling, the cabinets are often already in, so they just have to be a little more careful around them. It also makes a little more cutting for them if they have to go around an island or something.

But you could certainly put the plywood on first. Lots of construction adhesive and some short Hilti nails every 10" or so would do the trick. Try to nail where the edge of the cabinets will not sit- in case a nail is underdriven.
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Old 12-02-2007, 04:40 PM   #4
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That's a "your call" question.
The only thing critical on a remodel is to raise the cabinets (plywood and shims) in order not to trap the dishwasher behind the new tile or wood flooring (I've seen both, and they had to do a flooring tear-out to get the old dw out and new one in.)
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Old 12-02-2007, 05:02 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice.

Since I am the tile guy and the cabinet guy, and wife is the boss. I am going to go on the side of caution.

I am a better carpenter than I am a tile guy and the thought of grout on the new cabinets, well that would make the boss very unhappy. Besides, the last thing I want in the world is for a water leak to end up causing the plywood under the cabinets to buckle some day. Not that I plan to have a water leak. Then again, I didn't plan to "not have" the tile yet either.
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Old 12-02-2007, 05:20 PM   #6
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Good choice Nick


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