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Old 03-01-2011, 12:38 PM   #1
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New cabinets, subfloor & install height


I was going to build cabs for a friends' new house as a winter project, but Spring is about here and after dragging their feet, will now do Ready To Assemble cabs. I agreed to install them but I need some feedback on my logic, I have never done RTA's, but maybe it makes no diff on install.

It is a 16' x 13' U-shaped kitchen (new construction) at the end of a great room. They have chosen 18" thin ceramic tile as the kitchen floor only. They are actually my friends son / daughter in-law and starting a family. I tried to talk them out of the tile, but she is firm on it. So, I am planning my install with planned obsolescence in mind.

1. Install cement board over entire kitchen sub-floor, they already bought enough to do it all.
2. Lay plywood sub-floor over the cement board the exact footprint of the cabs. The plywood will be the thickness of the tile & mud set.
3. Install cabs.
4. Tile up to cabs and into dishwasher / oven / fridge area, install long sticks of toe kick.

I am very reluctant to install the cabs directly on the tile due to the potential uneveness of the finished floor. Additionally, the young bride is quite sure of how she wants things and will not stand for degraded looking anything. I have seen many kitchen ceramic floors after being subjected to young families and I want them to have easy replacement options down the road. Perhaps I am over thinking this.....

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Old 03-01-2011, 03:48 PM   #2
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New cabinets, subfloor & install height


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I was going to build cabs for a friends' new house as a winter project, but Spring is about here and after dragging their feet, will now do Ready To Assemble cabs. I agreed to install them but I need some feedback on my logic, I have never done RTA's, but maybe it makes no diff on install.

It is a 16' x 13' U-shaped kitchen (new construction) at the end of a great room. They have chosen 18" thin ceramic tile as the kitchen floor only. They are actually my friends son / daughter in-law and starting a family. I tried to talk them out of the tile, but she is firm on it. So, I am planning my install with planned obsolescence in mind.

1. Install cement board over entire kitchen sub-floor, they already bought enough to do it all.
2. Lay plywood sub-floor over the cement board the exact footprint of the cabs. The plywood will be the thickness of the tile & mud set.
3. Install cabs.
4. Tile up to cabs and into dishwasher / oven / fridge area, install long sticks of toe kick.

I am very reluctant to install the cabs directly on the tile due to the potential uneveness of the finished floor. Additionally, the young bride is quite sure of how she wants things and will not stand for degraded looking anything. I have seen many kitchen ceramic floors after being subjected to young families and I want them to have easy replacement options down the road. Perhaps I am over thinking this.....
It sounds like she picked wall tile for the floor. If this in correct, I wouldn't install it.
I would also make sure the joists are spanned correctly for tile. You haven't mentioned the tile sub structure you have. What size joists, spanning how far? What is the current subfloor you're working with and how thick is it? You can't slap cementboard down on any subfloor and tile it(and expect it not to fail).
This planning for "obsolescence" is an absurd premise. If one of my customers picked out an inappropriate tile for a job, I'd tell them you can't use that tile in that application. Besides the common sense aspect of this, when the floor goes South, so might the friendship.
I would expect from a friend, who theoretically knows what he's doing, to guide the uninformed so the project is done correctly.
Ron

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Old 03-01-2011, 04:47 PM   #3
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New cabinets, subfloor & install height


I am just the cabinet guy. She picked out the tile at a box store and her dad will install the cement board and tiles, I am staying out of that as I do not intend on wearing the "family counselor" hat.

Wisdom is wasted youth, and the tile is going down regardless of my strong advice against it.

I just don't want the tile to be under the cabs and have deal with a nightmare down the road when its time to replace the floor as I see an impending train wreck. Was just looking for possible alternative ideas.
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Old 03-01-2011, 07:25 PM   #4
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New cabinets, subfloor & install height


In every case, including uneven slate tiles, we install cabinets OVER tile. Then follow up with a base shoe or quarter round to cover any unevenness.

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Old 03-01-2011, 07:40 PM   #5
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New cabinets, subfloor & install height


As sound as Ron's advice is, I can sympathize w/ Ohming. A LOT of people think they know what to choose or how to do it, they saw the last half hour of a DIY show and now have a very inflated opinion of their opinion. Good luck, you're probably stuck either way.
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Old 03-01-2011, 11:17 PM   #6
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I am just the cabinet guy. She picked out the tile at a box store and her dad will install the cement board and tiles, I am staying out of that as I do not intend on wearing the "family counselor" hat.

Wisdom is wasted youth, and the tile is going down regardless of my strong advice against it.

I just don't want the tile to be under the cabs and have deal with a nightmare down the road when its time to replace the floor as I see an impending train wreck. Was just looking for possible alternative ideas.
Okay, I get it.
The cement board should stop at the cabinet front. The floor under the base cabinets should be built up solely by plywood.
Ron
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:54 AM   #7
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Thanks guys. I am reflecting on my own house (made in 67) when I replaced the original plywood cabs a couple years ago. There were 2 layers of added subfloor & linoleum built up around the cabs -- the orange & purple flower power scheme from the 70's was hilarious. It was one of those hidden joys we all find during demolition. Building up the "holes" left by the removed cabs was unpleasant..... There was no way to remove the layers and it is usually easier to build up.
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Old 03-02-2011, 12:17 PM   #8
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There was no way to remove the layers and it is usually easier to build up.
Two issues with that statement. One, it's not true. All you need to do is cut it up into small sections and pry it out with a crowbar. When doing a kitchen, I would never leave multiple layers of old flooring. I'd remove it and inspect the original subfloor for issues.
The second reason is that most of the time ceramic tiles go down in the kitchen and an archeological layering of floors is not compatible with a successfull tile job.
Ron
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Old 03-02-2011, 12:24 PM   #9
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New cabinets, subfloor & install height


Not sure why anyone would want to go through all the work of installing cabinets first and then tiling up to them? Just in case the person ever remodels and changes the floor?

For me, it would be a lot of additional work and cutting, not to mention a lot more risk of damaging the cabinetry when installing tile backer and tile and when grouting/sealing.

Jason Myrlie
www.jcarstenhomes.com
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Old 03-02-2011, 01:55 PM   #10
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New cabinets, subfloor & install height


Agreed Ron, I was going to have plywood only footprinting the cabs, perhaps I will do that after all. But it is a little unfair to speculate that 2 layers of subfloor can be removed easily without seeing the job site first. This would entail me removing trim from 7 doors down an L shaped adjoing hallway and replacing the oak trim because they are now too short and repainting as well, as the hall and more are all at the same level -- far easier to fill the holes.

Carsten, I would speculate that flooring is changed 3 times as often as cabinets, but the the best laid plans ......

Cheers guys
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:18 PM   #11
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Agreed Ron, I was going to have plywood only footprinting the cabs, perhaps I will do that after all. But it is a little unfair to speculate that 2 layers of subfloor can be removed easily without seeing the job site first. This would entail me removing trim from 7 doors down an L shaped adjoing hallway and replacing the oak trim because they are now too short and repainting as well, as the hall and more are all at the same level -- far easier to fill the holes.

Carsten, I would speculate that flooring is changed 3 times as often as cabinets, but the the best laid plans ......

Cheers guys
I've worked on at least 100 kitchens in 30 years. I doubt yours is the exception to the rule.
The difference is that I'm working for people who expect me to do the correct job. As a person doing work in your own home, you decide what you're going to do or not going to do, based on convienence. If an issue comes up later you can just shrug your shoulders.
Homeowners take shortcuts all the time due to either a lack of time, a lack a money or a lack of expertise. It's your house, you can do what you want.
All I do is offer an opinion, based upon my experience in the field.
Ron


Last edited by Ron6519; 03-02-2011 at 03:36 PM.
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