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Old 08-01-2010, 02:51 PM   #1
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Cabinets or floor first?

The situation: Redoing a kitchen. Demo done. Need advice on flooring.

There are two layers of previous flooring. The top is a typical sheet vinyl. The bottom would have been original with the house built in 1953. I donít know what it is but itís really glued down. I donít know if I could get it off if I had to. Itís almost like a hard rubber(?)

The top layer peels off but leaves a white layer of paper that, again, is really glued down.

The floor exposed under the old cabinets is the original subfloor. There was no tile under the cabinets, so the part of the floor they sat on is about an eighth-inch lower than the floor that was tiled.

I want to finish the floor with a grouted tile of some sort (ceramic etc).

Options Iím considering:
  • Put down ľ-inch underlayment over entire floor (What about that 1/8-inch height difference where the cabinets were?)
  • Install cabinets first. They would take up that lower subfloor space. Then put down the underlayment up to the new cabinet bases.
  • Any other methods of handling this?


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Old 08-01-2010, 03:35 PM   #2
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You have to be careful when you leave old finish flooring in place. Ceramic tile needs a stable solid base. If any of the floors are spongy or ,"give" the tile will not last.
I tile the entire foor and put the cabinets on top of the tile.


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Old 08-01-2010, 04:56 PM   #3
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I personally would put the cabinets in first. Otherwise, if the tile would ever need to come out, you will have a mess. The only flooring I would ever put under cabinets is vinyl.
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Old 08-01-2010, 05:02 PM   #4
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I always do the floor first--just like Ron---full under the cabinets.

I find it to be much faster--a better install --less chance of height problems with dishwasher and fridge

Faster and neater,no question in my mind.---Mike---
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Old 08-05-2010, 10:15 AM   #5
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Two schools of thought... Personal choice. Builders typically set cabinets and then tile. Less material equals less dollars. There shouldn't be a problem with height problems with fridge, stove and DW as these items need tile under them. It is easier to tile a room without anything in it. Much fewer cuts. It's pretty much a cost deal. But as Rusty says, if you EVER want to change the flooring you've got some extra work to perform...
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Old 08-06-2010, 09:07 AM   #6
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My opinion - easier to tile the whole thing first. However, the bigger issue if the floor prep as Ron mentioned. Tiling over the existing vinyl and associated support for the vinyl flooring is not advised. You have got to get down to the original subfloor then go from there - add additional layer of plywood, underlayment as needed. If you had vinyl then you likely have that on 1/4 ply: maybe multiple layers depending on how many floor were put down - looking at the edge where the cabinets were might help determine what you have on top of the subfloor. Anyway, all this needs to come up and you need to get down to the subfloor: If the material is old be VERY careful as it may contain asbestos and proper precautions would need to be taken before removing. You should also know you joist specs, spacing, and unsupported span as this will determine "flex" in the floor as well.


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