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Old 07-19-2015, 01:27 PM   #1
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Flooring before Ikea kitchen cabinets, or after?


Hi all. I am getting close to flooring install. I will be installing an Ikea kitchen (small L-shaped layout in left corner of pic), and am trying to figure out whether to install kitchen base cabinets before flooring... or flooring first and THEN install base cabinets? It seems that the Ikea cabinets are meant to use over finished flooring, on feet, covered/hidden by a toe kick.

I will be installing a floating floor ('hand-scraped appearance' laminate). The room is 22' x 11', and is kitchen open to living area. Jut a small 1+1 weekend cabin. Will installing the cabinets over a floating floor cause issues concerning the expansion and contraction of the floating floor?

Thank you for any info!
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Old 07-19-2015, 01:42 PM   #2
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Flooring before Ikea kitchen cabinets, or after?


It is usually done after and will save you money in materials.

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Old 07-19-2015, 03:30 PM   #3
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Flooring before Ikea kitchen cabinets, or after?


This is a never ending debate----I always do the floor first--yes, a bit more materials, but faster to install the flooring first--fewer cuts--and far easier to install the cabinets--

No filler plywood --less shimming---

It's your call----I doubt if pinning that corner down with the cabinets will be an issue.
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Old 07-19-2015, 03:43 PM   #4
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Flooring before Ikea kitchen cabinets, or after?


I always install the entire floor and put the cabinets on top. The extra cost is not that much.
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Old 07-19-2015, 04:03 PM   #5
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Flooring before Ikea kitchen cabinets, or after?


Floating floor fine, cabinets on top so the floor, clean, nice fit, etc. now if y were stalling 3/4" flooring, you could mark an inch or so behind the toe kick and fill that whole space with 3/4" plywood, but more trouble than it worth unless you are using really expensive flooring. Ron
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Old 07-19-2015, 04:07 PM   #6
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Flooring before Ikea kitchen cabinets, or after?


Thank you, gentleman. Flooring has already been purchased. I bought enough to cover the entire floor plan, so... no worries about material savings.

Another question... living room/kitchen area is above conditioned space (finished office/utility room below), but the hall and back bedroom are above unfinished crawl space. Subfloor is obviously ply (3/4" TXG). Should I use a laminate underlayment with an air/moisture barrier for the whole job? Makes sense.
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Old 07-19-2015, 04:24 PM   #7
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Flooring before Ikea kitchen cabinets, or after?


Best to be cautious---I'd use the better underlayment under the entire floor.
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Old 07-19-2015, 05:24 PM   #8
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Flooring before Ikea kitchen cabinets, or after?


Clarification
I put tile floors, glue down and nailed hardwoods under cabinets. Floating floors need to expand and contract, so they need to be at least 1/4" away from fixed items. Before you install anything under a cabinet, check with the manufacturer about it.
If the floor can't expand it will buckle.
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Old 07-19-2015, 07:51 PM   #9
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Flooring before Ikea kitchen cabinets, or after?


The install notes for this laminate floor call for 5/16" - 3/8" expansion around all fixed objects.

It looks like the Ikea cabinet installation instructions have the base cabinets attached to rails on the walls... with the front legs resting on the floor. Can't tell if there are also rear legs.

I saw that somebody installed their Ikea cabinets by fixing ledger boards to the walls for the rear bottoms of the cabinets to rest on. The adjustable front legs were the only points of weight resting on the finished floor.
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Old 07-19-2015, 10:05 PM   #10
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Flooring before Ikea kitchen cabinets, or after?


It's not just the weight of the cabinets, it's all the stuff that goes into them.
I'd call the floor manufacturer and get their recommendation.
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Old 07-21-2015, 10:48 AM   #11
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Flooring before Ikea kitchen cabinets, or after?


Thank you, Ron.

I called the manufacturer... and they advised not to install the cabinets on the finished laminate. They want cabinets first, then floor up to the cabinets, leaving the usual expansion/contraction gap of 3/8".

If I do install cabinets first, will I be wanting to raise the floor height under the cabinets to match the finished laminate floor height?
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Old 07-21-2015, 11:01 AM   #12
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Flooring before Ikea kitchen cabinets, or after?


Sort of a personal choice. You'll have kick plates under the cabinet so you can't see under there and the kick plates will keep any debris from rolling under there.
If liquid spills and goes under the kick plate, you can easily clean it up by popping off the plate.
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Old 07-28-2015, 10:32 PM   #13
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Flooring before Ikea kitchen cabinets, or after?


From a plumbers perspective- be sure you have room to slide in the dishwasher- 34" is standard height
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Old 07-30-2015, 02:22 PM   #14
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Flooring before Ikea kitchen cabinets, or after?


It depends upon the flooring you are going to choose for your kitchen floor. If you are going for wooden floor then you should complete that first because it’s a tedious task as compared to installation of cabinets. But otherwise also I would suggest go for flowing first and everything afterwards.

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