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Fat b 01-25-2007 12:26 PM

My Kitchen Floor-Problems!!! Please Help!!!
Here's the situation. I recently bought a house that needed a total kitchen remodel. I ripped out the cabinets and the flooring (all put in around 1962) and now I have a concrete slab to work with. (there is no basement or crawlspace underneath) The area is 45' long; 17' of which is 10 feet wide. The remaining 28 feet is 14' wide.

To make things more complicated I have hot water base board heaters that run under the concrete. The heaters were positioned based on the last floor which was 1" thick tile. The shroud (covers) to the heaters cannot be raised any because of the large picture windows that line one of the walls. The shrouds are as high as they can go. Because the heaters cannot be raised I'm limited in how high of a floor I can put over my concrete. Also, the way my kitchen will be set up, I will have 6' of penninsula cabinets coming out from the wall to seperate the kitchen from the dining room.

This is where I don't know what to do. I've purchased laminate to over most of the room. The original plan was to lay a subfloor down over the existing tile, lay sheet vinyl where the cabinets are going to go, then lay laminate down in the rest of the room. This didn't work since I wasn't able to adhere the subfloor down to the tile good enough. It was then I decided to rip out all of the tile which was a chore in itself.

So now here is what I'm left with. A lot of laminate, enough sheet vinyl for 1/2 of the room, a whole garage full of cabinates and appliances and a bare concrete floor. I see several options but I don't know which is the best one. Putting 6 mil plastic down will involved in almost all of the options.

1. Lay laminate over the entire floor, then put my kitchen cabinets over the laminate. I wouldn't adhere the cabinets to the laminate so the laminate could float a little if it wanted to. Several people have suggested this method. This would be the easiest option by far. The drawback to this is I'm not sure how the penninsula would fair not being attached to the ground. Several people have said this wouldn't be a problem since I will have counter top connecting everything and the cabinets will be attached to cabinets attached to the wall. I'm also worried about the laminate floor being able to float but if the cabinets arn't attached, I think the floor should be o.k. The other drawback is if the floor needs to be taken up for any reason then I'll have to cut the floor around the cabinets or remove the cabinets with the floor.

2. Put my cabinets down then lay the laminate floor around the cabinets. This method would be a lot harder to do than option #1. Since the room isn't perfectly rectangular and the cabinets are going to come out with a penninsula, I'm a little wary of making all of the specialized pieces needed to fully go around the cabinets. Also, the reason I have to rip out the floor is the last guy put in cabinets and tiled around the cabinets with the cabinets in wierd positions. I think if I do the same thing I'm going to run in problems down the road. The next set of cabinets either better be the perfect size and in the correct position or I'm going to have a really rough time trying to match up the correct laminate and making it look good. With this option I can attch the cabinets to the floor but I'm also not really sure how to do this.

3. Lay down a subfloor complete with sleepers. With this option I could still lay sheet vinyl down for the kitchen and put the cabinets over the sheet vinyl. Then the laminate would go over 1/2 of the room like the original plan. This plan is good since it would create a better feeling floor, give me something to attach the cabinets to on the floor and allow me to use the sheet vinyl. The drawback to this plan is the isn't enough room for my base board heaters which can't be raised. so my floor is going to come up past the back of the shroud by 1/3 inch so if they ever need to be removed in the future, it won't be pretty. Also, the shroud is meant to have a certain gap so the heaters work correctly which I would be messign with. This will also take me the longest and since my wife has been without a kitchen for a couple months she's not crazy about this idea.

So which option would be the best and is there any options that I'm not thinking of?

Thank you for reading my long explaination! Different people tell me different things. One person says don't put cabinets on the floating floor while others say it's o.k. Some say if I want to do it right I need a subfloor over the concrete while others say to lay the laminate on the concrete. I'm almost at my whits end here.

Anything anyone can suggest would be verrrrry helpful.

Brik 01-25-2007 02:20 PM

Wow, long post.

I would take this approach...
What look do you want? Do you want the vinyl/laminate combo? Do you want laminate everywhere? Do you want vinyl everywhere?

Pick your end game first. We can make any end game work with your cabinets AND with your clearance issues. Once you decide on the look you want then we can discuss the best way to proceed. If you don't pick your end game then you will have too many things to consider.

Costs will all be relatively close. Ease of install will all be similar. PLUS, no compromises need to be made on doing it right.

Fat b 01-25-2007 02:42 PM

LOL! Yes the post was extrememly long. I guess I've been thinkng about it so much that when I started typing it turned out to be very long by the time I was done typing.

One of the problems that I have is I don't really care if I have laminate or vinyl in the kitchen. Right now I'm aiming for ease and completion but not if it sacrifices doing it right.

Brik 01-25-2007 03:21 PM

Option two if you like laminates but you will need to learn how to make the cuts. No big deal.

Option one - You could attach the cabinets to the floor through the laminate. The laminate would expand and contract toward the outside edges.

Option 3 but with no sleepers to avoid the clearance issues.

Option 4 - tile, under the cabinets.

Option 5 - Some combination

Which would I do? Hmmm. I think I would go option 4. For speed and ease I would do option 3 w/o sleepers. Glue 3/4 exterior, a/c if possible, B/C if you must, directly to the concrete then lay the best vinyl you can buy over that. You may need to skim the seams with a leveling compound so they don't telegraph through the floor.

Now your floor is done, you can install the cabinets and appliances on top plus you do not have any clearance issues. Tile would have the same benefits.

I was just reading about gluing ply to concrete. This could be a good underlayment for your vinyl.

I think your objectives should be the following.
1- Attach that peinisula to the floor
2- allow for clearance and airspace under the baseboard heat
3- get it done quickly to save your marriage and your sanity

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