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.