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Old 10-03-2009, 10:24 AM   #1
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tile or cabinets

do you install tile floor before you install kitchen cabinets or after?
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Old 10-03-2009, 11:25 AM   #2
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If tile goes in first :
  • It's much easier than doing cuts up to and around the cabinets.
  • If you are hiring out the tile work it will probably be cheaper
  • You don't have to allow for the flooring thichness when you set the cabinets
  • Some tile is wasted as hidden under the cabinets
If cabinets go in first:
  • You have to cut and trim around the cabinets
  • You can save on some tile material costs
  • If you ever want to remove the tile, it's not under the edges of the cabinets
  • You need to space the cabinets up to allow for the floor thickness (if you don't you may have trouble getting the dishwasher slid in)
I recently did my kitchedn and the cabinets went in first. In the end I found it to be a LOT more work. But I like the fact that if i want to change out the floor later i can do so with minimal disturbance to the cabinets. If I were not planning to be in the house many years and possibly wanting to chang the floor was not a consideration, I would lay the tile first.

It bascially comes down to personal preference... Neither way is right or wrong.

Last edited by vsheetz; 10-03-2009 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 10-03-2009, 03:45 PM   #3
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tile first always.It make everything faster and keeps the cabinets at the proper height.

Dish washer and fridge have very little clearance in todays kitchen designs.
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Old 10-04-2009, 06:55 PM   #4
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In new construction and professional remodeling, you will ALMOST NEVER see the tile go in before the cabinets. It does come down to preference, but cabinets typically go in right after sheetrock...The exception being island countertops in some cases.
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Old 10-04-2009, 09:01 PM   #5
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I have argued this many times... and even lost a job over it.

But the benefits of putting the tile in first far outweigh anything you might perceive to be a gain by installing cabinets first.
  • You will level any floor problems with the tile.
  • All "under-counter" appliances will fit easier.
  • No necessity to cut tile perfect at back wall.
  • And all the other things previously mentioned
But here is one of the biggest advantages........

Should you ever have a water leak under the cabinets, if you have created a "sunken pool" area by building a border of tile around the cabinets, you are in trouble.

The cabinets will suck up slow leaks for weeks and months without you ever knowing a thing about it. Before long, you will have not only created a den for mold and fungus, but also just about completely destroyed your cabinets.

With the cabinets sitting on top of your tile, you stand a good chance of seeing that leak running out onto the visible kitchen floor early enough to do something about it before it is too late.
"True eloquence consists in saying all that is necessary, and only that which is."
François Duc de La Rochefoucauld
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Last edited by Willie T; 10-04-2009 at 09:03 PM.
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