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Experienced
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have a debate going in our household. Do the kitchen cabinets need to go in before or after the the tile? Someone is a little concerned that the dishwasher won't fit if the cabinets are put down before the floor. What's the SOP.
 

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That is an age old debate, some say tile first and under the cabinets, some say tile after. Both are right.........or wrong. Tile before wastes tile and time, tile after requires more cutting, but you can still tile under DW. DW are designed to fit with or without flooring.
 

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What is the difference or change in the DW then.
If you don't want to tile under the cabinets, tile under the dishwasher or put in a piece of plywood(same thickness as the tile) so the dishwasher can be slid in and out.
 

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Architect / Carpenter
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Laying the floor tile first allows you to work without the cabinets in the way. Depending on how long you plan to own the home, you may want to consider running the tile under the cabinets. This offers the flexibility of being able to renovate or reconfigure the kitchen without having to re-tile the floor. If you don't want the added time and expense of tiling 'hidden' areas, you can add plywood strips under the base cabinets, and fixtures like the dishwasher, to raise them flush with the finish floor.

I would recommend tile under the sink base cabinet. You never know when you may have to modify the sink base for more accessibility.
 

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I always tile under the cabinets if they aren't installed yet.

Advantages:

Faster
Keeps the cabinets at the right height for appliances
Avoids possibility of damaging cabinets with Durrock--thinset--grout
no cuts showing at base of cabinets

The tile need not extend under the cabinets any more than the length of the uncut tile--if the tile is really expensive.

I hate setting tile and backer board around cabinets----way to easy to damage the cabinets.--Mike--
 

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Coconut Pete's paella!
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We put the tile on 100% of the floor and installed the cabinets over the tile when we redid the kitchen in my parents place - I really like it this way. Dishwasher is an easy in/out and if there is ever a leak, it'll end up on the tile.
 

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Architect / Carpenter
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Tom,

Are you familiar with 'universal design' concepts?

http://buildipedia.com/in-studio/design-news-features/understanding-universal-design

My multi-family senior housing clients actually require finish flooring under the kitchen cabinets. We also spec 42" sink base cabinets that that have doors that slide back into the cabinet and a removeable sink base. This offers the flexibility of 'removing' the cabinet if tenants require greater access to the sink.

With the stagnant housing market making many homeowners think long-term about their living spaces, universal design is a natural fit for aging-in-place ideals.
 
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