When renovating or building a new kitchen, one question that often comes up is whether the kitchen flooring should go under cabinets. This is an important consideration because it affects the overall look of the kitchen and can impact the functionality of the space. In this blog post, we’ll explore the answer to this question and discuss the reasons why you should or should not install flooring under your kitchen cabinets.
What is the Standard Practice?
The standard practice for kitchen renovations is to install the cabinets before the flooring. This is because it allows the cabinets to be properly leveled and secured to the subfloor, which ensures a stable and level base for the cabinets.
When the cabinets are installed first, the flooring can be cut and fitted around the cabinets, leaving a small gap between the cabinets and the flooring. This gap can be covered by a shoe molding or other trim, creating a finished look.
However, if you are doing a complete kitchen remodel and plan to replace both your cabinets and flooring, installing the flooring first may be a viable option. In this case, you’ll want to work closely with your contractor to ensure that the flooring is properly installed and that the cabinets are leveled and secured on top of the flooring.
Ultimately, the decision to install flooring or cabinets first will depend on your specific project needs and goals. It’s important to consult with a professional contractor to determine the best course of action for your kitchen renovation.
Pros of Installing Flooring Under Cabinets
Installing flooring under your kitchen cabinets has several advantages that can make it a smart choice for your kitchen renovation project. Here are some of the pros of installing flooring under your kitchen cabinets:
A Finished Look
Installing flooring under your cabinets creates a seamless look throughout your kitchen. This is especially important if you have an open-concept kitchen that flows into other areas of your home. With the flooring continuing under your cabinets, your kitchen will look more polished and cohesive.
Easier to Clean
When your flooring goes under your cabinets, there are no visible gaps or seams between the cabinets and the flooring. This makes cleaning your kitchen much easier, as there are no hard-to-reach corners or edges where dirt and debris can accumulate.
Saves Time and Money
Installing flooring under your cabinets can save you time and money in the long run. If you ever need to replace your flooring, having it installed under your cabinets means you won’t have to remove your cabinets or appliances to do so. Not only can you save a lot of time and money, you can avoid any potential damage to your cabinets.
Provides a Stable Base
When you install your cabinets, they can shift or become uneven over time, which can be a problem if you want to replace your cabinets or make other changes to your kitchen. When you install your flooring first, you create a stable base for your cabinets that will help keep them level and in place.
Offers Design Flexibility
Installing flooring under your cabinets provides greater design flexibility. You can choose to have your flooring continue throughout your entire kitchen, or you can choose to have a different type of flooring under your cabinets for added visual interest.
Cons of Installing Flooring Under Cabinets
While there are several advantages to installing flooring under your kitchen cabinets, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider. Here are some of the cons of installing flooring under your kitchen cabinets:
More Difficult to Install Cabinets
Installing cabinets on top of the flooring can be more challenging and time-consuming than installing them on bare subfloor. It may require more effort to level the cabinets, and you may need to make adjustments to the flooring to ensure a proper fit.
Increases Cost of Flooring
If you’re installing new flooring, installing it under your cabinets will require more flooring material, which can increase the overall cost of your project. This can be especially true if you’re using high-end or expensive flooring materials.
Difficult to Access Plumbing and Electrical
If you ever need to access plumbing or electrical wiring that runs under your cabinets, you’ll need to remove the cabinets and flooring first. This can be a time-consuming and disruptive process that could require additional work to repair or replace any damaged flooring.
Potential for Damage
Installing cabinets on top of the flooring can cause damage to the flooring over time. The weight of the cabinets, as well as any heavy appliances or items stored in the cabinets, can cause the flooring to shift, buckle or become damaged.
Not Recommended for All Flooring Types
While some types of flooring, such as vinyl and tile, can be installed under cabinets without issue, other types of flooring, such as hardwood or engineered wood, may not be recommended for this installation method. Installing these types of flooring under your cabinets can void the manufacturer’s warranty and may result in damage to the flooring over time.
Bring Your Dream Kitchen to Life
So, does kitchen flooring go under cabinets? The answer is that it depends on the type of flooring you’re installing and your personal preference. In most cases, it’s best to install the flooring first, as this provides a more finished look and makes it easier to install and level the cabinets. However, there are situations where installing the flooring after the cabinets may be more practical. Ultimately, the decision comes down to what works best for your specific situation and design preferences.
If you are looking to remodel your kitchen near the Greensboro, North Carolina area, contact us at Kitchen Express. We are the Triad’s #1 kitchen remodeling professionals, and have over 20 years of experience making dream kitchens a reality.