Your Guide to Cabinet and Flooring Installation: Which One Should Be Installed First?

Installing new induction hob in modern kitchen cabinets installation

If you are going to install new cabinets and replace the flooring in your kitchen, you may wonder: Does it matter which one I do first? The answer may surprise you. Keep reading to find out which one should come first and what to do if you can’t do it in that order. Then contact Cabinet Magic at 833-251-6317 if you would like to set up an appointment to learn more.

Lay Your Floating Floor Last if You Can

Many people assume that it makes more sense to install the flooring first so that they do not have to cut it to fit the toe-kick. However, while it may be easier to do it this way, it is not the better option. Floating wooden floors must be free to expand and contract as the temperature and humidity changes. If it has large, heavy cabinets on top of it, it cannot do that.

It is also true that you will have a difficult time cutting out the strips under the cabinets if you need to replace your flooring – you will end up spaying money on a surface that you literally never see. If you install cabinets after the flooring is there, you may scratch your new floor too. These are just some of the reasons we recommend installing your cabinets first but if that is not possible then you are not completely out of luck.

How to Install Flooring First

If, for some reason, you need to install your flooring first, there are a few things you can do to make the project as simple as possible. First, put your base cabinets in place and mark a line on your subflooring that shows where the front edge of the toekick will go. Take out the cabinets and screw plywood fillers pieces to the subfloor – about .5 inches inside the line – to show where it will be beneath the cabinets. This piece should be at least a few inches wide and about 1/8 inches thicker than the thickness of the flooring – including the thickness of cushions or vapor barriers.

Then screw a strip of the same thickness to the floor next to the wall. Install your flooring about .25 inches from the first filler strip. You can then install the cabinets on both of the strips and attacks your toe kicks. This allows the flooring to expand under the toe kick without showing a gap.

The Best Option: Let Us Take Care of the Installation and Much More

Of course, if you work with your local cabinet and flooring installation specialist, you will not have to worry about which option to install first or how to make allowances. You just have to worry about choosing the right company – and you have already found us. Contact Cabinet Magic at 833-251-6317 now if you have questions or would like to learn more about what we can do for you.