Tile or Cabinets, which first?


I am remodeling my kitchen. I have installed new subflooring and am ready to install either the tile flooring or base cabinets. I have searched other web sites and it became evident that my questions answer is split between pros and novices. Your opinions will decide.
--
Oden

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Oden writes:

There are good reasons for either method. Weigh those reasons and decide which works better for your application, skill, and equipment.
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I have been in the construction business for many years now and we have always set the cabinets first.
We like the finish floor to be just about the last thing install as a way of protecting it from construction mishaps.
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I did the cabinets first too but wonder if it was better the other around considering all the time taken to trim all the floor tile pieces around the cabinets and island. Didn't have to fill in all the tiles under the cabinets, just under the edges so there wouldn't be much tile wasted but would save a lot of time.
If you do the cabinets first, don't you need to know how thick the flooring is going to and shim up the base cabinets accordantly? Otherwise, you could possibly end up with the finished floor 1" higher than the subfloor and the dishwasher won't fit under the cabinet or the slide in range too high? Just a question.
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# Fred # wrote:

Time isn't the issue, the issue is what is right to do.
> If you do the cabinets first, don't you need to know how thick the flooring

The original poster said the subfloor is installed and he's ready for tile, so the floor shouldn't be raised more than the thickness of a tile.

The adjustment feet of the dishwasher and range and precalculated height of a standard cabinet should make it all work out- never had a problem in my experience with the exception of very thick Mexican tiles, which can be over an inch thick. In the rare cases of Mexican tile going in, we'd have the cabinet people set the cabinets up on 3/4" plywood strips to compensate for the thick tiles.
Here's why you do the cabinets first...... First, so the cabinet people don't work over top of a brand new tile floor. Grout can get dirty, and tiles shouldn't be worked on for several days after installation. Cabinets get dragged around and any sand on the floor can scratch tile as a cabinet drags over it. Cabinet people will lay their tools and equipment all over the new tile. Secondly is the floor level. The cabinets presumedly will be leveled with shims. This will leave varied gaps under the finished cabinets. The tile butting up-to the cabinets will hide these uneven gaps because the gaps will most likely be smaller than the tile height.
It's not against the law to do the tile first, but in all the new construction jobs I've done, it was 'cabinets first' for the above reasons.
thetiler
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| | # Fred # wrote: | > I did the cabinets first too but wonder if it was better the other around | > considering all the time taken to trim all the floor tile pieces around the | > cabinets and island. Didn't have to fill in all the tiles under the | > cabinets, just under the edges so there wouldn't be much tile wasted but | > would save a lot of time. | | Time isn't the issue, the issue is what is right to do. | | > If you do the cabinets first, don't you need to know how thick the | flooring | > is going to and shim up the base cabinets accordantly? | | The original poster said the subfloor is installed and he's | ready for tile, so the floor shouldn't be raised more than | the thickness of a tile. | | > Otherwise, you could | > possibly end up with the finished floor 1" higher than the subfloor and the | > dishwasher won't fit under the cabinet or the slide in range too high? Just | > a question. | | The adjustment feet of the dishwasher and range and precalculated | height of a standard cabinet should make it all work out- never had | a problem in my experience with the exception of very thick Mexican | tiles, which can be over an inch thick. In the rare cases of Mexican | tile going in, we'd have the cabinet people set the cabinets up on | 3/4" plywood strips to compensate for the thick tiles. | | Here's why you do the cabinets first...... | <snipped the stupid comments> <left in the good advice> | | It's not against the law to do the tile first, but in all the | new construction jobs I've done, it was 'cabinets first'
| thetiler
actually you NEVER tile first the weight of the cabinets with countertops (especially natural stone) will crack the new tiles.
Proper way to install floor tile in kitchen or bathroom.
install cabinets, leaving off the toekick tile floor and appliance cavities. grout floor tiles install finished toe kick.
make sure subflooring (cement board) is installed before cabinets get installed.
how was that "thetiler" I left in your good advice this time
|
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clipped

Weight of the cabinets? That, especially, does not make sense. What about the fridge? The weight of the cabinets is spread out, and there is no "give" beneath them. Just for the sake of argument, I would tile the entire floor just because I like the idea better. If I have a leaky sink or appliance, it seems it would be best to keep water from getting under the tile? Tile first, and after all is done, caulk around the baseboards (being very careful not to muck up the grout lines). That little feature was in a previous home, and so I caulked after our LR/DR were tiled.
If a cabinet installer is dropping tools onto a new tile floor, he can anticipate not being paid until damage he does is repaired. And he would not be at work in my home unless I was watching.
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Norminn wrote:

Dolthead wrote:

This is why one should refrain from posting when one has no clue what they're saying. Dolt thinks the psi from the cabinets and tops is greater than the psi of a small refrigerator wheel on the tile.
Dolt should stick to installing cabinets or basketweaving or whatever he does, and stay out of the tile threads. Plus he's not being helpful, an important reason to be posting here.
thetiler
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clipped

I hadn't noticed the source was "Dolt", or I would not have responded. I think he locked the babysitter in the closet, 'cause mommy and daddy won't let him play with it.
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how the heck could you not notice it was"thedolt" it is right there in front of your eyes stop replying to it you will only encourage it to keep doing it it is following me like my shadow. I have no more private time please norminn, check on mother, I will wait here
| clipped | > | >>>actually | >>>you NEVER tile first | >>>the weight of the cabinets with countertops (especially natural stone) | >>>will crack the new tiles. | >> | >>Weight of the cabinets? That, especially, does not make sense. What | >>about the fridge? The weight of the cabinets is spread out, and there | >>is no "give" beneath them. | > | > | > This is why one should refrain from posting when one | > has no clue what they're saying. Dolt thinks the psi from | > the cabinets and tops is greater than the psi of a small | > refrigerator wheel on the tile. | > | > Dolt should stick to installing cabinets or basketweaving | > or whatever he does, and stay out of the tile threads. | > Plus he's not being helpful, an important reason to be | > posting here. | > | > thetiler | > | | I hadn't noticed the source was "Dolt", or I would not have responded. | I think he locked the babysitter in the closet, 'cause mommy and daddy | won't let him play with it.
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I'd put the cabinets in first...just because it'll make your kitchen usable that much quicker and save you on tile.
That's the way I did my kitchen, anyhow... and it's decent. Nothing compared to what thetiler rants about...he probably wears a cape to the jobsite that has a "tt" iron-on because he's just that good.
Though sometimes, he's right... he did point out that "i'm an idiot" after posting a question about paint. I guess he's thepainter...but maybe only in the virtual world.
Thanks for your help tiler guy, hope people poke fun at you for asking questions sometime...then you'll know what it feels like. Just because you do this stuff for a living doesn't mean you have to pick on those of us who don't.
Jason "the idiot" Valley Center, KS
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the sagacious dolt wrote:

Stick to cabinet installing. With tiles fastened to a concrete slab with thinset, a car in the kitchen wouldn't crack them, let alone a couple hundred pounds of cabinets and tops. The PSI of cabinets and stone tops wouldn't be near what the PSI of a human is.
Actually there are circumstances where tile goes in first (a real professional would have experienced this). Sometimes in a new construction situation the cabinets are going to be weeks late, yet the tilework is holding up the job. The job super may have the tile put down and cover it so the scheduled remaining work can continue. Like I said, it's not a law to do cabinets first, just the best way.

Amazing the information one can find with Google.

Not being a wet area, cement board may not be necessary, but every homeowner/handyman/know-it-all thinks it is.

Good thing you left in my advice so the OP can judge who is the real contractor here.
thetiler
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If cement board is not required, what do you use as an underlayment? Or do you just lay the tile directly under the subfloor without any underlayment?
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# Fred # wrote:

The completed floor must be at least 1 1/4" thick to be tiled properly. Often a homeowner will lay tile directly over the sole 3/4" plywood floor. There must be no flexing so everything must be glued/screwed tightly or the tile will pop loose or crack.
That said, assuming the original floor was typical 3/4" construction, the homeowner could glue and screw 1/2" exterior grade (cdx) plywood to the 3/4" floor and end up with the required 1 1/4" floor needed to receive tile.
If the floor is not a bathroom, and is always temperature controlled, plywood is a fine subflooring material (exterior grade only). The principle reason to use cementboard is that it's dimensionally stable- it won't expand and contract so is more suitable in a home that might get temperature extremes like up north, particularly if the home is allowed to get cold inside, then heated up in the day.
My experience is in SW Florida so the only expansion/contraction issues I deal with are exterior applications where it can be in the 40's at night and go up to the 80's in the day.
thetiler
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Oden wrote:

Cabinets first. If you tile first your going to end up with a lot of expensive tile underneath cabinets.
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wrote:

And in a dishwasher space; fowling up the already close fit. -- Oren
"Well, it doesn't happen all the time, but when it happens, it happens constantly."
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Oren wrote:

Tile first, then place protection over tiles to prevent damage from other workers.
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| | | | Tile first, then place protection over tiles to prevent damage from | other workers. |
now your changing your story 1st it was cabinets first now you say tile first you are very confusing and annoying
64.136.26.228
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I drop the cabinets, THEN do the tile. Tiling under them is a waste of time and materials ($$) I tile partway under the D/W, stopping behind where the D/W kickplate will sit (before the front "legs"/rollers) Tile under the fridge and in any W.I. pantries or closets.
R
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