Many posts on this topic recommend laminate to the cabinets, shims to
keep cabinet height same as it would be if laminate to the wall.
Problems with dishwasher installations and service a re cited as one
reason to do so. HTH
I just dropped in here for this very same question, then did a search
for 'flooring under cabinets'.
One interesting suggestion was to cover the cut-out area where the
cabinets will be placed with pylwood of equivalent thickness to
provide for a smooth transition for pulling out appliances.
Good. Further, I'd laminate under the cabinets and inch or so - whatever's
convenient - then set the cabinets on top. This will save bunches of cutting
and trimming of the laminate in trying to dodge the woodwork.
Six of one, half a dozen of the other. Why pay for floor you will never
see? But the flip side of that, is if you are paying somebody to do the
install, doing all the cuts and fitting around the cabinet bases can be
a PITA. If you are doing the work yourself, you will have to judge what
your time is worth.
Not that I would actually install laminate in a kitchen, but if I was in
your situation, I'd split the difference- diagram out very carefully
where the cabinets will land, and install laminate just past that line.
Fill the void with something cheap of the same height. If you have a
dishwasher, good luck- they always leak eventually, and laminate does
not handle leaks from the side very well. (does anyone make catch basins
for DWs like they do for washing machines?) At a minimum, I'd caulk the
heck out of the lower edges in the dishwasher space, and see if there
was some way to invisibly seal all the joints for several feet in front.
There is a reason people quit using wood or wood-derived flooring in
kitchens and bathrooms.
But some laminate is NOT wood. It's plastic. And impervious to water (also
spears, fuming Nitric Acid, dog poo, motor oil, bullets, freezing, roller
skates, and rabid squirrels). It is, however, vulnerable to flame.
The actual laminate in use can be tested by immersing a sliver in water for
a few days and see if it swells, cracks, or otherwise goes bad.
I don't think even floating floors scoot all over the place. If the floor
has an urge to move - and the cabinets are anchored to the wall - the floor
will either slide or figure moving is too much trouble and give up on the
I really don't want to copy & paste basic installation for floating floors.
But in a nut shell, a floating floor will buckle or come apart at the
seams, if it is anchored. That is why it is a "floating" floor.
The floor must be able to expand & contract with changes in humidity.
It is much wiser to follow manufacturer instructions, and see what voids a
warranty, than just figuring this way or that way.
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