kitchen cabinets or flooring first?


I'm in the process of remodeling the lower level of the house with the focus on remodeling the kitchen. I plan to install wood flooring over my on grade concrete slab. Most likely an engineered floating floor (although I have toyed with a glue down). So my question for the group is should I install wall to wall flooring and then set cabinets on top?
Or cabinets on concrete and run flooring up to the cabinet?
I was going to do the latter, I thought way pay for flooring that nobody sees. But I've built a kitchen island (60x30") that is a "furniture look" and is cabinets supported by legs at each corner (and hidden center leg). Consequently you can see under it somewhat (legs are about 2" tall) so the flooring has be run under it. And since I haven't decided on a flooring yet I don't know the final thickness. So if I put the other cabinets on the concrete I need to compensate in the
height to match the flooring thickness to get the island and cabinets the same height. So I thought heck with it, make them all the same height and set them on a finished floor. I've heard of people doing so but wanted to get the groups opinion. Any real down sides? Does it effect the ability of a floating floor to expand/contract? Thanks! Mark
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Mark wrote:

If you have legs on the island, then you better put a floor underneath it. Think about how difficult it's going to be to clean under that island if you don't. (You'd have a nice hole there for dirt and crap to collect in).
We're only talking about an additional 15 sq ft of flooring, right? Do the job right, the cost is negligible compared to the total cost of the project.
Oh yeah, I just saw that you had a center leg in the island.. You don't want to have to shim that (or make it longer), do you? Put floor under the whole island and don't worry about it.
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He wasn't asking if he should put flooring under the island, he was asking if he should put flooring under the rest of cabinets. If he doesnt putt flooring under the rest of the cabinets, he will have to shim the cabinets so they will be the same height as the island.
My recommendation is to put flooring under all of the cabinets. Save the short/bad peices to go under the cabinets. If someone ever wants to replace the cabinets, it will make the job easier for them.
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"Mark" wrote in message

I have to make the decision a couple of times a year and always put the cabinets on top of the installed floor.
We generally put hardwood floors in our combined kitchen/family areas and with a concrete slab, we put our hardwood floors on 2 x 2 screeds of top of tar, so the little bit extra cost to install hardwood floors wall to wall before the cabinets go in is more than made up for by the ease of cabinet fabrication/installation.
It's also a good way to get rid of those less than perfect pieces that you paid for, but would otherwise end up in the dumpster.
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I assume you're referring to new construction where the foundation design and concrete pour has allowed for the two [and whatever] inch difference in floor level (vs. tiled or carpeted areas). In the remodels we've been doing, new hardwoods have run from $7 to $9/sq.ft. depending on whether new screeds are required or if the new floor is over an existing wood subfloor (such as our current Montrose project). What we have done isput down 3/4 inch CDX under the cabinet layout saving 20 or 30 sq. ft. times $7 though I do admit that we've never really considered some future remodel that could alter the cabinet layout.
We've done it both ways; some clients have actually liked those "less than perfect" pieces" and, in fact, our flooring sub takes pains to find salvaged pieces for older homes with existing hardwoods in order to more likely match other areas of the house.

Or burn them in your shop heater.
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"New Wave" Dave In Houston



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"New Wave Dave" wrote in message

You have a shop heater? ... in Houston??
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I do! It's a heat lamp though I use it mostly to help dry finishes.
I may still have the same ash pile in my house fireplace box from, oh, five, six years ago.
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"New Wave" Dave In Houston



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Mark wrote:

Tough call, the cabinets setting on top of the floating floor would restrict movement so what to do?
Shim the cabinets up so the floor can go under slightly? Difficult to do since the sides of the cabinets are only 3/4 unless you put blocking for the shims. Your shoe moulding will also need to be wide enough for the floor to expand & contract without showing a gap.
Don't forget to consider the height of the flooring and dishwasher installation & removal. You need enough clearance to pull it out.
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<<Most likely an engineered floating floor (although I have toyed with a glue down). So my question for the group is should I install wall to wall flooring and then set cabinets on top?
Or cabinets on concrete and run flooring up to the cabinet?>>
If it were me, I'd install the floor first. It will be a hell of a lot easier to install the floor in a big empty space than to have to fit it around all the cabinets. And since you have to allow a small gap for expansion along all sides of the floor, you would have to install the toe kicks after the floor went down in order to cover the gaps. IMO, whatever extra cost you incur for the materials would by outweighed by the time and labor savings of simplifying the floor installation.
Lee
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Cabinets first, properly shimmed and leveled. Run the shoe molding around the walls and continue it around the ends and toe kick area of the cabinet.
Put flooring under the furniture style island.
Reason, if you ever want to change out the floor but not the cabinets it will be difficult to make a clean cut at the edge of the cabinets if you run it under them. Also, good flooring is expensive, why waste the money, spend it on one grade better flooring or countertop.
At least that is how I would do it.
Frank
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Mark wrote:

I know a lot of folks who would recommend against putting wood over an on-grade concrete slab. Unless the slab is very well drained underneath and waterproofed very well, the wood will end up absorbing moisture that passes through the slab.
I would not recommend putting cabinets on the slab - lay the whole floor and put the cabinets on top. If you've ever renovated a kitchen where someone did a partial floor and the new cabinets have a slightly different footprint, you'll know what a pain it is. Do it right and put in a full floor.
Mike
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"Michael Daly" wrote in message

If that's the case there would be no hardwood floors in the majority of houses in the south for the last 30 years, because that's when most tract builder's quit building on crawlspaces and started using concrete slabs.
Nothing wrong with hardwood floors over a concrete slab as long as it is done properly - a feat neither difficult, nor expensive.
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when you take into account the extra labour to cut the flooring around the cabinets I find there is very little real difference in the cost either way. So why not just put the floors in first when its easy and put the cabinets on top so if there is ever a change in the cabinet lay out there wont be a need for a whole new floor.
Doug

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My center island didn't have legs, so I ran the flooring a few inches under the island and cabinet kick panels, and shimmed the backs and edges of the cabinets during installation. With your situation, I'd recommend running the floor completely under the island (as someone has already pointed out, it will make cleaning a LOT easier), but only extending the floor a few inches beyond the cabinet kick panels. You're going to have to shim the cabinets to maintain level no matter what you do, so I don't see the point to wasting money on flooring that you'll never see. But it is your money....
BruceT

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No experience with floors, but I do know the bottom line is money. There's countless instances where labour costs easily overshadow product costs. Between islands, cabinets and other types of kitchen furniture, it makes sense to me that doing an entire floor could be much faster than taking the time to cut flooring to fit irregular patterns.
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Just a thought... Since you haven't picked a floor style yet, get a bid for tile... I haven't seen one of those 'floating' floor installations older than five years that didn't have permenant damage...and ya can't fix it.
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