There are several problems with installing base cabinets before the flooring:
It's *much* easier to install the flooring if you don't have to cut it to fit
Installing flooring wall-to-wall, before the cabinets go in, provides much
better protection from spilled liquids (and easier cleanup besides).
Some time in the future, that kitchen is going to get remodeled again. Next
time around, the arrangement of the cabinets may be different. If you've laid
the floor covering wall-to-wall, it can remain (if it's still in good shape)
or new floor covering can be laid directly over it. But if you've cut it to
fit the cabinets, it will have to be removed, and probably the underlayment
along with it, making the job a *lot* bigger than it needs to be.
It doesn't matter nearly as much with the wall cabinets: they can go up before
the floor covering is laid, but they get in the way when you're running a
floor roller over the floor.
IMO the easiest order is floor, wall cabinets, base cabinets.
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There can be a problem with respect to the dish washer. Buy some cheap tile
or what ever your flooring is going to be and put it down where the dish
washer and cabinets will be to raise the floor to the approximate level that
your finished floor will be at and set the cabinets/dish washer on that. If
you put the new floor around the cabinets removing or replacing some dish
washers will be very hard to get past that lip that the new floor presents.
Just make sure you will have the height you need for your dishwasher,
compactor or any other undercounter appliance, after the finished
flooring goes in. You might need to fur up the base cabinets to get the
height you need..
shim under the cabs to the thickness of your flooring and run flooring
into dishwasher pocket. you will need the hight to get the dishwasher
in and you will need flooring under the dishwasher in order to get it
out one day.
If you are going back with just vinyl you will probably be okay at the
dishwasher. But if the flooring is thicker than that, turn the
cabinets over and add firing strips to the bottom of the cabinets the
same thickness as your new flooring (including the thickness of any
underlayment that might be needed). You will probably have to use
shoe around the cabinets to cover where the flooring meets the
cabinets anyway so any gaps will be covered then.
We often have to do this in new homes when tile is used in the
kitchen. The tile guys use a concrete board underlayment that is
sometimes 1/2" thick and then the tile which can be anywhere from 1/4
to 1/2". If you don't do something the dishwasher will not slide
under the cabinets.
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