Should you install flooring or cabinets first?
Fully renovating your kitchen will update the space, add value to your home and appeal to potential buyers. It's a big undertaking, so you want to follow all the right steps to ensure the final results match your original design vision. In the pursuit to create the idea kitchen, you may be wondering whether to install your new cabinets or floors first. Hers's a look at the pros and cons of either order:
Many people like to put in flooring first to avoid having to cut the material around cabinets and appliances. This is the main draw for those who start with floors. What's more, some worry that by installing cabinets first, it will be harder to switch them out in the future, as you'll be stuck with the same cabinet footprint you had before, However, if you're remodeling the kitchen, you're likely doing so in a style you won't want to change later. Finally, putting down beneath base cabinets offers a clean look and saves you from having to install quarter rounds with your cabinets.
Starting with the floors can have many drawbacks. For starters, installin the floors throughout the kitchen, even under the cabinets, wastes flooring materials. You won't see the flooring beneath your cabinets and applinaces, so why pay for the material and installatiojn? Then, if you replace the flooring, you'd have to take out the cabinets as well, making for a costly renovation down the road for you or future homeowners.
Finally, the material you choose may also affect the order of your installation. Wood floor expand and contract with chnaging temperature and moisture and it needs room for this process. Installing floors beneath your cabinets could cause wood to buckle when it tries to expand. This will damage your new floor. For this reason, some experts rommend installing wood floors after you finish your cabinets. Also floating floors can't be installed under cabinets because the cabinets will be too heavy and restrict the floor from expanding and contracting. This could cause the floor to come apart.
Starting with cabinets allows you to avoid many of the issues you'd face with doing things the other way around. You won't waste time and money on flooring you won't see. You're less likely to damage you new floors by starting with cabinets. If yu have your new floor down and add cabinets, you run the risk of scratching or denting them during installation.
By starting with cabinets, you essentially create a footprint you'll have to stick to during future renovations. Additionally, you'll have to cut your flooring to fit around the base cabinets, which makes installation more expensive and time-consuming. Built-in appliances will be trapped in place as long as you have this flooring. You're basically cornering them with your flooring material, making switching built-ins much harder. Of course you can purchase appliances that aren't built in to solve this issue.
As you can see, there are pros and cons to each installation order, though there are more risks if go floors first. For this reason, carefully consider the materials you chose, what appliances you have and your future renovation plan when making a decision. If you're working with contractor, ask which method he or she typically uses.