To finish floors before cabinet installation or after

dp1404September 16, 2012

Currently the new hardwood floors are in but are not sanded and unfinished.

We currently have most everything done waiting for cabinets to arrive which is about three weeks away.

The question is, should we finish the floors prior to having the cabinets installed (since we have time) and covering with protective paper

or

is it better to have them finished after cabinets installed.

I am leaning towards having them done before as then we could move right along after the cabinets are installed and not have to deal with trying make time for the floor guys and all the associated dust.

I do trust the cabinet guys will take care during install

What would you do

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doc8404

I had my hardwood floor completely finished before the cabs went in.

There was no damage from the cab installers or electricians - the kids, however, are a different story. :)

Doc

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 4:51PM
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badgergal

Even though our contractor used a cardboard type covering on our hardwood floors, he still insisted that the floors be the last thing done in our kitchen remodel.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 4:58PM
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Poohpup

My GC said it was standard to do the floors before the cabinets. We had three finish coats on the floors and the first two were done prior to cabinet installation. Once the kitchen was finished, they came in and did the final finish coat.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 5:28PM
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sas95

Same here. Floors were done first, with the final coat after the kitchen was finished.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 5:41PM
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MeMcG

Our GC put the base cabinets in, then tiled, including where the frig, range, and dw will go.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 6:30PM
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felixnot

Finish the floor and cover, then install the cabinets, especially for wood floors. The wood floors need to be sanded between the finish coats which means you would have to wrap the cabinets to keep the sanding dust off

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 6:40PM
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a2gemini

Floors were finished after cabinets were in for us - but we were refinishing our floor and not replacing - not sure if that makes a difference.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 9:45PM
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mountaineergirl

Ours was done like poohpups - sanded, 2 coats, then 3rd coat is after cabs are installed. He had asked us to "disappear" for a night or 2 while the final coat dried. guess we'll be going thru that process again due to repairs to water damage :(

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 9:54PM
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breezygirl

Ours were also like Pooh's. Install, sanded, stained, and two top coats. Then cabs went in the kitchen and DR. (We installed new unfinished wood floors in entry, FR, LR, DR, mudroom, and kitchen as part of a whole house reno.) Very last item before we moved in was the last top coat.

I did cover the floors with Ram board (like thin cardboard on a roll, but water resistant) after the two top coats. The inspector, carpenters installing a house full of trim and doors, electrician, cab maker, wood floor company, painting company doing trim and doors,and plumber were all impressed with the board. All those guys and tools tromping in and out over months did zero damage to the floors.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 12:46AM
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Angie_DIY

Like Breezy, I advise something more heavy-duty than rosin paper if you go that route. I put down rosin paper and then sheets of masonite (AKA hardboard). It is less than $10/sheet, and I could cover the exposed area with 3 sheets. The peace of mind was worth the $.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 11:41AM
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brickeyee

"The wood floors need to be sanded between the finish coats which means you would have to wrap the cabinets to keep the sanding dust off"

Screening between coats of finish produces far less debris than actual sanding.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 12:15PM
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dp1404

Yes, thanks for the different perspectives.

I've decided to have them finished prior to cabinet install and protect them. I am familiar with the RAM board, it is a great product and I have some so that is what I will use.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 2:25PM
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