The pros and cons of laying flooring first

marti8aSeptember 25, 2012

From the perspective of someone who is remodeling and reusing the old cabinets without removing them.

Some of the cabinets are sitting on the middle of a tile, and it has been a pain in the royal patootie to get those tiles cut evenly across the face of the cabinets.

I think it's faster, and therefore cheaper (labor costs) to lay tile first, but twice the headache when replacing the tile.

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I assume you've taken the shoe molding (or whatever term you prefer) off first? The cut wouldn't have to be quite as accurate because when the molding goes back on, it provides a little hide-ability.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 5:10PM
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Yes, and it will help, but I'm afraid the toe kick board won't go up against the cabinet as it should because of a bit of tile sticking out. We'll have to either break off the tile bit or carve into the back of the trim to make it snug against the cabinets.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 6:14PM
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" but I'm afraid the toe kick board won't go up against the cabinet as it should because of a bit of tile sticking out. "

It is called scribing.

You trim the bottom of the toe kick to clear.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 6:23PM
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I'd consider removing the base cabinets and doing the job correctly - which is to do the complete floor including under the cabinets.

Failing that, as others have said, you remove the toekicks, extend the new tiling under the cabinets past the point of where the toekick was, then cut the toekicks to the new height required if the new floor is taller than the old.

If the new floor is thinner than the old, the toekicks would be too short and would either need to be replaced or augmented with a shoemolding such as a 1/4 round - same as you'd do with baseboards on a hardwood floor.

Bottom line is the toekick sits on top of the new floor and is cut to fit. If the new floor is very irregular like a travertine or natural stone then you'll end up with gaps of course in some points but that's part of the deal with irregular flooring.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 7:53PM
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I put my tiles under my cabinets. I could turn out to be wrong, of course, but I am imagining that the next time this kitchen is remodeled, they will keep the floor and replace the cabs.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 9:59PM
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Beware also that when you take out a smaller profile flooring that the tile with underlayment can be quite a bit thicker and then your appliances will be noticeably higher (have to be careful with the dishwasher). We took out vinyl and put in slate like porcelain and the stove was sticking up over the counters. Thankfully we were able to adjust it enough to make it reasonably okay but it is by no means flush.

We did an update and kept the cabinets so we ran the tile up to them and the toekick covered everything fine.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 10:06PM
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That's what we thought too Angie, but once we started, the cabinets made the floor look really bad.

Our kitchen cabinets were on the slab already, it's the laundry cabinets that were installed on top of the tile. Luckily there won't be any problem with appliance height once we get the original tile edges flush.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 10:40PM
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Our cabinets are on slab as well, the previous owners tiled up to the cabinets with the grout lining the toe kick.

We are in a dilemma because our new tile is thicker. And, adding an island, I want it tiled underneath, which will make island higher than cabinets.

Dishwasher caused major concern, but as for now, we are looking at putting in two single drawers on each side of sink.

Then, there is the range, it has to be tiled underneath, it butts up to old cabinets, so it will be higher than the countertops.

Things that drive you crazy.....

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 1:31AM
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You can always remove the toe kick board and add blocking onto the area where it gets attached. Hmmm - add 1/4" or 1/2" ply strips and then re-attach the toe kick to the blocking. There's no law that says toe kicks have to be 3-1/2" deep.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 12:57PM
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