when does the floor go down???

holiday2525December 14, 2011

My counter gets put in next week, I can hardly wait. My cabs are obviously already in? Should the floor does down before or After the counter? I know I need flooring under the fridge and stove, but i am using planks that can just be put there? I'm a total newbie, hence all my errors so far. When did you floors go down in your remodel?? I'm just concerned about ripping the floor when folks move stoves and dishwashers and stuff. I have learned so much at the site and everyone has been so kind with their words and advice. Thank y'all.

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We did floor, then cabs and appliances, then countertop. They'll have to move your stove and fridge presumably to put the floor down below them. (Not sure I understand your comment about planks.) I don't think having the counter in makes it any easier or harder to put the floor in-- perhaps a bit harder to move the stove and fridge, but that shouldn't be an issue as I understand it. Congratulations on the progress you're making.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 10:55AM
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Permanently installed floors like tile or wood should have gone in first. Now you will have height issues with the dishwasher and possibly range. If there was some reason that the floors needed to done last, like supply issues or a floating floor, then the cabinets should have been installed on plywood that is equivalent in height to the flooring that will be installed later. If your cabinets are not sitting on plywood, then you will have problems and your GC needs to uninstall the bases and reinstall them with either flooring underneath or plywood underneath.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 11:33AM
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Yep, they should always go in before the cabinets. I would pull the base cabinets and either put plywood under them or install the floor and then put the cabinets back in.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 12:08PM
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Floor first, then cabs, then counters.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 12:27PM
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It sounds to me like holiday2525 is putting down sheet vinyl or something similar because of the worry about "ripping"? It's absolutely okay to put down the flooring after the cabinets, especially with that type of flooring. It won't matter much if the counters are in place or not. Do lay down cardboard or something when rolling the appliances into place to avoid permanent indentations.

FWIW, as I type this two men are installing new tile in my kitchen with cabinets already in place. It's not an absolute that one goes before the other but there are some considerations with the height of the counter and the fit of the dishwasher and range.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 2:05PM
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In this order
1. Electrical, plumbing
2. Painting
3. Floors (or switch with painting if sanding is involved)
4. Cabinets
5. appliances
6. counters
7. Backsplash

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 2:08PM
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I, too, am a newbie and have little experience with this. This is what our GC told us for hardwood... it depends on whether we wanted finished or pre-finished floors. If finished, they would put the floors in first, then finish it after everything in the kitchen is done. If we choose to go with pre-finished, they would wait until everything is done and put the floors in at the end. He does not want to risk scratching or messing up new hardwood while cabinets and appliances (we're getting a huge stove) are being installed.

That said, I hadn't thought about counter height issues and will most definitely keep that in mind. My GC does amazing work and has a ton of experience, so I'm assuming they would put plywood down or whatever to even out the height.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 2:15PM
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get a piece or 2 of Masonite to put down on the path to the stove, dw, fridge. roll them over on that to protect the flooring.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 2:16PM
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Thanks for all the advice about protecting the floor and the order of things. Grumpydave is right and i should have been clearer. We are putting down vinyl planks (with teenage boys running all over the place esp. dripping wet from pool or hot tub, we dared not do real wood).
Actually, while I was gone checking the layout of our granite, the fridg. went in, the dishwasher went in, and most of the floor is down. No scratches or rips yet. That being said I still appropriate everyone's input and I have another issue that will be another topic - the floor and cabinet combo.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 5:38PM
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Dragonfly- I would never imagine a GC who wants to install hardwood flooring after the cabinets. We put the final finish on the floor (moisture cure) and then I layed down sheets of masonite to protect it. I then brought in my 650+lb 48" range, two 380LB fridge/freezers and installed them. We then put in the cabintes and counters. Not one mark on the floors.

Holiday- I still feel that it is better to run the vinyl planks under the cabinets, it's just the right way to do the job.

Another point about hardwood not going under the cabinets- Your countertop height will be lower as a result, that alone would be a deal kileer for me- I raised my counters 1 1/4".

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 9:32AM
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As mentioned, all 'permanent' flooring like tile and hardwood would go down before the cabinets. I agree with the notion of putting a floating floor like laminates or vinyl strips down 'around' the cabinets as they're less durable and more likely to be replaced in the future, and easily put down and trimmed around cabinetry.

I just did our entire main floor in 3/4" oak flooring including the kitchen, and then the kitchen went in. I put a Bluestar range in the kitchen and it slides no problem on felt feet on the hardwood without marking.

Your toe-kicks should be installed after the flooring so the flooring can run a few inches under the cabinets and the toe-kick then sits on top of the flooring making it look like permanently installed flooring.

Simply 1/4 round molding in other areas will hide the other exposed edges of your flooring material.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 7:44PM
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One thing to watch if your flooring doesn't run continuously under your appliances-- figure out where the water is going to go if you have a slow leak in the DW or fridge, especially near the back.

We had major water damage to our old kitchen in part because we apparently had a slow DW leak that we were totally unaware of, partly because our old linoleum did not go under the DW, so the water was going straight into the plywood and being stopped from coming out to the main floor (where we would have seen it) by the linoleum.

There are products you can buy to put under the DW to alert you to leaks. Some have sensors. We have now bought one that is just an angled piece of plastic, to try to be sure any leak rolls down to the front of the DW so we know about it.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 4:00PM
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Emilner, TorontoTim... excuse my/our inexperience. We simply thought that the hardwood floors are cut and placed in to butt up against the cabinets. Is this wrong? I will have to check with our GC and floor guy because we met just this week and they reiterated the same thing above. I believe planks or some form of support/risers would be going under the cabinets if we were to purchase pre-finished hardwood. On one hand, I'm on the petite side and have ordered standard cabinets... if they happen to be a bit lower, I may find that to be a point on my side in the end. As long as we're not compromising on the quality of the work. We, too, are putting in a Bluestar range and just had the discussion about it being on legs and thus the flooring would need to be placed in before the range.

I'm sorry about my confusion and appreciate all the insight and input.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 10:55PM
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Hi dragonfly08,

I'm a newbie too, and like yours, our GC is doing our pre-finished flooring last. The cabinets are in, the counters are coming this week, and the GC is just now ordering the flooring material.

In all of our planning, my DH said he didn't want to have to pay money for the real flooring to run under the base cabinets (his reasoning: why pay the $$ for it when it's just under the cabinets?), and wanted pre-finished flooring for other reasons after all of his research.

So, our GC put a plywood layer only where our base cabinets go, at the right height, so that when the flooring is installed, everything will meet at the right heights. He is planning to have the pre-finished flooring installed before moving the fridge, range, and DW in, so those will sit on the actual flooring (and I think will look nicer, as the floor boards will look like they run under the appliances).

I admit that I am a bit worried about the dishwasher and counter, as the counters are going in before the dishwasher will be in its place and then they're going to do the floor and then move the dishwasher in. I am asking the universe to see to it that there is no height problem for the GC's sake, because otherwise I will claim temporary TKO insanity at the inevitable trial.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 10:18PM
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We ran into major problems by installing our tile floor without removing the cabinets or countertops. The dishwasher wouldn't fit in the opening because the floor was higher than the subfloor and the dishwasher wouldn't slide under the counter-top. The slide-in range was lower and I couldn't slide the bottom drawer open as it would scrape the tile.


    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 12:19AM
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Dragonfly- If you are not going to run your hardwood under the cabinets or dishwasher you will have a serious height problem. Your dishwasher is designed to work with a stock height cabinet, now your cabinets are going to be -3/4".

You can go the route la koala did and install plywood under the cabinets. The problem I have with this is that by the time you buy the plywood, lay out EXACTLY where it needs to go and then install it you will not be that much less $ than running the flooring to the wall. The plywood has to end exactly at the end of the front support. If it is too shallow you will have a gap between it and the hardwood and if it protrudes too far out then the 1/4" kick trim will not cover it.

Remember, a 10' wall of cabinetry has roughly 16-17 square feet under it. At $3 a foot plus install it should be a given to just run the floor under it. The cabinet install will be a breeze and you will never have to worry about height problems and water getting trapped under the cabinets....

I have never ever ever ever ever heard of a hardwood floor butting up against the cabinets (I can see the point of doing it with vinyl- I just have never worked with vinyl before). It is just the wrong way to do the job. It's like doing the door and floor trim before drywall. Can it be done? Probably, but it sure is the wrong way of doing it.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 10:24AM
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You will pay the extra $$ in plywood under the cabinets and the additional difficulty of the labor to cut the finish flooring around those cabinet, or you will pay the money to put the finish flooring under the cabinets. It's your choice of which fee to pay as it'll be just about a wash financially. But, time wise, it's a lot faster to just put the finish flooring under the cabinets.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 11:02AM
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Hi Emilner,

If I lived by myself and could do exactly what I wanted to do with this kitchen, I would have run unfinished hardwood over the entire floor before installing the cabinets. It makes logical sense, because if in 10 years I want to revise the layout, the flooring would just need refinishing. (And the next owners would bless me and I'd get good future karma!)

At this moment though, all I can say is "next time" (if there is a next time!)

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 11:05AM
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