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What first: cabinets or hardwoods? Toe kick drawers?

Posted by LovesWindowsAndDogs (My Page) on
Sun, Aug 10, 14 at 15:54

It's time for a new kitchen in my 85 year old pier and beam house. I have never created a kitchen from scratch, so I have been reading lots of posts in this forum and have learned so much! Even so, I still have several questions that I will post separately.

After demo, the first part of the process will be getting the subfloor level and the walls as plumb as possible (a major ordeal). I want to reinstall hardwood flooring back in the space. There is not a big footprint for cabinetry and I am fairly short so I want to install drawers in many of the toe kick boxes.

Should the hardwoods be patched and installed in the entire space before, or after, the cabinet boxes go in? If the cabinets go in first, what sort of barrier should go over the subfloor and under the cabinets? Should I plan on 6 or 7 inch toe kick boxes to accommodate more space in drawers? I am okay with the counters being a wee bit higher than usual. What happens with the lower edge of the drawers? I want the lower edge of the drawers to be above the quarter round. I don't know anyone who has toe kick drawers, nor has my contractor installed them before, so I am hoping there are some GW users who have experience with these drawers who can offer advice and suggestions.

I honestly and sincerely appreciate the time and wisdom shared by you all!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: What first: cabinets or hardwoods? Toe kick drawers?

If you are installing a hardwood floor, it is supposed to go in before cabinets.

RE: What first: cabinets or hardwoods? Toe kick drawers?

Sorry I forgot to add that I know nothing about toe kick drawers.

RE: What first: cabinets or hardwoods? Toe kick drawers?

LWD, here's some reading materia which I pored over on GW on toe kick drawers. All about toekick drawers on GW

This drawer was thought of by a GWer and is my inspiration for my toe kick drawers.

RE: What first: cabinets or hardwoods? Toe kick drawers?

Put the floors in first, cabinets on top. If for some reason you can't, build up all space where cabinets will be with plywood or other material that is the same thickness as the flooring.

RE: What first: cabinets or hardwoods? Toe kick drawers?

Hardwood floors first. Cabinets on top.

You mention that you are short. Be very, very sure you want higher than normal counter wit your height. I'm 5' 7.5" with normal 36" tall counters. I wouldn't want taller. Stack some cutting boards up to the height you're considering and pretend to cut your veggies for a stiry fry and cook them. See how it feels.

RE: What first: cabinets or hardwoods? Toe kick drawers?

Wow! Thanks for the feedback! Putting the cabinets on top of the hardwood flooring will make the logistics of the toe kick drawers easier. I was worried about installing the cabinets first, the floors next and then not being able to open the toe kick drawers because the floor was in the way.

Cabinets on top of flooring will mitigate any issues for the next rounds of homeowners. The current floor, and whatever is underneath, have been installed over the last 85 years. The bottoms of the original cabinets are now below the current floor level. Check out the picture. (I know that getting the voids filled, floors level, etc. will be great fun.)

I hate wasting $ on hardwoods under the cabinets, but there aren't lots of cabinets anyway, hence the need for toe kick drawers. I will also look into plywood or another material as an option, but hardwoods would be the most straightforward option.

Breezygirl, that's a brilliant idea about trying out higher countertops with stacked cutting boards. I will be getting extra vegies at the farmer's market tomorrow.

I have looked at lots of pictures of and feedback about the drawers. Gemcap, how do you like yours? Did you do the ones in the picture? I want some that are mostly invisible for that stuff you don't want burglars to find quickly.

Check out these sneaky toe kick drawers

Again, thanks for the helpful responses!

RE: What first: cabinets or hardwoods? Toe kick drawers?

If you already have hardwood down at the original layer of floor and just need to patch in the areas under the cabinets that will not show, to save $$ you can use plywood (I don't think there is anything else that would match the thickness of the hardwood without building up the subfloor), or you can get a less expensive grade of hardwood than you would want for the visible floor.

I didn't initially put in toe kick drawers but I hope to retrofit one or two, and use the piece of toekick trim (including quarter round) that I cut out as the drawer front.

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