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Which comes 1st? Tile floor or install cabinets?

Is there a right way to do this? Should you install cabinets over the new tile, or tile the floor after the cabinets are installed?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I've been a builder for 30+ years and I have never seen tile laid first before cabinets are set. Granted, we don't typically install prefinished cabinets around here (Texas), but either with or without prefinished cabinets, we always tile after all the painting as been done throughout the house. By the way, putting in a dishwasher is not a problem with the tile. Dishwashers have adjustable legs underneath them that can be adjusted to accommodate the situation with typical tile and standard height kitchen cabinets (36" high).

    Source(s): Builder
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  • 1 decade ago

    I've seen it both ways. The benefit of laying the tile floor first over the entirety of the floor is that if you ever decide to move or change cabinets then you won't be trying to match the tile... or replacing the tile floor simply because you can't. Also, I have seen people tile in the baseboard and then when problems arise later and a cabinet has to be removed, tiles end up broken and damaged. You save money by not tiling under the cabinets, should you decide to do so, at least tile under your island. Many people change or move an island over time.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Cabinets are tough to level on tile floor. Secondly if you ever need to replace a piece of tile, it is tough when it is under the cabinets. You can grout around the edges or use a trim piece to meet the gap between tile and floor. I know the easy way sounds like you would put the floor in first, but it makes problem later.

    Additional note: As far as replacing tiles, the ones around the cabinets are more prone to damage due to high traffic and the chance for dropped cooking utensils and these would be partially under the cabinets if you tile first.

    Source(s): contractor
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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    First, houses never stop "settling". Old house,even more than new breath. The wood will swell and constrict with the seasons. If you don't mind loosing some toe kick area at the bottom of the cabinets, you could put the tile and flooring, just up to them. But you do need a solid- stable floor for ceramic tile. The cabinets were raised for a thin peal and press or vinal type flooring. With that 1/4" luan and some liquid leveler would do the job. You could probably get away with 2 layers of 1/2" concrete board, depending on the sub floor. But the cabinets should have been set higher for ceramic. Did the cabinet installer understand that ceramic tile was to be used?

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  • zen522
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    It can be done either way there are some pro's and con's of each.

    I normally will pit the cabinets in 1st as long as I know the thickness of the tile that is going to be set. If it is going to be a 3/4" thick tile then I rip a 3/4" shim to run the length of the cabinet base to raise them that height and then install them.

    You need to keep the cabinets the same height as the counters as they need to match.

    Source(s): I believe in talking and being straight forward You only lose if you don't take the chance.
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  • 1 decade ago

    Tile then cabinets

    Although you will find contractors that may say differently, the Canadian home builder's Association says tile then cabinets. They use the example of a kitchen renovation as shown below:

    What mechanical work is involved? Typically, a complete kitchen renovation involves three stages: 1) preparing the room, 2) installing the cabinets and 3) completing the job (tiles, floor cover, trim, under-cabinet lights and so on).

    During the first stage, your kitchen is dismantled and structural work, such as stripping and moving walls, installing windows and doors, drywalling, and flooring, is done. Electrical work may entail new wires, split receptacles and separate circuits for each appliance to conform with building codes. Your electrical panel may need upgrading as well.

    Changing your kitchen layout may mean moving the plumbing. Your renovator may also suggest replacing old or corroded supply pipes at the same time.

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  • T B
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Do you have a dishwasher??? I worked for a homebuilder and we tiled 6" under the front of the cabinets before installing them, just far enought to raise them up. I asked about the diswasher as if you put the cabinets in and then tile and have a diswasher, it wont be able to be taken out of its spot unless you remove the countertops. If not, I would just tile to the cabinets.

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  • 1 decade ago

    cabinet first then tile up to the cabinets, as long as you never plan on moving the cabinets to another place, that way you save money on tiles, and less work. plus you can damage the tiles putting the cabinets in, and that would not be fun to remove brand new tiles cause they are broken/scuffed etc.

    Source(s): this old house on PBS
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  • 1 decade ago

    If you install the cabinets first, you will not have to waste tile on that part of the floor that's covered up!

    Keep it simple silly! (KISS)

    Source(s): Owner of Ready Remodeling
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  • 1 decade ago

    If you are using real tile you should lay it first it will take a bit more material but you will avoid all those exta cuts and of course behind the cabinets is the perfect place to perfect your cutting skills before you get to cutting in the edges where it will be more exposed. if you opt to put in the cabinets first I would suggest a quarter round at the side of your end cabinets to cover any uneven cuts.

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