Kitchen Remodel: Install cabinets or hardwood floors first?

I am remodeling my kitchen (cabinets countertops and hardwood flooring) and doing the installation myself. The hardwood floors will run from the kitchen into the dining room. There is only a pennensula of cabinets/countertop dividing the two rooms. I am wondering if I should install the hardwood floors first, so that they run under the cabinets first, or install the cabinets and lay they floor around them. It seems to me that there are benefits of both. It may be easier to install the floors first, but may require more material. This would raise the cabinets, which may affect the sink plumbing requiring some new pipes. Installing the canbinets first would result in lower cabinets unless I raised them with extra subflooring. Also, which would be better to keep the stove and dishwasher at the right levels. Can the legs on these appliances be adjusted as necessary? Thanks!


I should clarify that the existing floors are linoleum in the kitchen and carpet in the dining room, so I can't follow what was previously done.

So, is it recomended to run the hardwood under the stove and dishwasher?

Update 2:

Does anyone think I need to add extra subfloor to raise the cabinets if I do them first?

11 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    With no offense to you or any others who answer. Flooring last, and only what might be visible, most especially in a stove location. I usually floor under a refrig. Under a stove, I'll install a substrate that might equate to the height of whatever flooring I install.

    Any decent cabinet/flooring contractor would never advise installing ANY finish flooring UNDER areas where it will not onlt NEVER be seen, but is totally unnessesary.

    Your notion might be to determine the thickness/height of the hardwood, and if neccesary install a subfloor to that same height, even in RAW Ply sheathing, or MDF. For PLUMBING issues if they arise, use Specific length FLEX intake hoses, and a longer Sink/down drain to the "P" trap.

    The height differences might only be 3/4 inch,,,MAX?, but the WOOD used in areas where it will never be seen, or of any value, might better be used in Piece/parts to fill short cuts, or butt joints at perimeters, OR might save a dollar or two?

    Steven Wolf

    ADD ON: many floor based "cabinets" are approx. 28 to 30 inches off floor level, allowing perhaps a 1 1/2 inch thick TOP, of whatever material, then a laminate or tile over, or granite, etc. It;s pretty much your choice to determine a comfort level for working, and if any cabinets might go above it. In your case it sounds like Not.

    I'm only 5' 8" tall. NORMAL works for me. If I happened to be 4' 11" or 6' 7" tall, I might consider modifying base cabinet height by adding to or subtracting from, the base frame the cabinets sit on.

    Source(s): 45 plus years as a contractor
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  • 4 years ago


    Source(s): Ultimate 16000 Woodworking Plans -
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    hardwood floors expand and contract constantly and its not recommened to put cabinets on top of these floors. it's better to install the cabinets and get as close to the cabinets as possible when installing. read the insert in the hardwood package before you buy, each wood product has it own rules to follow, some aren't made for every climate, you have to keep your temp within so many degree or it can damage the floor, others it's move you furniture so the floor ages the same way because of the uv rays etc. some maufacturers won't even warranty the product unless you have used only there cleaning products and yes they will take a sample of the floor to see what you have used on it. Your stove and dishwasher have adjustable legs so that you can put wood under them and not have any exposed areas.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I would treat it like new construction.

    1.Build your new cabinets, or at least the boxes.

    2.Get your materials on site:cabinet tops, flooring.

    3. Remove cabinets.

    4. remove floor

    5. install floor

    6. install cabinets

    7. put 3/4" plywood over top of cabinets

    8. put 1/2" denshield over plywood, laminating on with mortar

    Now you can take it easy for a while, or continue. You can reconnect the sink and dishwasher. Set the sink up the height of your tile.


    .5 remove the sink

    1. Put on your contertop edging if you're not using tile.

    2. Tile the countertop

    3. grout the countertop. use epoxy grout

    4. put the sink back in.

    take it easy for a while, or continue:

    1. Face your cabinets

    2. mount your doors and drawers

    3. install the toe kick

    4. fill your holes

    This way will let you use your house, keep you married, and you shouldn't lose too much weight either.

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  • Ann
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    It actually depends on the flooring you are getting. If you are getting linoleum, it doesn't matter, BUT if you are getting laminate, hardwood, or ceramic tile, you need to do the cabinets first. If you have the flooring under the cabinets, it WILL mess up the floors. Those types of flooring need to expand and contract and they cannot do that when cabinets are on top of them. Have fun doing your remodel!! Good Luck!!

    For the best answers, search on this site

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  • 1 decade ago

    I draw the foot print of the kitchen on the floor and install the floor only laying enough wood to go under the cabinets a couple inches. on both sides and under the dish washer stove and fridge because I like the clean look of cabinets on the floor and think that quarter round or shoe molding around cabinets look bad. I also scribe and sand the cabinet bottoms instead of shimming the low spots.

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  • 1 decade ago

    When we redid our kitchen the cabinets went in first and then the floor, I would think it would be easier if the flooring didn't go under the cabinets when it comes time to replace.

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  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    I know the perfect solution if you are just starting with woodworking and also if you have already experience with it. I reccomend to give a look to this website ( ) You can find a lot of woodworking plans and you will be able to manage the projects with a CAD/DWG software. It allows you to modify the projects and to alter the arragements. If you are a beginner this is the easiest way to start, it's the best approach to woodworking; and if you already have experience you will find a lot of ideas and inspirations to improve your abilities with woodwork. I'm sure that you will love it!

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  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    I think first hardwood floors, but for more detailed information check here

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  • 1 decade ago

    Simplest answer is to install flooring first, this keeps heights proper and simplifies trim.

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