Counters installed before all cabinets in place??????
momtoavainva
August 5, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Hi all,

Dealing with a sketchy contractors, not trusting a thing they say at this point. Disappointing. Cabinets came in last week, installer had them all placed in week...except for two places - they said the cabinets got damaged in transit or something like that, so they had to reorder. So can't finish until they come in. Kitchen is not usable, of course. (floors have been ripped out too.). They are telling us that we can go ahead and have the countertops installed without having these missing cabinets in place. Is this a common practice? and if so, will things be installed as properly as if they were done the right way ie.cabinets in first?? Please advise. Truly a frustrating process!!! Thanks in advance.
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Cynthia Taylor-Luce
Floors should be installed first, then cabinets, then countertops. So sorry about all your difficulties and hope it's soon resolved to your satisfaction.
   Thanked by momtoavainva    August 5, 2013 at 11:45AM
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momtoavainva
We wanted to do it that way, but couldn't due to their installers vacation schedule. So we are having to do the floors last, which they said shouldn't be a big deal. hope not!
   August 5, 2013 at 11:56AM
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momtoavainva
I guess my question should have been should we go ahead and do the counters with this one little piece of cabinet missing or should we wait until that all is in place. It's a corner cabinet so really small area in the scheme of things.
thanks!
   August 5, 2013 at 12:00PM
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Cynthia Taylor-Luce
Your first sentence says it all... If you trusted them, then you wouldn't be asking if what they recommend is right! I think you should stick to your guns even if it means a delay. I would insist on the floor going in first for a proper job. And I would insist that all the cabinets be in before the countertop. So sorry about all you're going through.
   Thanked by momtoavainva    August 5, 2013 at 12:37PM
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Wooden Concepts
All cabinets should be installed before moving forward with counters. I don't know any reputable countertop company that will install before cabinet installation is complete. (As a side note: I am curious how the installers expect to install a corner cabinet after countertops are in place?? Can you share a picture of what IS installed?)
2 Likes   Thanked by momtoavainva    August 5, 2013 at 7:24PM
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Fred S
What kind of counter top, and will the backsplash be installed at that time? Often times the cabinets are installed without the finished toekick and it is applied after the flooring. Is this an inside corner cabinet or a small corner cabinet at the end of the cabinets?
   August 5, 2013 at 11:55PM
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momtoavainva
here are some pictures of the cabinets
   August 6, 2013 at 4:38AM
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momtoavainva
It's a small corner cabinet at the end of the cabinets, very awkward space as it is. The countertops to be installed are Black Impala Granite. I'm told backsplash won't go until until everything else is installed. We went ahead and planned for floors to be put in last because of the cabinet installer's vacation schedule. We only had 2.5 weeks to work with. He's leaving at the end of the week and now we've run into this situation with missing cabinets and no workable kitchen for weeks upon weeks. That's why they are saying yes, they can put counters in now so that we will at least be able to have some workable space. Very daunting and the company is not really being apologetic to anything. We don't even know why cabinets are missing and weren't told about it until after demo and install of other cabinets. terrible.
   August 6, 2013 at 4:44AM
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Fred S
The size and shape of that small piece of counter top is dependant solely on the walls and the cabinets that are already in place. They will install all of the tops and simply leave that one loose until the cabinet can be finished. The cabinet installer will remove it, and when done, mount the top permanently. Unless there is a sink or something in that small space, this is no big deal. No backsplash, no problem.
1 Like   August 6, 2013 at 4:58AM
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Fred S
By the color of the toekick, it appears that the finished toekick will be added after the flooring is finished, just as I suspected. This is quite common. Can't see enough, but it appears that they have this all planned out properly.
1 Like   August 6, 2013 at 5:08AM
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Fred S
@ River, I figured you would be by. Thought I would leave that part to you. Didn't want to type that much. I know plenty of cabinet installer that refuse to install over prefinished hardwood except for the occasional island.
1 Like   August 6, 2013 at 5:31AM
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momtoavainva
we are doing Stained in Place hardwood.
   August 6, 2013 at 7:10AM
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Wooden Concepts
motoavaina- on that small of a run with that type of a placement you should be just fine adding your cabinet after the countertop. When you said it was a corner cabinet, I was envisioning something much different. As far as placing the flooring under the cabinets or after they're installed it usually depends mostly on the height of your cabinets as well as the thickness of your flooring. Most prefabs are changing their cabinet heights to 35" instead the traditional 34 1/2" height because of this debate. The only 'cons' to this is the wasted money of the flooring itself that is not seen and this amount is miniscule. The 'pros' FAR outweigh the cons for this. The labor can sometimes be cheaper for the install. Some flooring installers will charge less (even though the square footage is slightly more) for a square room as opposed to making finished cuts all around your cabinet's footprint. You also never have to worry about dishwasher issues. If you have 34 1/2" cabinets and place hardwood flooring after the cabinets, replacing or removing your dishwasher can become near impossible. Another thing to think about is if you or someone else ever decides to replace the cabinets in the future, you/they will have to follow the very same footprint or be forced to add in the expense of replacing the floor. You also lose toe-kick space when adding your flooring afterwards. Tile only shrinks this space by about 3/8" while hardwood shrinks this space anywhere from 1/2"-3/4" and slate shrinks it by 1". Kitchens with smaller toe-kicks available inevitably have far more damage to the bottom of their frames and usually nearest to the sink. In my opinion it is always well worth the extra $100 worth of flooring never seen to avoid any of these.
1 Like   Thanked by momtoavainva    August 6, 2013 at 10:14AM
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momtoavainva
Wow, I really appreciate all of this feedback. My father is a retired Hardware Floor company owner and he did consult with us that it would be OK to install after cabinets. Ideally we would have placed unfinished flooring down, installed cabinets then counters etc, but we've been dealing with time constraints with all the contractors. So we had to do things a little backwards.
   August 6, 2013 at 2:00PM
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Fred S
@ wooden concepts- these cabinets were designed to put the toekick on later. Look at the picture. I always put a pan under the dishwasher because putting hardwood under all the cabinets does not do any good if the dishwasher leaks, so why would it matter to have hardwood under the cabinets if I wanted to move the dishwasher to the other side of the sink at a later date? I have never heard of someone remodeling and not putting cabinets back against the wall. If they expanded the kitchen, the flooring would not work even if it had been under the cabinets.
1 Like   August 6, 2013 at 3:43PM
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