Hardwood floor installation before or after cabinets?
carmahaston
October 22, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Looking for suggestions/thoughts on hardwood floor installation. We are down to the studs in 75% of the house. Putting in a great room. One contractor says hardwood floors should go in prior to the cabinets so they run wall to wall. Another says after so if there are ever any leaks etc. Damage is to the subfloor and not the hardwood.....would love Houzz community thoughts
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PRO
R H Kitchen and Bath Ltd
If you are installing hardwood floor in the kitchen then you can install them before the cabinets for flexibility in changing the cabinets in the future without having to change the floor, also this installation will cost you a little less in labor since the installer does not have to make cuts all around the contour of the cabinets. On the other hand installing the wood floor after the cabinets went in will allow you to replace the floor more easily in the future.
October 22, 2013 at 7:33PM        Thanked by carmahaston
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atrice
Absolutely before cabinets, not that much difference in cost. I installed hardwoods 2years ago and I am now changing my kitchen layout so i am very happy didn't take shortcut
October 22, 2013 at 7:41PM     
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PRO
Pataya Flooring & Stone Supply, LLC
Also, installing the hardwood floors after the cabinets are installed will make for a challenge on installing your dishwasher. You would be surprised how many people forget about this clearance requirement between the dishwasher and the underside of the countertop.
October 22, 2013 at 8:41PM     
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PRO
Scott Design, Inc.
I typically run the wood to the walls taking advantage of the leveling capability on a uniform floor and the additional strength it provides to the floor. My primary concern with any floor is its ability to maintain the overall weight of cabinets with stone tops over the long haul. Without that consideration, the potential for out-of-level tops, open and crooked joints at the backsplash and countertop seams that are no longer flush is ever present.

Cabinets should not be installed on a subfloor alone. Subfloors are not meant to bear concentrated weight in and of themselves. There's too much deflection and many times they have been split, loosened, etc. during demolition. By the time you measure, cut and install pieces of MDO board (denser and more water resistant than plywood for the occasional spill) to make up for the height difference and to support the cabinets and tops, you could have installed the flooring and taken advantage of all the benefits mentioned here and above.

Finally, I apply the stain and a couple of finish coats where all cabinets and appliances are planned as a defense against the potential leak. This application is basic and hidden. The final professional stain and sealing is done throughout the open floor area at the end of the kitchen installation.
October 22, 2013 at 9:45PM        Thanked by carmahaston
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hparks74
run under cabinets. If you don't you will have an inch of height loss. Hopefully with proper inspections and maintenance you should never have a leak that would cause such damage.
October 22, 2013 at 9:49PM   
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carmahaston
Thank you everyone. Before it is! Love Houzz
October 23, 2013 at 8:01AM   
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