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modern kitchen renovation

Should flooring go under kitchen cabinets?

Undertaking a kitchen renovation is a big deal that will benefit the homeowner immensely from both a practicality and financial standpoint. A successful kitchen remodel with a future proof design will increase the value of your home for many years to come. In order to ensure the end result of your kitchen renovation is executed in line with your expectations, there are some elements that are less straightforward than others. Depending on your kitchen design plan and your choice of flooring/cabinetry—there are pros and cons to both installing flooring under kitchen cabinets or installing your cabinetry first.

Pros of flooring first.

Many homeowners decide to install flooring under their kitchen cabinets as it allows you to avoid having to cut the material around the cabinets and appliances which can increase labour costs. Installing flooring under your cabinets provides a crisp and clean overall end result and spares you the hassle of installing quarter rounds with your cabinetry. Quarter rounds are used to hide gaps and can be made in hardwood, softwood, extruded plastic etc. If you want to avoid this extra step, install your flooring first for a seamless and uninterrupted finish.

Cons of flooring first.

Installing flooring under your kitchen cabinets uses unnecessary flooring materials which you could have saved money on. As the under cabinetry flooring is not visible why should you pay the further installation and material costs associated with this extra flooring? If you decide to refresh your flooring in the near future, in order to have cohesive flooring you will have to takeout the cabinetry and install your new flooring under the cabinetry again. This restricts your freedom to refresh your kitchen design—in comparison to homeowners who decide to not install flooring under cabinets.

Avoid installing wood flooring under your cabinets.

Wooden flooring looks and feels luxurious in any home. If you’re interested in renovating your kitchen by incorporating real wood flooring you need to be aware of the fact wood flooring contracts and expands with changing temperatures and humidity. Moisture can also cause this movement and the kitchen is a moisture prone area. So if you install wood flooring under your kitchen cabinets you are essentially restricting this movement which can result in your flooring buckling. It’s recommended to avoid damage to your kitchen floors to install wood flooring after your cabinetry has been successfully installed. This same principle can be applied for floating floors as cabinetry is too heavy for this type of flooring which will again restrict movement and cause the floor to come apart.

Pros of cabinets first.

Installing your cabinets first is generally deemed safer for a wide range of flooring options and also is money saving as you won’t need to purchase as much material to complete the job. If you have just laid new floors then decide to install your cabinetry you run the risk of denting or scratching your new flooring throughout the installation process. This is an unsightly way to complete your kitchen renovation which often leaves homeowners disappointed with their end result.

Cons of cabinets first.

Installing cabinets first means if you want to renovate again someday, you essentially have created a footprint with your cabinets which makes switching them out more costly. Its important to note that often this is not an issue for many homeowners because those who renovate don’t plan on renovating again anytime soon. Many homeowners ensure a future-proof design strategy is a priority during the planning phase to avoid the need for another renovation. Cabinetry first means that built-in appliances will be trapped in place as long as you have the existing flooring. Essentially you are cornering your appliances with your flooring material which will make switching out integrated appliances more difficult. Purchasing appliances that are not built-in will not pose the same issues with the flooring.

Despite there being pros and cons to installing the flooring or installing the cabinetry first, its clear that installing the flooring under your kitchen cabinetry often poses more risks in most scenarios. If you have an upcoming kitchen renovation planned be sure to ask a certified BJFJoinery professional for their expert opinion on your choice of flooring, cabinetry, and appliances in order to determine the best possible install timeline for your kitchen renovation.

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