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In a kitchen remodel, should the flooring be installed before or after cabinets?

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A popular question when remodelling the kitchen is whether to install the flooring before or after the cabinets. It can be a crucial decision as the outcome can often depend on your decision.

Flooring First

For those who may be leaning more towards laying the flooring before taking on the cabinets of the kitchen remodel, the following pros and cons can help you make up your mind and shed a little light on the things to keep in mind as you move forward with this project.


In regards to whether to go with flooring first, there will be less unnecessary and frustrating cutting in every nook and cranny of your kitchen if you go with flooring first. On the flooring side of the project, laying the floor first and before any cabinets allows for much more freedom and flow.

It is also a good idea to tackle the flooring first since your layout is pretty open. In the future, there is no old footprint to constrict the change. By taking those cabinets out of the way and leaving the kitchen floor open, you can really evaluate the space you have available and decide what you want to do with it.


It is important to keep in mind that tackling your floor first could potentially create more work for yourself in the future. It is likely that you would have to remove your cabinets if your flooring needs to be replaced in the future. This is because flooring has to be replaced before cabinets.

The fact that some flooring materials expand with time, moisture, seasonal changes, etc., is another con. Although it may seem minimal to the naked eye, your heavy cabinets that will sit atop this new flooring might find it a whole different story.

Cabinets First

You may find these pros and cons helpful in helping you decide which is best for you and your home if you are considering getting cabinets in before flooring.


Saving money by getting cabinets ahead of the floor means not paying for flooring that will sit underneath the cabinets and never be seen. Is it worth it to pay so much money for an unattractive job that won’t attract visitors?

Another advantage is that you no longer run the risk of scratching or damaging the expensive floor you so adore and can’t wait to show guests. Since those cabinets are so snugly fitted, there will be no dragging or heavy work over the freshly finished floor.


By putting the cabinets in first, you now have to rework the flooring so that it matches and fits against the cabinets that you installed before the floor. Unlike the cost of flooring first and finding out everyone will never see the floor since it’s beneath the cabinets, this cost is for the flooring you’ll see and it’ll cost you to cut and rework it so it can hug those cabinets.

Another con to cabinets first is you lose the aspect of free space and creativity for your cabinets and placement since the footprint from your previous kitchen cabinets is still very much there. Sometimes it can be a bit difficult to see anything new or fresh when we are still faced with what was.

So, there you have it. Both options have equal weight in both pros and cons, the real choice is which you prefer and how much are willing and planning to spend on what you want and getting it.