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I have a new home to install true hardwood flooring in the kitchen dining area. I also will be setting the kitchen cabinets. I have asked a handful of people wich is better or the norm, to put in all the flooring and then come back and set the cabinets on top of it or set the cabinets and cut the flooring in around them. This is a first for me because I usually install flooring of this nature on a remodel or up grade and I have to cut in around every thing, unedrcut door jambs etc. I was thinking that putting in all the flooring would save me time and hassles. I would not have to put spacers under my base cabs to bring them up the thickness of the flooring, Would not have to put base shoe around every thing, and would save a ton of cut in time. what do the pros think. safe enough or bad idea?
 

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solar guy
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In my op if you are doing a natural finish sand and finish in place flooring,I would do the flooring first, sand , seal ,set cabinets, fiber disk and finish.
This makes it easier than sanding around cabinets with all the edging etc.
Prefinished is a slightly different story. If you are careful and protect the flooring as all the other stuff is going on it works out ok. If you have animals working in there maybe it would be better to wait. Wit exotic hardwoods I have always waited but built up cabinets for the thickness of the flooring.:thumbup:
 

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Flooring Guru
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floor first is usually the best option.
No base shoe usually needed
appliances fit nice
easier for the installer

only down side.....cabinet guys install on fresh new undamaged hardwood.
but there are ways to protect it.
Best to take a few pictures of the floor before they arrive and have the cab guys look at the floor too and agree to the condition.
then look at the floor before they leave to look for dents or scratches that are unacceptable
that way it eliminates the pissing match
 

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Maker of Fine Sawdust
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I always install the cabinets first. I use the universal anti-grav installation brackets and set them up for a 3/4" float. That way, when the flooring guy comes he can just slip the flooring right under the cabinets :w00t:

Floor first whenever possible. Unless you know it is the last kitchen the HO will ever install, put the entire floor down, don't cheat by skipping under the cabinets. Unless, the flooring is hard to come by with limited availability or really pricey. Do them a favor and lay the whole space.
 

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Cabinets first...if you ever want to change the floor or need to do a repair you will be glad you did...:thumbup:
 

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Flooring Guru
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Cabinets first...if you ever want to change the floor or need to do a repair you will be glad you did...:thumbup:
I would not agree that repair is easier. a plank replace is a plank replace.
You do have a point that changing out later would be easier...however why would someone buy a product like wood with the intent to replace.....
in other words...you have a good point...but other points would overide that one. It shouldn't be the overiding factor in the decision.
 

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Thom
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Floor First BUT I'm not a fan of wood in the kitchen. Tile it.
 

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Flooring Guru
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Tile doesn't work for everyone.
works for water but not for the elderly or people who have leg problems.
Doesn't do too well for people with kids ready to learn to walk either....
But it is the best surface all around for durability and moisture issues
no doubt about that
 

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I have a new home to install true hardwood flooring in the kitchen dining area. I also will be setting the kitchen cabinets. I have asked a handful of people wich is better or the norm, to put in all the flooring and then come back and set the cabinets on top of it or set the cabinets and cut the flooring in around them. This is a first for me because I usually install flooring of this nature on a remodel or up grade and I have to cut in around every thing, unedrcut door jambs etc. I was thinking that putting in all the flooring would save me time and hassles. I would not have to put spacers under my base cabs to bring them up the thickness of the flooring, Would not have to put base shoe around every thing, and would save a ton of cut in time. what do the pros think. safe enough or bad idea?
My years in the trade tell me that cabinets need to be level. Is the floor level??? Shoe mould only handles 1/2". Do you still have something to attach to??? Just my opinion. Cabinets first, then flooring. If you were installing a stone floor, then you know the floor is level, then cabinets after the fact. Wood flooring has never been installed in a level fashion. Those days are gone!!!
 

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Flooring Guru
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If it's a floating floor, then it's a non issue....cabs first. Unless you are mounting the cabs to the walls.
But a nail down floor still needs it to be level...and flat mostly.
I don't belive I have seen a floor that is unacceptable for cab install but fine for nail down wood.
 

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strat hd
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I have a new home to install true hardwood flooring in the kitchen dining area. I also will be setting the kitchen cabinets. I have asked a handful of people wich is better or the norm, to put in all the flooring and then come back and set the cabinets on top of it or set the cabinets and cut the flooring in around them. This is a first for me because I usually install flooring of this nature on a remodel or up grade and I have to cut in around every thing, unedrcut door jambs etc. I was thinking that putting in all the flooring would save me time and hassles. I would not have to put spacers under my base cabs to bring them up the thickness of the flooring, Would not have to put base shoe around every thing, and would save a ton of cut in time. what do the pros think. safe enough or bad idea?
Man, this thread is getting nuts ! It's a new home ! Floors should be level !
True hardwood floors ! And some of you guys are saying do it this way so remodeling will be easier ? :rolleyes: Yeah, I can hear the realtor now saying they did it this way so you can tear up that 5k or whatever floor so you can have something different down the road. :rolleyes: Lets get real here. :rolleyes:.....................geeeeeez............
 

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Flooring Guru
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This is really standard for this type of question.
10 years and I see the same answers...
10 years from now we will see the same answers....

such is life....
 

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KemoSabe
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14,233 Posts
I prefer flooring first, that being said, you will have less than perfect floors for a variety of reasons. I have rarely seen a perfectly level foundation, or perfectly milled lumber, or floor joists that stabilize at the same dimension. Decking has a tendancy to washboard between joists, even when spaced properly if it sees enough inclement weather. Lumber changes with humidity, so if it's perfectly level today, it may not be down the road. Crowning in boards will vary also. Even engineered lumber will deflect at different rates according to loading, thats why I do X bridging no matter what. Point loads will compress decking and blocking unless it is isolated from the floor as in a steel column. Center girders will shrink in dimension unless engineered lumber or steel is used.

The point I'm making is, you have to deal with all the curves that are thrown at you. If the floor going down is being site finished I would install it first to limit the obvious risk to cabinets. If prefinished is going down, I may want to install cabinets first. Asess the risks, make a calculated decision and move forward. It's been done both ways and niether is right or wrong.:thumbsup:
 

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KemoSabe
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Cabinets first...if you ever want to change the floor or need to do a repair you will be glad you did...:thumbup:
What if you want to keep the floor and change the cabinet layout?:thumbsup:
 
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