installing kitchen cabinets

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Old 02-17-16, 05:59 PM
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installing kitchen cabinets

Hello, I was seeking a little advice. We ordered cabinets and have installed the uppers, we were waiting for appliances before we installed our base cabinets and island. We planned on putting in the laminate flooring after cabinets are anchored. My question was is it okay for the base cabinets to be secured to the sub floor? If we are doing the flooring last the cabinets should be okay to be secured to the subfloor correct? please advise. Thanks

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Old 02-17-16, 06:47 PM
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Normally base cabinets are attached to the walls. The exception would be an island. Base cabinets will likely also need shims for leveling.
 
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Old 02-18-16, 05:57 AM
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Base Cabinets

Installing the flooring last will reduce the height of the base cabinets at the front where under-counter appliances such as your dishwasher will be installed. This could make it impossible to install the dish washer. I recommend installing the floor first to give the base cabinets the correct height.

When ready to install the base cabinets, find the highest point of the floor where the cabinets will sit and level all other base cabinets from that point.
 
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Old 02-18-16, 06:01 AM
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Although the original builder used nails to anchor my cabinets, it's not typical. As Tony said the cabinets should be anchored to the wall.

How are you going to do the floor where the appliances are going. In particular the dishwasher? There is an on going debate if flooring should be laid under the dishwasher or not. I'm of the group that feels flooring should be extended into the dishwasher cavity.
 
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Old 02-18-16, 06:10 AM
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It would be smart to lay 3/8 plywood on the base cabinet layout... assuming your laminate is 3/8". A 2x4 cleat on the floor will give you something to secure the island to. I'm with Norm that the flooring should extend under the appliances.
 
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Old 02-18-16, 07:36 AM
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I'm with X - plywood under the cabinets to match the level of the finished floor you're installing.

While I would not choose laminate for a kitchen, it needs to move so you don't want it under heavy objects like cabinets.
 
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Old 02-20-16, 10:55 PM
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I don't believe there is any advantage to installing the floor first - actually more of a disadvantage. If the flooring is installed first there is a real chance of marring/scraping the floor during base cabinet install. Also, flooring under the cabinets is a waste of time, money and material - it's never seen. The difference in height with the flooring in place before the cabinets, to the height of the counter is likely to be less than a 1/2" and virtually un-noticeable. Typically, when the flooring is installed, if using laminate (personally not my best choice), the flooring is floated and requires a perimeter expansion gap - 3/8" or so which is covered using 3/4 round trim or trim of your choice, pinned to the kick plate under the cabinet.

The cabinets should be screwed to the studs, shimmed to make level with each other - using a high point level line on the wall and screwed to each other through the face frame / stile. With the doors off the cabinets use a couple of clamps to temporarily adjust the face frame to the next cabinet and shim as necessary. Be careful not to clamp the boxes out of square and keep a 4-6' bubble level across the top of the cabinets. Drill and countersink the pilot holes for the face frame wood screws.

If you still decide on laminate remember it does not fare well where moisture is present - certainly in front of the sink and under the dw. I would, however run the flooring in the space allowed for the refrigerator, which is often on castors and requires removing from time to time. The dw is fixed in place and rarely moved, neither is the stove, if free-standing.
 
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Old 02-21-16, 04:00 AM
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If you don't install flooring under the cabinets you should set them on plywood the same thickness as the flooring so there aren't any problems if you need to replace or service the dishwasher. It also makes it easier to pull out and clean under the stove.
 
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Old 02-21-16, 05:53 AM
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As Tony said
Tony...LOL! Hope Furd sees this!
 
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Old 02-21-16, 06:05 AM
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Yea, about that. Stubby fingers, multiple key hits and poor eye sight. Sorry about that. I'm sure Furd will say something, especially since it's me that made the mis-type. It's all good!
 
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Old 02-21-16, 06:25 AM
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No worries. Furd and I were discussing this in another post where a member called me "Tony". You are not the first one nor will you be the last.
 
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Old 02-21-16, 08:03 AM
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Forgot to mention in my previous post...Installing cabinets after the floor, makes for significantly easier floor replacement, should that be necessary either by choice or through accident. Believe me, if that time comes, you'll be glad the cabinets went in first.
 
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Old 02-21-16, 08:12 AM
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The dw is fixed in place and rarely moved, neither is the stove, if free-standing.
Andy,

I agree with everything you say except the above quote. I've had many occasions to repair, replace or for some reason or another to move the DW and stove out from it's location. Having a level floor to just slide it out vs having to lift it slightly is a God send. And its much easier to level when in place. And depending on how much flooring has been added in the past, the dishwasher might not have enough travel to compensate for the depth of subfloor and existing surface.
 
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Old 02-21-16, 10:39 AM
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I pretty much refuse to install cabinets over a finished floor. Luckily, in over 16 years, only about 2 customers have demanded it against advice.
The cabinets and counter are more permanent than any floor IMO, and far more valuable. As Andy said, when it comes time to replace the floor you've got trouble if it's under the cabinets.

Tile or flooring should be laid in the fridge opening and the free standing range opening. The dishwasher opening can be fully tiled or just 3 - 4" in, I prefer the 3 - 4" only for various mechanical reasons when working under the dishwasher.

Most factory cabinets or even custom cabinets are 34.5" high. With a dishwasher opening height of either 34 or 34.5 high from finished floor, you will be fine.

As stated, cabinets are secured into the wall studs using shims. I only secure the following to the subfloor:

Island or peninsula cabinets
Refrigerator or Dishwasher end panels
Narrow cabinets that will sit alone, such as a 15" base next to a free standing range.
 
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Old 02-21-16, 10:41 AM
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Norm, I agree but I still stand by my 'rarely'. Sure there are occasions but certainly not frequently. Typically, I use spare ceramic floor tiles, laid under the dw to bring up the height, if needed. The dw will have adjustable feet to raise/lower/adjust the height under the counter so I've never encountered a problem when removing. Just turn the feet to lower, lift over the finish flooring and pull out. There is very little weight to the Dishwasher. A free standing oven may be a different matter in removal but I still wouldn't lay a finish floor underneath. If the height needs to be adjusted to become flush with the counter I'd used whatever scrap material I had on hand or the same floor tiles to accomplish it. The trim piece on the front of the oven can be adjusted to fill any gap at the bottom. It's very easy to lay a few floor tiles in the spaces and takes no time at all. Just make sure they are within the cabinet(s) so the finish floor can butt up against them.
 
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Old 02-21-16, 02:38 PM
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Logic

Installing cabinets after the floor, makes for significantly easier floor replacement, should that be necessary either by choice or through accident. Believe me, if that time comes, you'll be glad the cabinets went in first.
These two statements are contradictory.
 
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Old 02-21-16, 09:01 PM
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You are correct...should be, "Installing cabinets BEFORE the floor..." Fortunately qualified in the last sentence.
Thanks for the grammar check.
 
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