I've heard two opposing viewpoints and am confused. If you do install cabinets first should you build up subfloor to height of flooring? This is new construction.
how thick is the laminate flooring? It is most common that all subfloor materials be installed under the cabinetry. If your flooring is 1/4" or more I would also put it under the cabinetry. Otherwise you start decreasing the height of your toe space on the cabinets in addition lowering the height of your counter tops. You really want 36" (cabinets are 34-1/2+1-1/2" top). Most flooring companies prefer to put down the finished floor before the cabinets so they are not cutting out the floor to fit the puzzle.
I guess the debate stems from laminate needing to "float". Makes sense but also makes sense to have it run underneath. Both methods came from the helpful folks at Home Depot and Lowes. Seemed that it depends on who you talk to because we asked at both stores on different days with different employees and got different answers. The installer said it didn't matter. I find that hard to believe. It should be a do or don't to me.
Gary makes a very very good point. Trust me! We found out the hard way the importance of that when recently replacing a dishwasher. I also agree with Becky Sue about decreasing the height of your counters and toe area. Though we haven't noticed any problem there in hind sight it would have been better to at the very least add extra sheeting under the cabinets so as to not have the problem we did with the dishwasher. This could also work out if you want the laminate to "float".
Keep in mind that laminates are considered disposable floors, and that after just a few years will look pretty sad...if these are installed UNDER the cabinets is is going to be a real bugger to replace them. I prefer to install tile in Kitchens...which would then be installed under everything...here the flooring lifespan can match that of the cabinets.