Getting ready to remodel my Kitchen.

I currently have ceramic tile flooring; however I am changing it to hardwood. I am keeping my cabinets, just changing the countertop. Should I leave my cabinets in place, and remove the tile up to the cabinets or move the cabinets to place the hardwood underneath? My husband wants to remove the cabinets, but what is the point if you can't see the floor underneath the cabinets. I do not want to run the risk of damaging my cabinets during the removal process. What is the standard way of completing the remodel?
  9 answers
  • Your going to find that it is just about impossible to remove the tile up to the cabinets so the new wood can fit against the base. The tiles just do not come up that easy. If they do come up you can leave them. But on a professional standpoint. I would remove and replace. Although it is a bit harder to do, I would suggest that you remove the cabinets and re-set them on either new wood flooring or on plywood to bring them up to the level of the new floor. The latter is the lower cost option. Besides its a great time to insulate and prep the walls for paint when the lower cabinets are out of the way.

  • Designs by BSB Designs by BSB on Dec 12, 2011
    I would question that the tile goes under the cabinets in the first place. In my experience tile is (more often than not) installed after the cabinet installation. Do you have shoe molding at the bottom of your cabinets? If so, pull it off and see if there is a grout line at the cabinets - if yes, the tile does not go underneath. If you don't see grout and are trying to demo yourself, get a "Multi task tool" (Dremel & Rigid both make one, starting at $99) .. you may also need a "right angle" attachment. This tool will cut through the tile right at the base of your cabinets. Removing and re-installing cabinets? Sounds incredibly risky ~ many factors should be considered here. First and foremost, are they individual boxes are custom? Ive been witness to more custom cabinets being pulled out that come out in pieces, not in boxes. So its outright impossible to assemble again. Side note - make sure you take out your range and dishwasher (or any other appliance that sits directly on the floor. New flooring needs to go under these. I agree with you re: putting flooring under cabinets, what you don't see ..really doesn't matter (IMO) Good choice for putting in wood floors!

  • 3po3 3po3 on Dec 12, 2011
    I agree with Woodbridge. But why are you replacing tile with hardwood in the kitchen. I always lean toward tile in the kitchen because of potential water issues.

  • Shelbey G Shelbey G on Dec 12, 2011
    It is usually not standard to put flooring under the cabinets, in fact it is not recommended by most professionals. Floors aren't level so cabinets are usually shimmed at the bottom to make up for any inconsistencies. Most of the leveling is covered up by the new floor installation and any remaining issues are covered up by shoe moulding. In the case of a tile floor, it is NEVER a good idea to put tile under the cabinets. The grout can act like a sponge to draw moisture from mopping or spills under the cabinets. Be sure to take into consideration the thickness of the flooring you will be installing so that your dishwasher and other appliances fit back into their space. It is also a waist of money to put flooring under the cabinets.

  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Dec 13, 2011
    First I would say avoid wood in a kitchen...I have done more repairs there due to leaks etc. then what would make it worth while If you are concerned about "comfort" get some decent shoes or an area rug. The "perception" that hardwoods are softer under feet is just that perception. As far as setting cabinets "on" the flooring I push for that as well..this eliminates may problems down the road for appliances etc. I have seen many a dishwasher that was tiled in or "wooded" in . It makes for a very PITA replacement. Your particular issue is you are choosing to re-use your cabinets...which is admirable from a cost and green standpoint but less common in the real world. any visual issue with "out of level" can easily be corrected when the toe kicks are installed.

  • Shelbey G Shelbey G on Dec 14, 2011
    Clarification: If you decide to leave your cabinets in place and lay new floor you MUST put the new flooring underneath where the dishwasher, refrigerator and any other freestanding appliance goes. The problem you may run into is the new opening height of the dishwasher if you are not replacing your countertops. You must always take in to consideration you floor thickness so you can "do the math" and make sure your appliances will fit back in place properly once the floor is installed.

  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Dec 14, 2011
    The point Shelbey makes is real...I have seen it a number of times when doing floor refinish work...the dishwasher will not fit in the hole without sticking up beyond the cabinets...this makes a counter install problematic...another area is some ranges have side "wings" that extend over the counter to keep crap from getting between the appliance and the edge of the counter. in some cases the feet of the range will not allow it to set low enough for these "wings" to do their job...they are setting 1/4 above the counter. Removing the adjustable feet may work...but then you lose the leveling ability and the appliance often rocks

  • there are a number of opinions here..... so I will add mine :-) In new construction, floors usually go in before cabinet installation, no matter what the surface. I am in total agreement that I am not a fan of putting hardwoods in areas that have water, but I know that is against the norm and hardwoods are all the rage. So I also agree that if your initial installation is under your current cabinets, you would and should remove those to replace flooring, and then reset those cabinets back onto your new surface. In the case of leveling... NOTHING is perfect. That is why shims were invented, and usually there is a "kick" plate that is installed after leveling to hide any noticable gaps.

  • Jennifer G Jennifer G on Jul 21, 2014
    When we remodeled my MIL's kitchen, we had all the new cabinets installed BEFORE we installed the new Bamboo flooring. We put the new flooring under all the appliances (dishwasher, stove, fridge) and then the counter tops were installed. The flooring hid the shims that were used to level the cabinets and the flooring was easy to cut to fit around the cabinets. Removing your existing cabinets to install the new flooring sounds time consuming and I see a ton of issues concerning possible damage to the cabinets. If you are NOT replacing the subfloor (the plywood base floor) then I would just put your new hardwood around the cabinets to save yourselves time, money and headaches. Good Luck with your project and post photos so we can see how it went! :)