Which first: floor or cabinets?

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Old 09-08-08, 09:01 AM
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Which first: floor or cabinets?

We are in the planning stages of a major kitchen remodel. I want to do as much as I can myself to reduce costs. I plan to demo all the existing cabinets and flooring, and install the new flooring which will be ceramic tile. The new cabinets will be contracted.

I know it is common practice to save the flooring for last. It is certainly less costly to only tile the exposed surface. However, from a DIY perspective, it might be easier/quicker for me (a novice) to tile the emptied room first and have the cabinets installed over the tile. The empty space is almost a perfect square (10.5' x 11.5'). The finished floor plan will have multiple corners to deal with thanks to the fridge, stove and DW spaces on three of the four walls.

Is it sound practice to install cabinets over ceramic tile? Are there any special considerations to do so? Could I leave the hidden perimeter (behind cabinets) unfinished i.e. only whole tiles, no cuts?

TIA,

Dave
 
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Old 09-08-08, 03:36 PM
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Hi Dave,

This is a frequent question here, and it's really up to you. In my opinion, I always think it's a waste to install tile under the cabinets that never gets seen. It's really up to you, and there are pro's/con's to each method.

You do however, want to tile where the stove, dishwasher, frig, etc are. If you got the extra tile already, you might as well.....

Is this a cement slab or wooden subfloor? If wooden, let us know because tile requires a very sturdy subfloor to last.
 
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Old 09-08-08, 04:26 PM
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Some alternatives, carefully lay out the cabinet profile on the floor, tile to just under the toekick edge and under appliances as suggested above. Or adjust the heigth of the cabinets as needed with shims and tile/floor later(this option is not usually needed except for tall people, only talking about 3/8"). Or just install the cabinets and tile up to the toekick. This requires careful cutting.
 
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Old 09-08-08, 06:36 PM
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Thanks folks.

This will be my first tile job (I've helped on a couple) and I'd like to simplify things, especially the amount and shapes of cuts required. We will probably being laying the tile on diagonal for visual interest. As long as it's not taboo, I'm inclined to tile the empty room.

The sub floor is 5/8" plywood, straight cut edges. The joists are 2x10s on 16" centers.

The original underlayment was 5/8" particle board with press 'n' stick tiles. (On top of THAT was a subsequent floor job comprising 1/4" ply and more press 'n' stick.) All of this coming out; I will start from the bare sub floor.

The surrounding flooring is 3/4" hardwood. I suppose I will end up with more than 3/4" of build-up in the kitchen. Hopefully it wont be too much thicker.

Additional consideration: I have to eliminate a baseboard heater and will replace it with an electric radiant set-up. From what I've read it should not add significantly to the total thickness.

I'm all ears on recommendations, but I assumed backerboard and thinset was in my future. Anything else?
 
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Old 09-08-08, 07:02 PM
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how are you cutting the tile ?
 
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Old 09-09-08, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by condo-owner View Post
how are you cutting the tile ?
Not sure, since I haven't even picked it out yet! We are actually leaning toward a porcelain tile, simply because of how it complements the rest of the design. My understanding is that porcelain requires specific cutting tools?

While I'm trying to hold down costs, I also know that I'll do more tiling than this one job. I'm willing to buy some tools or rent as needed.
 
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Old 09-09-08, 12:02 PM
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The sub floor is 5/8" plywood, straight cut edges. The joists are 2x10s on 16" centers.
Minimum requirement for a subfloor for ceramic tile is 5/8" tongue and groove. You have square edge. You can either add blocking between the joists at the plywood edges to support the edges if you have access from below, or add an additional layer of plywood (minimum 3/8"). You can use an isolation membrane over the additional plywood instead of cement board. That'll save you a little on floor height.
 
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Old 09-09-08, 02:24 PM
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Thanks. I do have access underneath, so I'll look into blocking vice another layer.

I did eventually find a previous thread on this question:
http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?t=318152

Thanks for being patient with a newbie; not all forums are so civil.

I'll follow up with more flooring questions in the flooring forum. Bottom line: I'll more than likely tile the full floor.
 
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Old 09-09-08, 07:23 PM
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Glad we can help, that is what we are here for. No questions are "noobish". We would rather you ask a zillion questions then none at all.
 
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