Hot Topics: Installing Base Kitchen Cabinets

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If you're working on remodeling your kitchen, it's important to know the correct sequence of installations. Do you secure the cabinets or lay the flooring first? These DIYers give great advice so that your kitchen comes out beautiful and functional.

Original Post: Installing kitchen cabinets

FirstTimer22 Member

Hello, I was seeking a little advice. We ordered cabinets and have installed the uppers, but 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 subfloor? If we are doing the flooring last, the cabinets should be okay to be secured to the subfloor correct? Please advise. Thanks,

Highlights from the Thread

Tolyn Ironhand Group Moderator

Normally base cabinets are attached to the walls. The exception would be an island. Base cabinets will likely also need shims for leveling.

Wirepuller38 Member

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.

Norm201 Member

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 ongoing 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.

XSleeper Member

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.

stickshift Group Moderator

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 that you don't want it under heavy objects like cabinets.

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