Can You Replace the Kitchen Floor Without Removing Cabinets?

Photo from Wayfair

How you respond to this issue is heavily influenced by the type of kitchen flooring you presently have in place and also the kind of floor you want to construct. Linoleum or wood laminate flooring may often be installed with no need to remove cabinetry; simply go as near as possible to the cabinets using complete paneling, and then trim the linoleum or laminate sections as necessary such that they about apart from perfectly against the cabinet foundation. Nevertheless, cutting porcelain or ceramic tile in the kitchen is a much more involved operation than cutting linoleum and involves the use of specific equipment known as a wet saw. 

Is It a Need to Layer the Flooring Under the Cabinets?

Yes, it is possible to install flooring beneath kitchen cabinets. The installation of the floor prior to the installation of cabinets provides the kitchen with a neater appearance. No time is wasted cutting around the cabinetry, and you have the freedom to be creative with the placement of your cabinets. Although it is more expensive to set up flooring initially, it is not needed.

Remember that placing the flooring will first result in a minor increase in the elevation of the cabinets and worktops. Cabinets for the kitchen could also be installed prior to the installation of the flooring. This spares you both money and effort by eliminating the need to install flooring underneath cabinets that will be hidden from view.

If you install the cabinets beforehand, you will not have to worry about damaging your flooring. If you’re planning a complete kitchen redesign, this is one of the most significant advantages. It is preferable to build kitchen cabinets before installing floating flooring if you are installing floating flooring. 

It is possible that it will buckle or split as the load of the cabinets increases over time. Unlike traditional flooring, which is cemented down, floating flooring does not require any adhesive. It’s similar to a puzzle piece in that it’s made out of multiple wooden planks that have been joined collectively.

What Problems Can You Encounter When Cabinets Are Not Removed?

The most huge concern that can develop is the appearance of an apparent depth differential between old and new materials. Installing the new floor level with the base of the cabinetry is an option if the floor joist is broader than the old piece.  Nevertheless, if you are able to get peeks of the old flooring in which the new one stops, the situation will be problematic, to say the very least.

Another issue that could arise is the weight of the new floor itself. For example, if you’re upgrading hardwood with granite or cement tile, it’s possible that the subfloor will not be robust enough to sustain the additional weight. In this instance, you’ll need to hire professionals to come in and examine your subflooring. If it comes out that the subflooring isn’t capable of supporting the floor you prefer to install, you’ll have to dismantle the cabinetry and replace them with new subflooring prior to continuing with the rest of your work.

Finally, you should take into consideration the moisture issue. Hardwood or engineered wood floors must be sealed at the point where they meet other materials to prevent spillages and splatters from infiltrating and damaging the wood. If the floorboards you would like to start replacing or the ones you would like to configure are made of wood floors or laminate flooring, you will need to secure the substance at the point where they meet other materials. If you have plywood subfloors, bear in mind that moisture may run underneath the flooring from the intersection, then you should secure the joints with sealant or a similar waterproof agent to prevent this from happening.

Is it Suggested to Install Tile Flooring Before the Cabinets?

Yes, it is possible to install tile flooring before installing kitchen cabinets. It adds a lovely finishing touch to the overall appearance of the kitchen. Taking down tile initially allows you to have more options. If you ever renovate your kitchen and decide to relocate the cabinetry, the floor beneath it will be completed. Tiles, on the other hand, can be quite delicate. Consequently, you may want to store it till last so that it does not become harmed while you are engaged in the renovation project.

Will Installing Laminated Flooring Work Underneath the Cabinets?

While this is a possibility, it is not advised in most cases. Because laminated flooring expansion and contraction considerably depend on the temperature, it is susceptible to cracking. The installation of laminate flooring underneath the cabinets makes it increasingly challenging to replace as well. Unless you have a special tool, you will not be able to eliminate floor pieces that have been fitted beneath the cabinets.

When to Install Tiles After the Cabinets?

The advantage of trying to install the tile arrangement after the cabinets, granite countertops, and other loadings have been managed to install (with the knowledge that the flooring was built to withstand such heavy load) is that it helps to guarantee that the system is positioned into deformation before the tile is placed, resulting in the strength of downward pressure on the completed setup being reduced to a bare minimum, which is beneficial.

It is necessary to add perimeter joints in which the tile installation joins the cabinetry if it is put after the cabinets. The cuts made to the toe kicks and edges of the cabinets should be very carefully made, refinished, and packed with shaped backup and an adaptable sealer, such as 100% silicone, or finish trim should be implemented to protect the spotless and open exterior joints to ensure a professional appearance.

When Should You Call for a Professional for the Flooring Job?

Use an expert licensed professional who does have expertise in the market when you are making a substantial visual alteration to your homes, such as resurfacing cabinets or changing flooring. It is true that some floor solutions, such as vinyl tiles, are easier to install on your own than others. Nevertheless, in most circumstances, hiring a professional is the best option for high-quality work and the protection of other things in the kitchen. If you are afraid that upgrading flooring after resurfacing would compromise your new cabinets, keep in mind that almost all floor replacements occur with kitchen cabinets still in place.  Safeguarding preexisting cabinetry, furnishings, and walls is therefore a top consideration for a competent flooring specialist while installing the new floor.

How Much is the Cost of Replacing the Flooring?

The kind of flooring you choose for the kitchen will determine how much this will cost of replacing the flooring in the kitchen. You may anticipate paying anything between $5 and $20 per square foot, with some companies charging considerably more than that.

In most cases, builders charge around $2 and $25 per square foot for the removal of preexisting flooring and between $5 and $25 per square foot for the installation of the new flooring. It is therefore important to compensate for any additional expenses, such as elevating or restoring the subflooring.

Compute a cost for replacing the kitchen flooring that ranges between $1,000 and $4,000, determined by the size of the kitchen. If you do have the necessary abilities and would like to keep prices as low as possible, you can do the project entirely on your own and only spend on the materials.

What are the Benefits and Drawbacks of Installing the Floor First?


It is common for individuals to install floors first in order to prevent needing to cut through the materials surrounding cabinets and equipment. This is the primary attraction for individuals who are just getting started with floors. Furthermore, some people are concerned that by building cabinets initially, it would be more difficult to transfer them out in the latter because you will be committed to much the same cabinet footprints that you had previously. If you’re rebuilding the kitchen, on the other hand, you’re probably using it in a manner that you won’t want to modify later. Lastly, installing flooring underneath base cabinets creates a clean appearance and eliminates the need to add quarter rounds at the same time as the cabinets.


The installation of floors underneath the cabinets results in the loss of flooring products. Because you won’t be able to see flooring underneath the cabinetry and equipment, there’s no reason to spend the money on the product and construction. If you decide to change the flooring at a subsequent time, you’ll have to remove the cabinetry as part of the process. A pricey remodeling down the road for you or prospective occupants is likely a result of this.

Furthermore, the type of material you select may have an impact on the sequence in which your installation is completed. Wood floors expand or contract as a result of temperature changes and humidity, and they require adequate space to accommodate this operation. When you build flooring underneath the cabinetry, it is possible that the wood can collapse whenever it tries to expand. This will cause harm to your newly installed floor.

As a result, some specialists advise that you install wood floors once you have finished installing the cabinetry. Furthermore, floating floors cannot be placed underneath cabinetry due to the fact that the cabinets are too weighty and will prevent the flooring from contraction and relaxation as it would otherwise. It is possible that the floor will come apart as a result of this.