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Question DetailsAsked on 2/22/2017

do you lay tiles before installing the cabinets

We are getting new tiles and new cabinets. Should the tiles be put down before installing the cabinets

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1 Answer


Two schools of thought on that - I prefer running the tile under the cabinets and caulked and with a waterproof base at the bottom of the walls, sloping very slightly toward the open floor (which means shimming the cabinets a bit so they are level) - that way any leakage inside/through the cabinets or from the dishwasher or leaking disposal or such becomes immediately visible instead of sitting and rotting out the subfloor and cabinet bases. I also line under-sink cabinets with seamless sheet flooring like linoleum turned up at the edges and corner-sealed so any water under there runs out the doors.

[If using expensive tile, once you are a tile or so under the cabinets you can swap to to cheaper tile for the hidden part, if you are confident you will not be wanting to reconfigure or resize the cabinets down the road and possibly expose the mismatched tile.]

The other school of thought is go cheap and simple, put the cabinets in first (which does reduce the risk of floor damage from the cabinet and countertop guys), then run the flooring up to the base of the cabinets. If you do get a leak under/from the cabinets or dishwasher with that configuration, the water goes under the tile and can expand and warp the subfloor, destroying the tile - so may or may not be a good economy in the long run.

Here is a previous similar question with answer FYI -

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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