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Should You Install Flooring Before You Install Cabinets?

December 29th, 2023 | 2 min read

By SEO Team

Many homeowners feel stuck contemplating whether to begin with the floor or cabinets during a remodeling project. The skepticism results from some contractors claiming that beginning with the floor is an industry-standard and others arguing that starting with the cabinets is okay.

So, what should you start with? JSB Home Solutions‘ factory-trained technicians have broken down the question to help you understand when to start with the floor or cabinets. We have helped Ohio homeowners give their homes a fresh look since 1978.

Flooring or Cabinets First?

You can start with the floor or the cabinets when renovating a bathroom. The decision to start with floor or cabinets first depends on the type of flooring, budget, the floor’s risk of damage, and the possibility of future cabinet replacements.

The following are reasons to either install the floor or cabinets first.

Reasons to Install the Floor First

Simplify Installation

Starting with the floor is standard practice in the industry. Many contractors prefer this renovation approach since the already-installed floor provides a level ground that simplifies the cabinet installation process. With a done floor, cabinet installation saves time, money, and effort.

Simplify Future Renovations

With the floor-first procedure, replacing outdated cabinets with newer models becomes an effortless, less time-consuming project. You won’t deal with the cabinets-first issues like an undone floor under cabinets or a hard-to-modify footprint.

When to Start with Cabinets First

You Have a Floating Floor.

Starting with cabinets is recommended if you intend to install floating floors like vinyl, laminate, or engineered flooring. Why? Such floors are delicate, and your cabinets’ weight could crush them.

Since floating floors are designed to expand or contract following indoor temperatures, placing a heavy load on them prevents their movements, an issue that leads to floor peaking.

Your Flooring Material Is Delicate.

Installing cabinets first protects your bathroom’s flooring material from chipping, scratching, soiling, and other damage associated with moving heavy cabinets and equipment on the delicate flooring materials.

You Are on a Budget.

Installing cabinets first helps you save the flooring material that could have gone under the cabinets and costs you could have incurred installing your flooring materials under a concealed area.

However, leaving the area under cabinets un-floored hardly saves significant amounts unless you’re using premium materials like laminate, vinyl, and hardwood flooring.

The Cons of Installing Cabinets First

Although practical, the cabinet-first method has several downsides you must consider before using it. It complicates the cabinet installation process and limits you from making future cabinet replacements.

Some of the significant cons to watch out for include:

Difficulty Leveling the Cabinets

Installing cabinets before the floor is done could create an unlevel surface. For that reason, you might have to find creative procedures to fix the height difference brought about by an unleveled floor. Installing the floor first helps you bypass the complexity.

Expensive Installation

Installing cabinets before the floor is expensive, labor intensive, and time-wasting. You must create a blueprint for future renovations and cut the floor around the installation site to fit the cabinets.

You also have to mold the area around the cabinet to give the bathroom under renovation a more refined appearance.

Time for a New Bathroom Look & Feel? Get Your Bathroom Remodeled by JSB Home Solutions

The floor or cabinets first? Many bathroom remodeling experts in Ohio suggest beginning with the floor as the best choice. That is because a level floor simplifies cabinet installation and creates room for future cabinet replacements.

You should only use the cabinet first method when the area under renovation has delicate flooring materials, or you want to conserve the flooring materials that could have gone under cabinets.

All in all, installing a cabinet should never bother you. If it does, get in touch with JSB Home Solutions, and our factory-trained technicians serving Ohio will get the remodeling project done neatly and quickly at affordable rates.


Image Source; VanoVasaio / Shutterstock