Last updated on February 9, 2023

Wondering if you should install flooring or cabinets first? 

As one of the most popular home improvement projects in America, kitchen remodeling always deserves some extra focus. In addition to finding the right materials and settling on a design, you’ll also need to think about the order of the remodel. Cabinets and flooring take up most of the remodeling time, and the order in which they’re installed can change depending on your unique scenario.

Before you start your next project, consider the following situations to learn how your kitchen work could progress.

installing floor or cabinets first

Top Factors for Deciding Between Installing Flooring or Cabinets First

The order of your remodel won’t necessarily make or break your project, but it could very well make it easier! Let’s dive into the top factors to consider when deciding between installing floor or cabinets first for your kitchen remodel.

Will You Be Raising Your Flooring?

If your floor will be raised above its current level, you’ll definitely need to take care of it before you install your new cabinets.

By the end of your kitchen remodel, your countertops should measure almost dead-on 36 inches in height. This is a standard working height that is used in American homes. If you were to install slightly raised flooring after your cabinets went in, then you would end up with slightly lower counters that don’t quite feel right.

Des Moines contractors can solve the problem by installing risers under cabinets and appliances, but this would leave you with less than perfect fit and finish. If the height is going up, floors should always come first.

Will You Be Repainting During Your Kitchen Remodel?

You might have concerns about damaging a new floor if you will be repainting your walls or even your cabinets.

You can’t damage a floor with paint if it hasn’t been installed yet. Some DIY home renovators prefer to do the flooring last, simply because it minimizes the chance of staining or damage. Paint pigment can typically be removed from flooring if it is addressed quickly, however, the problem becomes complicated with specialist materials like textured tiles or even the seams in hardwood flooring.

Professional kitchen remodelers could work around the problem either way. If the flooring is already installed, they can lay drop cloths and tape off around corners to prevent any paint contamination.

Do You Even Need to Replace Your Kitchen Cabinets?

What if you can complete your kitchen remodel without replacing your cabinets? Would new flooring affect the cabinet height?

You can minimize the height of your flooring by using materials like engineered wood, luxury vinyl, or even kitchen tiles. Molding can be installed around the edges of the flooring to create a professional finish that you will love.

You won’t need to replace flooring all the way underneath cabinets in this case. However, you will need to keep in mind that there will be mismatched flooring if you decide to change the footprint of your kitchen in the future.

Ultimately, you’ll need to weigh up the benefit of pulling out your cabinets and replacing the entire floor, verses simply replacing the floor that’s visible.

should you install floor or cabinets first

The Best Way to Handle Your Kitchen Remodel

When it comes to flooring or cabinets first, it’s clear that there’s no simple answer. Your unique scenario will have an influence on which is right for you. Sometimes, you could go either way, providing that there’s plenty of planning beforehand.

This question is a major hang up for DIY remodelers, but it’s not something that homeowners worry about when working with Des Moines contractors.

DIY work is perfect for some areas of the home, but it can introduce a lot of pain if you try to take on a project that is beyond your experience. Kitchen remodeling is a major home improvement, and it’s one that deserves the attention of professionals who will ensure flawless results that increase the value of your home.

If you want to build a kitchen that could last for decades or even the lifetime of your home, it’s time to talk to the team at HomeWorx Iowa. Our design experts will step you through the creative process to plan a kitchen that you will love. When it comes down to the technical details, our contractors will ensure that the physical work reflects your original vision.

Call us today to get your project started, and we’ll make sure that all work is carried out in the order that best serves your needs.