New Floor-Before or After?
Updated: Aug 11, 2020
Before or After my New Kitchen Installation?
I’d love a dollar for every time I have been asked this question!
It’s a very important consideration for your kitchen renovation.
I believe you will get a better finish and look if your new flooring is installed before your new kitchen is fitted.
There are many types of flooring available but I am going to focus on the two most popular choices-
Laminate Floating Floors and Tiles
A laminate floor needs to be able to contract and expand and must be installed with expansion areas, not hard up against skirtings or panels.
The expansion area is along the walls/skirtings and a wooden bead covers the “gap”
The skirtings are removed then refitted to cover the expansion area, so no beading (scotia) is required.
Then the kitchen is fitted once the floor is completed without the need for any beading around your new kitchen.
Reedesign Kitchens cabinets have 4 adjustable legs per cabinet, evenly dispersing the
weight of the cupboard and each leg is not fitted to the floor enabling the floor to expand and contract.
The kickers are secured to cabinetry- again- not fitted to the floor.
Some laminate installers have cut (butchered) the bottom of the panels and slip the laminate under which often is not to a standard we expect, plus voids the warranties of these panels that are sealed to prevent your kitchen from any moisture take up.
The expansion area for the laminate flooring is around the walls, end panels of the kitchen, back of breakfast bar and sometimes along the kickers, and then all these areas are covered with wooden beading.
The kickers can be left off so part of the flooring can be finished nicely but you will still have beading around all the end panels, breakfast bar and your skirtings.
It is a bit more work for the laminate installers as they need to cut around panels instead of having a blank rectangle (or square) canvas.
You will save on materials as obviously you won’t need as much but when you consider an average kitchen covers about 4.5m2 ( even though there really is no such thing as an average kitchen) it really is not a huge saving for a superior finish.
Some will argue that you shouldn’t put a kitchen on top of a floating floor as it needs to expand and contract but ironically you will have a very heavy fridge, freezer, fully loaded dishwasher and in some cases a freestanding stove which is OK to have on laminate flooring!
The cabinetry is fitted to the walls (not the floor) thus dispersing the weight of your kitchen.
Ultimately it will be easier and look better if the tiled floor is installed before the kitchen.
The tiler will not have to cut tiles to fit around panels or work around cabinetry if tiles are laid before the kitchen is installed.
You will spend a bit more on tiles but considering the superior finish you will have, worth the small extra outlay.
Tilers will do the tiling after but we have done so many kitchens and laundry’s where the tiling has been done first and it looks sooooo much better.
Consider rectified tiles which have a smaller grout line and rectified (square) sides so the grout doesn’t form a small “dip” for dirt to collect.
Larger tiles will result in less grout but the size of the area needs to be considered as huge tiles in a smaller kitchen can make the kitchen look smaller.
Tiles can range from as little as $20 a square metre right up to several hundred and your choices are enormous.
If you do decide to do your flooring first (you clever thing) it will leave you without a kitchen for a bit longer but well worth it in the long run.
Of course, each kitchen installation is different and this following time frame example is only a guide.
The installation schedule will be something like this-
We would remove and dispose of your old kitchen and first fix electrical and plumbing would be carried out on the same day.
This would usually be beginning or end of a week.
We allow approximately one working week for the flooring to be installed.
We would then deliver and install the kitchen as normal. For kitchen installation process please refer to my blog-