A: Personally I prefer to have the tile installed before the cabinets when possible. Reasons:
1. This method is safer for the cabinets, less chance of damage or scratches on the cabinets from moving tile around.
2. Makes for a clean transition from the tile to cabinets, there will be no need for a grout line at the base of the cabinets which runs the risk of moisture wicking up into the wood of the cabinets.
3. Makes the tile installation much easier due to not needing to cut the tiles around the base of the cabinets.
4. If you ever decide to replace the cabinets in a few years the change out will be MUCH easier.
5. You won’t loose counter top height due to the cabinets being sunk down below the tile, (you could looses as much as ¾ of an inch or possibly more).
Keep in mind that if you carefully lay out the foot print of the cabinets, you only need to tile just pass that line. The rest under the cabinets can be filled with plywood or other solid materials to have a surface for the cabinets to rest on.
Do be careful, if you have 8’ ceilings and tall upper cabinets with crown moldings up to the ceiling: raising the cabinets to the new floor level may throw off the standard dimension of the backsplash area. This may or may not be critical in your situation.
There is nothing really wrong with putting the floor in after the cabinets however. It is commonly done to retrofit a new floor to an existing area with cabinets that will not be replaced. It is just not our 1st choice.
We at Mosby evaluate each kitchen and then make the determination of which method will work best. If you would like expert help with this project call our office at 314.909.1800 or contact us here.
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