Kitchen redo - Put tile in before or after new cabinets [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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01-08-2017, 03:19 PM
We are going to have the kitchen redone. What would be the best way to go with the tile floor.

1) Demo the cabinets, then put tile to the walls and cabinets over the tile.

2) Demo/install new cabinets, then tile up to the base of the cabinets.

We've had 3 contractors look at the kitchen. 2 of them said to demo the cabinets, tile to the wall, new cabinets on top of the tile. 1 guy said to demo/install cabinets and tile to the base of the cabinets.

Any thoughts?

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01-08-2017, 03:43 PM
Definitely new cabinets over the new tile.

01-08-2017, 04:08 PM
Can be done either way, Brent. I prefer to tile the floor first.

If you're looking for some kind of consensus, type your request - tile and cabinets - into the Advanced Search feature and ask for Titles. It's been discussed many times here.

01-08-2017, 04:42 PM
Third vote to tile the floor first. :neesie:

1~If you ever change the configuration of the cabinets, there is no "footprint" to worry over.

2~Cleaner and easier install...not having to cut to cabinet.

3~If you tile up TO the cabinets, you lose some height by the toe kick...

01-08-2017, 07:15 PM
An aside...consider that the 'normal' countertop height was set way back in the 1950's for the average woman. Nothing has been taken into account that people in general are taller today. The ideal countertop height is about 3-4" below your elbow when your forearm is horizontal. Custom height cabinets can be expensive, but I ended up putting my cabinets (and stove) up on a pedestal. This also gave me a place to run the new wiring and some of the plumbing without having to go into the walls or floor as much.

01-08-2017, 07:25 PM
Concerning Jim's aside, my custom cabinet shop charges me very little to increase the height of my cabinets a little. I very frequently ordered the kitchen to finish out at 39 inches and all the bath vanities were standard kitchen bases.

Got started on that with my first house in this area back in the 80s and have found that many customers want taller kitchens and nearly all customers go for the kitchen bases (standard 34 1/2") in their bathrooms when given the option.

My opinion; worth price charged.

01-08-2017, 07:36 PM
If cabinets installed on top,after important is it for the tile/floor to not only be flat,but level?

Thought I would mention that,as no-one addressed that yet.

01-08-2017, 07:43 PM
I find it not very important at all, Rich. A fella's likely to hafta level his cabinets regardless what floor he installs them over and I find it no more or less difficult to do that after tile.

Houston Remodeler
01-08-2017, 07:49 PM
Usually MUCH easier after tile install as the tiles are pool table flat and level by the time we get done with them. :stick:

01-08-2017, 07:54 PM
Hmmm ok?

So install cabinets level,and tapercut toekicks/skins if floor out of level say .05-1" etc.

I'll stay out of here,seems no one cares what I have to say,nor what I've seen over the years.

01-08-2017, 08:44 PM
Don't forget about the dishwasher. If you do the cabinets first, You've reduced the height available for the dishwasher by the thickness of the flooring. Sometimes that's enough to make it not fit.

Arizona Floors
01-08-2017, 08:51 PM
Rich, I think you missed CX's point.

My opinion, since it can be done both ways, consider which item may be replaced first, tile or cabinets. I see floor tile replaced at a much higher frequency then cabinets in my area. At times we do have to cut out tile where cabinets have been placed on top. We charge top dollar for scenarios like this.

Choice is yours.

01-08-2017, 08:55 PM
I very frequently ordered the kitchen to finish out at 39 inches
Interesting CX. So what do you do with the dishwasher? I like the idea of higher cabinets. We are having deeper cabs made. 28 on the bottom and 15 on top. I saw some inna showroom and loved it. More space and more importantly more space behind the sink.

01-08-2017, 09:33 PM
Build a small platform for the DW. You may also need to deal with the stove if you don't want to finish the sides of the cabinets next to it. Having the stove lower than the cabinets could expose them to much more heat than they were designed for. Most stoves only have maybe an inch or so of adjustment in height and are normally designed for 'standard' 36" counter height. This can make it tricky if you need to pull the stove out for either maintenance or cleaning, though.

01-08-2017, 09:44 PM
Thanks Jim. Looks like I'll be stikkin to plan A. :)

01-08-2017, 10:40 PM
What Jim said, Jerry. I've had to build short platforms for both dishwashers and slide-in stoves. Not a big deal at all.

01-10-2017, 12:38 AM
Thanks for the replies. I'll plan to have the tile to the walls and cabinets on top.

Tool Guy - Kg
01-10-2017, 01:18 AM
Hi, Brent.

Is this a slab or wood subfloor?
And are you planning on granite countertops?


01-10-2017, 10:20 AM
Brent, it's not at all necessary to tile to the walls in the areas where you'll have cabinets. I tile as far as the last full tile (usually) that goes under the front of the cabinets and leave the rest open. No sense at all in fitting and laying tiles that will be completely under the cabinets.

I take issue with those who claim it makes remodeling easier. Not only have I never seen an occasion where that would have made a positive difference, but the tiles under the cabinets is not gonna look like the tiles outside the cabinets after ten years or so anyway.

My opinion; worth price charged.

Tool Guy - Kg
01-12-2017, 11:38 PM
You still around, Brent?