tile under appliances? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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09-04-2001, 08:11 AM
I know that I should tile under all my appliances. But is there a differnt rule for a "new" kitchen? I am building a new home, and am installing the kitchen this weekend. I WAS assuming that I should install the cabinets first, and then lay the cement board down around them, and then the tile. I would lay the tile under the fridge and stove, but my question in that logic is wit hthe dishwasher. The dishwasher is in a boxed in area, where the stove is not. Will I hav eenough clearance under the counters, after the backer board, tile and two layers of thin set?


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09-04-2001, 09:00 AM
Hi Joe

Usually it's easier and looks better when the tile is under the cabinets although you may end up using a few more tiles. Perhaps even just 1 more row so you're at least under the "kick-plate". If you're able to install under the dishwasher ... by all means do so. The front of the dishwasher is your only concern because the back is always much lower. Check the adjustments for the front legs/wheels and see what your max clearance is. Ad all the factors (thicknesses)ie: tile, cement board and approx 3/8" thinset and see what you're left with.

I'm confused by your reference to 2 layers of thinset.... is this necessary?

09-04-2001, 09:02 AM
the thin set under the cement board, and then the thinset under the tile, hence the two layers of thin set

09-04-2001, 09:21 AM
hrumff ..... I knew that.
Smarty pants! :)

Bud Cline
09-04-2001, 09:34 AM
If you have the option (and in this case you do) I would first install 1/2" plywood under the cabinets. The edges would not extend beyond the limits of the cabinet footprint.

Plywood is cheaper than tile and cement board and you would be accomplishing about the same thing. In the dishwaher cubbyhole instal 1/2" cement board in place of the plywood. If done in this fashion, then your cabinets are only buried into the tile. Dishwasher replace will not be a problem in the future.

09-04-2001, 09:37 AM
Thanks, Big Red!!
That sounds like a very wise idea!!
I will do just that, install the 1/2 " plywood in the cabinet layout, it is only an "L" shaped kitchen, so it shouldnt take that much.

John Bridge
09-04-2001, 04:31 PM
[Boy, sometimes that Bud is a pretty smart cookie, Patti.]

Bud Cline
09-04-2001, 09:01 PM

Customers love the idea of not covering all that expensive tile with cabinetry that will never move and not burying their appliances at the same time.

I've done a couple of handicapped kitchens where they wanted ceramic tile but the inspectors where insistant about elevation measurements being right on a gnats ass, so we re-elevated the cabinets with 3/4" ply.

09-04-2001, 11:53 PM

If I may. I'm not always the tile guy in my houses, but I'm always the cabinet guy.

I usually try to let my real tile man do his floor in the kitchen before installing base cabinets and, unless it's a real expensive tile, he tiles everything except what would be a cut at the back of a wall unit.

Those times when I have to set the cabinets before the floor is tiled(scheduling conflicts, etc.), I always set them so the bottoms will be above finished floor. Not too much, but at least 1/8th inch. He tiles at least up to the base, usually a little under. He tiles under the dishwasher, refrigerator, etc, the same as the rest of the floor so there is never a conflict getting an appliance under the counter.

My custom cabinets come with 4 inch rips of 1/4 inch veneered plywood to match the cabinet wood. This is installed to the face of the kick plate under the cabinet fronts and rests on the new tile floor, covering any remaining gap between cabinet and floor. Even if your gap is a half inch, it will be covered and the top of the trim piece is not visable to anyone except the cat. This trim piece is absolutely necessary on concrete floors that are sometimes less than perfectly level, but are always installed anyway so the kick plate trim covers the cabinet joints and makes it all look like a single piece.

In any case, you will already have installed your upper cabinets, so be sure you have measured from "finished floor" level to the bottom of the uppers so as not to short yourself on "above counter top" spacing.

My opinion; worth price charged.