When Remodeling, What Comes First—Floors or Cabinets?

Renovating your kitchen can be a complex project to face. From the plumbing and electrical work to sifting through cabinet catalogs and flooring samples, it’s a challenging process. Your biggest and most laborious parts in the renovation process would likely be two aspects of your kitchen: the floors and the cabinets. As you develop a rough plan and timeline for your dream kitchen, you may wonder, “When remodeling, what comes first—floors or cabinets?” 

In this guide, we’ll take a look at the various pros and cons for each route for your kitchen renovation project and help you decide on your best move.

Floors First


There are many benefits to working on your kitchen flooring first, especially if you are facing the challenges of unique appliance heights or saving money. Homeowners would often start their home improvement projects by placing the floors first to correct construction anomalies—short appliances, uneven countertops, low kitchen cabinets. Depending on what floor material you’ve chosen for your remodeled kitchen, you can lift your appliances up to at least two inches. Some homeowners can even use plywood risers underneath their kitchen cabinets. Doing this can help you achieve the standard countertop height and even out the surfaces in your kitchen. 

Another advantage to installing floors first would be that homeowners can avoid cutting the floor material around the framework of appliances and cabinets. This means that as homeowners place the floors first, the appearance will be neat and eliminates the need to install the cabinet quarter routes. Some may consider cutting the floor material around the appliances’ framework as time-consuming and tedious. 


One disadvantage of installing the floors first is the possibility of wasting floor materials. If the cabinets are placed after the floors, the flooring beneath the cabinets is concealed. Paying and installing this flooring that will only be hidden by your kitchen cabinets would be a waste of time installing and money. 

Keep in mind that the floor materials impact your renovation process. Factors like fluctuating temperature and moisture can expand wood floors, and your wood flooring will need allowance space to settle onto the surface. Floating floors also need room to expand and contract in response to those factors. If you choose to place your flooring beneath the cabinets first, your cabinets would halt the wood floors from expanding. As the wood or floating floors buckle under your kitchen cabinets, the floors are subject to damage and even coming apart.

If you place floors under your cabinets, that suggests that future changes for your floor require you to strip the existing cabinets and appliances of your kitchen to replace all of your floorings. This is a major inconvenience if you don’t want to modify your kitchen layout.

Kitchen Cabinets First 


If you install your kitchen cabinets first, you will  protect  your floors from being damaged. Having your floors naturally follow your kitchen layout of appliances and cabinets allows for your floors to expand and contract without the cabinets suppressing them. You could also avoid damaging your floors in the process of carefully installing your cabinets around the cut floors. This would mean evading the tedious accidents of scratches and dents. 

Additionally, placing your kitchen cabinets first helps you save money from purchasing floor materials that would be inevitably concealed beneath your cabinets. Your time installing those floors can be saved, and the renovation process would be completed much faster.


However, you would have to face the few drawbacks of installing kitchen cabinets first. Choosing the “cabinets-first” route would mean that future renovations for your kitchen layout would be difficult. As the floors are cut uniquely to fit your appliances and cabinets, you must commit to this kitchen arrangement. 

The unique floor cut-outs expends a lot of the installation time since you would need to measure your cabinets and appliances, purchase the exact amount of materials needed, and cut your flooring to fit your base cabinetry. 

Affordable Cabinets at Buy Wholesale Cabinets 

Whether you’re eager to start with the kitchen flooring or dive into your renovations with kitchen cabinets first, it’s especially important to invest in high-quality cabinets that align with your dream kitchen goals. 

Buy Wholesale Cabinets provides a multitude of kitchen cabinets for any renovation project and style you envision—farmhouse, traditional, or contemporary. We are devoted to providing the cabinets that fit your needs in your budget because we don’t sacrifice quality for affordable prices. Visit our catalog to see what we have to offer, and then head over to our website for a free quote on your cabinets!