Should Kitchen Cabinets or Flooring Be Installed First?

Upscale kitchen with gorgeous flooring and beautiful raised-panel cabinets

When remodeling a kitchen, should you install the cabinets or finished flooring first? -Amy

Hi Amy,

I prefer to put the finished flooring down before installing the cabinets, though it can be done either way. While this approach uses more flooring material, installation is easier since it requires less accurate cutting and fitting. In addition, the finished floor provides an extra layer of protection in case of a plumbing leak.

If the cabinets are installed first, set them on blocks that are the thickness of the flooring so the countertops will be the proper height once the flooring is installed and be sure to floor under any appliances.

Good luck with your project,



  1. Have a wood looking laminate floor in my tenants cabin, they had a leak under the sink and I have to replace the floor and cabinets. Watched your video on the removal of counter tops, so I feel good about that, but while I have the cabinets out, I want to remove the flooring, and replace it with vinyl tiles. Any thoughts or help on best method to remove this older fake laminate flooring? When I checked a water damaged section, it seemed like it was thick paper underneath.

  2. I have bamboo flooring throughout my house downstairs. My home took on water from Hurricane Harvey. There is no warping of the planks….and none of the planks have come up. Can my floors be salvaged? If so, what should I do?



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