Does Flooring Go Under Kitchen Cabinets?

This question is a little tricky as it depends on the owner’s budget, flooring type, and other factors. 

Also, both options have their own merits and demerits. If you ask me, does flooring go under kitchen cabinets?

Then my answer will be both yes and no. Here, both options are fine, but the better choice will depend on the type of flooring, i.e., for floating floors, cabinet first then the flooring and for hardwood floors, flooring first then the cabinets because floating floors need the room for expansion and contraction.

You want or don’t want to install flooring under kitchen cabinets will depend on your budget, flooring type, how frequently you renovate, etc.

I will discuss all the factors responsible for installing kitchen cabinets before or after flooring.

Does Flooring Go Under Kitchen Cabinets

Let’s begin.

What Happens When You Install Kitchen Cabinets Before Flooring?

Installing kitchen cabinets before the flooring is preferred by most homeowners and contractors for floating floors.

Because it has some major benefits, like you will save the cost of both floor materials and labor, the floor will also have some space for expansion and contraction.

The flooring underneath the cabinets will be trapped if some heavy cabinets are placed above, and it will not let the floor expand and contract, resulting in some issues like bulging, breaking, buckling, etc.

Also, the floor underneath the cabinets will not be visible, so installing it is a waste of money.

Let’s now discuss the pros and cons associated with this method.


  1. You can save money on both materials and labor.
  2. Floating floors can have room for their extraction and contraction during humid conditions.
  3. You can keep your floor safe from getting scratches when installing cabinets.
  4. It will save the floor from getting bulge or buckle.


  1. You can’t change the position of the cabinets later as it will leave a footprint. For that, you have to renovate the whole kitchen, including the floors.
  2. The floor has to be cut perfectly without leaving any spaces; otherwise, it will look ugly.

What Happens When You Install Kitchen Cabinets After Flooring?

Installing kitchen cabinets after the flooring is preferred when you install any non-floating floor like solid hardwood, ceramic, and stone tile.

Many homeowners don’t prefer this option for their cost. 

The non-floating materials are costly and require high labor costs, but they are worth the investment because of their durability and low maintenance.

For instance, if you install solid hardwood, it may last you for a century or more (i.e., for 100 years or so). That’s why it’s worth the investment.

Let’s now discuss the pros and cons associated with this method.


  1. You will get an even flooring throughout your kitchen without any cuts or spaces left.
  2. The benefit of getting proper heights. The cabinet’s standard size is 36 inches, and you can have appliances of the same height. And if you want to change the position of the appliances, you can do it without ripping the floor.
  3. You can easily shift your cabinets to different parts as it will leave no footprint.
  4. You will also get a cleaner and even look.
  5. Highly durable and low maintenance.


  1. The cost of the materials and labor is high.
  2. It can be occasionally noisy when walking across it.

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Final Thoughts

As you have seen, the installing of flooring is dependent on budget and type. So your question, “Does Flooring Go Under Kitchen Cabinets?” has two answers, i.e., both yes and no.

The simple answer is that it does not go under kitchen cabinets for floating floors, and for non-floating floors, flooring goes under kitchen cabinets.

So if you have a budget, then I would recommend you go for the solid hardwood flooring but if not, then opt for floating.

What is your opinion? Do let me know in the comment section.

If this article helped you to make the decision, then please share it with your friends and family.


  1. Do Hardwood Floors Go Under Kitchen Cabinets?

    Yes, the hardwood floors go under the kitchen cabinets. It will look clean and even.

  2. Should Vinyl Flooring Go Under Kitchen Cabinets?

    The answer depends on the type of vinyl flooring. If you are using click-clock installation, vinyl flooring shouldn’t go under kitchen cabinets, but it may go under the cabinets if you use the glue-down installation.

  3. Can You Install Laminate Flooring Under Kitchen Cabinets?

    No, you can’t install laminate flooring under kitchen cabinets because they are floating floors, and you know that they need to expand and contract; otherwise, they will bulge out.

  4. Why Don’t You Put Flooring Under Kitchen Cabinets?

    We don’t put floating floors under kitchen cabinets because they will not get the space for expansion and contractions; thus, they will bulge, break or buckle. Also, the cabinet’s underneath the flooring will not be visible, so why waste money and labor. 

  5. Do You Install Flooring Or Kitchen Cabinets First?

    The answer depends on the type of cabinet and budget. The cabinets will go first for floating floors, and for non-floating, the floor will go first.


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    • Katrina

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