What Comes First: The Cabinet Or The Floors?


Renovating your whole kitchen can be both an adventure and a challenge, but the finished results are well worth the headaches you face along the way. One such headache of kitchen renovations is choosing which to install first, the kitchen cabinets or the hardwood floors. Orange Contracting is here to help walk you through the process to help you choose the best option for your situation.

Should you do Floors or Cabinets First?

There is no right or wrong answer, but the correct answer really depends on your situation. Some say it’s better to do your cabinets first and then the floors, while others say it’s better to do your floors before installing your cabinets. If you are doing a partial renovation, you may want to do the cabinets first, but if you are doing a full kitchen overhaul, getting your floors laid down may be the best option and here’s why.


Floors, in general, will outlast cabinetry, so in many cases, even if you are changing everything in the kitchen, if your floors have held up, those might not get replaced. Even on a full renovation, laying down your floors first allows you the option of changing your kitchen layout later on without having to worry about missing sections in your flooring.

How High Can You Go?

Visually, you may think that an inch or two won’t make much difference when it comes to counter heights and cabinet heights, but in actuality, it matters a lot. When appliances or cabinets are installed before your regular flooring, the height won’t match with everything else. This means that later plywood risers will have to be used to correct the height which will increase the cost of labor and materials.

Flawed Finishing

The possibility of damage is always a constant in an area that is in the middle of renovations. Kitchen cabinets or appliances that are installed prior to the floor being completed run the risk of having their finishes tarnished or damaged during renovation. Also, because your cabinets and appliances are already installed, you will need to cut your flooring which can result in added cost.

Should I Install The Cabinets Firsts?

There are times when you should consider installing the cabinets prior to the floors. If you want to use floating hardwood flooring, then it’s essential for your other items to already be in place. Floating floors change according to the external temperatures. This means that placing anything on top of them may result in breakage when the flooring tries to expand.

If you are only doing a partial renovation or plan to change your floors later down the line, then installing the cabinets first is the best option for you.

While there is no clear cut answer to what’s best, there are several answers that may help you choose what will work best for your specific renovation. Always sit down and write out your list of requirements and plans prior to getting the work done so you can make a level-headed choice that you will be satisfied with in the future. If you need help with your flooring or cabinetry needs, Orange Contracting is always here to help. Give us a call at (416) 817-2590 today to find out how.