Leah Dean| Dean Cabinetry

By: Jenny Cazares

I created this blog because I commonly hear customers asking the question, “Should I have my new floors installed before or after my cabinets are installed?” 

This blog should help you have a better understanding of both options and which will be best for your project.

Other contractors may have a different opinion on this matter.

kitchen with marble floors
Marble floors under kitchen cabinets~Pinterest

Installing flooring before cabinets:


  • Lower labor costs.
  • Easier to level the floor.
  • Easier to change cabinet footprint in the future.
  • No seams where your floors meet the cabinets.
  • Appliances sit on the flooring rather than the subfloor


  • Higher material cost.
  • Risk of damage to floors.
  • Waiting time for cabinet install.
  • Floating floors are not an option.

Installing flooring after cabinets:


  • Lower material cost.
  • Less waiting time for cabinet install.
  • Floating floors are an option.


  • Higher labor costs.
  • Risk of damage to the cabinets.
  • Appliances sit on the subfloor.
  • Cabinet footprint is difficult to change in the future.
  • A shoe molding is needed to cover seams where the floors meet the cabinets.

What flooring would be best under my cabinets?

Tile, hardwood, marble, and linoleum are good options to be installed under the cabinets.

install kitchen flooring
Wood floors installed after cabinets with painted quarter round~ Pinterest

Floating floors or vinyl plank flooring.

When should I put the final finish coat on my floors?

If you have installed hardwood flooring underneath your cabinets, it is recommended that you put at least 1 coat on your floors before cabinet installations.  This will seal and protect them from moisture.  Then the cabinets can be installed.  Then the final coat of finish can be put down.


The decision to install your flooring before or after your cabinet will be based on your budget, flooring type, and timeline.

For more ideas and styles of flooring search on Pinterest.