When remodeling your cabinets, or just your floor, you might wonder if installing flooring under the cabinets is a good idea. This is a frequently asked question by most homeowners when they hire a local laminate flooring expert. The answer becomes obvious after some discussion. Cabinets and other items (fixtures) that need to be bolted to the floor should avoid installation on laminate flooring.
Any cabinet or furniture you put down on top of your flooring will exert pressure on it, limiting its ability to expand or contract with the temperature changes—causing warping if left unchecked. You risk having your flooring buckle or being damaged beyond repair.
Table of Contents
- Can Laminate Flooring Be Installed Underneath The Kitchen Cabinets
- Is Laminate Flooring Suitable For The Kitchen
- Can You Put Appliances On Laminate Flooring
- How To Install New Cabinet With Laminate Flooring
- Furniture Placement On Laminate Flooring
Can Laminate Flooring Be Installed Underneath The Kitchen Cabinets
Although laminate and hardwood flooring are engineered wood products, they serve different purposes. They feel and look very different and require other methods of installation.
Laminate flooring requires carefully fitting the planks into each other before they get fixed. The wide range of attractive colors it comes in is a significant selling point. Unlike hardwood flooring, we do not attach it to the subfloor permanently.
Since laminate flooring is so simple, many homeowners fix them on their own. The more DIY projects you tackle, the more money you’ll have to invest in tools. If you want to get things done right, you need the right tools.
Laminate flooring must never get installed beneath permanently attached furniture to avoid damage. Kitchen islands and other floating cabinets are suitable for installation on laminate flooring. However, there are more secure ways to install permanent cabinetry; therefore, they must get installed on top of a floating floor.
Because of their floating nature, laminate floors should always have light objects, such as kitchen cabinets, set directly on them during installation. Periodically, the movement of the laminate will disturb the stability of the cabinets and countertops, not to mention the tile above them on the wall.
They install together or stack these components on top of one another. Eventually, issues will arise because of something floating and mobile under everything. Suppose you are against the requirements and standards of laminate flooring. In that case, you can install glue-down vinyl plank flooring underneath cabinets because it does not expand or contract with temperature changes.
Is Laminate Flooring Suitable For The Kitchen
These days, they commonly use vinyl plank flooring in kitchens because of its durability and resistance to water, making this laminate ideal for a kitchen.
In modern houses with an open layout, continue the laminate flooring from the kitchen into the living room. In addition, the illusion of space is further enhanced when the same flooring gets used over a larger area in these homes with an open floor plan rather than creating visual breaks.
Can You Put Appliances On Laminate Flooring
Except for a dishwasher built into the counter, you can install laminate under almost any other appliance because both countertops and dishwashers get made to standard heights.
Installing a thick laminate floor could prevent your dishwasher from fitting correctly. These areas can get cramped, so eliminating unnecessary bulk is a priority. Putting laminate under your stove, fridge, and other appliances shouldn’t cause any issues.
Similarly, washers and dryers should be fine so long as they are freestanding units and not built into custom cabinetry, where you will encounter the same problem as with a dishwasher.
How To Install New Cabinet With Laminate Flooring
When laying flooring, always leave space for expansion and contraction because of temperature changes outside. In addition, install permanent items on the subfloor before flooring. To weigh the benefits of flooring under cabinets, consider whether you are putting in brand-new cabinets.
It makes more sense and is much less work to install the flooring around the existing cabinets instead of replacing them. It will be easier than removing the cabinets, though cutting the edges to fit may be more difficult.
To avoid working around challenging edges, install the floor before replacing the cabinets if you are doing a complete remodel. However, reading our other considerations would help before installing flooring underneath.
Furniture Placement On Laminate Flooring
In the minds of many property owners is the age-old question of whether laminate flooring can safely support furniture. First, protect your laminate flooring by placing padded plastic cups under heavy furniture legs. Then, instead of dragging heavy pieces of furniture, lift them.
Place cushioned furniture glides (such as felt pads or padded plastic cups) on the bottom of the legs of the piece of furniture to prevent scratches and scrapes.
Cut heavy-duty felt into squares and adhere it to the base of the furniture if it rests on a floor. When the laminate flooring gets protected correctly, you can place heavy furniture on it without damaging the surface.
Laminate flooring is renowned for its extraordinary durability. It has a lower overall cost than natural wood, is available in a broader variety of aesthetic options, and can get installed in less time than natural wood flooring.
You can install kitchen islands and other floating cabinets on laminate flooring without issues. However, this method is neither the safest nor the most secure option when installing permanent cabinetry, and we cannot position fixed cabinets on top of a floating floor.
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John Thompson, Writer and Commentator, EvolutDesign.com
Soldier, writer, researcher, consultant, and bon vivant, John Thompson is the author of numerous columns, op-eds, reports, briefs, short stories and books as the “Felicity Files” and “Spirit Over Steel: A Chronology of the Second World War” (version III). Often found hunched over his computer, or in his garden, and now often found doing both. His diverse talent has led him to work in industries and projects such as energy, security and home construction and renovation.