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Installing laminates BEFORE cabinet installation??



"Installing laminates BEFORE cabinet installation??," in the Hardwood and Laminates Q&A forum, begins: "We're building a new house and putting down laminate in the kitchen, dining and living room. Our cabinet maker has ..."

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Old February 22, 2009, 12:23 PM   #1
wingnutty
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Installing laminates BEFORE cabinet installation??


We're building a new house and putting down laminate in the kitchen, dining and living room. Our cabinet maker has instructed us to lay the laminent throughout the home prior to him coming in and putting in the cabinets. He will cut the laminate to the profile of the cabinets (the laminate won't go under the cabinets of course) and will leave the expansion gap covered by a toe molding on the cabinets.

I'm a little hesitant to do it this way. My idea was to have the cabinets installed and then we would lay the laminet. Doing the cabinets first makes our job a little easier since we wouldn't have to cut around the cabinets, ect. His way would cause some waste of material, although that isn't an issue since we're using laminate from Costco on sale for ~$1.5/sq ft. My biggest concern is that he wouldn't get the laminate cut perfectly or that it would chip when we was cutting it? It just seems like his way is 'backwards' and I'm not sure why he'd wanna do it that way?

Anyone ever heard of it being done this way? He's done a lot of homes, but I need some assurances from others that there are other people out there doing it this way?

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Old February 22, 2009, 12:41 PM   #2
Hoss
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Re: Installing laminates BEFORE cabinet installation??


Toe kick molding is not thick enough to cover the 1/4" expansion gap. If it's YOUR house you are building and you know it's being done backwards, YOU need to tell him something. Does he want the cabinets to be the same level as the laminate? If that's the case, just shim up the cabinets with the laminate, screw them in and then install the floor using 1/4 round for the expansion.

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Old February 22, 2009, 12:45 PM   #3
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Re: Installing laminates BEFORE cabinet installation??


Do it his way and if he messes up he pays for the repair.

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Old February 22, 2009, 01:28 PM   #4
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Re: Installing laminates BEFORE cabinet installation??


even if you get that in writing how much trouble and inconvenience will it entail? Would be much easier to do it right the first time. Do not allow him to cut the flooring back he will have to make 2 PERFECT cuts around each cabinet to get the proper expansion space, are you willing to take that chance that it all comes out correctly? Let us know how many corners were mis cut and will not be covered by the shoe molding.

Just tell him to shim/level his cabinets near at 3/8ths off the floor. Before the flooring goes in. Then have the counter tops installed and all plumbing hooked up and functional prior to the flooring. This will also reduce the chances of the floor being damaged by sliding the cabinets around on it and the additional traffic from the other trades.
Flooring should be the one of the last items to go into your new home, then appliances and paint touch up.

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Old February 22, 2009, 01:58 PM   #5
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Re: Installing laminates BEFORE cabinet installation??


But not to worry with the inexpensive (cheap) Costco laminate from China you will have repairs anyway!!

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Old February 23, 2009, 03:29 AM   #6
Jerry Thomas
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Re: Installing laminates BEFORE cabinet installation??


Laminate can be cut without chipping if one is careful, but the bigger problem I see is how would the laminate installer know where to place any butt joints...... you don't want to be left with 1" or 2" butt joints out in the field.

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Old February 23, 2009, 04:20 PM   #7
Ed
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Re: Installing laminates BEFORE cabinet installation??


These guys can give you many reasons why this should not be done this way and I believe they are right. Maybe your cabinet man is trying to buy time to build and install cabinets.It seems like this would be more work on him.

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Old February 23, 2009, 10:06 PM   #8
Peter Kodner
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Re: Installing laminates BEFORE cabinet installation??


Jerry: long time no see! Glad you posted and with a brilliant observation that hadn't even occurred to me (not to imply I'm a genius or anything)

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Old February 24, 2009, 02:14 AM   #9
Jerry Thomas
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Re: Installing laminates BEFORE cabinet installation??


Peter Kodner said View Post
Jerry: long time no see! Glad you posted and with a brilliant observation that hadn't even occurred to me (not to imply I'm a genius or anything)
Peter, I'll never have the knowledge you possess....... just thinking like a scared installer...

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Old February 24, 2009, 03:39 AM   #10
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Re: Installing laminates BEFORE cabinet installation??


Yeah, I have a mind like a steel trap- everything that goes in, comes out mangled

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Old February 24, 2009, 07:21 PM   #11
Darwin
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Re: Installing laminates BEFORE cabinet installation??


Sounds to me like the builder does not want to return to install mouldings afterward. I don't think any installer here will reccomend his way, but that leaves you in a pickle. He is probably set in his ways and will not be happy about being told to do it differently. I wonder how many laminate jobs he has done this way. Like it was said above, shim the cabinets. If there are unusually ornate trims, recess the shims.
As mentioned above, laminate at that cost is going to need a lot of repairs. I would go as far as saying it won't be there 5 or 6 years later. Look at moisture warranties and think about an active kitchen and maintainence.

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Old February 24, 2009, 07:22 PM   #12
Barry Carlton
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Re: Installing laminates BEFORE cabinet installation??


There is another way
b

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Old February 24, 2009, 07:33 PM   #13
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Re: Installing laminates BEFORE cabinet installation??


barrycarlton said View Post
There is another way
b
Which is?

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Old February 24, 2009, 07:36 PM   #14
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Re: Installing laminates BEFORE cabinet installation??


Elmer Fudd said View Post
Which is?

'float' the cabinets.

I am serious!!!!

b


Last edited by Barry Carlton; February 24, 2009 at 08:12 PM.
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Old February 24, 2009, 08:48 PM   #15
Elmer Fudd
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Re: Installing laminates BEFORE cabinet installation??


barrycarlton said View Post
'float' the cabinets.

I am serious!!!!

B
... ok?...

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