Should You Install Tile Under Cabinets

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Should You Install Tile Under Cabinets

Should you install ceramic tile under cabinets? If you Google the question you are going to find a lot of different, and in some cases, confusing answers. The folks at the Kotz Showroom are sorting through the options to help you with your kitchen remodel.

No one right answer

It is a simple enough question: Should floor tile be installed before cabinets and appliances, in other words, covering the entire kitchen floor? Or should the tile be installed after meaning the tile is applied up to, but not under, appliances and cabinets.

Ceramic Tile Installation

Installing the ceramic tile after cabinets and appliances means less square footage, but the tile contractor will have to spend much more time doing detail and trim work which increases labor costs. Additionally, many contractors prefer the tilework be the last step in the kitchen renovation because there’s less chance the tile will be damaged by workers installing cabinets and appliances.

Access Issues

Let’s say you decide to replace your vinyl floor with a new ceramic tile floor in the kitchen of your Waterford, MI home. A typical installation will raise the level of the floor by about three-fourths of an inch or more. That creates a problem if you need to replace the cabinets or appliances in the future. It also affects appliance repairs. We came across one story where a simple dishwasher repair became four times as expensive because part of the tile floor had to be ripped out in order to pull the dishwasher out.


If you are installing new cabinets and appliances during your kitchen renovation, it likely makes sense to install ceramic tile on the entire floor before you install the cabinets and appliances. But if your project doesn’t include new cabinets it’s going to get really expensive to rip out the old cabinets to install the tile floor and reinstall the cabinets.


No, we’re not talking about the latest diet, but the weight of a ceramic tile floor. If you are adding it as part of a kitchen remodel be aware you are adding a significant amount of weight to the floor. Before you go ahead with the project you need to make sure the structure of your home can support the extra weight and that requires an expert who is capable of calculating architectural loads.

Here to help

If you need help making this decision, the experts at the Kotz Showroom are here to help. Our designers can help you decide which method will work best in your Waterford, MI home and show you hundreds of design choices to make your kitchen remodel a success.