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Installing Kitchen Cabinets on Tile-Can I install on top of tile?

I want to give you a brief instructional on how to install kitchen cabinets on top of tile flooring. Because there are several different kinds of cabinets that require different installation methods, I am going to focus on the most important aspect of cabinetry installation on ceramic tile or even granite type flooring.

Actually, any type of finished floor that will get cupboards installed over the top will need to have several of these tips implemented during the installation process.

In the steps that will follow, I am going to refer you to read other articles and even watch a video or two that will help you understand better some of the techniques that you will be using to get your kitchen, vanity or laundry room cabinets installed on top of the flooring in a professional manner.

Learning how to install kitchen cupboards is not something that can be learned by reading a one page article. Here’s the first article that you should take a look at that will begin the preparation process. Cabinet Installation Tips

If you’re not sure about the timing of when your particular type of floor should be installed in relation to the cabinetry read this article: Kitchen Cabinet Scheduling

Here’s an alternative idea if things seem a bit overwhelming already. Find Cabinets & Countertops Contractors. Get Up to 4 Quotes Now. It’s Quick, Free, and Easy!


How to Install Kitchen Cabinetry Over Tile Floors

  1. Determine how level the kitchen floor is using a six foot level and two footer. It is extremely important to understand what is happening over the tile in relation to humps, dips, slopes and areas where the flooring is higher than others, in all directions. The dishwasher area is one of the most important areas of the floor to consider. Review this article: How Big is the Dishwasher Space When Installing Cabinets?
  2. Put on your patients work cap if the floors have many things that you will be contending with. There’s not a need to get in a hurry when things are out of level or you have issues such as uneven tiles. You’re going to have to really think about the entire area and which actions will have to be taken. Every cut or shim will affect cabinets that are not installed yet. So you need to understand exactly how each cabinet will be altered before starting. What I mean is that you should know if you’re going to have to cut an inch off of the height of one cabinet and shim another three quarters of an inch to make things set level.
  3. Now that you understand what is going to have to be done to the cabinets in order for them to set level- begin to place them into their positions. Review this article about installing cabinets on unleveled floors.
  4.  Before adding shims you need to determine if it’s necessary to fit or scribe any finished ends to the floor. Here’s a video explaining how to fit a base cabinet to the floor.  This is the determining factor as to whether or not you will be cutting cabinets off or just adding shims in various places.
  5.  How you install the cabinets on the tile floor will greatly affect the look of the kitchen. Make sure that when you are scribing your toe pieces or finished ends that you follow you’re lines exactly on the mark. It may be necessary to scribe them twice or even three times.

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In conclusion, I’d just say that using cheater molding or caulking large gaps is not really acceptable in the professional installer’s world. When I was first learning how to install cabinets over tile there were plenty of mistakes that I made. Most of the kitchens that I was working on were custom made so when a mistake did occur, they were repairable within moments. After many years, I can now install kitchen cupboards on finished floors without a lot of thought as to what to cut off and what should be shimmed. If you’re a beginner, just take your time.

If you have a friend who is somewhat knowledgeable in the arena of finished carpentry by all means get them to help. Even if you have to throw a few dollars their way it will be a worthwhile investment.

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