I have a kitchen basement that is L shaped
On one side of the L I have a stove and a dishwasher so those are easy to move and tile under
On the other side there is a sink and counter two cabinet, some old laminate countertop
The cabinets are decent but old then they match the wall cabinets above the counter so no plans to change that for now (we do not use this kitchen)
The two bottom cabinets sit on a toe kick board
Not sure if I should tile around this kickboard or I should remove and reinstall the cabinets
The biggest issue is probably to adjust the plumbing for the sink)


3 Answers 3


Customarily, cabinets sit on the subfloor and the finished floor only goes up to/around them. Appliances can be moved, so you move those and replace the flooring underneath, but I have never seen finish floor extend underneath cabinets.

If there is base trim around the cabinets, remove that and replace after the tile is laid. If there isn't, you can either use a bead of caulk or add base trim after depending on how you want it to look.


Mainly with cabinets they are considered fix in place, so most flooring goes up to them.

Either remove the kick board and trim it to fit back in, or use moulding(base or quarter round) on the kick board to hide minor space between tile and kick board, if not perfect.

  • Though there are some situations where if it's an empty room to begin with, it makes sense to put all of the flooring down first, rather than having to do a lot of cuts and fittings around cabinets, islands, etc.
    – Milwrdfan
    May 6, 2022 at 20:46

I am wanting to clarify a point untouched by these other answers. Yes, you can put your flooring around the cabinets rather than under them as long as you raise the cabinets by shimming them up with material the same height as your finish flooring. Otherwise there can be problems- especially with fitting dishwashers under the countertops.

So yes, you can floor around the cabinets and do as suggested in the other answers by either removing the toe-kick boards at the cabinet base or adding a small trim there (or a grout line) after your flooring install. Just first be sure and check that your DW will still fit in under the cabinets with the added thickness of your new flooring.

  • the dishwasher has some room between it and the countertop. The stove is installed with the adjustable legs fully retracted (screwed in) and right now it is a quarter of an inch below the counter level. cement + tile will add another half of an inch so it will end up 1/4" above the counter line :-(
    – MiniMe
    May 7, 2022 at 12:25

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