My wife and I are going to upgrade multiple parts of our house but we really want two key areas completed first, but we're not sure where to start or if we should do then at the same time, which is why I'm here.

We want to install hardwood flooring throughout our house, but we also want to upgrade our kitchen (where hardwood will also be). The kitchen is a galley kitchen that will be remodeled with a new IKEA organization cabinet system/etc and we will also want that new hardwood floor in the kitchen.

Being that I'm a construction noob, which should come first? Hardwood flooring or kitchen? Or does it not matter? Or, is it best done at the same time?

Any tips or help would be appreciated. I just want to make sure I don't open Pandora's box unknowingly by attempting one without doing the other first.

5 Answers 5


The simple answer is if you are going to put down hardwood in the kitchen, it is usually better to install the entire floor before you put down the new base cabinets. It is much harder to fit hardwood to cabinets than to put the cabinets on top of the floor. If you were using vinyl sheet goods, I would advise putting down the subflooring then install the cabinets and fit the sheet goods to the cabinets.


I would do the floors at the same time.

  1. Rip out old cabinets, etc. from kitchen.
  2. Install new flooring.
  3. Carefully install new cabinets (don't forget to protect the new flooring).

This allows you to install the new flooring all the way under the cabinets, which is really nice if you ever decide to change the cabinets later. If you install the flooring first, all the new cabinets will have to have the same footprint as the old cabinets (or you'll have to install more/less flooring). If you install the cabinets first, the flooring will not extend under the cabinets (unless you extend the flooring once you remove the old cabinets).


Since you are remodeling the kitchen cabinetry then yes you should remove all cabinets and install the flooring first. Remember to protect the flooring with some type of sheet goods or 4x8 hardboard like Masonite during the remaining remodel. If you weren't remodeling the cabinetry then you could do the flooring later without any unforeseen problems down the road.


I don't really see a choice. Most (all I have seen) IKEA cabinets are euro style. Meaning they don't have front plates, like most american cabinets. They are on legs. That means that your flooring will be seen under the cabinets. So you have to put down the flooring first. Not even a question really. Good thing is that the euro style cabinets are on legs and you can actually put down felt pads under the legs so installation won't scratch the wood.

Also I spend time in France and there are a lot of IKEA kitchens there. First a lot of the time the kitchen does not come with the house. And they install the cabinets in a way that they can be moved easy. Your bottoms only need two back screws to stay in place a few side screws. If you predrill and get quality screws you can move these when ever you want. This might sound "dumb" to some but is actually cool... You want a wine chiller... No big deal. Remove a couple screws and slide it in. No idea why our kitchens have become so permanent.

  • Then you forgot to buy part #47a : toe kick ;) Part #47b are the toe kick clips (which I assume they come with)
    – Mazura
    Nov 8, 2016 at 5:23

Like life, each has pluses and minuses

Installing hardwood first, with no cabinets, means almost no face nailing will be needed (and fewer nicks and bumps). The downside is the you need a protective covering (1/4 luaun plywood taped together works well)

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