We're looking into doing a basic remodel of our kitchen: replace current tile with new tile, reface cabinets (maybe replace a couple of cabinets), replace back-splash and replace the counter-top. We're on a budget and we won't be doing it all at the same time. Most likely during the span of 12-18 months.

My question (challenge) is: what is the best order for these jobs in order to minimize the risk of having to break or redo any of the previous work.

Thanks for your help,

PS I'd be willing to live with some broken/unfinished portions in between the jobs if it can prevent any rework.

1 Answer 1


Here's my order:

  • Make any changes to the walls, upgrade wiring, lighting, etc. I prime my walls at this point, it cuts down on dust and gets paint in places you can't reach later.
  • Cabinets
  • Counter top (this will take time)
  • Backsplash
  • Paint
  • Flooring (I prefer flooring outside of cabinets)
  • Install appliances
  • Trim (typically painted separately and touched up after installing)

I personally move the refrigerator and microwave into another area as a temporary kitchen. Then either rig up the sink with a temporary setup (old piece of counter top or plywood) or use a bathroom.

  • 1
    I'll +1...We just got a redo on our kitchen and BMitch has hit the nail on the head except for we had one minor difference. The contractors followed this order pretty much. We started off with walls (drywall) and electrical, then we got the cabinets. But here is where the difference comes into play. We did the flooring while the cabinets where in the garage. Once Flooring was done we put in cabinets followed by the granite. After that Sears delivered our appliances and the backsplash people came by 2 days later. Put the backsplash in and we did the paint. Finally we had trim put in.
    – JonH
    Dec 9, 2014 at 20:55
  • 4
    The flooring under the cabinets seems to be frequent topic of disagreement. I've seen advice both ways. Two advantages of flooring after cabinets are: first you don't need to protect the flooring during most of the other steps, and second any time you replace the cabinets, you almost always replace the flooring, but if you replace the flooring you don't necessarily want to replace the cabinets and countertops.
    – BMitch
    Dec 9, 2014 at 21:08
  • 2
    Thats true - either way works, but if you already have done the electrical / dry wall there isnt much damage to be done to the flooring after this. But you are right there can be damage due to cabinets being put in...especially if its hardwood flooring - less so for tile / ceramic / marble installations. But like I said this was about spot on to what we had done. Also never underestimate the cost...it always grows based on things you might have missed.
    – JonH
    Dec 9, 2014 at 21:19

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