How To Tile A Kitchen Floor​

Apr 04, 2018

Install the kitchen cabinets or floor first?

A common question we get asked, people never know when to lay the kitchen floor, should they install the kitchen cabinets or floor first?​

In our experience it depends upon the type of flooring you are having, in the next post we will talk about laying laminate, timber engineered or wood flooring and in this post we will talk about how to tile a kitchen floor.

There is no right or wrong way to do this but preferred ways and best practice. If you are going for a tiled floor, best practice is to lay the tiles before the kitchen cabinets are fitted. 

Your kitchen fitter will love you if you put the floor down first, as it is a far better process for fitting. It’s much easier to level in the kitchen from a quality-finished floor and all end panels and plinths can be completed at the time of the fit. You’ll also find not only is the kitchen fitting likely to be quicker but when your fitter walks away your kitchen will be complete. 

Make an early consideration as to what tiles you are going for, as this will affect the overall cost. It will cost you more in tiles, tile cement and grout as there are more tiles but most likely less in labour as there are fewer delicate cuts around décor panels and fixtures, which will also most likely mean there are fewer broken tiles and wastage as a result. 

You can tile after the units have been fitted but good Kitchen Fitters would want to fit the décor panels and plinths after the tiles have gone down, and for technical reasons this is not always possible. Remember as well that if the fitter needs to return to fit end panels and plinths there could be an additional charge for the return visit. Don’t forget though that all appliance recesses will need to be tiled as well. Integrated dishwashers and washing machines will need to be fitted flush with the finished floor level in case they ever need to be removed.

Make a decision on what floor finish you are going for prior to your fit date. Your installation team will ask for this information before they start fitting your new kitchen.

You’d also need to consider the quality of the substrate floor finish prior to the new tiles being fitted. If the current floor needs self levelling this will raise the finished floor level. Although your kitchen cabinets will have adjustable legs, this is normally limited to 25-30mm. It is unlikely you will have enough adjustment on the legs to allow for latex, tile cement and the tiles without putting a block under each leg, which is very bad practice. 

In any event, if your floor does need self-levelling, make sure this is completed prior to the kitchen fit taking place.

We will not fit kitchen units with the legs on blocks, as the product guarantees would be unenforceable. Even with the units being fixed well to the walls and bolted together this will make the kitchen unstable. Particularly if you are going for a solid surface worktop this would be very high risk as any movement could result in the worktop cracking. This is a practice that we would not endorse in any way. 

How to tile a kitchen floor conclusion

Our advice would be to tile first but not until and first fix electrics, plumbing and any plastering has been completed. Then your kitchen fit could proceed with minimal fuss leaving the best possible quality finish.

We hope you have enjoyed reading this blog post and that you find our advice helpful on how to tile a kitchen floor. If you are thinking of having a laminate, timber engineered or wood flooring, then we will be giving advice on that type of flooring in a separate post and will link it here,   ​

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section below, or get in touch with us, we will gladly answer them and give you any advice you need.​ Also come and see us on Facebook and say hi, we regularly give tips and advice you will find helpful when it comes to kitchen design and installation.

Please also do take the time to share this post, it really does help us out. Thank you​ 🙂


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