I have noticed that some people prefer their vinyl plank flooring to extend underneath the cabinets in their home, while others have the floor laid around the cabinets. Both have their advantages, but it made me wonder if one is better than the other. This article will explore whether or not we should be laying vinyl under the cabinets and appliances.
While it is possible to install vinyl plank flooring under cabinets, it is not recommended. Vinyl will expand and contract with temperature variations, causing the entire floor to buckle if pinned under cabinets. However, installing it under appliances is safe because they are not fixed in place.
I will go into more detail about why it is better to install your vinyl floor around the cabinets, instead of under them. Sometimes it is personal preference, but there are advantages and disadvantages that you may want to consider.
Can You Use Vinyl Planks Under Kitchen Cabinets
There is much debate over whether or not to install flooring under cabinets. It is certainly possible to install vinyl planks under kitchen cabinets, but this is only possible if you are installing the cabinets at the same time, or if you are able to remove your cabinets.
There are also two different types of vinyl plank flooring. One form is the interlocking planks, which sit on top of the floor beneath. The other is the adhesive planks, which are glued to the floor.
There are advantages and disadvantages to consider when choosing which type to choose and whether to install the floor under or around the cabinets.
Installing Vinyl Planks under Cabinets: Advantages
There are a number of reasons why people want to install their flooring under the cabinets, and these advantages apply to both adhesive and interlocking vinyl planks.
One advantage is the aesthetic appeal to having the floor extending beneath the cabinets. If the floor is flush with the base of the cabinet, there is no need to hide this junction with transition strips. With interlocking floors, there needs to be a gap of about ¼ inch to account for expansion of the planks, which I will explain in more detail later.
Another key benefit is that it takes the hassle out of measuring the correct height for appliances within the cabinetry, such as the dishwasher or refrigerator. If the cabinets are installed before you have chosen a floor covering, the appliances may not fit in their allocated space because the floor is too high.
The height of the cabinets will have to take into consideration the height of the appliance as well as the thickness of the vinyl. The thickness of vinyl planks varies between manufacturers and designs. You may also require underlayment, which will add another ¼ – ½ an inch.
Finally, there may be damage caused to cabinets when installing new flooring. If the floors are installed first, the cabinets will be safe. However, keep in mind that there is then the issue of the cabinet installation damaging the floor.
Installing Vinyl Planks under Cabinets: Disadvantages
There may seem to be many advantages to installing the floor underneath the cabinets, but there are just as many disadvantages.
One big disadvantage is that vinyl flooring lasts an average of 15 years. This means that the cabinets will likely outlive the floor. In that time, you may also choose to change the floor covering to give the room a new look.
When it comes to changing the floor, it will be a lot harder when the floor continues under the cabinets. What could have been a relatively easy job replacing the floor, becomes digging under cabinets or removing them.
Another issue is water leaks. Even though the vinyl planks are waterproof because they are made from synthetic materials, water accumulating around the edges of the floor covering can seep underneath.
If there is any sort of water leak that accumulates under the vinyl planks, this can cause mould to grow. The planks would then need to be replaced and the area cleaned out. If there is just concrete under the cabinets, it is a lot easier to deal with.
One of the biggest issues relates to interlocking vinyl planks. Like any other floating floor, these vinyl planks need room to move. This is why there is always a gap of ¼ – ½ an inch between the edge of the vinyl and the wall.
Once installed, vinyl planks can withstand temperatures ranging between 50oF and 100oF, but will still expand and contract within this range. As they expand, the gap provides plenty of room so the edges of the planks don’t press up against the wall.
If the vinyl planks are not installed correctly and they do not have room to move, they will buckle in warmer temperatures and lift the entire floor. This can cause permanent damage to the vinyl floor covering.
Even if the vinyl has a gap between the edge and the wall, being installed under cabinets has a pinching effect, where that part of the floor is pinned in place and unable to move. This does not occur with furniture because the furniture is free-standing, still allowing slight movement.
This may not be an issue while homeowners are home, but a vacant house that is susceptible to temperatures outside the recommended range will have a high chance of incurring damage.
Here is a summary of the advantages and disadvantages of installing your vinyl planks under cabinets.
Installing Vinyl Planks Under Cabinets
· Looks better. No need for transition strips.
· Don’t have to worry about altering height measurements. Appliances are more likely to fit under cabinets.
· No damage to cabinets from installing the floor afterwards.
· Floor will need to be replaced before cabinets do, which will be difficult.
· Water leaks will cause more damage with vinyl involved, instead of just the concrete.
· Buckling or lifting of the floor in warmer temperatures.
Should You Use Vinyl Planks under Kitchen Cabinets
With all of the above information in mind, you should not install vinyl planks under kitchen cabinets. As you can see, there are many disadvantages to installing this type of flooring under cabinets, which can cause damage to your newly laid floor.
If you were set on extending the floor covering under your cabinets, you could consider using adhesive vinyl planks. These are fixed to the floor and do not have the same issue of expanding and contracting as the interlocking planks do. Therefore they will not buckle with temperature variations.
However, you will need to keep in mind that water damage is still a possibility if water seeps through the cracks and accumulates under the planks. It will also still be difficult to replace the floor when the time comes if the cabinets are still in place.
In addition to this, all the reasons listed above that support installing your vinyl floor underneath the cabinets can be disputed.
If you take the time to prepare your installation, you won’t have any issues with the height of your appliances. You will just need to make sure that you have the following measurements.
· Height of the appliance.
· Thickness of the vinyl.
· Thickness of the underlayment.
· The size of the gap (if any) you want/need above the appliance.
Once you have the total of all these measurements, you can ensure the cabinets are installed to accommodate all of them.
The potential damage caused to the cabinets from installing the floor afterwards is just as much an issue as the potential damage to your newly laid floor when the cabinets are put in. Whichever order you install your kitchen, care must be taken so one does not damage the other.
Therefore, with enough care and planning, you can avoid all the issues caused by installing the vinyl floor around the cabinets, instead of under them.
The aesthetic difference between the two options is a personal choice. Some believe that running the floor under the cabinets looks neater, but that is your own opinion. You just need to weigh up whether you think it is worth the other issues mentioned above.
How to Install Vinyl Planks under Kitchen Cabinets
Installing vinyl planks under kitchen cabinets usually means you are dealing with a blank canvas. The kitchen has nothing but walls and a concrete slab (or subfloor). Even if you have removed the cabinets to remodel instead, you are still working with an open room once the cabinets are gone.
This makes the job a lot easier. Provided your subfloor is flat, level and smooth, you can lay the vinyl planks as per the manufacturer’s instructions. I will touch on some things to look out for further down.
· Knife or guillotine to cut planks
· Vacuum cleaner
Because the planks click together so easily using just your hands, there are very few tools you will require to install the planks. Keep in mind that this does not include levelling the subfloor, which I will talk about next.
To prepare to lay down your new vinyl planks, you should remove the quarter rounds from the walls with a pry bar. This will allow you to get the planks as close to the wall as possible, while still maintaining a small gap for expansion (¼ inch).
You will also need to vacuum the floor so that the planks are being laid on a clean smooth surface. This will ensure that there is no dirt accumulating under a newly laid floor.
I mentioned earlier about making sure the floor is level. This is a recommended an essential step in laying any new floor covering. You can use a spirit level, or one of the vinyl planks, to determine if the floor is flat and level.
If it is not, you will need to use self-levelling compound to fix it. This can either be filling in a small dips in the floor, or completely covering it. You may even find that the floor just has a small bump, in which case you will only need to sand it down.
If you do pour a levelling compound over the floor, it will take up to six hours to cure. Once it has, make sure you still have enough room for your vinyl planks under the doorframe.
Laying the Planks
The thing to keep in mind when laying the vinyl planks is that they should be at least ¼ inch away from the walls. This gives the vinyl the best chance at expanding without buckling.
Another thing you will need to do is stagger the planks. This ensures that there is no extension of the join across the entire floor, creating a weak spot.
As you approach the walls, you will find that you need to cut the planks to fill the last few gaps. This can be done using a ruler and knife (or guillotine).
Once you have laid the vinyl planks throughout the kitchen, you can install the cabinets. Make sure that there is enough room for you appliances with the new floor height.
Can You Use Vinyl Planks under Appliances?
You can certainly install your vinyl plank flooring under your appliances. Unlike cabinets, appliances are free-standing. Many people think that, because appliances are sometimes heavier than cabinets, it would be these appliances that would cause an issue for your vinyl floor.
As I mentioned earlier, vinyl plank flooring can still move underneath free-standing furniture when expanding or contracting. This is true for any appliance or piece of furniture up to 500lbs in weight. Considering a fridge weighs 200lbs on average, you should be fine; there will be no buckling of the vinyl floor covering.
Some vinyl plank manufacturers do not recommend putting appliances on top of their vinyl, but this is assuming there are two incredibly heavy appliances pinning down each end of the room. Realistically, the main concern would be scratching the surface of the vinyl.
Overall, it is very beneficial that vinyl can run under your appliances because these may need to be replaced taken away when moving house. If the floor didn’t run under the appliance, new appliances may not cover the area, exposing the subfloor beneath.
Should You Use Vinyl Planks under Appliances
Vinyl is safe to install under appliances in your home for the reasons mentioned above. There is also very little chance that your appliances will exceed the maximum weight limit of the vinyl. Below is a list of some of the heaviest appliances you will find in your home, and their average weight.
Water Heater: 450lbs (full)
Washing Machine: 200-300lbs
Small Safe: 300-500lbs
As you can see, these appliances are safe to have on vinyl plank flooring. The one thing you will need to consider is moving furniture around.
Vinyl has a scratch and wear-resistant coating that will protect it with everyday use, but shifting large pieces of furniture around may damage the vinyl. This is why most people who have vinyl floors will use felt pads beneath their furniture.
If you plan on installing vinyl flooring in a room where you will be constantly moving furniture around, such as an all-purpose room, you may want to consider a different floor covering.
You might also reconsider installing vinyl under appliances that use water due to potential leaks. This includes dishwashers or washing machines. You wouldn’t want to lay a new floor, only to have a mould problem from a small leak.
How to Install Vinyl Planks under Appliances
Installing vinyl planks under an appliance is the same as installing it in any room. The main difference is that you will need to be moving large or heavy appliances in a safe way, for both yourself and the vinyl. I will therefore discuss how to safely move the large appliances.
· Hand trolley
As well as the tools required for actually laying the floor down, you will need to move large or heavy appliances. This can be done with a hand trolley.
Copyright protected content owner: ReadyToDIY.com and was initially posted on April 27, 2021.
You will need to make sure you are only lifting the edges of the appliance, not shuffling it along the vinyl. You should secure any doors that might swing open in transit, using ropes to tie the doors shut.
The main preparation involved is attaching felt pads to the bottom of your appliances, where they will be in contact with the ground. This felt will stop even slight movements from scratching your vinyl.
You should make sure you have unplugged the appliances as well. It may seem obvious, but these obvious things can sometimes get missed when you are undergoing a new project like this.
You should definitely double-check the height of the space for your appliance. Make sure that the added height from the vinyl planks and the underlayment doesn’t make it so that your appliance no longer fits in the space. You might even need to consider a different (thinner) vinyl if they are too bulky.
Installing the Vinyl Planks
You can lay your vinyl planks where your appliance will be by either gluing them to the subfloor (adhesive planks) or by clicking them together (interlocking planks). If you are using interlocking planks and the appliance sits against a wall or cabinet, make sure to leave up to ¼ inch of space to allow for expansion of the vinyl floor cover.
Copyright article owner is ReadyToDiy.com for this article. This post was first published on April 27, 2021.
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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on April 27, 2021.