Can You Install Cabinets On Top Of Vinyl Plank Flooring?

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cabinets on top of vinyl plank flooring

If your vinyl plank flooring is of the floating variety, it is not advisable to place cabinets on top of it. Doing so could potentially damage the flooring, causing it to buckle and warp under the weight. Can you install cabinets on top of vinyl plank flooring? On the other hand, if your vinyl plank flooring is glued down, it is generally safe to install cabinets atop it.

Making the right decision for your kitchen is crucial, but it’s essential to familiarize yourself with all the nuances to avoid any mistakes.

Understanding The Two Types Of Vinyl Plank Flooring

The term ‘vinyl plank flooring’ encompasses two distinct types of flooring, each reacting differently to the placement of cabinets. These are ‘floating’ and ‘glued-down’ vinyl plank flooring. The distinction is essential as cabinets can only be safely added to the latter.

Before diving into the distinctions between these flooring types, assess your kitchen for the following:

  • Does the existing flooring extend beneath the cabinets?
  • Can you add molding to bridge any gaps under the cabinets?
  • Is the vinyl flooring already damaged?
  • If you’re renovating your kitchen, examining what’s currently in place is vital. Flooring that extends beneath the cabinets likely indicates a glued-down floor. However, if you notice a gap between the cabinets and the flooring, it’s likely a floating floor.

Understanding Floating Plank Flooring

Floating vinyl plank flooring is the first type, and as the name suggests, it isn’t affixed directly to the ground. Instead, it’s interlocked with adjacent planks. This characteristic makes it susceptible to movement with temperature fluctuations, which is why cabinets shouldn’t be placed on top of it.

The ‘floating’ label arises from its lack of attachment to the ground, typically leaving spaces near the walls. Many opt for floating plank flooring due to its straightforward installation, making it suitable for imperfect floor spaces. However, it comes with certain limitations, as mentioned earlier.

Pros & Cons

Like all flooring options, floating plank floors have their advantages and disadvantages. Some pros, such as easy installation and waterproof properties, have been mentioned. However, they necessitate a ¼-inch gap along the edges to accommodate temperature-induced movement. This gap can be considered a con for those concerned about aesthetics.

Additional cons include the inability to extend beneath cabinets, the need for an outer edge gap, and susceptibility to damage under the weight of cabinets. To work with floating vinyl plank flooring, it’s advisable to install the cabinets first, potentially using putty to conceal any resulting gaps.

Understanding Glued-Down Plank Flooring

The second type is glued-down vinyl plank flooring, which is firmly attached to the underlying floor. It relies on adhesive tape or glue for this attachment, distinguishing it from floating plank flooring, which lacks a direct connection to the subfloor.

Glued-down plank flooring is a popular choice for kitchen renovations because it doesn’t expand or contract with temperature changes, making it suitable for cabinet placement. Additionally, it doesn’t require the ¼-inch gap seen in floating floors.

Pros & Cons

Similar to floating plank flooring, glued-down plank flooring has its own set of pros and cons. Pros include suitability for installation beneath kitchen cabinets, a seamless appearance when paired with cabinets, and resistance to temperature-related expansion and contraction.

However, cons include the need to install the flooring before cabinets, the higher cost compared to floating floors, and the potential requirement of professional installation. To incorporate glued-down flooring in your kitchen, ensure you install the flooring first.

Both types of flooring can support furniture, provided you use soft pads underneath to prevent scuffs and scratches.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Must Cabinets Be Removed to Repair Vinyl Flooring?

Removing cabinets isn’t always necessary for vinyl flooring repair. If heavy cabinets have caused damage to a floating vinyl floor, cabinet removal may be required. For minor issues like gaps, colored putty can be used to fill them.

Q2. How Much Weight Can Vinyl Flooring Bear?

The weight-bearing capacity of vinyl plank flooring typically ranges from 500 to 600 pounds. Furniture that can be moved and distributed its weight evenly is suitable for vinyl flooring. However, stationary cabinets are often too heavy for floating floors.

Q3. Can a Fridge Be Placed on Vinyl Flooring?

Yes, you can place a fridge on vinyl flooring, but it’s crucial to consider its weight when fully loaded. Vinyl flooring can typically support up to 600 pounds, so ensure your fridge is within this limit and use protective pads underneath.