Have you ever wondered what can happen when you install new flooring in the kitchen that is thicker or thinner than your previous flooring? It would seem that the disparity of thickness would become evident elsewhere, right? That’s 100% correct, but something that not many homeowners are aware of. And if you happen to get contractors who don’t know what they’re doing, that little difference in thickness can cause larger problems down the road.
Let’s take a deeper look at why it’s a good idea to include new countertops and flooring in your cabinet refacing project to avoid issues that can occur when remodeling a kitchen piecemeal.
Why Does Flooring Thickness Matter?
Flooring thickness on its own doesn’t matter much to the comfort, functionality, or appearance of your kitchen. There are many beautiful kitchen floors that are thin laminate and others that are very thick hardwood, each offering their own benefits. But flooring thickness becomes a problem when it’s not properly compensated for.
When you install new flooring, it may be slightly more thick or thin than your previous floors, which then makes the countertops slightly shorter or taller as a result. This may not seem like a big deal, but non-standard countertop height becomes a problem when it comes to appliances. Keep reading to find out why!
When replacing countertops along with a cabinet refacing project, our team is able to adjust the relative height of the countertops to account for the dimension of new, thicker flooring and correct them to make them standard height.
Replacing Your Stove or Dishwasher
When your flooring and countertops are replaced separate from a cabinet refacing project, you could be left with countertops that are not standard height.
You may not think it’s a big deal if your countertops are slightly higher or lower than what they were before. In fact, you probably wouldn’t even notice! But when it comes time to replace your dishwasher, you may run into some problems both with removing the old appliances and finding new appliances that fit. While there is some adjustment in appliances, dishwashers are designed to fit a space underneath the countertop that is 34 ½” high, while most stoves are intended to sit flush with a 36” countertop height.
For example, if the thickness of your flooring is increased and the countertop height is not adjusted to accommodate that change, the dishwasher may not be able to be replaced without removing the countertop.
Slide-in ranges have their own issues as well. For example, if the floor beneath the stove is raised and the countertop is left as-is, the countertop height becomes significantly lower than the height of the range, leaving an odd mismatch of heights. Many stoves have adjustable feet to help with these kinds of issues, but most cannot be adjusted enough to make up for the difference in height.
Above is an example of a kitchen where floors had been replaced over the years and then countertops were replaced later on, but without installers compensating for height. As a result, the countertops are lower than standard height, thus creating a very noticeable and awkward mismatch between the countertop and the range.
These issues could have been prevented had the flooring, countertops, and cabinets all been done at the same time. This is why a refacing project provides the perfect opportunity to correct other issues in the kitchen, such as leveling or gap issues.
Including Countertops in Your Refacing Project
In addition to correcting issues with height differences (or preventing them to begin with), a refacing project is the perfect time to make other kitchen updates as well so that there's a cohesive plan for how all the new elements will work together. When refacing your cabinets, it’s important to keep in mind that this can be a great opportunity to make other structural or functional improvements that you've been wanting to make to your cabinets.
For example, maybe your cabinets are not perfectly level. You’ve lived with the slightly crooked countertops for years, but now that you’re freshening up your kitchen you figure it’s the best time to address the problem. You may also have some gaps between the cabinet back panels and the wall. It is easier to correct these issues when replacing countertops and cabinet refacing are undertaken together, rather than at different times.
Many people don't realize that cabinet refacing does more than just improve the outer appearance of your cabinets. Refacing actually helps reinforce cabinets and improve their structural integrity!
This project is a great example of one in which we replaced the countertops and flooring along with cabinet refacing. Check it out!
Start Planning Your Project
If you’ve been on the fence about remodeling your kitchen, or you’re ready but you’re just not sure what all you want to change, our team can help you come up with a plan that makes sense for your budget! Contact us today to request a free, in-home consultation.