Home>Discussions>INTERIORS>Molding & Carpentry>Trimming out a new house, hardwood flooring first or last
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brendog
Trimming out a new house, hardwood flooring first or last

I am about to start building a new house and am wondering about the best sequence of tradespeople. I've got most of them figured out, but am stumped on the hardwood flooring. From what I can tell, there's a 50-50 split on what comes first, the hardwood flooring, or the finished trim, such as the baseboards and trim around the doors.

Also, with regard to kitchen cabinets, should those sit on top of finished hardwood flooring (will have hardwoods in every room except baths)?

My big concern is gaps. Specifically the gaps where the flooring meets the baseboard. I absolutely do not want any shoe molding, so I'm thinking the sequence should be as follows:

1. Trim out door ways and stairs
2. Hardwoods throughout (and tile in bath)
3. Kitchen cabinets and bath vanity (both going over finished flooring
4. Baseboards last (except in the case if a room required wall to wall carpeting, which I won't have anyways)

Is this the right sequence? My biggest concern is ensuring the best looking finished product, and if that means more work for one particular tradesmen (carpenter coming in twice, once for door trim, once for baseboard install) then so be it.

A. Spruce
Re: Trimming out a new house, hardwood flooring first or last
brendog wrote:

1. Trim out door ways and stairs
2. Hardwoods throughout (and tile in bath)
3. Kitchen cabinets and bath vanity (both going over finished flooring
4. Baseboards last (except in the case if a room required wall to wall carpeting, which I won't have anyways)

Doing the doors first then back cutting the trim and jamb legs is definitely the better way to go. It will make that transition look much better than trying to notch around them.

Cabinets next. I personally can't see going to the expense of installing the cabinets over the finished floor. It will make refinishing, replacement, or repair at a later date much easier and less expensive not having it under cabinets. Plywood shims to raise the cabinets up to finished floor height will do fine. The reason to raise the cabinets is so as not to have clearance issues with dishwashers or reduce the toe kick area. Once the floors are laid, run baseboard over everything to cover gaps needed for expansion/contraction

When the base is run in the rooms that get carpet, make sure the base is held off the floor by about 1/2". This will give the carpet edge something to "key" under that will help keep it in place as give you more of a baseboard profile to view. This is particularly important with short, decorative profiled baseboard.

brendog
Re: Trimming out a new house, hardwood flooring first or last

Good point A. Spruce on the plywood shims under the kitchen cabinets. I agree that it makes more sense financially to use plywood instead of finished hardwoods under the cabinets. Plus that way you don't "lose elevation" if you install the cabinets directly over the subfloor and then butt up the hardwood flooring to the cabinets. Do you recommend filling in the entire area under where the cabinets will go with plywood that is the same thickness (ex. 3/4inch) as the hardwood flooring or is it better to use plywood that is "slightly thinner" then the finished hardwood flooring(5/8" plywood under cabinets and 3/4" hardwoods)? I want to make sure you can't see the end grain of the plywood under the cabinet in the finished product.

A. Spruce
Re: Trimming out a new house, hardwood flooring first or last

I would use the same thickness plywood as the flooring. Whether you use shim strips under the main supports of the cabinet or sheet the entire cabinet area is a personal call. Full sheeting may make the hardwood install seem easier.

When running hardwood, a 1/4" to 3/8" gap is left around the entire perimeter for expansion and contraction of the floor. This gap will be covered with baseboard in all areas, including the toe kicks.

jkirk
Re: Trimming out a new house, hardwood flooring first or last

in new construction i always hang my doors then case them before the flooring is down. this way you can adjust hte latch side jamb height wise to get a proper margin at the top of the door without worrying about the floor being dead level. after that the flooring guy can undercut the jambs and casing

if its in a renovation situation i set the jambs so they are sitting on the floor. doing this though you have to pay very close attention to the floor being level or not which requires cutting eiter side jamb so it sits down and the jamb/door margin at the top is even

jkirk
Re: Trimming out a new house, hardwood flooring first or last

argggggggg, i thought it seemed familiar, i simply read the first post then panned to reply. btw, i lost yer email.... email provider changed their format and i lost my whole adress book

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