Tile floor installation... but what about my baseboards?

I bought my first house a couple of months ago, and instantly made arrangements with Lowes to have the ugly vinyl kitchen floor replaced with a beautiful ceramic tile floor. I was a new homeowner. I could DO stuff with this house. I was upgrading. I was psyched.

Now, as the install date looms, I’m getting nervous. They’re going to install cement board and then tile on top of that. This will add about an inch to the floor height in the kitchen. I am tentatively relaxed about the appliances, because I know that they have little adjustable feet that will make them still-okay with this extra inch. My real worry is about the woodwork.

The cabinets are just going to be tiled around, I understand and accept that. But what about the baseboards? Is he going to tile up my baseboards, or is he going to take them off, tile, and then put them back on? And what about that one airflow register that is attached vertically to the bottom of one cabinet? It’s going to get partway tiled over.

Nervous nervous nervous, and wondering if there’s no way to get a satisfactory tile job if you don’t do it from the very start, before the rest of the kitchen is put together.

Hold me?

I’m a proponent of removing everything prior to installation of ceramic. At minimum, I’d remove the baseboard molding and undercut door casings. Some other issues need to be considered. Do any hinged doors inswing across the kitchen floor area? If so, they will need to be shortened, and good prehung steel, fiberglass, and wood exterior doors have a factory installed weatherstrip at the sill which is gonna get hosed up if you trim the door, and will also likely void any warranty on said door.

Do any stairs immediately adjoin the kitchen floor plane? If so, and you’re adding an inch to the kitchen floor, you’ve now effectively raised the step height of the very last riser, which would be a building code violation. Off the top of my head, I want to say that NFPA Life Safety 101 allows a maximum difference in riser height of 3/8" in one stair assembly. Not in my office at the moment, but I wish to say that IRC, UBC, and other model codes are likely to follow suit.

Finally-check your appliances. I had a service call years ago for a garbage compactor in a very nice kitchen with granite countertops, a Jenn-Air cooktop, and discovered that the ceramic had been installed right up to the compactor, and there was no remaining thread on the leveling feet for me to lower the unit and remove it for service. Tear out of the granite counter and cooktop was the only means of access. The same can hold true for dishwashers, and any other item beneath the counter(s). Your range may be all the way down, now-and if so will sit an inch above counter(s) which abut its location.

Eff. Eff eff eff eff eff.

Shouldn’t I have been told about all this way back when I was ordering the installation? Or failing that, shouldn’t the installer have figured all this out?

Heh. Well, sometimes going with big box merchants for your work isn’t the best idea. On the other hand, finding a good sub is hard for your average homeowner, so I can see where using Lowe’s or Home Depot would be attractive.

danceswithcats questions are pretty comprehensive. Before the guys start working on your floor, ask them these questions. If you don’t get a satisfactory answer, get another sub that knows what he is doing.

Another place to look for quality tile layers is at a tile supply house.

You really should contact them and get this straightened out now, before they work on the installation. You and they may not expect the same installation in the end. Adjusting the base boards to fit when they planned on them being cemented up to could be a contention down the road. They quoted for one thing and you may want something different.

How largely does the install date loom?

Always plenty of thime to revise the order before the install - if only to make sure they order enough or the proper materials. Call them or their subcontractor ASAP to make sure you are on the same page.

You don’t want to save a couple hundred dollars needlessly, or just not speak up, and then be dissappointed with the result. This is the CHEAP time to make changes.