Replacing kitchen tiles without removing cabinets

Question Icon
Posted by: from Markham
2/17/2014 at 6:07:34 PM

Hi there,

I have pretty new house. The builder installed floor tiles in kitchen. It's very dull and I am not happy.

Just wondering is it possible to remove the tile and install new glossy tiles without removing the cabinets? If yes, what will be rough estimates for labor?

The approximate area is 240 square feet (20*12)


User Icon
Date/Time2/17/2014 at 8:25:41 PM

Hi, how are you?

It is possible.

A rough estimate.

Remove of tiles and debries.

Install new tiles 240 square feet.


User Icon
Date/Time2/17/2014 at 9:24:09 PM

Hi there,

Yes is possible change the old ones.

What you need is take out the oldest, see if need level the floor and install the new ones.

A rough estimate to remove tiles and derbies.

Install new tiles 240 square feet, we supply the mortar and the grout is around $2000.


Tiago Silva

User Icon
Bridget from EllisPIper Homes in Chilliwack
Date/Time2/17/2014 at 10:32:44 PM

I agree with the previous responders, but would like to add a warning about putting glossy tiles into a kitchen. Glossy can mean slippery and with any drops of water, lethal!

Take some water or wet cloth to the store store and test the tile before purchasing.

Good luck.

User Icon
Date/Time2/18/2014 at 12:17:44 PM

It is possible to remove the existing tiles and install a tile with a shine or gloss, but generally this is not done in kitchens and bathrooms because a gloss tile is slippery and these are the areas in the home that are most prone to slips and falls. It can be done for under $2000.

Hope this helps you make the right decision.

Leo Boudreau

Leo Boudreau Renovations

You Dream It We Build It

User Icon
Date/Time2/19/2014 at 10:47:24 AM

The cost of taking the old tiles out can be as expensive as putting the new tiles plus the Detra down.

At 240 sq. ft. the real price would be around $4,000.00, these guys that can do a job like that for 1500-2000 I would stay away from.

Also you would need new baseboards & quarter round, as they would come out as well.

One thing they had right, and that is not to put a glassy type tile down. It's an accident waiting to happen.


Replacing kitchen tiles without removing cabinets

Replacing kitchen tiles without removing cabinets

Replacing kitchen tiles without removing cabinets
User Icon
David from GRD Renovations in Hamilton
Date/Time2/26/2014 at 9:02:35 AM


We have completed this type of job before without removing the lower cabinets but it is alot more difficult because you need to move the kick plates from under the cabinets and than you must remove at least some tile from under the cabinets.

You use demolition tools to remove tile and must use extreme caution not to damage the cabinets. Make sure you wrap and protect them first. I have used moving blankets in the past.

I see that some people are estimating 1500.00-2000.00 and in my opinion this is to low aproxamitly 8.00 per sq foot will only just cover the installation of the new tile. Make sure you get a detailed contract that outlines exactly what that covers.

As far as the glossy tile is concerned, depending on what size they are and the size of grout lines you should use caution with this type of finish in the kitchen. if you must than I suggest a smaller tile with larger grout lines and be sure to use sanded grout.

User Icon
Date/Time2/26/2014 at 9:29:10 PM

Just a follow up response to my earlier response, Unless you are doing a Mosaic or complex pattern then the price for laying the tile would be around $2.00 to $3.00 per square foot and that is actually in the canadian real estate guide on pricing averages using the Ontario market. Also Ditra is not necessary for all tile applications. A properly laid sub floor with proper underlayment will alleviate the need for Ditra.

I have done hundreds of thousands of ceramic tile terrazzo slate marble and I don't always use Ditra. Ditra takes the stress out of the moving floor on the tile. It basically is like having your tile on pillars with spacing. Ditra is membrane with a grid of square cavities that are cut in a dove tale fashion. This allows mortar to go in to the squares but cant come out bonding the tile but it is essentially a barrior to take stress from the floor curve or movement.

Though Ditra is a great product it is not necessary in all applications. It is not necessary to over pay for the work you require. $8.00 per square foot just for laying tile is ridiculous.

User Icon
Date/Time6/27/2014 at 12:05:48 AM

Ok. The quick answer is yes, you can do it....if you hire a "handyman" to do it for you. If you want it done correctly though, and have a professionally finished product, then you need to pull the cabinets.

Having said that I realize you can remove the kick-plates, chip the existing tiles up, and install the new ones under the cabinet enough to have the kick-plate cover the ends after. The problem lies in the details though. Regardless of how careful the contractor is, they will never be able to cut the tile close enough to work around all the cabinet details. You will end up with a bead of caulking running the length of your cabinets at the kick-plate.

We have had clients who thought it could be done and still look the same as doing it the correct way, and we have refused to do the job. Even though we cautioned them, they found a starving contractor that needed the work and promised no one would be able to tell the difference. A month later they had us in to rip up their new tile floor (again) and do it right. A costly mistake.

With regards to the price, it really comes down to the type and size of material you are using (some materials cost more to install), and the number of cuts, trim removal and replacement, touch up paint, etc. For us to try and quote this without seeing it would be unprofessional and totally without merit.

Olaf, Master Builder

"Authentic Craftsmanship leads to Exceptional Results"

User Icon
Melody in Woodbridge
Date/Time7/8/2014 at 4:57:11 AM

Of course, it is possible to replace the kitchen tiles without removing cabinets. But you need to take care of cabinets while installing new ones. And if you like to see more images for kitchen to remodel by your self, you can do it by watching some images from Studio Kitchen Group.

User Icon
Date/Time7/19/2014 at 7:57:22 PM

I would be very careful about putting glossy tiles in a kitchen. Any water or grease can make them very slippery.

Cost would depend on choice of tile but labour could be approx $2500.00.

User Icon
Date/Time1/19/2015 at 11:49:03 AM

We install glossy tiles in kitchen's all the time and they look spectacular. I have them in my own house. Yes the tiles are slippery when they get wet, but so are the tiles you see at a shopping mall, so it custom stained hardwood floors. I wouldn't put them down on a shower floor but anyone suggesting that you are going to have a lethal fall from installing glossy tiles on the floor is ridiculous.

As for price, the cost to install tiles greatly depends on the actual tile. Installing a 12 x 12 ceramic tile is not going to cost the same as installing a 24 x 24 micro bevel tile. And you certainly aren't going to find someone that can install the tile without lipage for $2 per sqft.

Remove the tiles and mesh professionally without damaging the cabinets - $1.50-2 / sqft

Install wire mesh and scratch coat mortar - $1.50-2 / sqft

Install 12 x 24 micro-bevel porcelain tile including mortar and grout - $6-8 / sqft

Other costs that could come up in a project like this:

- transition strips to hardwood

- rip cut the cabinets toe kick because tile may be higher than previous tile installed

- under cut any doors affected by new tile

- replace baseboards or shoe molding

Clearly not going to be a $2000 job, and so to answer your question, yes you can have the tiles installed without removing the cabinets. The end result is going to depend largely on who you hire to do the work.

Search the TrustedPros directory and discover the best contractors in your area.

Find your home service pro
Great renovations start with a great contractor.

Since 2004, TrustedPros has been helping homeowners find the right contractor for their home improvements and repairs.

Post Your Project

Within hours you'll be comparing offers from top-rated professionals. It's free to post and you're under no obligation to hire.

Trustedpros Inc. does not warrant the accuracy, completeness, safety, legality or usefulness of any Content, or Whether Content is Current and up-to-date, and TrustedPros Inc. Shall have no liability whatsoever with respect to your use or reliance upon any content or for content being removed or otherwise ceasing to be available. Please refer to the terms and conditions of use of this websites for more details.

It appears you may be located in the US

TrustedPros is designed to deliver results targeted to your location.

Get Free Estimates

Post your project and compare offers from top-rated pros.