Tile Under Appliances in Kitchen?
February 12, 2013 6:42 AM   Subscribe

The cabinets are already installed at floor level. Do we tile under the range and dishwasher or up to them? Also the dishwasher is already installed, but if we have to, we can take it out and tile under it. Opinions?
posted by Andrea2880 to Home & Garden (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Tile under them all. If you needed to replace the range or dishwasher in the future, and they didn't fit just right you could have gaps or the new items might not fit.
posted by royalsong at 6:45 AM on February 12, 2013 [4 favorites]

You'll want to tile under the range so that you can occasionally pull it away from the wall and clean around it (the floor and walls get gross). I would not bother tiling under the dishwasher.
posted by aabbbiee at 6:46 AM on February 12, 2013

Before you tile under the dishwasher (if you decide you want to), make sure the dishwasher will fit under the counter with the added height of the tile taken into account.
posted by adamrice at 6:52 AM on February 12, 2013 [6 favorites]

What's under the dishwasher now? If it's just slab then it may not be worth bothering to lay down tile there.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:53 AM on February 12, 2013

Dishwasher are a standard size. There are several sizes, but they are all standard. The dishwasher (and any replacement) would likely be too tall if sitting on tiles, even with adjustable feet. I have installed many dishwashers, and I have never seen one on tiles or laminate, and the feet are only for leveling, not height adjustment.
posted by TinWhistle at 6:54 AM on February 12, 2013

Tile under the dishwasher (and your range too).

I recently had to replace a dishwasher in a kitchen where the tile went up to but not under the dishwasher. The tile was maybe a 3/4 inch thick and because the dishwasher was at a lower level, it was a tremendous pain in the ass to get out. There was essentially impossible to get leverage under the dishwasher so that we could lift it over the edge of the tile and out. We had to rock the whole unit in the miniscule amount of wiggle room under the counter and not crush the lines at the same time. This turned a one hour installation into a sweat-soaked, finger-pinching, oath-swearing, six-hour installation. It also left precious little room to install the front water line. Had it been fully tiled under the dishwasher, we could have just slid it out and in easily. Which you'll end up doing more than once while troubleshooting.

But do measure to make sure you have enough room, as others have said.
posted by Mercaptan at 6:56 AM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

I would tile under the range. I would probably not tile under the dishwasher. Either are simple to remove (for example). I would remove the bottom panel from the dishwasher when tiling to make it easier to get the tile close to the dishwasher. Mercaptan's comment is worth noting, but this will not be a problem with tiles that are standard thickness. If you are using 3/4 thick tile, I could imagine you trapping the dishwasher in place.
posted by deadweightloss at 7:02 AM on February 12, 2013

N'thing tiling under, and I'll add another reason: if the thing ever leaks, the water could pool up on the subfloor and cause a ton of damage before it's detected. This happened with an engineered wood floor we had in our kitchen. The flooring was installed to *just under* the front edge of the dishwasher. When a new dishwasher was installed, a leak occurred and dripped slowly onto the plywood subfloor for a couple of weeks before we realized it. The pool spread under the engineered wood flooring we had and the entire kitchen had to be re-floored because of swelling.

This probably wouldn't be as much of an issue with tile laid on some sort of backer board, but a leak could fester for awhile before you found it, and there'd be all sorts of issues.

If there's bare concrete under there, maybe you'd be fine. We were burnt once. YMMV.
posted by jquinby at 7:07 AM on February 12, 2013 [2 favorites]

We yanked out the appliances, including the fridge when we replaced the yukky circa 1971 laminate with hardwoods in our kitchen.

We extended the floors under the dishwasher, stove and the fridge. Do to the increased floor height, we had to get a new fridge.

Measure twice, cut once.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:17 AM on February 12, 2013

I would not bother tiling under the dishwasher and other appliances, but I would lay cement board under them (esp. the dishwasher) to prevent damage / warping to the subfloor in case of a leak.

Also, the cement board, if you get the right thickness, will bring the dishwasher up to the same level as the tile, which will make its eventual removal a lot easier. You risk chipping tile if someone tries to pull it out and they're not aware that the tile doesn't go all the way back.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:37 AM on February 12, 2013

I did the full tile job... under the fridge, the stove and dishwasher. It's not that hard. If you tile up to the dishwasher but don't remove it, you may be making it next to impossible to get it out when you want to remove it; that quarter inch of tile might take away ll the extra clearance and obstruct access to the adjustment feet, preventing removal of the unit.
posted by Doohickie at 8:44 AM on February 12, 2013

Once, when I was in college, I was frying some eggs for breakfast. I cracked the egg on the countertop and, while I was carrying it over to the pan on the stove, the shell failed. The whole raw, goopy egg, yolk and white and all, landed on the tiny space between the stovetop and the countertop, and slid down.

So! There I was, hungry and late and angry and pulling my stove out from the wall so I could clean that garbage up before it went rotten. I think that if the floor under the stove had not been finished I would have also damaged the edge bringing the stove out, and been forced to burn down the building because how can you ever get that gunk out. From the finished floor, though, it came right off.

Murphy's Law says that if you don't tile under your range, this will happen to you next month.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 9:04 AM on February 12, 2013 [3 favorites]

Seconding the need for waterproof material under the dishwasher, and something easy to clean (or throw away) is good too. If you find you can't or won't tile under it for some reason, at least lay down a cheap linoleum scrap or some other water barrier that won't be torn by the dishwasher feet.
posted by Sunburnt at 9:49 AM on February 12, 2013

You need tile under range and fridge to allow them to be slid out on a regular basis for cleaning.

Tiling under the dishwasher seems like a waste of money to me. I would measure before tiling and I'd install the dishwasher after the tile work is done to 100% guarantee you can get the dishwasher out afterwards.

If you are worried about leaks a metal or one piece plastic drain pan under the dishwasher is the best insurance against water damage from the dishwasher. Especially if you can route the drain directly into your sewer lines.
posted by Mitheral at 10:37 AM on February 12, 2013

Yes, do tile all the way under the dishwasher: otherwise, when you need to pull out the dishwasher, it may get caught on the edge of the tiles and require chipping out the first few courses of tiles.

And by the same token, PLEASE make sure to have a high enough counter that when the tile goes down there is still enough room for the dishwasher. (Ask me how I know. Grrr...) And also, if the fit is too tight, you may not be able to affix those tabs on the dishwasher to the counter or surrounding frame, resulting in a dishwasher that lurches forward every time you open it up to load or unload it, and lurches back when you close it. (Again, ask me how I know. Grrr...)
posted by wenestvedt at 10:43 AM on February 12, 2013

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