Do you have beautifully remodeled kitchen cabinets but a lackluster floor? Maybe your subfloor suffered water damage or squeaks a lot in certain places. It is possible to change out areas of your subfloor without removing your kitchen cabinets, but it must be done very carefully and probably with professional guidance.
The subfloor is the flat, sturdy surface that lays on top of joists and supports the flooring that you can see. This type of layering makes it easy to replace the visible floor if you would like a different style or if the top layer becomes damaged and needs replacing.
The subfloor is very important since it supports the other layers of flooring, as well as everything in your house such as the people in your family when they walk on it, your furniture, and structural parts of your house like built in cabinets. The subfloor can become damaged by water or other reasons and may warp. It will continually affect the flooring above it, causing carpets to mold or fracturing tiles and must be replaced. Replacing the subflooring is a lot of work and you should consult with a professional unless you are knowledgeable about how to handle this issue.
Use a tool that makes flush cuts such as a multitool fitted with appropriate blades. A wood cutting blade with serrated teeth will slice quickly and easily through the material, particularly since a subfloor is usually only ¾ inch thick. Multitool blades usually feature limited cutting depths so you will be able to cut in a way that it is flush with the base of the cabinets. You can then remove the subfloor material.
You need to be careful not to cut directly through the floor joist since this will make for a more intensive repair. Use a flashlight or work light for easier visibility on the floor. Also, be sure to protect your hands with work gloves, wear eye protection, and a dust mask. If you are only replacing sections of damaged subfloor, use a circular saw to remove square sections of the subfloor and replace those. While your cabinets have been left intact, it is essential to check the locations of possible wiring or plumbing before attempting to remove sections of subfloor.