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Flooring and Carpeting/Engineered Hardwood installation


Hi Chris!  Really hoping you can provide a suggestion.  We are getting 3/4" engineered hardwood installed in our kitchen.  Currently, there is vinyl flooring in the kitchen on top of a plywood base.  No installer wants to remove the vinyl or plywood base, they all want to put the hardwood on top.  This is fine with us, and should present no problems except where the fridge is.  There is less than 3/4" clearance above the fridge.  The fridge wheels are adjustable at the front, but then if we adjust them down the doors won't close properly (they are adjusted up slightly so the fridge slopes back a bit, so the doors close).  What can you recommend, if anything?  We can't move the cabinetry that's above the fridge.  I would be open to having a thinner hardwood for the area directly under the fridge (like 1/2")- not the greatest option, I know.  Then if we ever have to pull the fridge out there would be 1/4" lip to pull over.  I'm pulling my hair out over this dilemma.  It's the only problem we have in this whole installation.  Any suggestions or ideas?  Thanks for anything you can think of!

Hi Lynsay,

I think of 2 or 3 things right off the bat....

is the cabinetry above the fridge flush or does it have a decorative reveal that can be trimmed off , thus making the cabinet flush with the actual shelf plane? A jig saw and some refinishing /stain is all that you need

Next the wheels themselves, can they be removed and allow you a bit more room?

Lastly is what you propose, as unusual and unorthodox as it sounds you may be on to something. Just make sure all the 3/4" goes under the fridge just enough to make it look nice maybe an inch or so...cut off in a straight line and then finish the area under the fridge with 1/2" ...then use a topical caulk in a color that is close to smooth the transition. Allow that to dry.
The fridge will tilt back 1/4" and the doors will shut ...we hope.

Another way to make all the 3/4" wood straight under the fridge is to start the tongue/groove boards there and use random lengths to stagger until you get past that area. Then you can resume using cut pieces for starter boards. Do you understand what I mean? In other words if the product you have has random lengths already included in the box you can line up all the pieces under the fridge in a straight line allowing for the 1/2" wood to interlock ...possibly.

One final thought...get a cabinet maker to come over, remove the cabinet and alter it to allow 1" additional clearance by raising the shelf and trimming the bottom.

Best regards,


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20+ years flooring installation ...carpet,wood,tile and vinyl. Residential and commercial. I do not sell the products , just install what ever the shop / customer has purchased. I actually love seeing the finished project completed and it gives me great satisfaction to help others acheive that goal. If I don't know the answer I will say so, and then I will recommend another expert for you. I may even research the subject and answer to the best of my ability ...including links to my sources. I wish you all success Chris


20 years as an independant contractor

H.S. diploma A.S. agriculture Mt San Antonio JR. College

Past/Present Clients
Gene Bonas and Kevin Churnock Inc. Sheward&Son&Sons Century 21 Forte Const. Famous Footwear BOSE Corporation Homebodies General Contractor Perry Floors, Tri Cord Flooring T.J.'S Supplies

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