Kitchen Appliances, Layout, and Flooring

Here's a reality check for those of you planning a kitchen remodel. You need to think about where the heavy kitchen appliances and cabinets are located on your layout, and then do due diligence to assure that your flooring system is up to the task. Don't assume that the kitchen designer will do this for you.

I've written elsewhere about the need to correct floor problems as step #1 in any remodel, and that certainly applies here. But what I'm talking about today is being careful not to create a new problem by the way your heavy items are placed.

Most kitchen appliances aren't very heavy. Big exception #1 is the refrigerator. Usually, the next-heaviest thing in the kitchen is going to be a tall pantry cabinet filled with canned goods. You get the idea.

Know I know what you're thinking. “But these heavy items are going against the wall where the floor is the strongest. Isn't that good enough?”

Maybe. It all depends whether it's a wall that's parallel to the floor joist or one where the floor joists end. Floor joists are the large, strong wood beams that stand on edge below your floor material. They give the strength to your floor. Click on this image to see what's below a typical kitchen floor.
appliance-placement-joists-visible-best.JPG
You want the heavy loads to be near the end of a joist, where the joist can best support the load over time without sagging. If a heavy appliance or cabinet is placed in the middle, the joist is more likely to sag noticeably over the years unless you take action to give that location extra support.

See my other articles on floors for more info.