Protecting hardwood floor under the refrigerator

Q: I am redoing a kitchen with wood flooring. Should I put some covering under the fridge to protect the floor from any drips, wayward ice cubes or condensation? The fridge will have some space between it and the surrounding cabinet, so I should have room. I hear ice cubes fall somewhere in it now and wonder what I’ll find when we move it from its current spot for the remodel. I just would like to protect the floor as much as is reasonable.

A: What did you have in mind to place on the floor? I think if the wood is well finished, that should be good enough. Ice makers cause problems often enough. And I don’t mean an errant ice cube now and then. I mean a full on leak. If that happens you will be looking at damage for sure. Whoever hooks it up needs to make sure it is not leaking.

Follow-up Q: I didn’t know if I should place some kind of plastic sheeting under the fridge on top of the flooring..

A: I think the plastic sheeting could actually be counter productive. If there is any moisture coming from below, as wood does tend to allow moisture to pass through it, you would end up with condensation under the sheet. Ample air circulation is a good thing.

Protective sheet for refrigerator

Related Q: Is there a protective sheet that can be put over hardwood floor before putting in a built in refrigerator, to protect against water leaks?

A: A protective, water proof sheet to use under your refrigerator? Not that I’ve ever heard of. Tell your plumber to make sure it is connected correctly. I think covering the wood floor with a water proof sheet may cause more harm than good. Wood absorbs and releases moisture so you want it to be able to breath.

What to put under refrigerator

Q: I just had my floors redone. What can I put under my refrigerator to protect the floor? I don’t want the fridge to make the same marks as before. Is there a thin pad I can put in the spot where the fridge will sit in place?

A: Many people install those large wheels that are shaped like drums or cylinders. Even then it is still a good idea to lay down something hard like a thin piece of hardboard or plywood. I don’t know what sort of mat I could recommend. If you wanted to put something under it I would suggest, as I just mentioned, a hard surface panel. I don’t even think I would put it under the refrigerator, between it and the floor. Just keep a small scrap handy for when you have to pull the monster out and roll it on that.

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