Recessing a refrigerator in an interior wall can increase available space in your kitchen, and can give your cooking space a more streamlined appearance. This project involves building a recessed area in an existing wall that's sufficient to accommodate the refrigerator. Creating a recessed area in a wall is an extensive and time-consuming process; however, basic carpentry skills, tools and supplies can help you complete this project to maximize your kitchen space.
Things You'll Need
4-inch wood screws
2-inch drywall screws
Ensure that the wall is not load-bearing by determining if it runs perpendicular to the floor joists. Contact a building inspector or contractor if you cannot determine if the wall is load-bearing. Removing a section of a load-bearing wall can weaken the home's structure.
Check the length of the refrigerator power cord to ensure it reaches the nearest outlet. This will prevent you from having to wire a new electrical outlet.
Measure the width, height and depth of the refrigerator with a measuring tape. Add at least 10 inches to each measurement to provide adequate clearance for the refrigerator.
Transfer the width and height measurements to the wall on both sides in the location where you plan to place the recessed refrigerator. Snap a chalk line along the measurements to create an outline of the wall opening.
Cut through the drywall along the outline on both sides of the wall with a reciprocating saw. Remove the drywall on both sides with a sledgehammer and a pry bar.
Cut through the studs at the top of the opening, and the floor plate at the bottom of the opening, with a reciprocating saw. Remove the floor plate and stud sections with a pry bar.
Mark the width and depth measurements on the floor behind the opening, and snap a chalk line between the measurements. If the room behind the wall is carpeted, cut and remove the flooring along the outline with a utility knife.
Cut two sections of 2-by-4-inch lumber equal to the height of the opening with a circular saw to form the side studs. Stand one section at each side of the opening and drive 4-inch wood screws through the side studs into the edges of the bottom plate with a drill equipped with a screwdriver bit.
Measure the distance between the side studs. Cut a section of 2-by-4-inch lumber to this measurement to form the top plate of the opening. Place the lumber section along the top of the opening and drive 4-inch wood screws through this section into the studs above the opening. Drive additional 4-inch wood screws through the top plate into the side studs.
Cut four sections of 2-by-4-inch lumber to the depth of the recessed area. The sections will form the top and bottom of the frame on the right and left sides. Lay a section on the subfloor perpendicular to the wall, on each side of the wall opening, flush with the edges of the opening. Drive 4-inch wood screws through these sections into the subfloor. Attach the remaining two sections to the ceiling, directly above the two floor sections, with 4-inch wood screws.
Cut two sections of 2-by-4-inch lumber to the distance between the side sections that you installed in Step 10. Attach one section to the subfloor, and one section to the ceiling directly above, with 4-inch wood screws.
Measure the interior distance between the depth sections. Cut 2-by-4-inch lumber sections to this measurement. These sections form the studs of the recessed area. You need one stud for each corner, and one stud for each 16 inches of the recessed walls.
Stand one stud at each corner of the recessed area. Drive 4-inch wood screws through the studs into the top and bottom lumber sections at 45-degree angles. Repeat this process with the remaining studs on all three sides of the recessed wall at 16-inch intervals.
Cut drywall sections to fit the exposed areas on the inside and outside of the recessed area with a drywall saw. Attach the drywall sections to the studs at 4-inch intervals with 2-inch drywall screws, ensuring that the drywall sections fit tightly together.
Cover the drywall corners and seams with drywall tape. Spread drywall compound over the tape and screw heads with a putty knife, and allow the compound to dry overnight. Sand the drywall with a palm sander and paint as desired.
Wear work gloves and protective goggles while creating the recessed area for your refrigerator. Proper safety equipment helps minimize the risk of injuries.