I have a soffit over my cabinets, can I cut only it out?

Dana Clyburn
by Dana Clyburn
I want to get rid of the soffit above my cabinet, it is flush with my refrigerator and it prevents me from putting a new laminate floor under it. The floor in the kitchen is a little sunken under the frig, so if I put the floor down the frig won't fit. I want to get rid of the soffit, so that even if I put the floor down, I still have room above my frig and can move it in and out to clean behind it. Right now I can't move it to clean without jacking it up with a hand-jack. Did I mention I have a small galley kitchen? Help, please!
  6 answers
  • Mogie Mogie on Jun 27, 2018

    One of the purposes of a soffit is to conceal duct work, plumbing and electrical lines that run through the kitchen. In fact, many of the first soffits were built for this reason: as a way of boxing in mechanical and electrical items that would otherwise have nowhere to go. If you choose to remove your soffit, cut a hole in the side and look in there first. If it's empty, there is little difficulty in removing it. If it is full of pipes or duct work, the difficulty lies in rerouting these items. This means either opening the ceiling or the wall behind them to give them a place to go.

    • Dana Clyburn Dana Clyburn on Jun 28, 2018

      Thanks for the help. I did ask the "Super" and he told me there is no plumbing behind the soffits. All the plumbing stops at the sink which is on the other side of the wall. The refrigerator is on the left side the stove in the middle and then the sink. I was concerned because the wall behind it is the bathroom wall, but he said no plumbing there. I think I might just try to have the cabinet removed. If I could remove the soffit I would have more space.

  • If you do not have the blueprints to your home, proceed with caution. Sometimes they are empty dead space, other times they run ducting, electrical or plumbing through the soffit space. You won't know until you open it up. Cut a small hole in several locations and take a look. If empty, have at it. If there are utilities running through, they will need to be rerouted (this is where costs rise significantly and you need to pull a permit - check local building codes), before you can get rid of them.

    • See 1 previous
    • Excellent! Just make sure there are no other utilities before proceeding. I just ripped laminate out of my kitchen. I have a lot of pets and it was just not working for me any longer. Have fun with your renovation! Hope you will post photos. 🌞

  • Sharon Peterson Miller Sharon Peterson Miller on Jun 27, 2018

    txhed pa May be hiding HVAC duct or plumbing pipes. Knock a small hole in they drywall and take a look. If nothing is being run through it then you are free to take down. If duct work or plumbing pipes etc those would have to be reworked and could get very expensive depending on what you find. Small hole can be patched easily if you do not end up removing all together.

    • Dana Clyburn Dana Clyburn on Jun 28, 2018

      Thank You Sharon, "super" said there is nothing behind it. I am on the top floor of a CO-OP and all the plumbing is at the lower level just for the sink and dishwasher. Maybe I will just try to remove the cabinet and leave the soffit alone, I really just want to be able to lay the laminate floor down under the frig.

  • 17335038 17335038 on Jun 28, 2018

    In order to be able to raise the fridge up to accommodate the increased thickness in the floor, instead of cutting into the soffit, why not just remove the small upper cabinet? ( I am assuming that those cereal boxes are on the top of the fridge.)This would give more 'headroom' to raise the fridge up.

    From the picture, it does not look like that cabinet is providing you with very useful storage space anyway. Take it off, and remount it somewhere else in the home where it can be put to more efficient use.

  • Dfm Dfm on Jun 29, 2018

    Where my soffit sits, there is no room to store items as it’s just under the roof line to keep the cabinets in line with the others as they turn a corner.

  • 17335038 17335038 on Jun 29, 2018

    To make it easy to move the fridge around, get some furniture/appliance moving sliders first. They are sold under different brand names, come in different sizes and shapes, but all do the job. They protect your floor, and help save your back. Super Sliders is one commonly available brand.

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