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View Full Version : Built-in advice needed



Jack Norfleet
09-18-2006, 4:41 PM
My next project is a rather large built in entertainment center for my living room. The room has a floating, snap in laminate floor.

Should I install the built in on top of the floor or should I remove the floor, install directly on the slab and then refloor up to the cabinet?

If I install on the slab, do I need a vapor barrier between the built in base and the bare concrete?

Jim Becker
09-18-2006, 4:49 PM
Jack, to avoid having to pull up the floor and the time/expense that brings, you could use a hole saw to "strategically place" a series of openings to the sub-floor for support blocks to hold up your built-ins. Alternatively, you could cut along the proposed boundary of the built-ins with a guided saw just outside of the line and build your platform directly on the concrete. You may need to finish the cuts near the wall with the tip of a Reciprocating Saw. If you have a vapor barrier under the existing floor, you should also have it under your new cabinetry, too.

jeremy levine
09-18-2006, 4:55 PM
My next project is a rather large built in entertainment center for my living room. The room has a floating, snap in laminate floor.

Should I install the built in on top of the floor or should I remove the floor, install directly on the slab and then refloor up to the cabinet?

If I install on the slab, do I need a vapor barrier between the built in base and the bare concrete?

Do you have a foam based vapor barrier under the floor ? If so I can tell you heavy objects will depress the foam and "lower" the floor.

Jack Norfleet
09-18-2006, 5:12 PM
Do you have a foam based vapor barrier under the floor ? If so I can tell you heavy objects will depress the foam and "lower" the floor.

I do have the foam barrier. Looks like I will have to remove it.

Jim,

I hadn't thought of cutting it with a GCCS. That is a great idea, thanks.

Jay Knoll
09-18-2006, 6:12 PM
Jack

Jerry makes a good point, but I wonder what would happen if you built the unit on a plywood base, like a box sitting on its side. This would spread the load across the entire area of the entertainment unit rather than on just a couple of smaller bearing surfaces. Then, if you fastened the unit to the wall studs the load would be distributed to the house's frame as well as to the floor. Don't know if this is more/less work than the guided saw solution proposed by Jim (which by the way I agree with 100%) I was just trying to think of another solution that might reduce the potential complexities of cutting the flooring.

Jay

Ben Grunow
09-18-2006, 11:02 PM
I would leave the floor and install the cabinet by shimming it level and screwing it to the wall. Make the cabinet so it is strong enough to be wall hung (1/2" back) and really screw it to the wall or use some good cleats. Then remove the shims and install the base trim/shoe molding over the gap.

It occurs to me that you could also place a ledger along the wall where the old base board was. There should be a gap at the wall where a strip of plywood could be installed and screwed to the studs (about 5" tall) so the cabinet bottom could rest on it and bear directly on the floor.