If you need to move your refrigerator and want to avoid scratching your floors, the easiest way to do this is by calling a professional to come and do it for you. But if frugality or DIY is more your style, then you’ll need a few tools, a couple of friends, and a little know-how to get the job done.
Moving a fridge without scratching the floor requires utilizing furniture sliders, towels, or other such protective intermediaries, and/or equipment like a hand-truck for the refrigerator to rest upon so as to prevent direct contact between the fridge and floor during transportation.
This article will cover all the important points you need to consider when moving a fridge and how to do it safely without damaging the floor – or anything else, for that matter.
Have a Plan
You’ve chosen to read this article, so you are probably already in the planning stage. But moving a fridge–or any major appliance–is serious business with several components. Mistakes will cost you in time, physical exertion, and yes, property damage, so you want to be prepared. Spontaneity does not favor this job.
Not to mention that a refrigerator can weigh up to 5 times what you weigh, so avoiding damage to your floors when moving it is only one of many possible concerns that you should be having. With that in mind, any good, safe plan to move your fridge starts with two or more people being involved. After that, it’s planning for equipment, prep, and the time it’s going to take to do it all.
Planning for a Short Move
If you need to move your fridge a short distance within a space for remodeling purposes–or to do some thorough spring cleaning, perhaps–you can accomplish this with furniture sliders or even a simple piece of plywood to protect the floor.
When moving it to a new space, measure first, so you know that it will fit, and ensure an electrical outlet is nearby. Account for everything upfront so you don’t get caught off-guard mid-project or after you have moved the fridge.
Planning for a Long Haul
If you’re moving the fridge out of your home and onto a truck, then you’ll need to consider the path you’ll take to get to the truck. Are there stairs, drastic changes in incline, or bumps along the route to worry about? Will you need to prep tight corners or other spaces that may sustain damage whilst navigating them? Do you need bubble wrap or a furniture blanket to wrap your fridge for protection?
When taking your fridge onto a moving truck, it will have to be secured with a bungee cord or placed among heavy furniture to be safe enough for travel, so it will take some forethought into the truck loading process on your part as well.
Clear Out and Defrost Refrigerator
A short move or a temporary dislocation may not require you to do this step. It depends on the method you use to move your fridge (and also what is currently inside of it), and it will help you decide how necessary it is to clear everything out before transportation.
If you are taking the fridge for a drive, you’ll need to clear it out and defrost it before you try to take it anywhere. This requires several steps in itself:
- Remove any food – pack in coolers, eat, or discard.
- Remove shelves or ensure they are secured in place.
- Unplug the refrigerator.
- Open all doors for air circulation.
- Place newspaper or towels down to collect melting ice and water.
- Place the bucket under the drainage hose if your fridge has one.
- Clean the refrigerator immediately after ice melts.
- Dry completely before transporting.
If you have gone through the defrosting process before, you know that it requires some time and planning as well. The list above contains all the essential steps required, but if this is your first time defrosting a unit, it is recommended you better familiarize yourself with the process beforehand.
If your owner’s manual doesn’t provide sufficient information, the internet has you covered. For example, here is the Wikihow page you can read to help you out.
Tape Up All Doors
No matter how you’re moving your fridge or where it’s going, you’ll want to secure the doors by taping them shut. This will prevent them from accidentally popping open at any time in the process. If you have highly faulty doors, or you don’t feel confident that tape will suffice, removing the doors off their hinges is always an option as well.
It’s easy to overlook the need for this step if your fridge has a good door seal that “sticks” and requires a semi-forceful pull to open every day. But once you tilt, maneuver, and move your fridge, any bumping, jarring, or just gravity can easily cause doors to fly open, potentially causing damage or injury, so it’s important to take the time to do this step.
Pull Fridge Away From the Wall
Unless your refrigerator occupies an open space in your garage, or something similar, then odds are it is tucked into a corner or wedged in a tight space. So before you can even utilize any lifting equipment, you’ll need to get the fridge pulled out from that space and away from any walls, cabinetry, or appliances.
And of course, you want to do it all damage-free. This part seems easy enough, but it offers the highest risk in scratching your floors, and it can easily go astray if you attempt it solo. Do this safely and have at least two people to do the following:
- Carefully lift and lean the fridge back against the wall.
- Place towels/furniture sliders under the front corners or “legs” of the fridge.
- Gently tilt the fridge forward to lift back corners off the floor.
- Slide the fridge at least halfway out of its space away from the wall.
- Place additional protective sliders underneath the back corners.
- Rest the fridge on your protective cushioning while you prepare for the next step.
Some refrigerators have wheels to allow for easy maneuvering and placement. If you already know these wheels don’t mark-up or scratch your floors, you can utilize those instead for this task. You’ll still want to put some sort of floor protection down–a piece of plywood, for example–to rest the fridge on to avoid damage when transferring onto moving equipment.
Move the Refrigerator
We’ve made it to the main event. Moving a fridge onto a moving truck requires equipment with wheels–no debate. First option gives you your choices in equipment to use and how to use them. If you’re just moving your fridge elsewhere in the kitchen, then the second option is probably all you need, although option 1 is just as practical if you have the equipment available.
Use Heavy-Lifting Equipment
There are two main options you can choose from to help you transport your refrigerator: a dolly (also called a pushcart) and a hand-truck (which some people mistakenly call a dolly). The difference is that a dolly will have a flat platform with four wheels–one at each corner–while a hand-truck generally only has two wheels and usually offers an L-shaped platform.
In either case, you’ll need three or more people to use these for safe and proper transportation.
There are also a variety of hand-trucks available, some with special features that you may find helpful when moving your fridge. We will take a look at some of those shortly, but for now, let’s focus on how to move the fridge onto them safely.
Using a Dolly
With one person maneuvering the dolly and two (or more) people controlling the fridge, tilt the refrigerator up to a 45-degree angle, and roll the dolly underneath. Place the fridge onto the dolly base. It may be necessary to slide the fridge slightly to place it fully and securely. Once on the dolly, use two people to push and guide the fridge while the third person walks ahead to ensure a clear path.
Using a Hand-Truck
Depending on the space available between your floor and refrigerator and/or what kind of hand-truck you are using, it may not be necessary to tilt your fridge in order to get the hand-tuck underneath it. If you do require lifting and tilting, the process is similar to the above. You will again need one person handling the hand-truck and two people handling the fridge. Tilt fridge, slide truck underneath, and secure.
No matter what equipment you choose to use, be sure to keep your fridge as upright as possible, and do not transport it on its back. Doing so could cause damage to the compressor that is beyond repair.
Use Protective Sliders
When point A to point B is just a few feet or meters away, using furniture sliders is an easy and effective way to move your fridge without causing damage to the floors. It also provides an option that doesn’t require lifting (just tilting and pushing). You may prefer using these over a hand-truck, for example, as it is considerably less expensive to invest in furniture sliders than it is to purchase or rent heavy-lifting equipment.
If you are doing things right, you should have placed these sliders in as previously mentioned. Double-check to ensure all sliders are placed appropriately so as not to allow the fridge to accidentally slip through or fall off any slider during transport.
- Using two or more people, carefully slide the fridge to its new location.
- Remove sliders from the back and tilt the fridge forward as you slide the refrigerator fully into place.
- Gently tilt back toward the wall to remove sliders from the front, and place the fridge on the floor.
Items such as towels, furniture blankets, carpet squares, or other facsimiles could be used instead of furniture sliders. You just need to make sure there is very little traction between it and the floor to effectively allow sliding once such a heavy object is on top of it.
Where to Find What You Need
Dollies & Hand-Trucks
Your local home improvement store will likely have this kind of equipment for sale and/or available to rent. Moving and storage companies often have rental options for you as well that generally are included if you rent a truck with them as well. Such equipment can have many uses beyond moving-assistance, so purchasing one of your own may be a good option.
There are also many choices when it comes to this kind of equipment. You can find a variety of appliance hand-trucks with special design features to further accommodate you in your moving needs or anything else you can think of to use them for.
Foldable hand-trucks or dollies compact for easy storage, like the Push Cart Dolly by Wellmax, while others have multiple wheels for climbing stairs, such as the Happygrill Hand Truck. Take some time browsing your options, and you’re sure to find something perfect for you.
You can find these handy assistants at a variety of retailers, but you’ll find the best selection at home improvement stores or moving companies and the like. Amazon has several options as well. Just pay attention to the details when searching for them–you don’t want to end up with carpet-friendly sliders when you need them to work on a hard surface.
When selecting a furniture slider, you’ll want to be sure to find a one with good quality felt that will easily slide across your floor’s surface. That felt should be on top of a strong, solid material that can handle the weight of your refrigerator with no risk of it pushing through the felt and scratching the floor. Something like the SuperSliders Reusable Felt Furniture Movers for Hardwood Floors is a fine (and very affordable) option.
Related post: Can You Put a Fridge on Carpet?
Moving a fridge without scratching your floors is easily achieved so long as you take the time to plan the move appropriately and use the proper equipment for the job. Using furniture sliders or plywood is an easy way to protect the floor, while bigger equipment is best for moving a fridge longer distances.