We have a galley kitchen and our fridge takes up a lot of room when the door is open. I'd like to recess it back into the wall using some empty space in the dining room directly behind it.
However when I opened the wall I discovered a triple stud that is load-bearing, supporting a floor joist that terminates directly above it. Because of this termination point and that the triple stud is situated on the corner of the wall, I don't have room to slide it back.
X ^ | fridge | | | --X----X---XXX = = = = = = = > joist | | | dining room X
Elevation from behind the fridge:
--+----+---+++ | | ||| | | ||| | | ||| | | ||| | | ||| | | ||| | | ||| --+----+---+++
I could probably sister a new stud to the opposite side of the existing triple but that would also mean the wall would no longer be flush on the dining room side which I'd rather avoid.
It might be possible to rotate the triple studs with a new top/bottom plate, but the edges would overlap the load bearing wall underneath it and I'm not sure how that would work out. Beefing up the wall next to the fridge (and its extension) also I don't think will work as there's no columns under the adjacent floor joists.
So I'm looking then to replace the triple stud altogether with a stronger material if possible. Ideally I want this wall to get to with a cripple and header in place of the middle stud:
--+----+---- + | | I +----+-----+ | I | I | I | I | I --+----+-----+
Is there a readily available material I can use in place of the triple stud that has similar load-bearing characteristics but only takes up the space of a double stud??
Note: this question is similar to Can I modify a load bearing triple stud? but as I don't think I can rotate the triple stud or transfer the load via a span over to adjacent columns, looking for alternative materials rather than seeking to modify a portion of the triple stud.