Maybe you've just gotten a new fridge and it's bigger than you imagined. Or perhaps you've moved into a new home and your refrigerator seems strangely different than your prior one. It sticks out well past the counter and you're not sure it should be like that. Just how far should your fridge stick out past the counter?
If you do not have a counter-depth refrigerator, your standard fridge will stick out 6" or more from the counter. A counter-depth fridge will only stick out as much as the door depth, typically just a few inches.
Let's take a look at the differences in these models and the appropriate measurements below. Just keep reading!
My Fridge Sticks Out Too Far From The Counter
Your standard sized fridge seems to protrude into the kitchen. It is much deeper than your countertops, and something about it seems wrong to you. Is it normal for the fridge to stick out so far into the kitchen?
Should A Fridge Be Flush With The Counter?
Refrigerators are typically not flush with the counter. Even counter-depth fridges may stick out an inch or two, though there are integrated fridges that will be flush. One way to have a flush fridge is to have a gap at either side of the fridge. This will allow you to open the door to a greater than 90-degree opening. If your fridge is flush, that is the disadvantage—it won't open past 90 degrees.
What Is Standard Depth For A Fridge?
The standard depth of most normal refrigerators is 30-34 inches. Most cabinet counters are 25.5 inches deep. What this means is that it is normal for your fridge not to be flush with your countertops. This is how most kitchens are, as standard refrigerators are far more common than counter-depth refrigerators.
What Is A Counter-Depth Refrigerator?
A counter-depth refrigerator is not as deep as a standard refrigerator but is wider than the standard. The average size of a counter-depth fridge is 23-27 inches deep, so it may vary slightly from your counters. These refrigerators often have double French doors and bottom freezers. They will also hold a little less in volume than your standard fridge, though it varies from unit to unit.
Frigidaire 36 Inch Counter-Depth Refrigerator
This counter-depth fridge from Frigidaire is much loved by those who have purchased it. It's quiet and easy to move for cleaning behind it. It is about 30 inches deep, so it will stick out slightly if you have 25 1/4 inch counters, but much less so than a standard fridge.
Haier 28 Inch Width French Door Refrigerator
This compact highly-rated fridge is from Haier. It's narrow at 28 inches but also has a counter depth of only 26.5 inches. It stands 71 inches tall and has both a bottom freezer and a convenient chilling drawer. The french doors provide flexibility for getting the things you need to reach easily without opening both doors. This is a great model for a small apartment or condo kitchen renovation.
Fisher & Paykel 31 Inch ActiveSmart Refrigerator
This smart refrigerator from Fisher Paykel has an inside depth of 25.5 inches. The ActiveSmart technology keeps foods at the perfect temperature. This fridge has a stainless front and painted steel sides.
What Is The Difference Between Standard And Counter Depth Refrigerators?
The primary difference is in their depth. Counter-depth refrigerators are made to line up more closely with the front of your cabinets, creating an unbroken aesthetic line. They are often wider than your standard fridge so that they can hold the same amount of perishables. They are also often made with double doors to help with ease of opening if cabinets are on either side of the fridge.
Why Are Counter Depth Fridges So Expensive?
Counter-depth refrigerators are definitely more expensive than standard ones. There are a couple of reasons why, and it's up to you to decide if the reasons are good enough.
One is that because of the price, the demand is lower, thereby keeping the price high. The other is that, because it's considered a higher-end type of kitchen appliance and is considerably cheaper than a built-in, the cost is simply a matter of the price people are willing to pay. There's no significant manufacturing cost difference than for a similarly built standard model.
Are Counter-Depth Fridges Worth It?
The answer to this question really depends on you. Counter-depth fridges are more about form than function. In general, they sacrifice about six inches of usable space and are somewhat limited in door configurations.
But standard fridges do stick out quite a bit from your cabinet area, and depending on your kitchen, it may be a real eyesore. So if it's worth it to you to have the overall design look you want, then absolutely. If the value is only in the function, then probably not.
Do Fridges Need Space Around Them?
In short, the answer is yes. Your fridge will need about two inches of space away from the wall in the back to allow for air circulation. On the sides, you'll want your fridge to have about 1/8 inch for a standard fridge and about 1 inch on each side for cabinet depth.
The top of the fridge, if there is a cabinet above it, will need about an inch. This is mainly to allow clearance for the tops of the hinges that protrude slightly above the top panel.
To recap, it is totally normal for your refrigerator to stick out past your kitchen counter, but you might not like the look. If that's the case, there are counter-depth models available to give you a more streamlined look in the kitchen. But even with counter-depth models, your fridge will still stick out a couple of inches beyond your countertop in order for the doors to open more easily.
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