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Mar 13, 2014 10:05 AM

counter depth fridge

Hi all:

we are a family of 3. all of us (including the 4 year old) have big appetites. I like to cook and entertain. and i'm installing a second oven and a 6 burner range.

could i ask your opinion on two fridges. the counterdepth one is very nice and pretty and of good quality, but it is small. i really think 21 cubic feet is going to feel tight.

I really like this one, and it only sticks out 3 more inches than the counter depth one. but it gives me 7 cubic feet more of space.

i do have a chest freezer, too. any thoughts? i'm happy with the quality of both items. and the carpenter can build something around the bigger fridge to make it look more "built in."

I really appreciate all of your thoughtful advice.

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  1. eLizard, we have a counterdepth side-by-side fridge. I strongly urge against getting one unless you have no options in terms of space for a standard size.

    We used to have a standard fridge but when it died after 15 years, we had significant problems in finding a replacement standard size fridge that would fit the "hole." It ends up that refrigerators had gotten taller in the intervening years. Our kitchen design included cabinets above the refrigerator so that the refrigerator had a "built-in" look. The only refrigerator that would fit that space without ripping out the cabinets was a counterdepth.

    There are only 2 of us at home and 90% of the time, we can manage with the c-depth fridge. However, whenever we are entertaining or have a lot of leftovers, there's lots of maneuvering involved to get everything to fit. And, I am speaking of the refrigerator compartment, not the freezer. Fortunately, we have a small, under-counter refrigerator in our basement as part of a wet bar arrangement so it is available for overflow items.

    1. Where will the fridge be located? I've found that to be the biggest factor in determining what depth to use. If it sits in the middle of a cabinet run, you may find yourself extremely unhappy with the deeper unit. At 33" it will stick out 8" from your cabinets/counters, assuming 25" for counters and also assuming the fridge is flush against the back wall, which it won't be. That's a lot. Visually, it will look like it's sitting in the middle of the room. I speak from experience. :(

      OTOH, if it's at the end of a run, go for the deep one. I've got exactly that situation now and my deep fridge looks perfectly normal.

      FWIW, looking at all the depth measurements, it appears the Samsung is about 5.5 inches deeper than the Jenn-Air. Samsung has the same measurement for depth with and without handles. I believe it's 33" without handles. The Jenn-Air is ~27.5".

      2 Replies
      1. re: DuffyH

        Even if the fridge is part of a "cabinet run," the cabinets can be pulled out from the wall and deeper countertops installed so that the full depth fridge is flush with the cabinets. I don't know that I'd want to do this if the fridge were literally in the middle of a long run of cabinets. However, it is what we did with the fridge placed on the end of short run - i.e., next to a single base & top cabinet. As mentioned upthread, we also had 2 cabinets placed over the fridge, which we use for storage of infrequently used items.

        1. re: masha

          That is exactly what we did when we remolded our kitchen at camp. The only difference was we had extra deep cabinets made, both uppers and lowers...great storage and the extra deep counter is wonderful!

          We installed a gas reefer also, and they only come in full depth in the width we wanted.

      2. Another vote for a regular depth fridge. I have the French door Jenn Air regular depth and recently put a counter depth one in for a church kitchen remodel. At the church, it works just fine but the capacity is surprisingly limited.

        1. here is the link to the kitchen...... thanks for your input.

          6 Replies
          1. re: eLizard

            That link goes to the main page for the kitchen planner, not to your design. :(

            If you're installing new cabinets, 30" deep cabs will look right at home with the deeper fridge. We had them in one house and loved the added storage.

            If you have room, a second fridge in the garage is an excellent option, and one we used in our last house. Look for a used one on Craigslist, or pick up a new freezerless model for $400-500.

            Yet a third option is to look for the counter depth model with the most fridge space, since you have an extra freezer. We had a cab depth model once, for a family of 3 (one was a teenage boy) and had no problems with space. Different strokes, I guess.

            1. re: DuffyH

              city dweller. no driveway/garage. on street parking.

              i looked into a freezerless counter depth fridge. prohibitively expensive. and surprisingly not much more space.

              damn link. no idea how to make it work. when i put it in it goes to the home page and then a few seconds later the design populates.


              1. re: eLizard

                Look for the Electrolux Icon, it's pricy but not all that bad, I think it was around $2,000. Very nice unit.

              2. re: DuffyH

                We remodeled and put in a counter depth fridge that's all fridge. Plenty of space with this set up. The second fridge is about 3 steps away in the laundry room and it has the top freezer. I can't say enough about this set up. The old fridge was so deep that stuff was constantly getting lost on the lower shelves in the back. By the same token, my dughter has a counter depth side by side and there is no room for anything. It's alwys jamed. She has a second fridge now. A side by side counter depth just isn't enough room for a family unless you have another unit.

                1. re: mikie

                  that is exactly what our designer said. with a counter depth, we'd need another fridge....

                2. re: DuffyH

                  We're presently in the middle of a kitchen remodel and we've had 30" deep cabinets built to accommodate a full-depth fridge. The base cabinets/drawers are great and do provide lots of extra storage space.

              3. I think those "counter top depth" fridges work well design-wise for people who are squeezing them into existing cabinets/kitchens.

                Since you have a carpenter, I agree with the other posters. Get the fridge that works for you and your family and let your cabinet maker/carpenter build a surround.

                Like the poster below, mine is at the end of a short run of cabinets and I really enjoy the deeper counter-tops.