Fridges that can go right up to a wall

mondragonApril 26, 2013

I'm sure other people have dealt with this -

Are there any bottom-freezer, full-depth refrigerators that I can use? Or do I have to keep this GE Profile Top freezer model that I despise?

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mondragon, are you asking which full depth, bottom freezer refrigerator has a left or right hand refrigerator door swing to accommodate placement next to a wall?

From my somewhat exhaustive search for the same:

Kenmore Elite (seen at Sears yesterday)-may be post market model
Fisher Paykel with or without water dispenser in door
Liebherr and Subzero

It appears most refrigerator manufacturers have eliminated single swing (right or left) refrigerator doors. Reasons I've been told is a) lack of demand (niche?) and b) weight of door and c) popularity of french doors

Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 9:53PM
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How can the weight of the door be an issue? Top freezer models have a single door, no problem (and they come in much bigger capacity than bottom freezer models).

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 9:23AM
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"Top freezer models have a single door"

There may be some of these out there new, but I have not seen one in a house in years.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 11:11AM
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Come on over to my house, Brickeyee! Of course, mine is 24 years old, but it works - and my kitchen remodel budget is going toward custom cabinets and quartz counters. We're not replacing appliances until they die.

When the time comes, I want a single door, bottom freezer. Our fridge is at one end of a U, and single door makes transferring things in and out of the fridge a lot more convenient. I only wish that the single door models came in a bigger capacity - the one we have now is over 25 cu ft, and the largest single door model I've seen is 22 cu ft. But by the time we get a different fridge, our teenage sons will probably be out of the house, so we won't need as much space.

My point remains the, though - if a top freeze model can support the weight of a single door, I don't see why a bottom freezer model could not. Maybe hinges aren't as sturdy as they were 20 years ago?

Oh, and I saw a Subzero fridge today - bottom freezer, single door. The door was so heavy I could hardly open the thing! While I agree with SparklingWater that french door fridges are popular, I don't agree that the weight of a single door is an issue.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 2:18PM
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It has to do with the thickness of the door and how far the handle projects from the face of said door.

If the handle project 3" from the door face you'll need a MINIMUM of 3" between the side of the fridge and the wall. Add for a thicker door or deeper handle.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 5:33PM
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I think you might be asking about "zero-clearance hinging" or "zero clearance refrigerator doors"

Beyond that, it would really help if you could give us the dimensions you have to work with. I gather you have a space in a corner at the end of run of countertop. But, how wide is the space? How tall? How deep is that side wall? Also, do you have any countertop or a table across from the fridge? IS the fridge door opening into a passageway or does the handle have to go flat against the side wall (in which case you run into the problem that Xedos identified.)

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 10:02PM
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The space is 33" wide. There is a lot of space above so there's constraint there.

Imagine a wide galley kitchen with a wall at the far end. The fridge is on the left side against the wall. There is no issue with the opposite cabinets.

The current top-freezer fridge has the same issue (now that I look) with the bottom right drawer - it can be opened, but can't be removed for cleaning. I've lived with that for a year and didn't notice, so I guess I can deal with the same in a bottom freezer style.

I found a refurb'd Kenmore Elite model 7834 that fits but there is no current model with those specs.

There is also a Kenmore 30" wide but I don't want to give up that space.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 7:49AM
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Okay, I think I've got the picture now. Your choices of conventional door bottom-freezer fridges are:indeed limited.

(a) If you want a standard-depth conventional-door bottom freezers (CBF) with around a 21 to 22 cu. ft. of rated capacity, I think you probably are limited to products by Samsung and Whirlpool ((Whirlpool Gold, Amana, Kitchenaid, Maytag and some Kenmores). The WP products are 32 5/8" wide. This is true for both conventional bottom freezers (CBF) and the French door mdoels (FD). Top freezer models are slightly narrower at 32 1/2" wide. I just checked my KA FD which has the same hinge side clearance as the WP CBFs and found that it needs about 1/4" clearance for the hinge end of the door to open without binding on a side wall. That, of course, would still leave you with the door handle hitting the wall and keeping you from extracting the right side crisper drawer from the fridge.. At least, it does when the fridge is in place. You could roll the fridge out into the room to where the door would be open wide enough to extract the crisper drawer. My new KA is pretty easy to roll out on a hardwood or other smooth floor, so that might not be a big problem for occaisional cleaning. (Also would allow you to vacuum out the coils in the back, something I have to do because the household beast sheds like crazy at some times of the year and also has been known to misplace rodents who then hide in there.)

(b) Samsungs 20.x cu. ft fridges are slightly smaller in capacity than the WP CBF fridges but also only a skoonch over 32 inches wide. Still gives you the door handle propem, though.

(c) IIRC, GE and LG models (and the Kenmore versions) would not work in your space as they are all 32 3/4" wide or 32 7/8" wide for the CBFs and FDs. That's wide enough that the hinge-side of the doors to bind on your wall. You wouldn't be able to open the door wide enough for the handles to be an issue.

(d) If you got a 21-22 cu. ft. CBF by WP or Samsung, you could remove the door handle from the fridge compartment door. That would allow you to open the fridge compartment door to 90 degrees against that end end wall. That would look funky, to say the least.

(e) Not a problem for the freezer compartments as those all now seemed to be drawers that pull out rather than compartments with swinging doors.

(f) There is the alternative of reversing the door swing which is why I asked if you had countertops or a table across from the fridge to put things on when you take them out of the fridge. What you've got now is a door that swings left to right against the wall. You could reverse the swing, so the open door swings right to left into the kitchen. That open door would then block you from pulling stuff out of the fridge onto the adjoining counter next to the fridge but you could put it on a counter or table if there were one behind you along the opposite wall. Not as convenient as piling to the side, of course, but the door on a standard depth fridge will clear countertop so that you can get the crisper bins all the way out. .f there are just cabinets behind you, then this arrangement will not work.

(g) A 30" fridge would solve all of these these problems seems to be what your fridge space was actually designed for. The capacities all range from about 19 1/2 cu. ft. to 20 1/2 cu. ft, though.

(h) I just tried a search for "zero clearance refrigerator door hinges" which turned up (a) commercial coolers (which most people would find unsuitable for home use) and (b) refrigerator drawers.

Let us know how you resolve the dilemma because it may help others.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 3:40PM
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A fridge that solves your issues doesn't exist. You will either have to move the standard depth /wide fridge farther from the wall so the door(s) won't bang into them -or-

you'll need to buy a narrower and or shallower (counter depth) fridge so its doors won't hit the wall when open.

A built in fridge could also work , especially with a handleless kitchen from one of the European cabinet makers. With this setup you could get as close as 1" to the wall but you'll need approx $7000 for the fridge and another pile of dough for the fancy kitchen cabinets.

There is no magic hinge or door on a regular fridge that allows you to place it close to a wall, sorry.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 12:06PM
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