Counter depth Fridge help

Tricia21October 6, 2012


I'm becoming completely overwhelmed by all the decisions for our kitchen remodel. I'm an avid researcher and my head is now spinning. I would love some help on the fridge so I can get pointed in the right direction. Here are the specifics:

1) Stainless Steel Counter Depth

2) Bottom freezer but NO FRENCH DOORS

3) Don't want water or ice on the outside for fear of breakage and don't love the look. Better alternatives to that?

4) Budget - Would love to spend $5000 total for fridge/stove/hood so Fridge budget around $2000.

It is a galley kitchen so I want it to truly be counter depth and not stick out too much at all. I think I'm seeing all different sizes so i'm not sure what is best or how wide it should be. We are a family of 4, but don't overstuff our fridge. We cook and then we eat it!

Can anyone get me started in the right direction? We have a Bosch dishwasher so I'm looking for something with that type of look. Oh and ceilings are about 7 1/2 feet.



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fyi - all counterdepth fridges will stick out at least the depth of the door.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 2:55PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Not doable on your budget. Even a french door counter depth will cost you around $2500 for something decent. To go to a bottom freezer without french doors, there are only so many players in that market to begin with because the doors and hinges need to be extra sturdy to handle the weight. Add in counter depth, and you're further down in your choices, and most are over or approach your budget range for you total appliance expenditure.

Not to mention that you have a bit of an design issue here with wanting counter depth and a single door fridge. The two ideas don't mix well if you've got clearance issues. Try to imagine a single 36" (or even 30"!) door swinging into your aisle space. That's one of the reason that french doors are so popular. You only need aisle clearance for an 18" door.

Something is going to have to give. Either up the budget to more than you wanted to spend all together, or give on one of the other requirements. My suggestion is that if you have enough clearance for a single 36" door to open into your aisle, then go to a full sized fridge and don't sweat the counter depth. It's not needed. You can always increase the depth of the adjacent cabinets if you want a more built in look. And you'll have at least 5 more cubic feet of storage than you will with counter depth.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 3:33PM
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What Weissman said, plus some basic questions: (a) What is the capacity of your current fridge? (b) is that capacity too much, too little or about right? (I'm asking about interior storage space, not the exterior size or shape of the box.)

Family of four, you say? Maybe something around 18 cu. ft. capacity, which seems to be the largest size you can get counter depth,single-door, bottom freezer fridges under $2000. AFAIK, your choices will be a Samsung (18 cu. ft. model RB195AC for about $1300, I think) and Fisher & Paykel (various models with 17.5 cu. ct. capacity, running $1500 to $1600 for those without through-the-door dispensers.)

There are more choices if a smaller fridge will work for you.

Have you checked out the choices at, and for ideas?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 3:45PM
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Hi All,
Thanks for the quick responses.
Here's some more info. Our current fridge is a whirlpool and has 17.6cu. ft. I would like more space as we use a separate small fridge for beer and and some misc beverages but for the most part it's not horrible. I didn't want french doors b/c a very reliable friend of mine who has done 3 kitchens recently said they're annoying and one door was so much better. However, I started looking at a few sites and so far haven't seen counter depth w/o french door. I definitely want counter depth b/c I don't like the look of fridges sticking out at all. Our current one does and it's fine b/c the whole kitchen needs to be upgraded, but I want to do it right this time.

So, I've looked at 2 sites so far and have found this around my price point:
1) LG - counter depth/french door/ - LFC21776ST (looks like can get for $2200. Has 20.7 Cuft

2) Kitchenaid - KBFS20EVMS - French door counter depth with 19.8 cuft. Looks like can get under $2000.

Should I look at Whirlpool, kenmore, GE line? My neighbor got a counter depth cafe for $2300 and really likes it. I just want to get something that looks nice, is reliable and bigger than my current fridge which i bought in 5 minutes b/c my fridge had broke and it was the only thing that would fit!


    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 9:19PM
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Found a few more that look ok:

3) Ge Profile - PDCS1NCZLSS - this is NOT a french door and could get for $2400 so maybe a little much if the others are good fridges

4) GE Cafe - CFCP1N1ZSS - French door counter for $2330

5) Electrolux - french door - E123BC30KS for $2288 - this has a whopping 22.6 capacity -

So, lot's of choices. Would love to get the cheapest but can go up a few $100 if it's a much better option...thoughts?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 10:15PM
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>>>"Only thing that would fit"Fit how? Height? Width? Depth? Is that "fit" still a controlling factor or will your kitchen remodel allow you to work around the fridge?

I ask these questions because any counter depth fridge over 19 cu. ft. is going to be about 36 inches wide (actually 35 and some fractional inches). CD fridges also tend to be slightly taller than similar capacity standard depth models.

I just bought a new fridge a week ago and went through some of the same searching you seem to be slogging through. AFAIK, all of the available BF fridge models with capacities over 19 cu. ft. are FD models except for (I think) a GE model that sells for about $2500.

Getting a FD model will expand your choices for larger capacity CD fridges. I looked for Counter-Depth (CD) models, and focused on FD models because my kitchen is so narrow. (How narrow? Well, the door of a conventional fridge almost touches the countertop on the other side of the room.) The problem that I ran into was that I wanted/needed a 22 cu. ft. capacity fridge and the CD versions with that capacity were significantly beyond my budget.

FD fridges are not everybody's preference. Some people do find them annoying. Do a search here and you'll find several recent threads that discuss the pros, cons and personal preferences on this subject.

Basically, choosing a FD design means giving up some storage space on the doors. It also means paying attention to a pair of doors rather than a single door. Bottom freezers also tend to have less capacity than top freezers.

I looked at the KitchenAid Architect Series II KBFS20EV, which you mentioned. However, at 19 cu. ft., the capacity was a little too small for me. The models that were the next size up (21-22 cu. ft.) were more to my liking but at $2600 to $2900, the models were too expensive for my budget. (My budget was less than yours, I might add.)

I wound up getting a standard depth KitchenAid KBFS22, instead, for a little over $1400. The link below is my review. A lot of what I said applies to the KA CD models. It may answer some of your questions.

There are a number of 20-22 cu. ft. freestanding capacity CD fridges but all of them are over $2k in price. LG has a 20 cu. ft. one for about $2150, and there was a Frigidaire Gallery model with 22.6 cu. ft. capacity (FGHG2344MF) that was about $2100 at AJ Madison but rather more expensive elsewhere. The GE Cafe you mentioned runs somewhere between $2300 and $2500, but I think it is a rebadged LG from when GE stopped making its own fridges, and the out-sourced GEs had a terrible reputation for quality control. (Consumer Reports surveys showed recent GE fridges with a 25% problem rate up through last year.) GE started its own production last July at its new plant in Louisville but I did not see any of the line in the local stores when I quit shopping a couple of weeks ago. I suspect that the larger capacity FD/CD units will be outside your $2k budget.

As for Whirlpool, all the larger-capacity CD models I saw were models that had through-the-door dispensers (which you do not want) and were only marginally less expensive than the models in the KitchenAid line. (BTW, Whirlpool owns KA, Maytag and Amana, and makes all of those FD fridges in its plant in Iowa.) Up until the most recent CR survey results, Whirlpool was far and away the most reliable line of fridges with an 8% problem rate. THe latest CR survey results came out a couple of weeks ago. They show WP has slipped some as the members are now reporting a problem rate of 12% (which may be a result of WP and KA selling a lot more fridges with through-the-door dispensers which seem to be problemmatic for all makers and cause a lot of the reported problems.)

As for Kenmore, my recollection is that the only FD/CD models all had through-the-door dispensers, were made for Sears by LG, and were over $3k.

Here is a link that might be useful: kitchenaid kbfs22ewms7 22 cu. ft. fd fridge review

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 10:38PM
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Thanks JW! We will have much more space for the fridge as we're raising ceiling 6 inches and taking out al the cabinets. Our kitchen iis narrow as well and I hate when fridges stick out so I want less depth. Have u had any experience with the Electrolux line? Model I'm looking at has lots of space and decent price...

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 11:48PM
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No direct experience with the Electrolux. The info I gathered was mostly talking to salespeople and some on-line research. E-lux turned out to be beyond my budget.

My recollection was that there was only one E/lux model that was CD/FD that was under $2.5k, and that was the E-lux model you cited above for around $2300. I was not able to see one because none of the local stores had any of those models on the floor. There also seemed to be long lead times on ordering them in. (Be aware that I live in the rural Rocky-Mountain west, so you might get different information in your area.) Our local Lowes does stock a higher-end Electrolux FD/CD 22.5 cu. ft model that has no through-the-door dispensers. But it was not on the floor and cost $3200.

Electrolux also owns Frigidaire. I believe that I read that both FD and BF models for both brands are made in the same plant. Electrolux models have more features, "wave-touch" controls, and the different fit and finish that goes with the higher price. I believe that the Frigidaire FGHG2344MF is very similar to the Elctrolux E123BC30KS you cited, but with less features and less sophisticated controls.

There have been some long threads here on Electrolux fridges and a few on Frigidaire models. If memory serves, the company's quality control went through a bad patch three years ago but seems to have resolved a lot of the earlier quality-control problems. Do a search and you'll find the threads.

The best price I found on the Frigidaire 22.6 cu. ft. CD/FD was just under $2K at Lowe's, but witha 4 week lead time on orders (at least, that is what it seems to be for us in the rural Rocky Mountain west). I think AJ Madison also carries it and may have it for about $2100, about $200 less than the E/lux. My recollection is that it has generally favorable buyer reviews.

The latest CR user surveys on reliability do not have data for Frigidaire and E/Lux FD fridges. (There was data for SxS and top-frezer models, though). This means that CR did not get enough responses for what they regarded as a statistcally valid sample on the Frigidaire/E-lux FD models. So, maybe the sales volume was down? Or maybe Frigidaire/E-lux buyers tend not to be members of CR? Don't know.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 4:03PM
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