WWYRH? refrigerator size question

SheeshareeIIFebruary 17, 2014

Which would you rather have?
1. Counter depth refrigerator (22.6 cu ft. note - current fridge is 21.9),wall & base cabinets/counter on both sides with sides exposed.
2. Counter depth refrigerator (17ish cu ft), wall & base cabinets/counter on both sides with upper cabinet pulled forward and panel around refrigerator for built in look.

I'm still researching appliances on and off. Our current refrigerator is 21.9 cu ft. (I originally thought it was 25, oops).

My refrigerator is in the middle of a cabinet run (stupid when not well planned) and I wanted to replace the upper cabinet, pull it forward, and add panels around the sides.

I don't want water/ice on the front and would prefer French doors. I really like a few of the Electrolux ones but the space for my refrigerator is 36"w and these refrigerators are almost as wide so there wouldn't be any room for panels.

It appears I would have to bump down to 17ish cu ft. refrigerator in general to be able to use panels and make it all fit. I just think that's going to be way too small for our needs.

Is it possible to move the wall & base cabinets along with the countertop on the right side over a little more? LOL. I think that will be a problem with everything being too close to the edge of the wall; mainly the existing crown and I wanted to replace that with something a little more substantial anyhow.

Ah, yes. Through researching I did discover that if we would've bought the bigger refrigerator were we going to (years ago) it wouldn't have FIT! We just went to the appliances store and picked stuff out (also stupid)! I also learned that most refrigerators stick out WAY more than mine does. On a positive note, I actually don't mind my refrigerator nearly as much as I used to.

This post was edited by sheesharee on Mon, Feb 17, 14 at 18:21

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This post is on the conversation side of the decor forum. You might want to post on the discussions side of the kitchen forum.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 7:22PM
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I sure like the look of built-in refrigerators, but mine is 12.4 cu. ft. refrigeration and 8.2 cu. ft. freezer and I find it painfully small, especially the freezer side. I can't imagine going smaller. If I could figure out a way to reconfigure my kitchen inexpensively to hold a larger unit I would.

Granted, we don't use air conditioning, so there are some items in the refrigerator that most people would probably keep in the pantry. I pretty much have to refrigerate or freeze anything with a high oil content or it becomes rancid in the summer.

If you are considering a french door model, make sure you have room for the door swing AND for the freezer drawer to pull all the way out and still leave a place for you to stand while accessing it.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 8:34PM
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Deb - I'm aware of that and posting on the kitchen forum was a consideration that I still might follow through with. Anything goes on this side and I feel more comfortable here for a few different reasons. In the end I'll go with what works best, but I just felt like talking/typing it out at the time of my posting. DH feels they're all pretty much the same and is letting it up to me.

Fun - Thanks for the heads up about the door clearance. I've been focused on the width I haven't paid as much attention to those measurements.

This post was edited by sheesharee on Mon, Feb 17, 14 at 20:52

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 8:50PM
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Have you looked at Liebherr refrigerators? They have stainless housing on all sides so you don't really need a panel. Maybe other manufacturers do that too?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 11:48PM
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I wouldn't mind smaller. We are a family of 3. We cook frequently and shop twice a week so I'm not quite as worried as someone who shops only once a week. In fact in our new build we are planning a 24" wide 13.5 cu ft all refrigerator with a small upright freezer column in the pantry. I chose built in appeal and integrated paneling with landing space over larger refrigerator and less counter space. My reasonings may not be right for you and our family though? Hope that helps.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 3:08AM
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Our new 'fridge just arrived last week. We too wanted French doors, no water. Good luck! It cannot be found anymore. We also fought with the size issue. We wanted the 'fridge to be big enough for our needs AND fit in the existing hole. Also--not possible. We ended up taking five years to find just the right one--and discovered our family had decreased so we no longer needed to reconfigure the cabinets to fit a larger 'fridge!! We got the bisque color and french doors--but we have the water. It is all about compromise. We went with a lower rated brand to avoid all the plastic shelving slides. I kept imagining food/liquids in all those crevices, cleaning nightmare!! The most frustrating thing about it all is knowing the new appliance will last 1/4 long as the one it replaced, if we are LUCKY. And no it is not "everything" I dreamed of. I liked the space the old one provided--new is so not better. I just hope this one doesn't freeze my fruit and the working light inside is very helpful!!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 6:00AM
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I would go with size over panels. I still like the side by side and while we do not use the water on the door, I use the ice daily. I don't want to give that up. It might be handy too as little Shee gets bigger.

We'll be looking soon too. Had to replace the stove and went ahead and got a new microwave too as it was a good sale. Dishwasher and fridge will be replaced in the next few months. We went with SS and to be honest, I'm not crazy about it. Have been experimenting with different cleaners and my Sheila Shine came yesterday. Hopefully that will make me happier with my SS!!


    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 12:01PM
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Nan - I did check them out a little the other day, but they seem to be out of the price range. We'd prefer to keep it not much over $3000.

Nashville - Our shopping varies from once a week to two weeks. I wish I could live with a smaller one for a while and see what I thought.

Another question - Please tell me it's not normal for your refrigerator to ice things if it's full? I think it's an air circulation issue or thermostat. If I could pack a smaller refrigerato up with no worries of my celery or milk freezing, it could work.

Arcy - I hear ya! There are very few out there that fit the specifications. We have a Maytag and have replaced the track for the crisper drawers three times. Also the plastic edging is bubbling up in spots. We're not hard on it. I think all the newer refrigerators look cheap inside. Which brings me the issue you mentioned of how long they last. My parents have the same appliances and they still function great. When I read negative reviews about a $3000 refrigerator it makes me think it's not worth it. I could care less about the bells and whistles honestly. I do care about if they work, the look, and how customer service is. I imagine it's going to cost more to fix something on an more expensive appliance than something cheap.

Tina - In the end that's probably what I'll end up doing. When it comes right down to it, the refrigerator is meant to hold food and if it doesn't do that well enough for your needs. . .
I'm hoping the ss doesn't drive me bonkers with keeping it clean.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 12:27PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

What I would do would depend on how I use my fridge. Some people have mainly condiments and compost in them. If that were me, I would go for a smaller fridge. For my family size, and shopping habits, I go for the biggest I can get, even if it is not counter depth.

I have a side by side right now but really want a bottom freezer. I am not crazy about the french doors. When we stay at my MIL, it was a pain to remember which side things were stored on, etc. Good luck in your shopping, it is amazing how much so many of them cost.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 12:44PM
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Sorry, no advice, I read these appliance threads to store up knowledge for when the day comes that I have to replace my 20 yo fridge. It makes me ill to think how the new ones cost so much and don't last as long.

Speaking of ss:
I have a stainless steel electric tea kettle. I never touch the ss sides, I only use the handle, and yet the sides have smudges. What in the world makes the smudges?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 12:46PM
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Shee- our liebherr refrigerator is better than I expected. I honesty thought thr price couldnt be justified. I dint think i would have purchased this had we been shopping. It came with the house and i love it. We are putting the same brand just different units in the new build. My produce stays perfect. Never had it freeze. Of course we replenish produce every 3 or 4 days. We could stock a week and I have. The produce stays perfectly fresh. However we've found shopping every 3 or 4 days helps us save money and cuts down on waste. We don't have a lot of condiments. We make our own salad dressings. So we only have siracha mustard maple syrup hot sauce worcestershire and ketchup. We also always have butter, milk and almond milk plus whatever we buy for the next 3 or 4 days. So the small size really works for us.

At our lake home we have a bigger samsung fridge that is a few years old. I hate it. It's loud, and it took a while to understand that lettuces have to be kept outside the crisper drawers. It keeps things fresh as long as you remember what produce should go where. The freezer lights annoy me as they are at the back of the freezer and not the sides. I don't hate it enough to replace it right away as it is our second home, but it is on the list. When it's time I'll be replacing with a "retro" unit like a north star or big chill.

Long answer to say- analyze your needs, list you wants and find the unit that makes the most sense for your storage needs and shopping patterns.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 1:23PM
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I was thinking the counter depth was the 'easy' way to go, but there is always the option of buying a regular one and having it recessed into the wall. I don't know how big of a deal that is and the laundry room is on the other side. I could then probably add panels. I might have to compromise and get one with the water/ice on the outside though.
If I bought a counter depth size that fit our needs I'm still going to have to replace the upper cabinet.

If I go with plan B (recess in wall) I could keep the upper cabinet, pull it forward, and just add panels.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 2:52PM
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As your family is growing you want the biggest fridge possible. Next time I buy a fridge I'm taking a roasting pan with me. lol. Depth is equally important as width, IMO.

I have a side by side and next time I'll either get one with french doors or a regular one with the freezer on the bottom.

I'd try to get the ice maker though, they really come in handy. We also keep ice trays full just in case there's a power outage.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 3:32PM
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UH OH - I thought it was just my bad luck that I got a lemon as I struggle with frozen fruit and veggies in my GE profile ss fridge with bottom freezer. As things easily freeze in the crisper, I always figured they forgot some insulation between the fridge and freezer sections. It does better when I place a raised barrier over the crisper floors. But now that you mention it, things do freeze sometimes in the regular fridge part especially when the fridge is full...??!! I wish this weren't the case as otherwise I like the unit... : (

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 6:16PM
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Peegee what temp is your fridge set at?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 9:21PM
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A trade-off if you have to scale down: What if you also bought a small under-the-counter fridge for beverages only? Not the cheapo-looking cube dorm-room type. That would also keep the main fridge door not opened so much.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 1:27PM
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My 27" w. Subzero held more food more efficiently than the two subsequent full depth, larger fridges have. What my particular model did not hold was pizza boxes and things like that, but we don't store things that way. It also did not have a large enough drawer in the fridge. But for general food volume it held more in the fridge and freezer sections.

I am not going the SZ route again, but I will probably go counterdepth again.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 8:51PM
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There was a miscommunication with the dimensions when I relayed them to my husband. We actually were shopping for a washer / dryer but went ahead and bought the fridge bc of the great price
I had done some research about them by reading consumer reports but I did not know about counter depth etc.

Now we have this. I can exchange it, I am sure, my husband loves the size. And also the price. I like this style but the same one in counter depth size will cost is almost 1k more. Really?!!

I keep telling myself I can live with this But I don't know .

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 12:35AM
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Gamy - Yes, the price is ridiculous for CD. How long do you have to exchange it?

Since mine is in the middle of the cabinet run, when the time comes to order (Sept.), we'll be going with CD. I'm a little hesitant because even though it's expensive, it's not made exceptionally better than anything else. We have decided to buy all the new appliances from the local mom and pop store again. They're wonderful, support local business, and if anything does kerplunk, I know there won't be any aggravation and it will be taken care of. Not to mention I found out Lowes called them years back and weren't exactly nice.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 10:52PM
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