Fridge size and style...guidelines

sparklepFebruary 10, 2013

Is there a guideline for picking a fridge size and style?

I have a galley kitchen and the fridge is in the corner with 38" of space. A cabinet on one side and a wall on the other. When the cabinet guy was out measuring the space, and we were talking about what I was getting for a new fridge. I said I was looking at a freezer on the bottom style and was leaning a bit towards the French doors for fridge. He said he didn't think I had enough space for the French doors.

Does that mean I don't have enough space for a side by side fridge? I was looking at freezer capacity this morning, and realized I'd get more space in a side by side.


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I cant figure out what he meant. I also have a fridge between the end of cabinets and a wall.

If you dont have room for french doors how could you have room for a single door which is longer and will come further into the room?

I have read that you need two inches between the fridge and wall to open the door 90 degrees.

Ask him what he meant. I can't figure this out.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 11:29AM
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the french door fridges are usually 36" wide, though there are a couple of them that are 30-32" wide.

If your space is 38" wide, the door on the wall side will bump into the wall when you open it because it needs at least 5" to clear between the handle on the door, and the thickness of the door.

My best advice is put a 36" wide fridge and decrease the width of the cabinet next to it to allow the door to open fully. if you don't you will not be able to clean your fridge, the shelves cannot be removed if the door isn't fully open.

This post was edited by detroit_burb on Sun, Feb 10, 13 at 11:35

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 11:32AM
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Fridges are getting bigger but not wider. They are making them taller but most standard fridges aren't wider than 36". Unless you are considering one of the bigger sub zero fridges. So 38" is plenty of room. You'll have an inch to spare on each side.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 7:12PM
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36" is a very common size* for a refrigerator, so you should have at least 2 extra inches between the unit and the wall and still get a nice 'fridge. To find out if that is enough space to open a door for a particular model you're interested in, you need to do a little detective work. In the store open the wall-side door to 90 degrees. Look at the outside of the door and see if it will hit a wall that is 2" from the side wall of the unit. Look at the inside. With the door at 90 degrees, can you open up the drawers enough to remove them for cleaning? To get the veggies in and out? Can you get the shelves in and out? Some refrigerators have door storage that interferes with the drawers unless the door is opened more than 90 degrees. Be sure to try it out. There really isn't an industry standard on this, so you'll have to do the leg work yourself. We were those odd folks walking around Sears and Best Buy with an empty Costco pizza box and an empty 1-gal. water bottle.

If 36" doesn't work for you for some reason, try even narrower. 33"* is another common size with lots of available models and styles. We couldn't find a French Door fridge in that size that had good usable interior space, but we did find a bottom freezer unit that has tons of usable interior space.

*36" refrigerators are often some measurement just less than 36": 35-5/8, 35-7/8, etc. Same for 33".

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:36PM
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