New refrigerator--it sticks out too far!

lisaincaliforniaMarch 23, 2011

I know this is probably a very common thread these days, so forgive my ignorance on the subject. We just bought a new Samsung French Door refrigerator to replace our old GE that finally died (but not before it ruined the wood floors under it!). I researched new refrigerators, and measured for height and width (but forgot the whole depth thing--I am sure you can see where this is going).

So Saturday my new fridge is delivered, and it is beautiful and glorious--but also it stands out from my cabinets a full 8 inches. My old fridge (not counter depth) only stood out a few inches.

I have been frantically googling this issue, and have learned everything I didn't want to know about these mysterious counter depth refrigerators. Now I know I can buy the exact same Samsung (only smaller) that I have now, but it will cost about 1,000 more for less space to not be so chubby in my kitchen. I just don't know if it is worth the extra cost or not?

My kitchen was remodeled in 1999 when we bought the house, and overall I still like it. We are not planning on changing the cabinets or anything else in it any time soon. It is a good sized kitchen, and the new chubby fridge doesn't block any walkways--it just is just an aesthetic thing.

I can't decide if I should place such a priority on having it not stick out too far. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


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As Bart Simpson would say--doh!! Yep, those new fridges are monsters that take over your aisle space!

If it really, really bothers you, get a cab-depth model. You've found out that they are more expensive though! Make sure you're ok with the loss of fridge and freezer capacity. Many here love their CD fridges and wouldn't want to go back to one with the back depths being hard to reach. I would have done one if I really needed to for my new kitchen, but I found a way to get a full-depth unit. I was constantly short of fridge space with my old, smaller fridge and have one in the garage I use often. My new one will be recessed into the wall/cabs behind so will appear to be CD, but I get more storage.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 3:00AM
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See if you can recess it into the wall. That would allow you to save the $1000 and use the one you bought.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 6:01AM
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I like the idea of recessing large refrigerators into walls, but that can't always be done. Ours will be placed against an exterior wall, for example. What we will do is put it exactly where the existing refrigerator is - next to a short wall that divides the kitchen from the mudroom. We're going to shorten that wall even further so it's 36 inches - the depth of the refrigerator. That wall has electrical and heating ducts, so it needs to stay. Anyway, that's one option for people with large refrigerators... if they're able to put it at the end of a cabinet run, sort of in a corner. But not in a true corner, because then the doors wouldn't open properly.
As for you, if you want to keep your fridge, and aren't ready to change cabinets, counters, etc., then... I'm not really sure that you have any options.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 7:00AM
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When we re-did our kitchen I didn't even consider a CD fridge. I figured that all kitchens have refrigerators and no one would be shocked to see that I had one too! The CD fridge does "stick out" somewhat from the counters anyway, so you can open/close the doors so really, what's a few more inches? No one has made ANY comments about my black FD fridge that sticks out not only from the counters on either side but also from the wood surrounds. Might be a major kitchen faux pas but it doesn't bother me in the least!
So I say save your money, use it for something important, not for trying to hide the elephant in the room! LOL

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 7:32AM
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Ours sticks out (not counter depth) and I knew that going in to our remodel. Of course it would look better is it were shallower, but I wasn't about to spend more money for less space. I just don't have that bone in my body I guess. We aso didn't have the option to recess it as the shower is on the other side of the wall and here's no room to move it in the bathroom. We have enough room to walk around the fridge with out any issues and I figure down the line we might be able to put in a CD fridge if it really bothers us. Plus IMO appliances don't last like they used to so we'll probably be replacing it the not to distant future.

I'd say if it impacted the way your kitchen flowed or didn't open all the way it would make sense to replace it, but if it's just that it looks off, I personally wouldn't worry about it.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 8:53AM
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Could you perhaps retrofit some deeper panels that would cover the sides more completely? If you have an over-fridge cabinet, you could also take the opportunity to pull it forward, to make the fridge appear more built-in.

Otherwise, if it isn't going to drive you crzy on a daily basis, don't worry about it. I think the majority of the country probably has this same problem.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 12:53PM
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Fori is not pleased

The majority of the country has it and doesn't think it's a problem. I don't like it! :)

I'd try to recess it and/or extend the panels and especially the cabinet above it.

If the sides are the same color as the front (stainless ones often have off-color sides) it's not quite so terrible.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 1:13PM
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Thanks for your messages on this important subject (ha!). The fridge does back into an interior wall, so technically we could break thru the sheetrock and move the water and electrical. But living in the Bay Area, this means we would be spending so much money to do this (permits, contractors who would say they are going to be here and then never show up, etc...) that it would be cheaper to just go ahead and return this big momma and get the counter depth version. My husband likes to think he is "handy" (and I use that term loosely here), but there is no way he could do this remodel on his own.

The problem is that I am also cut from the cloth that sees this as such a waste of money. When we were debating the issue this week my husband even remarked "in some cultures having tis big refrigerator would be a good sign of my manhood" and I wasn't sure what to say about that!

I have more thinking to do about this. I actually got the white Samsung French door--because I am one of those odd ones who has always loved the look of white appliances. I know everyone and their grandma these days buys stainless, but I just don't love it. The big white Samsung that I bought looks sort of retro in a way. We have birch cabinets (light wood) and I know that is out now too, but it is just so light and bright and California casual to me.
I will let you know what I decide.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 9:56PM
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OK, here is your justification. Since you got French doors, each door only takes up about half the space that one huge door would take. Since your anthropologist likes to think he is manly in all cultures, you have another good reason to have a sticking out fridge. Finally, since you did not once write that the extra inches occupied were a "pinch point" in terms of traffic flow, I might surmise that it's not a concern. Ultimately you will get used to it.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 11:20PM
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Fori is not pleased

But you can put magnets on the side!

I'd say you should see mine, but it's impossible due to all the stuff stuck to it.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 11:24PM
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In my old kitchen (we just remodeled) our stainless steel fridge stuck out 8 inches. On top of that the sides were black, not stainless steel. We lived with it like that for 10 years. I used magnets on the side to post things. You probably don't have the problem of magnets not sticking to the front since you have a white fridge (magnets don't stick to stainless steel fridges). Anyway, we were fine with it. And we didn't really notice it much. I think if yours is white on the sides it will stand out even less than ours did.

During our remodel, we did box in the same fridge and pulled out the cabinets next to it 2 inches. Now we can't see the black sides anymore and it only sticks out 6 inches. But since I don't have anywhere for my magnets and loads of paper notices, we changed our pantry door to a magnetic chalk board.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 11:56PM
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It is an important subject, Lisa!

I thought the list price on the samsungs is $200 more for counter-depth compared to full-depth. I could be wrong on this, but make sure that you are comparing the same model, with just the depth difference.

We are really happy with our Samsung counter-depth french door (it's stainless). Ours is in a location where the counter-depth is very noticeable and it's in an aisleway. We were all set to get a full-depth fridge, but all of the designers, contractors, etc urged us to get a counter-depth because of the placement of the fridge, and we are glad that we did.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 6:24AM
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We only had room for a 30" fridge so we had no choice about the sticking out. We boxed in the fridge and put an open cabinet above it to display my cookbooks...I think it looks fine, and I'm thinking about putting magnetic pictures along the 4" reveal on the side.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 9:31AM
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Ditto what limom said. If California casual is the look you are going for and not a pristine, formal home then you are on track. Mine sticks out, and I still love it!

If you went to someone else's house and saw it, would it bother you? The only time it would might bother me is if I knew someone just spent a huge amount of money on a re-model (moving walls, appliance garages,etc.) and had all else tucked away, but didn't address the fridge. But that's just me.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 3:55PM
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Fori is not pleased

Oh...before you trade it in for a new fridge, do measure. Counter depth fridges are usually taller and if you feel silly with your fridge sticking out, you'll feel even sillier if it doesn't go in at ALL!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 4:32PM
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I was lucky enough to be able to get my FD refrigerator recessed - of course it took the cabinet installer two attempts becuase he forgot the first time and the 2nd time didn't do it deep enough, but that's a different story. grrr....

Sorry your new Samsung isn't as sweet as you had hoped!

One option - get those cool spice magnets (see link). I saw this on a friend's FD fridge and didn't even notice how much it stuck out. Talk about taking advantage of space. The magnets are much cheaper than a CD unit, that's for sure.

But if you can't handle it, bite the bullet & get the CD model. Having lived in the Bay Area for 12 years, I know prospective buyers will apprecitae the look of a CD model. I had to bite the bullet with my DW this week (spending $500 more for an upgraded model) because I really really wanted a super quiet model. This kitchen stuff sure can be costly!

Good luck.

Here is a link that might be useful: spice magnets to

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 6:38PM
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lisa... you and your husband sound like people with a good sense of humor. :)

i suspect you'll get used to the fridge sticking out, especially if the idea of getting less fridge for more money bothers you.

well, i'm debating getting the WHITE samsung, too! (but counter-depth) it's that shiny white, though, not the vinyl kind, right? are the sides white, too? that doesn't seem so bad, like if black sides were sticking out.

well, let us know what you decide. :)

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 1:42AM
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