Do you have a gap between the top of your frig and cabinet above?

hungryheartMarch 7, 2011

We are loving our cabinets, but we're having trouble coming to terms with the large space between the top of the frig and the cabinet above it. The cabinet lines up perfectly with the cabinets on either side of the frig.

What's wrong here? Should there be a panel on the underside of the upper cabinet? A filler below the cabinet above the top of the frig?

I'm trying to figure out if a piece wasn't ordered for installation. If you have this configuration, do you have a gap like this? I have to think that my LG French Door Refrigerator is standard size.

I'd appreciate seeing pictures if you have a similar configuration as well. Thanks.

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That looks absolutely normal to me. I've always had minor gaps above fridges. With my first reno, we had an LG bottom freezer with a 24" deep cab and a 2-3" gap. You want enough gap to be able to get your hand up there to clean, right? With the new kitchen, we're looking at a just-shy-of 70" fridge, a 21" upper, and tiny crown, so that is a gap of 3.5". The 24" deep upper only left a gap of .5" and that is a little too tight for comfort, I think.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 11:11PM
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Fori is not pleased

You should be able to get a filler strip or maybe a light rail--a little gap is fine but yours seems a little too much.

It probably wouldn't bother ME because I'm pretty short and my perspective would be different.

But did you LOOK at your cabinets? Wow. Those are wonderful. Gap schmap!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 11:13PM
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Fori is not pleased

O, I didn't answer the question. I have a wok-sized gap because I haven't gotten around to replacing my fridge with the one that my fridge hole is sized for. It will have less than an inch of gap. I said I was short--I don't care what the top of the fridge looks like, and with a small gap, nobody else will care either. And maybe it'll stay cleaner.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 11:21PM
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First, your cabinets are beautiful! Second, I've seen a lot of kitchens with gaps of that size -- it's not too big at all. In ours we wanted a more flush look so used filler. And we have frameless cabs, so the filler is flush with the doors rather than the cabinet face. But it will all depend on the specs of your fridge and how much you really want the gap filled.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 11:27PM
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Yes, Fori, we do love the cabinets! Thanks!

The gap we have now is 2 1/4" when the frig is closed, and 3 1/2" when the frig is open. We are tall so the gap looks very conspicuous to us.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 11:28PM
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As suggested above my Mom used a section of light rail to reduce the gap over her fridge.



After (detail)

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 11:47PM
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hi hungryheart,

here's a thread where they used a piano hinge and trim for that space.

yours is pretty small, so like others have said, light rail would probably work best.

did your installer leave any leftover filler strips with you?

Here is a link that might be useful: trim over fridge: scroll to bottom to see picture

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 12:12AM
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here's a link to buehl's nifty slideshow on building in a fridge. you can see in #5 she had a trim piece added there.

i already said it, but i'll say it again... your cabinets are beautiful. :)

Here is a link that might be useful: buehl's slideshow: how to build in a fridge

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 12:31AM
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I used a piano hinge and a piece of matching trim to fill the gap. I then used the space on top of the refrigerator to store large platters. Looks great and functional too!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 12:58AM
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Check out your installation guide. Many fridges require 1"-2" above the top for ventilation. And also around the sides.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 1:06AM
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We have light rail there to fill the gap as well.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 1:10AM
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Yes, check your install manual. Fridges need ventilation space. My new fridge and cabinets look very similar to yours.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 1:24AM
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It is good to have some gap because you never know exact sizes if you ever change out the fridge. In our last house, we bought a new fridge and had no clue it would not fit under our cabs properly. We had a vaulted ceiling and this was under the start of the vault, so we could not move the cabs up as they were up against the ceiling already. We ended up planing the bottom of the cab and it got shaved awfully close to the door bottoms. We were glad we could squeeze it in after all. Luckily, we had enough room on the sides for ventilation.
In this house, the installer asked how high to install the cabs for over the fridge. I had them go up to the ceiling and we have a gap like yours on purpose. We also needed clearance for the cab door fronts because the fridge and freezer doors come up higher in the middle where they meet. Since our appliances are boxed in, I think it is good to give them room to breathe a little.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 1:24AM
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Refrigerators are not all one standard height. Check out AJ Madison's refrigerator page, go to bottom left, and see the number of models in each height range.

Here is a link that might be useful: See this

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 7:21AM
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In nice weather we like to eat on the porches, and we use this space to store our large trays. Without the trays we would have to make many trips with tableware and food.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 8:05AM
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We have overlay doors on the fridge wall cabinets, so made them come down to the top of the fridge. We made the opening larger just in case - the new bottom freezer fridges are taller than this one.

It works well in our situation as the door could be made shorter by cutting the bottom off.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 12:42PM
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The refrigerator instructions will specify required gaps.

Units that ventilate forward at the bottom often need a larger gap at the front top.

The coils on the back may also require the unit be pulled out from the wall slightly.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 1:45PM
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When we bought our fridge there were two options available. The standard size (which we bought - 69") and the slightly larger one which was even advertised as filling in the gap between the fridge and the cabinet (72"). It added .5 extra cubic space to both the refrigerator and freezer sections, recessed the hinges so they did not stick out of the top, and added $1200 to the cost. We figured we would spend $20 for a piece of filler and give it the look without the expense.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 3:10PM
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I don't have a gap since mine is built in and paneled, but i just have to step in and say

WOW Your cabinets are gorgeous!!

Now back to your regularly scheduled discussion.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 5:34PM
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Yes, we have an almost identical gap. I could easily put a filler piece to match my (white,) cabinetry, but have hesitated. The fridge requires ventilation, especially on top. While the gap wasn't planned, it's probably for the best. :)

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 5:47PM
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Thanks, everyone. I checked with my contractor and he said that he could put a filler piece in. I have to check my manual - he concurs with that.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 6:27PM
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