If you have a French Door Refrigerator ...

luckymom23April 24, 2009

Could you please tell me how wide the space is for your 36" French Door refrigerator inside where the Refrigerator actually sits in between the side panels? In other words how much space is needed on each side for the refrigerator to slide in and open properly? I am not trusting what our drawings show...we are looking at the Jenn Air Cabinet Depth French door refrigerator and it is actually 35 5/8" wide and the drawings we received from the cabinet maker is showing 38 5/8". On the Spec sheet it shows 38 5/8" as the width of the doors open 90 degrees, but that is outside the panels as the refrigerator sits with the doors in front of the panels, hope that makes sense...

Do we really need 3"? I will talk to the appliance dealer later and go see their display in person but I would really like to hear what other people have. TIA!

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We have the Liebherr fully integrated 36 inch and the cabinet inside dimensions - which is I think what you are asking - is 35 7/8- so just shy of 36 inches. So the 38 sounds wrong but ours is actually built-in so that may be the difference

But save yourself more stress and look the spec up online and you'll have you answer immediately.

I printed out all the specs in a packet for our cabinet maker and then measured all the cabinets using my own copies of the packet to double check that it was all correct.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 12:34PM
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Thanks gldnfan,
I did give the specs to the cabinetmaker but I think he may be misinterpreting them.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 12:49PM
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Mine fits very, very snugly in the space designed for it. However, the doors protrude out into the room interior past the counter, and when they are opened they swing past the cabinet (i.e., if the doors were flush against the cabinet and true counter-depth, the cabinet would have to be about 2-3" wider to accommodate them opening). I'm not explaining this very well and I don't know if a pic helps, but FWIW:

It's possible that your cabinet person is trying to make sure that the doors have room to open, but at the same time when the doors aren't open you'd have a black hole to either side of the fridge.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 1:59PM
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Thanks blue, that does help. A picture is worth a thousand words! I spoke to my appliance salesperson who even double checked 2 spec sheets and the floor model display and he tells me that I only need 36" interior space between the panels and that the 38 5/8 is what is needed for the doors to open 90 degrees but that is as you describe-past the opening on the outside of the box for the fridge. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 2:23PM
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We left 36" for our GE cafe french door/bottom freezer (counter depth). It's a tight fit, but it fits.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 3:07PM
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Which JennAir are you getting? Be careful if it's the floating glass. The hinges protrude out past the sides of the fridge on mine. I don't remember them being like that in the store, so it was a bit of a shock after delivery.

My cabinet hole is 36" wide and the fit is just right around the "box" of the fridge. I pulled the fridge out far enough so the cabinet door next to it just clears the hinge.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 3:17PM
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We have a Kenmore Elite Trio FD and it only takes 36" (put 36" cabinet over it). The side did get a little scraped when Sears came to do maintenance on it after a year (LG EnergyStar upgrade) so another 1/4" may have been nice. I think the side panels may have been a little tighter at the floor or countertop pushed against the side or something. The doors do need more room to open but since the panels are only 24" deep and the fridge is deeper that works out. Just make sure you allow manufacturer's recommended clearances behind and on the top if your sides are tight - our tall end panels actually have a wide face on them, panels are thinner so have about 1/2" each side inside the enclosure, and we have probably an inch in the back plus 3" on top (just the front of the top will be close to hinges - adding a filler under the cabinet, the cabinet is placed 3" above top of fridge).

Then again, that extra space might be nice to stash a folding setp stool!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 3:57PM
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We have been looking at the panel ready counter depth model. We were thinking 36 1/4 previously so the 38 5/8 threw me. Of course I had plans for that 2 3/8"! Thanks for all the input, it reminds me of a couple of details I need to check on-like the extra space for the water line in back and how much space there will be above the fridge.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 5:31PM
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If it's CD, then don't you need the room to the sides to open the doors? I thought you said panels were going to be not as deep as the fridge? But CD makes me think you've got counter on at least one side? Sorry I didn't catch that in OP - maybe that's why your cabinetmaker is allowing the 38"?

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 8:10PM
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Mine will be the Jenn Air floating black glass FD. The cabinet maker is making the cabinet 36". I too think the 38+ he has planned for your surround is too big, even if you were to recess the whole fridge into the space. The specs says the width of the fridge cab is the 35 5/8". It also says the width of the door with hinge & trim is 36 1/2". I too am assuming that the doors sit just outside the enclosure.

So how far beyond the normal counter depth of 25 1/2" can I expect the fridge to protrude, not counting the handles? Smilingjudy, your fridge looks like it is just barely pulled out beyond the side panels. That would be great, as I really need to keep it as close to the counter depth as possible.

And since this is a Jenn Air question can I hijack just a wee bit to ask you where do you have your plug placement planned? My electrician was in today and put the plug about 10" up from the floor, flush to the wall. I was wondering if there was a chance of the plug taking up valuable space and pushing the fridge unit out to the front even more.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 8:46PM
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What about air ventilation space? I remember reading that many of the counter depths or any frig built with a surround to look built in still need some space around the frig for air flow.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 8:53PM
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That's what I was saying about check the specs for side/top/back allowances - don't want the side panels *right* up against sides of fridge, definitely want room for ventilation at back and top if sides are close.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 9:29PM
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Check the specs. Some fridges vent out the top & back, some out the sides, etc. We were looking at the F&P CD model and they want 3/4"-1" on each side for ventilation. According to F&P if you dont have that and your fridge has issues, the warranty is void. The Jenn Air we were looking at did not need the extra space. We only specified a 36" space so we may stick a little trim piece on the cabinet above the fridge to give some extra breathing room. Im in love with the F&P fridge :)

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 9:42PM
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Our opening is 36-1/16". We have a GE Profile CD FD. Our side panels (used to frame the refrigerator alcove) are 26" deep and end just past where the hinges are (we have hidden hinges). The doors are outside the enclosure. This is what it sounds like you are doing as well.

Overall width: 35-7/8"
Width w/Door Open 90 Degrees Incl. Handle: 42-1/2"
Side Air Clearances: 1/8"
Back Air Clearances: 1/2"
Top Air Clearances: 1"

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 1:58AM
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You guys are great. :) I think it would be enough just to show him this thread! I got some more specs from the dealer and Jenn Air says 36" wide cabinet opening for this fridge, we can allow slightly more so we should be fine. I didn't end up having my meeting with the cabinet maker yesterday so I had time to get all the info together. Thanks for all your help!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 10:54AM
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