Ikea kitchen - the cabinet over the fridge

Jean BoJuly 14, 2012

I have a 36" x 36" deep refrigerator. I planned on putting the side panels up. We hung the fan cabinet which is a 36" wide 24" deep on the rail system. Problems.... First I can't reach the doors/- short, and I don't like the look. I want to remove it off the rail system and bring it flush forward for a finished armoire look. The fridge is at the end of a run. It is the last thing happening on the wall before a door way. We will be able to attach panel on left side to a cabinet that is on the rail system. How to we put this fan cabinet up in the air between the panels and secure everything. I assume we will have to attach with some L brackets to the wall down low. How do we go at the fan cabinet?

How do we do panels?

What fasteners?

How do you make all attachments hidden?


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I don't think you'll be able to use the rail system here, so I'll tell you what usually happens in a "regular" cabinet install. Blocking is installed to bring forward the over the fridge cabinet the needed depth. (For the newer deeper fridges, this can be quite a bit of blocking.

A 2x6 or eve 2x8 drilled depthwise and bolted to the studs and then covered with 3/4" ply is what's usually done for the deep blocking. Stuff the cavity with insulation to absorb any transient sound that could be magnified by the open cavity.) Then the cabinet is attached to the blocking at the rear, and sometimes at the top to the ceiling (With more blocking that the crown covers.)

The 3/4" deep refrigerator panels (usually 32" in depth) are then installed against the cabinet with screws from the interior and adhesive and scribe molding hides the front edge of the panel. Baseboard or quarter round molding on the exterior of the panels at the bottom gives it a "stop" to be attached to. You need to pre-drill everything to avoid splitting and the cabinet MUST be attached to the adjacent cabinet in line, just as if it were against the wall instead of blocked out. The more attachment points the better for such a deep cabinet.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 4:04PM
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Try IKEAfans.com

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 4:11PM
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I agree with lwo - you need to build a little stuff here. How much depends on a couple of things.

Stuff like an over the ref cabinet needs to have three points of support. Can be both sides and ceiling or back and two side, but you need three. With a three foot ref, the body of the ref is normally around 30" deep and with ikea, you get the oven cover panels to get a 30" deep appears and flush the over the ref cabinet even to the front of the cover panels or to within a door depth of the front if you want to end up with a flush fitted front.

You may need to either build a support down from the ceiling or out from the back wall to "catch" the back of the cabinet (think something like 2x4's on edge, perhaps covered with plywood. Instead of hanging from the rail, screw through the hangers into the plywood and/or 2x material.

You can do the same thing for a fan cabinet to bring it forward to flush with something else. However, with the fan cabinet, you have more tactical issues with where the venting duct work ends up.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 9:13PM
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You can't reach the doors? Did the fridge get taller while you were installing the cabinet?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 10:15PM
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Jean Bo

Guys thanks so much, and thanks for bringing to my attention that my fridge is really 32" deep, oops! Also letting me know about Ikea having a 30" cover panel. I guess I steered the rep wrong there, thats why I have 36" panel. Just so happens I need that surplus around my pantry. Thanks for all the info on mounting cabinet. This cabinet ikea calls a fan cabinet but we are using as an over the fridge. There wont be any venting.

BTW I did try to go to ikea fans and couldn't find info needed, plus that site is hard to navigate, gw is much better : ).

Thanks all!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 10:33PM
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Jean Bo

Na man I'm short!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 10:49PM
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Jean Bo

What happened there! Yikes!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 11:58PM
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LWO is right and that is just what we did. I can snap a picture of it for you tomorrow, if you'd like. Our situation sounds the same - 36" wide fridge and end of run. I *think* we bought the larger panels and ripped them down, but I'd have to ask my husband.


    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 2:14AM
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We did this with our Ikea cabinets. You can still use the rail system, which is designed to support the cabinet 100% without having to attach it to any side support (which standard cabinets require). You just have to build out a "box" on the rear wall to make up for the needed 8" of space (really 7.5", because the doors on the front of your cabinet will be 1/2" deep). The "box" or structure that you build needs to both (1) give a solid piece on which to mount the rail and (2) include a build out at the bottom against which the lower rear of the cabinet rests -- just like it would against the flat wall. If you skip (2), you end up with a cabinet hanging from the rail and then tilting forward from the top while the bottom of it swings back toward the wall to find something to lean against.

Regarding side panels, the 36" x 8' tall side panels are what you need (which at one point weren't in the planner and your Ikean had to add them at the time of the order). Make sure you order these, and not the ones that are only 24' deep and 88" tall. The correct panels:


In our particular install we didn't use side panels, because (1) the panels are only 8' tall, and our installation was meant to go flush to a ceiling higher than 8' -- so there would be a gap at the top or bottom if we used Ikea's panel, or (2) we would have to create our own panel and try to match the finish and the horizontal grain. Our solution was to create a fridge "alcove" and ignore the panel issue altogether. The fridge was already flush against a bumped-out pantry wall on one side. DH simply built another wall on the other side and we finished it with drywall and painted. The cabinet and fridge then went in the alcove. For our install, this worked nicely, as there were no upper cabs on the rest of the run (in the rest of the kitchen, actually) and it separated this vertical "column" in the overall look of the room. It also eliminated the ageless argument of how to end the backsplash behind the fridge. We lost the 5-1/2" of space the new wall took up, but in the end we didn't miss it at all. It actually helped us keep the rest of that wall symmetrical. We mounted the cabinet about in the center of the vertical "space" available above the fridge and used trim pieces at the top and bottom. This trim was cut from one of the 36" x 8' panels, the remainder of which was used to cover the ends of our island.

Re attaching the panels, you'll want to screw through from inside the cabinet into the panel. You'll need to buy screws for this and make sure they are long enough but not too long to fit through the cabinet side and at least half way into the cover panel. Consider also using adhesive on the cover panel where it abuts a cabinet. Although we didn't have cover panels on the fridge, we had them on the ends of our island. We used adhesive and screws.

One last thing: If you've created sort of a boxed-in area, make sure you slide the cabinet bolts onto the hanging rail BEFORE you secure the haning rail in place. There's noting like getting it secured and then going "wait a minute . . . " and taking it down again. I'm sorry I don't have a picture of the box or the process, but here is what I have. I hope this helps!

The wall before:

The wall after:

Cover panels on island:

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 6:07AM
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Just to be clear - screwing the cabinet to the side panels IS supporting the cabinets in more than one place. Screwing through the sidewalls, top or bottom are all acceptable given the way the cabinet is made. You just need to put in at least two screws per side and I would use 3-4 on a deep cabinet.

The metal brackets attached to the cabinets are REQUIRED to screw through the rear of the cabinet (or use bolts or lag screws) because Ikea doesn't have what's generally called a hanging rail. A hanging rail is a piece across the back of a cabinet, made from wood products, to screw through.

The metal rail is totally optional. It contains no extra magic other than making it easier to level an entire run of wall cabinets. I guess I would also count it magic to make it easier to hang cabinets without a helper... but there are other ways to do that too.

You can absolutely cut down the 36" side panel to the depth of your refrigerator body + any required rear clearance. When I was talking about flushing doors to the front above, I was talking about the cabinet doors.

Side panels only cover the body because most refrigerators have doors that open in front of the panel - so when the doors of the refrigerator are open to 90 degrees, they move to the side. You can clearly see this in Jacabedy's photo.

If you are using something like a circular saw, you might need to purchase a fine tooth blade to avoid tear marks. That will come in handy anyway to make cuts for fillers and toe kicks.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 7:37AM
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I don't have Ikea cabinets but we also had to build out for our refrigerator. First they built a box behind my cabinet over the refrigerator to attach the cabinet to bring it out. I also had 32". I wanted a utility cabinet on the side so it was 30". The end panels were 36" I believe so they had to rip those to make them even with my utility cabinet and to box in the refrigerator. I think it turned out great for us. I am short and have no problems reaching the trays stored over the refrigerator.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 8:38AM
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