What depth should the cabinet over the frig be?

jess1979September 3, 2013

We got a cabinet depth refrigerator. The ceiling wall is low so I knew it was going to be a close fit, to be able to put the cabinet above the frig. We have tile under the frig so we can pull it out for cleaning the floor. We need to leave a small space above the cabinet and ceiling so we can open the cabinet doors, without them touching the ceiling. Where we have a problem is the hinges of the frig. There is not enough space for this cabinet over the hinges of the frig and to the ceiling. So what has been suggested to me is they cut the depth of the cabinet. Then the cabinet won't go out as far as the hinges, so it will fit. On one side of the frig are cabinets base and wall and on the other side of the frig is nothing. This is a walkway. What depth would you cut the cabinet to? Should we cut it to around 20" depth or should we have this cabinet the same depth as the upper cabinets? Please let me know what you think.

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How about an open shelf to store baskets or trays - things that will look neat, not cluttered?

Or, how about a door that lifts up (if it would fit w/ the low ceiling)?

Or, how about a door that "rolls" or lifts into the inside of the cabinet?

Make the cabinet the full depth of the refrigerator carcass/box, but use one of the options above. I would not use a shallower cabinet - it defeats the purpose of the deeper upper cab to make the refrigerator look built-in.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 9:11AM
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How high do the hinges sit above the top of the fridge box? I'm wondering if they can cut down the height of the cab instead of the depth, then reinstall the lower edge trim on a piano hinge so you can swing it up out of the way when you want to pull the fridge out to clean the floor. If it's just an inch or two I think this would allow you to have the full depth cab and built in look.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 9:36AM
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The standard is that the bottom of the cabinet above the fridge should be 72" from the finished floor height (with the bases sitting ON the floor) if it's to align with the other cabinets in the run. For a 96" ceiling, and using 30"H wall cabinets, that's a 12" tall cabinet over the fridge. If you are using taller cabinets, that size may need to change.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 9:42AM
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Do you already have the cabinet? (my guess is yes) Did they have specs on the fridge before the cabinet was ordered?
How tall is it? Framed or frameless? What brand? I'm guessing you can't get in between heights in the brand you have?

I would really want the cabinet to flush with the depth of the panels.
My guess is you need 3/4 to 1"?
If this were my job ...
If you can get in between sized doors...
-and you have framed cabinets- trim the cabinet height splitting the amount at the top and the bottom (1/2" off each and order a shorter door
-frameless cabinets- cut down from the top and rebuild the top using dowels

Can't get in between sized doors-
-framed cabinets order shorter doors and 2 fillers (or a rail if they can get one and a filler) -cut down the height of the cabinet from the top, rebuild the top using the new rail and install the doors add filler to bottom of the cabinet.
-frameless same as first option.
order a new cabinet-
-if I messed up on the specs I'd be paying for it. If you did not supply them you would, if the appliance mfg did (they do you know) we'd split it.

If the height of the opening is less than 12" then you are just as well off using a 12" deep cab since dividers become less useful than the cost of the extra depth. I'd still pull it to the panels though, just save you $$.

IF the height is really low then I don't even use a cabinet- my kitchen ceilings are 7ft 6 in- I originally designed it with no cabinet over the fridge, just a panel with a return (worked out since I "fell into" a Sub Zero and was able to fit it without throwing away much money)

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 9:54AM
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Thank you for all your help. Yes we already had the cabinet, we bought cabinets from another kitchen. And yes the ceiling is low in the kitchen. It is a really nice cabinet and I wanted to use it, but I do like the idea of open shelving above the frig.
This gives me a lot to think about. DH and I will have to discuss all the different options. Thank you again, I have received so much help on the house from everyone on GW.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 9:36AM
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Note: When I said "trays", I didn't mean cookie sheets, etc. I was thinking more along the lines of serving trays and platters. Things that stack neatly.

This post was edited by buehl on Wed, Sep 4, 13 at 13:45

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 11:07AM
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Sorry, wasn't able to exactly follow your story.

I have a refrigerator with a 24" high cabinet above and an 8' high ceiling. The cabinet is supported by a wall on one side and a matching panel on the other side. I believe the cabinet is also attached to the ceiling. The cabinet is NOT attached to the back wall.

There is enough clearance to allow the hinge & door of the refrigerator to move with ease.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 11:37AM
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