Recessing the fridge, how will it look?

Karen.1288September 2, 2012

We are finalizing the appliances and kitchen details and I had thought that I had made the decision about our fridge. We really didn't want to spend the money on a built-in or counter depth fridge but want that look so we decided to recess a full depth fridge and are hoping that it will look counter depth (or close to it). Our builder says that he can give us 6 inches into the wall. the depth of the fridge that we are contemplating is 35.25" the kitchenaid KFIS27CXMS. Standard counter depth is 24" so this will stick out about 5 inches? Is that correct? That seems like a lot.

For about the same price we could put a counter depth all fridge (the frigidaire FPRH19D7LF) we will have a full freezer down the pantry. I just really like having water and ice in the door and this option will not have that option.

Has anyone here done this? any advice and pictures are welcome. Thanks..

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Looks like the Kitchenaid you are considering is being discontinued. Here are some very similar models but slightly less deep that may work for you to give you the built in look. Some of these models are even almost counter depth. Personally I would go with the deepest possible in order to get maximum interior space but shallow enough to look built in. You may even find one that will save you money in this mix ...

French door 35-37" wide 25-33" deep @ AJMadison website

Here are our full depth fridges made to look counter depth. We also had 6 inches extra ...

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 4:14PM
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I would take a closer look at the refrigerator dimensions, if you can, because I'm wondering if the depth you are working with includes the handles.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 5:44PM
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Angela12345, Thanks for the picture, it looks great. I like how they put the trim around it. I'm going to ask about that as well.

bac717 you are right the dimensions that they give do not specify if it includes that handles but if I look at the newer models they are all specify that the cabinet part of the fridge is about 29" deep which would fit nicely with a 5-6 " recess. All that would stick out is the door which happens on the counter depth ones as well.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 9:31PM
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I recessed my full-depth refrigerator 6" and it fits easily in the space. I left a little extra room around it on all sides for ventilation and so future refrigerators would fit if they are a little bigger. My builder made sure the frame around the refrigerator extended exactly as far as the countertop. Here is a picture:

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 11:27PM
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Our kitchen is not done yet but we have our fridge recessed - just 3.5 inches into the wall. Not much but made such a big difference. Our fridge was relatively new so we did not want to replace it. We also put the water line and electrical outlet into the cabinet above the fridge to have better access to it.
We built a pantry on the other side of it to hide it a little better.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 1:08AM
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Karen, on the left is a pullout broom closet that you can barely see the edge of. On the right is the oven cabinet and what looks like trim above the oven & microwave is actually the outer part of the raised panel door.

Above the fridges truly is trim - that piece is installed with a piano hinge. In my original thoughts I was going to put big flat things like platters, electric griddle, and stuff directly on top of the fridge. But, I have plenty of room for them elsewhere and I didn't like barely seeing the bottom of them under that trim piece.

Also, that trim piece is for future-proofing ... if/when these fridges go out, I can replace them with taller fridges if I choose.

The AJMadison website does give depths without handles for most of the fridges. They also have all of the other dimensions on the specifications tab on almost all of the appliances. I agree, looks like those dimensions are with the handles, as I saw no other French door that were that deep.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 1:16AM
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Don't know if you can still get your original refrig choice, but the depth of the box is 29 1/16, and the depth of the box including the door is 32 7/8. You don't want the surrounding trim (or walls) to restrict the door movement, so it sounds to me that you've got plenty of depth to work with, especially if the outlet behind the refrig is recessed. BTW, this is what I googled to find this info:

KFIS27CXMS dimension guide

Happy refrig hunting!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 8:19AM
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We had the refrigerator first, and DH hated the look of the gray "monolith", which was the catalyst for our kitchen remodel. We took out a set of cabinets and moved the fridge to the right, then added a side panel, deeper upper cabinet, and tall cabinet to the left of the fridge. We couldnt' recess it because the stairwell is behind the refrigerator wall. About 3" of the gray part of the side of the frige sticks out, with the doors, it's about 6". It doesn't completely look built-in, but it looks a lot better than it did before. We don't mind it, but it may not be what you want.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 11:18AM
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Ours is similar to what camphappy has. Except we already had the pantry. In the prior setup, the fridge just stood on its own next to the pantry. We didn't recess it (couldn't -- the bathtub and a toilet are right behind this wall). So in the remodel, we used the full depth of the pantry wall and DH built a matching wall on the other side to box it in. There is still a bit of the side showing, but not much. And it looks super custom. I guess because it is!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 11:28AM
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We recessed our fridge into a former "closet" style pantry and recessed the new cabinet pantry right next to it.

I think the measurements you are working with are a little misleading. The 24" for counter depth is without the doors and handles, the real depth with the doors but not the handles is closer to 27" to 28". This is a lot closer to the full size fridge measurement. If you go to the manufactures website of the models you are thinking about, they have accurate dimensions.

Depending on the models you are thinking about, 6" can make a big difference!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 1:18PM
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wow!! thanks for the pictures everyone. I no longer have any hesitation about recessing the fridge, these look great.

abfabamy, what is your fridge make and model? I really like the handles.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 10:44PM
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Here's mine, recessed into the wall studs (before the backsplash was up).

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 8:27AM
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Karen, my fridge is a Fridgidaire Professional counter-depth. They make this model in full-depth and french door bottom freezer. The handles and no black are what sold me on it.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 9:08AM
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Has anyone had issues with ventilation?? I'm planning my cabinets and will be boxing in a counter depth fridge, leaving the appropriate spacing on the sides and in the back, but I do want the cabinet sides to go floor to ceiling, and I'm a bit concerned about the fact that there won't be much of any space between the top of the fridge and the cabinet. The manufacturer specs call for 2" at the ceiling, for some reason, and 1/2" between the fridge and the cabinet above. If I don't leave that, am I just voiding my warranty and asking for trouble?? The upper cab will be only 12" D, so there is some "breathing" room there for the fridge...

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 12:46AM
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We have not had ventilation issues.

Not sure what you mean by cabinet sides to go floor to ceiling ? The 12" deep upper cabinet is throwing me off. 12" deep over the fridge ? Or do you mean the uppers that are beside the fridge

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 7:23AM
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Sorry to be unclear. What I meant by the sides of the cabinet going floor to ceiling is that there will be panels on either side of the fridge (it stands off by itself) that run the height of the room. The cabinet above it will only be 12"D rather than the full depth of the fridge, so there will be air space behind it. The fridge is 70" tall and the ceiling is 100", so there would be a 30"H x 33"W x 12"D air space; however, there is only a 1" gap between the top of the fridge and the bottom of the cabinet to let more air flow back there.

That seems like enough to me, but I don't want to do anything dumb. Well, any more than I can avoid!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 10:13AM
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I think kitmu is saying he or she will also pull the 12" cabinet above the fridge out 12" from the wall, so the front it even with the front of the fridge. Did I get that right?

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 11:34AM
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Yes @Angie, that's exactly what I meant!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 4:57PM
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Ah !! I see now. I think that should be fine. I think the ventilation needs are from the back side of the fridge which will basically be open all the way to the ceiling. You should be fine. But how about calling the mfg to be sure before you purchase that fridge.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 9:57PM
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Brilliant!! I already own the fridge, but calling the manufacturer is such a simple, yet somehow not-thought-of-because-I-always-come-here-with-all-my-questions solution!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 10:13PM
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