We order and received cabinets for our kitchen, and the over the
fridge cabinet is 36" wide. Our fridge is 33" wide, but we noticed
many fridge widths are 35-3/4" and if we only leave a 36" opening that
really reduces the options (unless these wider fridges are designed to
work in a 36" wide opening). We have to potential of adding a spacer
that would add 2" or so to the opening for the fridge, but kind of
torn on what to do.
Does anyone know what the "standard" cabinet opening space for a
fridge is these days?
fridge is 36 inches, I wouldn't go smaller, as you can go to a larger fridge
if/when you change.
Our existing fridge is 33" wide, but we're trying to think about the
"future" with the space we leave. We're set for 36" right now but can
add a spacer to add an inch or two. I guess it's more a question if
the 35-3/4" wide refrigerators can fit and work inside a 36"
I bought a house about 4 years ago and the refrig space was 36 inches. I
wish it was a few inches wider. Wife wanted a doubel door frig. The
largest one we could fit in of the brand we wanted was only about a 21
cu/ft. While only me and my wife live here, the house has 4 bed rooms so if
a family that size moved in the frig would be limiated. At the other house
we had a 25 cu/ft frig and at times it seemed too small for a family of 5.
YOu can always put in a spacer to make it look nice, but it is hard to cut
out the cabinets for a larger frig. Go to the store and find out how much
space you need for a large frig. and build for that. Usually a couple of
inches of cabinets will not be noticed.
Like the size of houses themselves, everything in a house seems to get
bigger every year. It seems no one is happy with a traditional size fridge
anymore and anything less than a walk-in refrigerator is unacceptable. If
you share that feeling, you'll need to visit appliance stores (or most home
centers) and measure appliances that meet your needs. Then size the
cabinets to fit the fridge you want. Odds are you'll find most fridges
adhere to fairly "standard" dimensions.
When I built the cabinets for our kitchen, I made our refrigerator opening
34" x 68". This should accomodate most traditional refrigerators, and is
plenty of space to meet our needs now and in the future.
I remodeled our kitchen a couple of years ago. The old fridge was a nominal
36" two door, which my wife found too narrow and too deep. I juggled the
cabinets around rebuilt a couple and adjusted some spacers to add 12 inches
into the fridge space so that we could fit a 49" two door built-in fridge.
An easy way to check on fridge and minimum sized cabinet spacings, is to go
on-line to the major manufacturers and look up the specifications and
installation manuals. They will tell you everything you ever wanted to know.
x 68". This should accomodate most traditional refrigerators, and is plenty of
space to meet our needs now and in the future.
You sure on the 34" width? The larger fridges we looked at while at
Lowe's were 35-3/4" wide.
We purchased a 3" wide spacer to go with the above fridge cabinet and
we planned everything down 2" from original plan so we can cut the
spacer to fit at the end when we're done. This should make the
opening 38" which I'm happy with. More then enough room for our
fridge but the old cabinet space was 37" and we always kept a folding
table beside the fridge for more table space when needed.
I just purchased a Kitchenaid counter depth side by side that is 35
1/2 wide. It's fitted into a 36 1/2 space, which leaves 1/2" on each
side. I don't see any problem with taking it down another 1/2". It
would be just a little harder to mauever into place, but no big deal.
As someone else pointed out, don't rely on the dimensions from the
store. Go the the manufacturer's websites and download the install
directions and any physical spec sheets. They indicate the exact
size and most call out the clearances required on all sides. Many of
the ones I've seen don't call out any clearance at all for the sides.
Some call out like 1/2" on top, 1/2" to 1" in back, etc.
Bottom line, for a variety or readily available standard size fridges,
I don't see a problem with a 36" opening. The fridge manufacturers
are making these things to works with std cabinet sizes. Also, look
into the depth issue. There are fridges like mine that are made to
be counter depth. They are a few inchs taller, but with std cabinet
depth, you can sink the fridge in so that only about 1/2 the door
thickness sticks out. You can't get it farther back than that because
if you do there isn't clearance for the door. When it opens, it will
hit the cabinets at the edges of the opening. I elected to have the
entire door thickness stick out, as I think that looks better. With
stainless, it gives it a built-in pro kitchen look.
Actually, Viking has the solution for making them totally flush. On
some models now they have a nifty hinge. The fridge can be totally
flush to the cabinet, zero clearance. When you pull the door handle,
the door first moves straight out on both sides for an inch or so,
then rotates like a normal door would. It's really cool, but of
Also, pay attention to the height. If you want a counter depth one,
they are taller. When I replaced mine, I had to take the cabinet
above out and have it shortened. But I think it's well worth it, as
having a fridge sticking out looks ugly compared to having one that
Yep, I measured again just to be sure. My cabinet opening is 34" wide,
which still leaves about 1/2" or more on each side of the fridge.
However, as I mentioned, nobody seems to want the old "standard" fridge
sizes anymore and 36" wide refrigerators are becoming more common. We
simply have no need for that kind of space, and we saved a lot of money
buying a smaller "less trendy" refrigerator (21 cu/ft for $550 back in
2004). My wife makes cakes and we can still fit a full size sheet cake in
there. We even have one of those new fangled ice-makers. :)
Also, a traditional refrigerator tends to stick way out beyond a standard
24" counter. Because we had room to work with, I simply made the cabinets
and counters 32" deep around the fridge. So we achieve something close to
the look of a built-in while using a standard refrigerator. It also gives
us extra counter space in front of the countertop microwave, nice for
taking out a dish and stirring.
As a professional custom cabinet maker, we have seen refrigerators "grow" o
ver the years. We routinely recommend that we build the cabinets to leave
a 38" width opening. Even if your current refrigerator, or the one you cur
rently plan to purchase, doesn't need this much space...think about down th
e road. You might have the opportunity to upgrade again in the future. Or
, maybe you'll want to sell your home.
The kitchen has always been a major focus in home sales, and kitchen applia
nces are becoming an increasingly important part of the functionality and t
he appeal of the kitchen (especially for all the "foodies" out there!). Th
e greater flexibility of having a wider opening will broaden your sales mar
Your idea of a filler (a spacer) is a good one. If you have a few extra do
llars, you could have a custom panel built (or maybe that's what you mean b
y spacer?). Custom panels are typically finished on both sides and the fro
nt to give the refrigerator a built-in look, which has become a very popula
r feature in kitchens we build. Because the panels are custom-made, they c
an be whatever width looks best, yet still leaves sufficient ventilation sp
ace (many manufacturers recommend 1 inch space on both sides of the refrige
rator, or 1/2" at a minimum...a very important factor in cooling efficiency
and refrigerator longevity).
I hope this helps!
My kitchen cabinets were built on the wall, and the builder put the refrigerator
in the middle! We are looking to move the refrigerator to the end of the wall.
In doing that I need to cut a straight line up the left side of the cutout up to
the ceiling. What tool can I use to assure a straight smooth cut. I know it
sounds crazy but it would be a better layout and I know it will require some
On Thursday, November 26, 2015 at 12:44:06 PM UTC-5, My kitchen cabinets wrote:
Can you clamp a straight-edge to it, eg piece of angle iron or lumber?
Then you could use a circular saw. One of those small cordless ones
would be perfect. After you cut it you're going to have to put
matching veneer or something to finish it, otherwise you're going to
see the cut edge. -I assume now that edge is finished.
replying to trader_4, Don wrote:
oh man, I just put in a LG French door fridge, specs say 35 3/4" wide. My
fridge cabinet over top is 36" wide. I have a fridge panel on right side of
opening, up against a counter and base cabinet, and a floor to ceiling pantry on
left side, so my opening is a true 36" wide. I thought all was good till I went
to slide the fridge into place. I had measured the width of the fridge across
the front and it was less than 36". Problem is the middle of sides of the
fridge bulge out a bit on each side. True width of the fridge might be close to
36 1/8" wide. Oh damn. Had to shave some of the face panel on the pantry side
down, now it fits but a very snug fit. I wish I had put a 1" filler strip
between the pantry and upper fridge cabinet to have a 37" wide opening.
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