Counter Depth vs Standard Depth Refrigeration. What is best for me?

Posted by Matt Notting on

Finding the right size of refrigerator often revolves around Height and Width, but with more, and more clients renovating their kitchens, and working with designers, we have found the conversations recently seem to focus more on the depth of a refrigerator.

Standard Depth

Refrigerators generally can be broken into two groups; Standard Depth and Counter Depth. The first which we will explain is the Standard depth version. All this means really is that the refrigerator cabinet depth will extend forward outside of the kitchen cabinets. This is generally not a concern for most people. In fact I would say that most of us have refrigerators that extend outside of the kitchen cabinets. Of course, the degree to which the refrigerator extends past the cabinets is different for each refrigerator. This is largely based on the depth of the doors. As pictured below, this standard depth 36 inch width refrigerator extends roughly 6 inches outside of the space:

You can see in the photo that this refrigerator’s doors are approximately 2.5 inches in depth. The fridge itself extends about 3.5 inches. This gives us a total of 6 inches past the kitchen cabinets.

Counter Depth

When renovating a kitchen, or while planning for appliances for a new kitchen, especially those that are designed professionally with a modern style, often clients will choose a counter depth refrigerator. The main purpose for this is aesthetics. Rather than have a refrigerator extend outside of the space, the doors to the refrigerator will extend out only, leaving a nice “built in” look. Here is an image what the same refrigerator in counter depth would look like.


Pros and Cons

There are pros and cons to both counter depth and standard depth. It generally boils down to whether you prefer function over aesthetics or visa versa. For example, a 36 inch width counter depth refrigerator comes in around 20 cu ft capacity whereas the same width refrigerator in a standard depth is about 25 cu ft. So if filling your refrigerator up with food for teenagers is important to you, you might have to compromise a bit with a counter depth refrigerator. With that being said, a counter depth fridge might fall short when it comes to capacity, but if you have a small kitchen, this will ultimately lead to more space to move around in your space. In the end we find most designers and kitchen renovators prefer counter depth, where as large families will compromise the design to fit more stuff in their fridge!

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