If you’re remodeling a galley kitchen or any food preparation areas where space is at an absolute premium, counter depth refrigerators are a great choice! While it is true that they offer less average cubic footage than stand-alone refrigerators, they’re a great way to make your kitchen appear less cramped, and they also add a real touch of class! Counter depth refrigerators are designed to sit flush with counters and cabinets, and they offer a customized built-in appearance that only looks expensive. Most of the leading manufacturers offer a wide selection of counter-depth refrigerators, and they come in several styles and configurations, including side by side, top freezer, and bottom freezer configurations. And for a look that blends seamlessly into your kitchen decor, some models also accept paneling!
The standard depth for countertops is 25 inches, which is typically measured from the wall to the counter's edge. Keep in mind that backsplashes aren’t always included in that measurement, and tiled counters can also make a slight difference.
On average, counter depth refrigerators are approximately 28 inches deep, although there is no agreed on measurement standard, and you can often expect to see some significant differences in reported dimensions on the manufacturers' product spec sheets. When looking at the measurements of different refrigerator models in the most common widths of 30” to 36,” you'll frequently see variances from 28" of ⅜“ to ⅝,“ and occasionally more than that on the largest models. If you’re looking for a counter depth refrigerator that's a little bit smaller, they do make models as narrow as 22″, and their average depths are closer to 25” to 26”.
The differences in reported depths can be attributed to a number of factors, most notably what is included and isn’t included in the measurement. Sometimes the reported depth is solely for the unit itself, and sometimes it also includes the coils in the back. Keep that in mind and you'll need to allow at least ⅜” of space behind the unit so that there’s room for the plug, and to allow for proper ventilation.
Counter depth refrigerators are designed to be flush with the edge of counters and cabinets will still allowing for doors to open freely. Be sure that you measure all dimensions for your opening, and confirm that the refrigerator will fit properly before you get it home!