Counter depth refrigerators or full depth: Which do you need?

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There is no “standard” size in appliances and certainly not in refrigerators.

Knowing the maximum height, depth and width of your opening is crucial in selecting a new refrigerator. In fact, size is the No. 1 factor in narrowing down your options.

Most refrigerators today fit either a 30″, 33″ or 36″  wide opening and a 66″, 68″ or 70″ high opening. You should also also allow 1″ of clearance on each side of the refrigerator for breathing room.

But because refrigerators have become deeper within the last 10 years, you also should consider the depth of your space. Manufacturers have added more insulation to retain temperatures in the refrigerator to keep up with increasing efficiency standards, which has increased the overall depth of today’s refrigerators by 2″-4″.

Which means your fridge will stick out even more from the edge of your cabinets. Solution? Cabinet depth refrigerators.

Cabinet depth (aka counter depth) refrigerators give your kitchen a more sleek look. The 24″ depth allows your refrigerator’s cabinet to align with the surrounding cabinetry, creating more of a “built-in” look for your kitchen. Cabinet depth styling is most commonly found in side-by-side models, but can also be found in top freezer models, bottom freezer styles and French door refrigerators.

So why doesn’t everyone have a counter depth fridge? Basically, price versus capacity. A French-door counter depth refrigerator is going to offer fewer cubic feet of food storage for the money than a full-depth French-door refrigerator.

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