If you want a small kitchen to feel more open or prefer your appliances to blend in, you should consider a counter depth refrigerator.
Counter depth refrigerators:
• Are usually a little more than 24 inches deep, not including the doors and handles
• Cannot be truly flush mounted
• Don’t hold as much food as a standard depth model
• Free up space in small kitchens
• Tend to cost more than a standard depth fridge
A standard countertop is 24 inches deep, and the body of a counter depth refrigerator—not counting the doors or handles—is usually close to that depth. By comparison, the body of a standard refrigerator is usually the same width and height, but closer to 30 inches deep. There is no standard for what defines “counter depth”— but if you don’t want your fridge to stand out six inches from your counters, a counter depth model is your best bet.
That doesn’t mean a counter depth fridge will sit perfectly flush with your cabinets. First of all, a fridge’s doors can’t open if they’re pushed right up to cabinetry or counters. In addition, a counter depth fridge still needs the same breathing room as a standard depth model, so the back of the fridge should be at least an inch from the wall.
That means most counter depth fridges will stick out—“proud” in designer lingo—at least three or four inches. If you want a truly flush fridge, you’ll have to spring for a built-in model,but you’ll also have to pay at least $4,000 for the privilege, not including professional installation.
Even so, a counter depth fridge can save considerable space and make a house feel more open, especially in a galley kitchen.
Consider two otherwise identical fridges, the counter depth LG LFXC24796D and the standard depth LG LFXS30796D. Including doors and handles, the counter depth model is 30.875 inches deep, while the standard depth model is 36.25 inches deep. That’s almost half a foot of floor space saved—and more clearance with the fridge doors open, too.
The tradeoff? Less space in your fridge. Most standard depth refrigerators can hold between 26 and 32 cubic feet of groceries, while the majority of counter depth fridges can only hold between 20 and 24 cubic feet. In addition, they tend to cost between 5 and 20 percent more than a comparable standard depth fridge.
Interested in a counter depth fridge? Check out our top lab-tested picks for the best counter depth fridges you can buy in 2017.