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what is counter depth refrigerator

WHAT IS “COUNTER-DEPTH,” AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR YOUR KITCHEN?

“Counter-depth” refers to the distance between the front of your kitchen countertops and your back wall or backsplash. These refrigerators are usually 24–30-inches deep, shallower than most fridges, to line up with the end of your cabinets and fit in nicely with most modern kitchen designs. Plus, you don’t have to sacrifice space for style since counter-depth refrigerators are often a bit taller and/or wider to deliver the same amount of usable space as a full-size refrigerator, without sticking out.

So, what does a counter-depth refrigerator mean for your kitchen? It means you can get the sleek look you want, with just as much storage as a standard depth fridge, while making it easy to get around the kitchen.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COUNTER-DEPTH AND STANDARD DEPTH?

A counter-depth refrigerator is designed to offer similar storage capacity as a regular, full-size refrigerator in a style that generally doesn’t stick out more than an inch or two past your kitchen counters and cabinets. Counter-depth refrigerators are typically under 30 inches deep. By contrast, most full-size refrigerators are over 30 inches deep, often in the 35- to 36-inch range. So, in many kitchens, traditional refrigerators may stick out half a foot or more from the edge of the kitchen counters.

A graphic showing the difference between counter-depth and standard depth refrigerators
A person opens the door of a Maytag® counter-depth refrigerator.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A COUNTER-DEPTH FRIDGE?

The benefits of counter-depth refrigerators include:

  1. Shallow depth: Counter-depth refrigerators generally extend only a few inches beyond the edge of the countertop.
  2. Built-in look: Counter-depth refrigerators integrate with your kitchen countertops and cabinets for a more modern, streamlined aesthetic.
  3. More room: Get more room to open the doors of your refrigerator without bumping into something.
  4. Extra floor space: A counter-depth refrigerator can make it easy to get around the kitchen, even with multiple cooks.
  5. Easy access: The shallower depth of a counter-depth refrigerator means easy access to food and condiments.
  6. Wider and taller: Extra width and height on some models allows for counter-depth refrigerators to offer similar capacity as traditional refrigerators.
Maytag tip icon

BE SURE TO MEASURE THE CABINET CUTOUT FOR YOUR COUNTER-DEPTH REFRIGERATOR

Make sure you measure your cabinet cutout and specific counter depth to ensure your counter-depth fridge will fit the space properly.

Learn how to find the right dimensions for your counter-depth refrigerator.

COUNTER-DEPTH REFRIGERATOR STYLES

There are four main styles of counter-depth refrigerators – French door, side-by-side, top-freezer and bottom-freezer.

French door refrigerator

FRENCH DOOR COUNTER-DEPTH REFRIGERATOR

The French door style refrigerator has two doors on top and a freezer drawer below. The French doors open outward to reveal one large refrigerator space inside. Opening and closing the doors on a French door refrigerator generally requires less clearance compared to a single door on a traditional top-freezer refrigerator. For this reason, French Door refrigerators are suitable for smaller kitchens.

Side-by-side refrigerator

SIDE-BY-SIDE COUNTER-DEPTH REFRIGERATOR

Side-by-side refrigerator models have two doors extending the full height of the fridge. One side is the refrigerator and the other, narrow side is the freezer. Some side-by-side refrigerators feature narrower doors to help maximize space in smaller kitchens.

Top-freezer refrigerator

TOP-FREEZER COUNTER-DEPTH REFRIGERATOR

A more traditional style, the top-freezer refrigerator has a freezer on top and a fridge below. The refrigerator and freezer doors can open to the right or left depending on the model you choose.

Bottom-freezer refrigerator

BOTTOM-FREEZER COUNTER-DEPTH REFRIGERATOR

Bottom-freezer fridges feature a refrigerator on top and freezer drawer or door below. It’s similar to a French door style in this way but has one refrigerator door instead of two. Depending on the model, the refrigerator door can open to either the right or left.

You can find counter-depth refrigerators in side-by-side, French door, top-freezer and bottom-freezer styles with a narrower depth. You can also find counter-depth, top- or bottom-freezer refrigerators with a narrower width to give you more space in a small kitchen. With so many styles to choose from, you’re bound to find the ideal counter-depth refrigerator for your kitchen.

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