Stay Cool About Selecting the Right Refrigerator

Few of us think about refrigerators, much less obsess about these, until we are faced with dropping $2,000 to $10,000 on one. And what a range in price for a home appliance that’s supposed to do one basic thing: keep your food cold. What accounts for the price differences? Stick around while we discuss the principal types of refrigerator designs to describe.

Southern Studio Interior Design

1. Counter-Depth Refrigerators

What it is: Counter thickness means the body of the unit is as heavy as the countertop but the doors extend past that due to the hinges. Counter-depth units are generally 32 to 36 inches wide, 24 to 26 inches deep (not including the doorway) and 68 to 71 inches tall. If you’re looking for a true built-in, a counter-depth refrigerator won’t cut it, but the price tag might: It’s often tens of thousands of dollars less than an authentic built-in refrigerator.

Variations: This fashion refrigerator comes in many forms. French doors are very popular today, and since the side-by-side doors are half as wide as one door, they’re fantastic for kitchens with tight clearances. Side-by-side and regular old bottom-freezer options also can be found. Like all the refrigerator types in this ideabook, they’re offered in a selection of finishes besides stainless steel.

When to use: This is a fantastic choice if you’re looking for something that looks sleek and more built in than a standard-depth refrigerator, that includes more clearance around the doorway and costs less than an authentic built-in refrigerator.

Rebekah Zaveloff | KitchenLab

Side-by-side counter-depth alternative. This counter-depth refrigerator is a 36-inch side-by-side. As you can see, the doors stand out past the side panels and cabinets to allow the doors to fully swing open.

Rebekah Zaveloff | KitchenLab

All-refrigerator or even all-freezer counter-depth alternative. This style of refrigerator or freezer provides you a ton of cubic storage without the price tag of high-end commercial-style ones, but of course, you want more room to have two in precisely the same location. Customizing your cabinets and panels can make these components look like custom built-ins for a modest extra cost.

AJ Madison

Electrolux IQ-Touch Series Counter-Depth French-Door Refrigerator

This really is a side-by-side refrigerator using a base freezer and French doors.

Contemporary Refrigerators – $2,199

There are numerous options for side-by-side versions with glossy water and ice dispensers and door handles.

AJ Madison

Fridgidaire Professional Series All Refrigerator – $1,543

A custom trim kit panel causes this 32-inch freestanding counter-depth unit look like one huge business refrigerator/freezer.

2. Full-Depth, or Standard, Refrigerator

What it is:
A standard-depth refrigerator is roughly 68 to 71 inches tall and 31 to 35 inches deep into the surface of the doors.

Variations: These come in side-by-side, bottom-freezer and top-freezer options and stainless steel, black or white finishes.

When to use: When clearance is not a concern and you’re looking for the most amount of cubic storage with the smallest amount of width and height, the thickness is where you purchase it. This also is the most affordable option. For people used to a full-depth refrigerator, the interior storage using a counter-depth or built-in refrigerator may be a jolt. It’s a fantastic idea to compare cubic footage before you buy.

AJ Madison

Whirlpool Gold GSS30C6EY Side-by-Side Refrigerator – $1,704.60

From the front it is difficult to tell a standard-depth from a counter-depth refrigerator. The first clue will be the price tag: Counter-depth ones tend to cost more. Secondly, check the specs: A normal refrigerator can be 6 inches deeper. If you are looking at this alternative, consider your circulation path; a standard-depth refrigerator can really alter the flow and layout of a kitchen.

Tip: By creating the cabinets a customized thickness around the refrigerator, you can find the look of a custom built-in refrigerator without the hefty price tag.

Fivecat Studio | Architecture

3. Bottom-Freezer Built-In Refrigerator

What it is: Built-in units are generally 80 to 84 inches tall and 24 to 25 inches deep into the surface of the doorway. The entire unit, including the doorway, is flush with the thickness of the majority of standard cabinets. Bottom-freezer units can also be known as over/under refrigerators; they often come in 27-, 30- or 36-inch widths.

Variations:You can get most bottom-freezer built-ins in both stainless steel and panel-ready options, as well as glass fronts.

When to use: All these are fantastic for smaller kitchens due to the width. If you have a bigger kitchen, you can use two of these side by side. The best place for this kind of refrigerator is at the end of a cupboard run in which the door swings open into the work triangle. You can specify the single-door components to have a ideal hinge or a left hinge.

AJ Madison

Sub-Zero BI30U Built-In Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator

The traditional single-door bottom-freezer built-in model is still among my favorites. I like the produce I use every day to be up high and the suspended goods down below from the drawer.

1 2 S T U D I O . C O M

4. Built-In Side-by-Side Refrigerator

What it’s: A side-by-side unit gets the refrigerator on the right and the freezer on the left, using the breaker on top.

Variations: They come with and without water in the doorway and are generally 24 to 25 inches deep into the doorway; 36, 42 or 48 inches wide; and 84 inches tall. Most have a freezer that’s smaller than the refrigerator.They’re also available in stainless steel or panel-ready options, as well as some glass door options.

When to use: These are perfect for kitchens in which you have ample room for one big unit on another wall. They generally work well on the side of a wall of cupboards or perpendicular to the job triangle, as a result of fridge’s being around the right.

People frequently get “built-in” and “incorporated” confused. The principal distinction is a built-in may be flush into the cupboards and look glossy as can be, but it will not be completely concealed. The flange along the exterior of the unit and the grille on top will give it away as a refrigerator, even though it’s a matching cupboard panel.

Mrs. G TV & Appliances

Sub-Zero BI-42S Side-by-Side Refrigerator/Freezer

If you’d like a side-by-side, I suggest you opt for at least 42 inches of width — if you have room for 48 inches, even better. The 36-inch side-by-sides don’t have lots of cubic storage in the refrigerator section.

Rebekah Zaveloff | KitchenLab

Between the water and ice on the door and the C-channel pulls, this panel-front built-in side-by-side isn’t attempting to hide its identity. The chalkboard panels are a nice alternative to stainless steel, alleviating fingerprint worries for the busy household who uses it.

US Appliance

GE Profile Built-In Side-by-Side Refrigerator – $5,699

Here’s the same refrigerator with wood panels instead of a chalkboard finish. With the flange along the outside border and the water and ice in the door, it is not considered completely incorporated. (See next for one of these.)

Rebekah Zaveloff | KitchenLab

5. Fully Integrated Refrigerator and Freezer Column Units

What it is: Fully integrated grills can be completely concealed with cabinet-panel fronts. The hinge style, the absence of an exposed frame and a design that allows the door to conceal the compressor create this possible.Whereas all-refrigerator and all-freezer components have been around for a while in pubs, entirely integrated column-style components are relatively new on the residential industry. They allow for more flexibility since they can be placed together as a custom side-by-side mix or kept independent.

Variations:
Although these units ideally have cupboard panels to conceal them completely, they also come in stainless steel. Typical widths are 18, 24, 30 and 36 inches; peaks range from 80 to 84 inches. They’re 24 to 25 inches deep.

When to use:
Choose this style if you’re interested in the ultimate customization and flexibility, if you want to break up the place of your refrigerator or freezer, or if you want to produce your refrigerator completely vanish. In this kitchen, the 30-inch refrigerator is the white panel doorway to the best of their ovens, and the 24-inch freezer is the oak-paneled doorway in the foreground concealed within the pantry cabinetry.

US Appliance

Thermador 30-Inch Freedom Fresh Food Column

Column-style units can be stainless steel or board ready for complete concealment.

Design Moe Toilet & Kitchen / Heather Moe designer

Some of the completely integrated components have drawers as well. One more advantage of this style of refrigeration is that you can make furniture-style cabinetry.

AJ Madison

Sub-Zero 736TCI 36-Inch Built-In Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator

What’s nice about the Sub-Zero 700 series is that you can find an all-refrigerator, all-freezer or combo unit in which the freezer is in the base drawers.

What kind of refrigerator works best for you?

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