Are you currently remodeling your kitchen? Do you feel overwhelmed by the enormous selection of appliances? Can’t decide between a counter-depth or standard refrigerator?
If your answer was yes to these questions, you’ve come to the right place for answers. Let’s take a look at what the pros and cons of both of these models are and figure out which one would be the best fit for you.
Standard Depth Refrigerators
Since refrigerators became a common appliance in most homes in the 1930s, people have been using the standard depth type. And since they’re so popular, chances are, most of you grew up using them in your homes. But what exactly is a standard depth fridge and who is it for?
Most often, standard depth fridges are about 3 feet wide and usually weigh around 300 lbs (give or take a 100 lbs, depending on the model). Most of them have a capacity of 100l. Nowadays, standard depth fridges come in a wide variety of sizes, colors, and with different features.
If you want a standard depth-fridge, you can get it with or without a freezer, with single or French doors. What’s more, numerous modern fridges have ice or water dispensers built-in, and you can even connect some of them to your wireless network.
But perhaps the biggest difference between standard and counter fridges is in the depth. Traditional fridges tend to be around 36 inches deep, which means they usually don’t fit in-line with countertops.
Another major difference between the two models is their price and availability. Since standard-depth fridges have been popular for such a long time, they’re easier to find and buy. What’s more, standard depth-fridges come in a bigger variety of sizes and colors.
Since they’re so widespread, you can get them in most stores and at a great price. In fact, standard-depth fridges are usually much cheaper compared to their counter-depth counterparts.
The first drawback of standard-depth refrigerators is their size. Since they’re so deep, they can disrupt your kitchen flow and make it feel less uniform. What’s more, they tend to take up more floor space compared to counter-depth fridges.
Counter-depth refrigerators have become increasingly popular in the past few years. They’re chic, sleek, and you can fit them in almost any kitchen. They are designed to be in-line with kitchen countertops and aren’t as deep as standard-depth fridges.
Most counter-depth fridges are about 24 to 30 inches deep, making them less spacious compared to standard-depth models. On the other hand, what they lack in depth, they make up for in height.
In fact, most models are around 69 inches high, with the biggest ones coming in at 72 inches. But since the sizes vary a lot from one manufacturer to the next, make sure you take precise measurements when buying a counter-depth fridge. Since they’re so high, I wouldn’t recommend placing them under wall cabinets.
Counter-depth fridges also tend to be wider compared to the standard models. Nowadays, most models are around 34 inches wide so they make up for their depth. But no matter the height and depth, the most important thing you need to look for is the capacity.
Depending on the manufacturer and model, counter-depth fridges come in a wide variety of capacities. Most of them can fit as much if not more compared to any standard-depth model.
Because of their unique design and size, they can fit in most kitchens. What’s more, they’ll give your kitchen a beautiful, uniform look and you’ll have a much better flow.
Even though they have a sleek design, they also come with a pretty price tag. Now, counter-depth fridges aren’t as expensive as built-in ones, but they cost more than standard-depth. If you’re working with a smaller budget, I would recommend getting the latter.
There are two types of counter-depth freezers you can get — integrated or stand-alone. If you have the space for it in your kitchen, I think that stand-alone freezers are the way to go. They have a similar, sleek design as the fridges and you can fit a lot inside.
But if you can’t spare any room in your kitchen, a freezer that’s integrated with the fridge is your best option. One thing to keep in mind is that they aren’t as large, so you won’t have much storage space.
Counter-Depth Wine Coolers
For all of you wine-lovers out there, you’ll be happy to know that you can even buy counter-depth wine coolers. Most homeowners install them as a part of their kitchen islands. But since they have such a unique design, you can put them almost anywhere.
Just be careful when looking at counter-depth wine coolers because they can vary a lot in size and capacity. If you want to keep a large number of bottles chilled at all times, I recommend getting a stand-alone wine cooler, instead of an integrated one.
Built-in refrigerators could be the perfect choice for those who love modern, high-end kitchens. They fit in seamlessly in most kitchens and offer a lot of storage room. But their unique design comes with a pretty big price tag.
Just like counter-depth models, built-in fridges fit perfectly in-line with most countertops and they’re only 24 inches deep. However, they’re usually pretty wide and high so that they can make up for how shallow they are.
In fact, they can be as wide as 48 inches, which is significantly more compared to standard-depth models, which are usually 36 inches wide. Even though they have a stunning design, they aren’t without their drawbacks.
The biggest issue with built-in fridges is their price. Even compared to counter-depth models, they are much more expensive and they can set you back a few thousand dollars.
What’s more, they are pretty difficult to install and move. I wouldn’t recommend getting a built-in fridge if you plan on moving in the future, because it won’t be worth the hassle.
Fitting a Refrigerator
First, start by unpacking your fridge outside if possible. Don’t throw away the boxes for the first few days, just until you’ve made sure that the fridge is working fine.
Then, using a hand truck or dolly, bring the fridge inside. The easiest way to do that is by tilting the fridge slightly so that the weight is evenly balanced. Never transport the fridge while it’s on its side or upside down because you could damage the cooling mechanism that’s inside.
If your fridge is too wide and can’t fit through the doors, you can always take the bolts off it. But remember to check your users manual first, to see exactly how to remove them.
Installing a Refrigerator
To avoid those costly installation fees, you can do it yourself. The process is pretty simple and it shouldn’t take you more than an hour to do it. Once you have your fridge inside the kitchen, slide it where you want it to be. But you have to make sure to leave a gap big enough so you can get behind it.
Then, wire your power and water lines, leaving enough space for them to fit closely to your wall. If you’ve removed the doors or trays from the fridge, start putting them back in. Once you’re sure you have everything hooked up, plug it into a power outlet and close it.
Cleaning and Maintaining Your Refrigerator
If you want your fridge to last you a long time, you need to clean it often and do proper maintenance. You can clean it thoroughly at least once a month, or when your food rations are running low. Start by taking out all of the food, shelves, and drawers from it and grab a sponge and some dish soap.
You can clean the majority of your fridge with dish soap, but for tougher spills, I recommend a 1:5 ammonia and water solution. If your shelves are still cold, don’t run them under hot water because the sudden temperature drop could shatter the glass.
Also, don’t use strong-scented soaps for the inside of the fridge because your food could absorb the smell. If you’ve noticed loud noises coming from your fridge, take care of them right away. The longer you wait, the worse the problem could get.
Before you decide which fridge is right for you, there’s a couple of things you need to consider. First, you need to look at the size and depth of the fridge to figure out what would work best for your household and kitchen.
You also have to think about cost and availability. Standard-depth fridges are more popular, easier to find, and can come with more features. But they will stick out beyond your counters and disrupt your kitchen flow. So, are you willing to pay a bit extra to get that seamless, uniform look with the counter-depth fridge?
If neither the counter-depth nor the standard fridges work for you, you should take a look at built-ins. They are more expensive compared to the other two types but will give your kitchen that modern, high-end look.