5 Facts: Counter Depth Refrigerator vs Standard Cost Comparison

Counter-depth refrigerators cost more due to supply and demand imbalance. They fit under counters, saving space but offering less storage than standard fridges.

In a perfect world, no appliance would jut out and take up unnecessary room. But, without a robust renovation budget, it’s not something you can decide to do tomorrow.

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Why is a counter depth fridge more expensive?

First, you will have to look at the supply and demand portion of the price.

Manufacturers make far more standard-depth fridges than counter-depth, automatically making them more expensive.

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What is a counter depth refrigerator?

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A counter-depth fridge is one that fits under the counter. It’s becoming a popular choice when freeing up space and upping aesthetics.

Reasons Why Counter Depth Refrigerators Are More Expensive

Counter-depth refrigerators are so tempting because they free up space and are sometimes more convenient than standard appliances. But, they are quite an investment.

It Takes Up Less Space

Counter-depth has less room for groceries and isn’t great when storing tall items. But for many, having more space is worth it.

The shelves and doors of a counter-depth are shallower than those in a standard refrigerator, which makes it a solution for those in tiny homes or apartments. And like a stove top cover, sometimes the little space savers add up.

Do counter-depth refrigerators have less space?

The average depth of a standard fridge is 29 to 35 inches. The interior provides 29 to 30 inches of storage space.

In contrast, a counter-depth refrigerator has around 27 inches of internal space.

Requires Precise Manufacturer

Manufacturers pump out standard fridges, and they’re all pretty well the same. 

When it comes to counter-depth models, manufacturers tend to be more precise because they have to be the correct fit for a limited space. The room for error is far smaller, so it tends to take longer.

More Features

The higher price tag has a lot to do with the fact that counter-depth refrigerators tend to have more bonus features.

  • door-in-door storage
  • hidden hinges
  • built-in water & ice dispensers

Which is better, standard depth or counter-depth refrigerator?

Personal preference will guide you in deciding between the standard and counter-depth refrigerator.

The counter-depth option has a built-in look and frees up space for you to do other things than store your food. If your family has a lot of grocery needs, you’ll probably want to go with the standard variety.

Benefits & Drawbacks of Counter Depth Refrigerators

While counter-depth fridges are fancy, you will want to consider a few things before you start spending out of your renovation budget.

Benefits of a Counter Depth Refrigerator

  • A counter-depth fridge provides a more streamlined look. Some kitchens already have cabinet-depth appliances, and you want a uniform look.
  • You can access your contents better. You can find and remove the refrigerator’s contents without having to dip down in an uncomfortable bend.
  • Kitchen traffic has a better flow. A standard depth fridge tends to clog the kitchen due to it jutting out and creating a bottleneck in the middle of the kitchen.
  • It has different storage capabilities than a standard refrigerator. Counter-depth models are wider than standard and can hold unique items like charcuterie boards and cheese trays.

Drawbacks of a Counter Depth Refrigerator

  • The cost for a counter-depth model is steep. You’re looking at 15% to 20% more than a standard model.
  • A counter-depth fridge has less space to store groceries. The 25-inch depth can’t handle a big grocery order.
  • Crispers are shorter even though they’re easier to access. Storing celery, pre-made food containers, and trays is not altogether easy when you go with a counter-depth refrigerator.
  • Freezers are far smaller than standard-dept models. The freezer will sit on the bottom drawer or at the top and is quite a bit smaller than standard fridges.
  • It has a single-door swing. It can cause problems if the clearance isn’t right. It can damage the refrigerator and cabinets.

What is the average cost of a counter depth refrigerator?

Counter-depth fridge models aren’t cheap by any means. Depending on the materials and features, the investment will range between $1500 to $3000.

Counter Depth Refrigerator Maintenance and Repair

You aren’t going to see much of a difference in price for maintenance repair between standard and counter-depth fridges.

If you’re trying to troubleshoot and repair on your own, you may find it harder to access certain components, such as filters. But it is doable.

Call a professional to avoid doing more harm than good when in doubt.


Counter-depth refrigerators are installed in the same way as standard models. It has the same plumbing hookups and power. 

If you prefer the DIY method, you may even find it easier to install a counter-depth fridge because it is easier to handle. You will want to ensure that your doorways are large enough to get them inside.

Top Counter-Depth Refrigerator Brands

If you’ve decided that a counter-depth fridge is more for you, you’ve got a handful of trusted brands to choose from.

FAQs about Counter Depth Refrigerators

What is the difference between counter-depth and standard?

The two most significant differences between counter-depth and standard fridges are the price and the size.

Can I find a counter-depth refrigerator larger than 29 inches?

Almost all of your counter-depth fridges are 29 inches wide. If you need something larger, you will most certainly want to go with a standard-sized fridge.

How far can a fridge jut out safely?

A refrigerator should never jut out no more than six inches from the countertop. It will allow the proper airflow and will keep it from being too close to the stove or oven.

How much clearance should I have for my refrigerator?

You should always allow 3 to 4 inches of clearance on each side of a fridge and 6 to 8 inches at the top and bottom.

How far from the wall should a fridge be?

You will need a clearance four inches from the wall when positioning your refrigerator. The compressor will overheat and break down if it’s too close to the wall.

Are counter depth refrigerators more expensive than regular refrigerators?

Counter depth refrigerators are typically more expensive than regular refrigerators, even if they have the same height, width, and features.

Are high end refrigerators worth it?

High end refrigerators are worth it because they are constructed using superior materials, ensuring a higher-quality performance that is built to last. Moreover, their professional grade high performance is guaranteed through advanced testing during development and production, leaving no room for disappointment.

What is the most expensive part of a refrigerator?

The most expensive part of a refrigerator is typically the compressor, which is crucial for its proper functioning. Although it is possible to buy the part separately, it is not advisable to attempt replacing it yourself.

Which refrigerator finish typically costs more compared to the others?

Stainless steel refrigerators typically have a higher price compared to other finishes. However, they offer a timeless and elegant appearance, as well as easy cleaning. Additionally, built-in units allow for customization of your kitchen’s overall look.

How much deeper is a counter-depth refrigerator?

Counter-depth refrigerators are typically around 24–25 inches deep, which is similar to the depth of kitchen counters. Unlike standard-depth refrigerators that can extend half a foot or more beyond countertops, counter-depth fridges are designed to be nearly flush with counters and cabinets.

How far should a refrigerator be from the back wall?

The refrigerator should be positioned with minimum clearances of 2 inches from the back wall, 1 inch from the upper cabinet, and 1/8 inch on either side of the fridge. This allows for proper air circulation around the box, ensuring efficient operation, preventing overheating, and maximizing its lifespan.

Is a built in refrigerator the same as a counter-depth refrigerator?

A built-in refrigerator and a counter-depth refrigerator are not the same. Although both types are designed to be more shallow in depth in order to align with cabinets and countertops, the key distinction lies in their installation styles.

What is the width options for counter-depth fridge?

The width options for counter-depth fridges range from 30 to 36 inches, providing a narrower profile that aligns with kitchen counters. These refrigerators typically have a height between 66 and 72 inches and a depth ranging from 23 to 27 inches.

Which is better counter-depth or standard refrigerator?

Counter-depth and standard refrigerators have their own advantages. Counter-depth fridges are designed to have a shallower depth, giving them a built-in appearance. On the other hand, standard fridges typically offer more storage capacity. Regardless of which type you choose, your refrigerator plays a crucial role in preserving your fresh ingredients.

How far out should a refrigerator stick out from cabinets?

The refrigerator should stick out from cabinets by six inches or more, as standard refrigerators are usually 30 to 36 inches deep, while countertops are typically about 25 inches deep.

What is the purpose of a counter-depth refrigerator?

The purpose of a counter-depth refrigerator is to provide more space for opening the doors without any obstructions, create extra floor space in the kitchen, and ensure easy access to food and condiments due to its shallower depth.

Is a counter-depth refrigerator the same as a built in refrigerator?

A counter-depth refrigerator is not the same as a built-in refrigerator. While freestanding refrigerators can be found in both full and counter-depth options, ranging from 24-36 inches in depth, built-in refrigerators are typically 24-27 inches deep. Both types of refrigerators offer various sizes and features to ensure the freshness and easy accessibility of your ingredients.

How do I maximize space on my counter-depth refrigerator?

To maximize space on your counter-depth refrigerator, consider replacing round food storage containers with clear square or rectangular ones. This simple switch will not only optimize space in your fridge and cabinets but also allow you to easily see the contents of each container.

What is normal counter-depth?

The normal counter-depth typically ranges from 24 to 25.5 inches, measuring from the wall to the edge or edge-to-edge across the island. Countertop boxes usually have a depth of 24 inches, with an additional inch and a half overhang for the countertop, resulting in an overall countertop depth of 25.5 inches.

Do you lose space with a counter-depth refrigerator?

Counter-depth refrigerators do result in a loss of interior space and reduced storage capacity for food items due to their shallower build compared to standard depth refrigerators.

Can you fit a turkey in a counter-depth refrigerator?

A full uncooked turkey can fit comfortably in a counter-depth refrigerator, which may assist you in determining whether a counter-depth or standard refrigerator is suitable for your space.

What are the disadvantages of a bottom freezer?

The disadvantages of a bottom freezer include the challenge of accessing frozen items, as one would need to bend over and the setup with drawers can make it difficult to see items, often requiring stacking.

How much cubic feet do you lose in a counter-depth refrigerator?

Counter-depth refrigerators typically have a capacity ranging from 15 to 25 cubic feet, with an average of approximately 22 cubic feet. To compensate for the shallower depth, these refrigerators are usually wider (around 36 inches) and taller than standard-depth models.

Does a refrigerator need breathing space?

A refrigerator requires breathing space. If it is completely enclosed, there will be limited ventilation. To ensure proper ventilation, when determining the space for the refrigerator, allow for at least an additional inch of room at the back and top of the refrigerator.

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