Fridge Clearance: Measuring a Space for Installation

How to Properly Measure Fridge Clearance

Before you go shopping for a new refrigerator, you need to take accurate measurements at several points around your home so you know that your new appliance will fit into your space and can be delivered with minimum hassle. Read this 4-step guide to learn how to properly measure fridge clearance.

Measure Your Kitchen Size

Refrigerator sizes vary from model to model and between brands. A side-by-side refrigerator will naturally be taller than a top-mount freezer refrigerator, and a French door refrigerator will take up more room front to back than a counter-depth refrigerator. To ensure that you have an accurate measurement of your available kitchen space, you must measure several points:

  • Measure the width of space at the upper cabinet, at the countertop level, then at the base.
  • Measure height from the floor to the lowest point on the upper cabinet, in the front of the space and at the back. The two measurements should be equal, but if they are not, consider the smaller of the two measurements the space you have to work within.
  • Measure the depth from the back wall to the front edge of the abutting countertop.

Door Measurement

Measuring fridge clearance includes taking the angle of the door outswing and the drawer path in a bottom-freezer refrigerator into account. You'll need to be sure there is enough room in front of the fridge to accommodate the unit when it is open. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is there enough space to stand in front of the unit with the door open?
  • Can the doors open to at least a 90-degree angle?
  • Will the doors clear the cabinets on either side?
  • Can the door hinge operate without scraping the wall or cabinet?
  • Will the open refrigerator doors obstruct walking paths, the sink, the dishwasher, cabinets, or the stove door?

Ventilation Space

Air has to be able to circulate around the refrigerator to help it run efficiently and last its full life span. Make sure you have these minimum fridge clearances:

  • 2 inches between the back wall and the back of the fridge.
  • 1 inch above the fridge.
  • 1/8-inch along either side of the fridge.

Subtract the minimum clearance from initial space measurements to find the maximum dimensions of the refrigerator models you can consider. Always check the manufacturer's recommendations on breathing space for the model and adjust your measurements accordingly.

Delivery Path

There's nothing more frustrating than purchasing an appliance only to find out on delivery day that it won't fit through a door or hallway. Before you finalize a purchase, map out the best path from where it will be unloaded from the truck outside to the spot where the new refrigerator will be installed. Try to find the most direct route, avoiding obstacles like stairs, tight turns, or doorways whenever possible. Measure the width of any hallways along the path to ensure there's enough fridge clearance for the refrigerator to pass through safely. Be prepared to remove furniture, décor, and rugs to make the hall more easily passable and prevent damage.

Take a few minutes to collect these fridge clearance measurements before you go shopping. It'll help you avoid a ton of frustration down the line.

If you're interested in a new refrigerator, then come to Reno's Appliance in Paterson, NJ. We have an extensive inventory of refrigerators from world-class brands such as Sub-Zero, Bosch, and Whirlpool. We'll help you find the right refrigerator and make sure it'll fit perfectly in your home.