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Tricky Refrigerator Hinges

Wow, what big hinges you have! Sneaky devils in any kitchen remodel, refrigerator hinges can actually add two whole inches to the total height of the appliance – a disaster when you’re fitting a new fridge under existing cabinetry. Depending on the style of the overhead cabinet, one that is 12 inches deep will most likely still accommodate the change, but may not if the cabinet is 24 inches or more.

In the past decade, refrigerators have outgrown their 68-inch ancestors and now measure in around 71 to 72 inches tall. That’s more added height to figure into the plan. So what’s a buyer to do?

Smart Buyer Checklist:

Avoid the refrigerator blues by keeping a tape measure on hand and double-checking this list before your big purchase:

  • Make sure the refrigerator measurement includes the hinge height and any air clearance requirement noted in the appliance’s instructions.
  • Take into consideration unlevel floors in older homes and the prospect of replacing existing floors that may adjust the space between the underside of the cabinet and the flooring.
  • Check into cabinets built with a valance that can be trimmed to accommodate appliance changes.

Beyond the Hinges:

  • Consider width and depth air clearance requisites for side and back air flow.
  • Figure in the handle for a 90-degree angle when opening the door. And make sure to leave space to pull out the bottom freezer drawer, especially in galley-style kitchens and cook spaces with an island.


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