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The unexpectedly complex world of fridges

(15 Posts)
RoseValleyRambles Sun 20-Nov-16 09:47:55

I need an undercounter fridge. This should be simple. But it's not. I can find:
So called "undercounter" fridges that address just too deep to actually fit under a counter, and which ideally need a ventilation gap to run at max efficiency, that would mean cutting a vent in said counter.
Built in fridges that go under the counter, but which need a matching door to your cabinets fixed onto them - which i don't have.
Integrated fridges that have a proper door on them, but are 1.5cm too tall to go under my counter, and are instead designed to fit at eye level.

Is there a whole other category of fridges I'm missing?

PigletJohn Sun 20-Nov-16 11:49:17

what is the height of the space between your worktop above floor level?

Did somebody fit flooring after the kitchen units were put in place?

RoseValleyRambles Sun 20-Nov-16 12:46:50

86.5cm. is that abnormally low? Flooring does extend under where the fridge goes, but only adds 0.5cm if that.

PigletJohn Sun 20-Nov-16 13:21:51

I think about 85cm is usual. I just looked up some dishwashers, which are meant to be a close, but not tight, fit under a worktop, and they are 81.5. Looking at mine, it has about 2.5cm space under the worktop.

That said, when we had an under-worktop larder fridge, I think it was about 80cm high, to give room for ventilation. The makers offered a grill that you could cut into the worktop, but I never bothered. Warm air flowed out under the worktop.

We found the undercounter fridge rather inconvenient, because you had to get down on the floor to see the contents of the top shelf, and to clean it out or reach things from the back. Now have tall FFs with the fridge part on the top, much easier to see, reach and clean.

If you are gymnastic, and plan to never get fat, pregnant, old, or have a bad back, it won't matter.

PigletJohn Sun 20-Nov-16 13:28:51


Worktops are usually 60cm deep, and appliances (especially dishwashers, which are particularly big) should be no more than that, although handles and knobs may stick out. They look better slightly recessed, and easier to wipe crumbs off.

You can get deeper worktops if necessary (laminated worktops are amazingly cheap) or cut a bit off the back edge to reduce them.

Kitchen units are sometimes a bit less, to give room for pipes and cables behind. I thought there was a standard UK size, but I might be wrong (Ikea are non-standard)

PigletJohn Sun 20-Nov-16 13:37:45


I just looked at Which Best Buy undercounter fridges, width 55cm to 65cm, and there is only one, unless I have searched wrong. It seems to be a larder fridge, I have no idea if it suits you.

Miele K12020S1
Which? score: 81%
Best Buy
Price: £281.00
Dimensions 85x61x69
Width 61
Type Freestanding
Under counter

SnugglySnerd Sun 20-Nov-16 13:42:48

We recently bought a new ff and getting one to fit the space was a nightmare. Many were so deep that the door wouldn't open fully in our narrow kitchen.
I agree about getting on your knees to see what's inside an under counter fridge though, that used to drive me mad! Would you have space for a tall fridge or a ff?

PigletJohn Sun 20-Nov-16 13:46:40


I looked further down the Which list (none of the others score as high) and they all seem to be almost exactly the same size. Perhaps they are all made in an Electrolux factory (it owns most of the non-BSH brandnames).

Until I got to a built-in Siemens, which will need a false front, at 82x61x54. It is more expensive and scores lower, though.
Siemens KU15RA51GB, Which? score: 61%, Price: £374.30

RoseValleyRambles Sun 20-Nov-16 14:32:58

Hmm. Thanks for the tip! Depth wise, the miele will stick out quite a lot beyond the worktop. Have found a few compact ones now that seem to be a bit less deep. Unfortunately, we don't have room for a freestanding one or built in full height unit. Sigh.
Snuggly, glad I'm not the only one finding this a faff!

PigletJohn Sun 20-Nov-16 14:47:37

at one time I had a galley kitchen, put cut-down cabs and 350mm worktop down one side to give enough space, but in the corner furthest from the door, had an enlarged worktop to put the fridge under. Didn't need to walk past it. If you are lucky enough to have white or other common worktop, it is not expensive.

FrogFairy Sun 20-Nov-16 15:38:49

I googled "shallow under counter fridge" and got quite a few results. You could check the measurements to see which would best fit you space.

RoseValleyRambles Sun 20-Nov-16 15:46:00

Thanks frog - will try that now!

SnugglySnerd Sun 20-Nov-16 17:39:50

Good luck!

RoseValleyRambles Sun 20-Nov-16 19:20:14

Problem solved - found a smallish one that will do the job. 58 depth vs 60+. Russell Hobbs also have a small one for anyone facing the same pickle in future!

SnugglySnerd Sun 20-Nov-16 21:16:24

Pleased you found what you were looking for.

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