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To Buy or Not To Buy… A New Fridge?

You have just come home from a very busy day at work. Someone cut you off on the freeway while talking on his cell phone, you spilled coffee on your favorite shirt, and checked your mail only to find 3 bills and a flyer for a furniture store advertising its 17th boxing week sale of the year. You walk into your kitchen to find your fridge is surrounded by a moat of its own water…again. With this being the final straw, you decide to buy a new fridge seeing as how you are on a first name basis with your repairman.

Before you fly out the door with the intent of picking a fridge come hell or high-water, you need to do one simple thing…measure your space! I’m not just talking about measuring your existing fridge. I mean the exact dimensions for the available space. If you speak to any salesperson worth his, or her, commission, this will be one of the first questions you will be asked. Be prepared, my friend.

Knowing your measurements will be a great benefit to you and your sales person as it will help narrow down your options and hone in on what you can buy.

You obviously need to know your height and width, but the 3rd dimension you need to know is depth. Some styles are available in what is called counter-depth, or cabinet-depth. These models are roughly 4-6 inches shallower. This means less usable cubic footage, but on the other hand, they will not stick out from your cabinets.

Most counter-depth fridges are available in what are called Bottom-mounts, Side-by-sides, and French doors. You’d be very fortunate to find one in a Top-mount style. If you’re asking yourself “what the heck is he talking about? Bottom-mounts? French doors?” worry not and please read below.


Simply, these are fridges with freezer on top, fridge on bottom. Some can have automatic ice makers so you may need to have a water line hooked up to use this feature.


These are the opposite of the Top-mounts as they have their freezers on the bottom and the fridge section on top. Most of these also have automatic ice makers inside the freezers. I find these more user friendly. Don’t like bending over to see inside your fridge? No worries here as everything is visible when you open the door. How often do you open the freezer? Not as often as the fridge, I’d bet.


As you can guess, these types have a freezer from top to bottom on one side and a fridge on the other. Most of these models have a full water and ice dispenser on the front. Despite popular belief, these ice makers do not actually take up that much space at all. I find the benefits of having filtered water and ice at your fingertips far outweighs your being able to stuff another frozen dinner, or two, in your freezer.

French Door:

These units have a freezer on bottom, fridge on top, but with a nice twist. Not only are these very sharp looking, but for the growing number of you who have islands in your kitchen they have a “split door” on the fridge section. Instead of having a huge single door swinging heavily all the way out and potentially denting on the island counter, you have 2 half doors opening from hinges on either side of the fridge. Some of these come with water and ice dispensers on the outside, some have ice makers in the freezer and water dispensers on the inside. The latter serves to make the outside appearance of the fridge look as sleek and sophisticated as possible.

So now you know of most of the many different styles and sizing options. You’re probably going to ask me if you can still match the fridge with your existing Harvest Gold, or Avocado Green coloured, appliances. Sorry, but no my friend. These days, most appliances are available in traditional white, black (both can be either the textured finish or a smooth pearl finish, by the way), and brushed stainless steel. Some companies offer some different options such as the ultra-snazzy “floating glass” look. This is a high gloss black with a glass panel on top of it. Some other high-end companies also offer a wide variety of funky colors. The kitchens of Rachel Ray and Guy Fieri from the Food Network are very fun examples.

The last thing for you to do now is decide what is best for you and your kitchen, buy, and enjoy many years of a trouble free fridge!!

Good luck and good shopping!!