A counter depth refrigerator is a narrow refrigerator designed to blend more seamlessly with your cabinets and the rest of the kitchen design. These are also sometimes referred to as cabinet depth refrigerators. They appear more stylish than traditional refrigerators, though you will likely be sacrificing some storage space.
A counter depth refrigerator will usually be between 23 and 27 inches (58 to 68 cm) deep, while a standard depth refrigerator is generally between 30 and 34 inches (76 to 86 cm) deep. More sizes are available to accommodate different needs, and sizes also vary significantly between brands and styles. Bear in mind that this type of refrigerator will still stick out slightly past your cabinets -- this is so the doors can open.
Most people who choose a counter depth refrigerator do so because they find a true built-in refrigerator to be too expensive, or because they do not wish to remodel their entire kitchen. Built-in refrigerators are truly flush with the cabinets, and most often match the wood design of the cabinets. These are very expensive and can usually only be installed with a complete kitchen remodel.
Counter depth refrigerators are usually considerably more expensive than a traditional refrigerator, but much less expensive than a built-in. You also do not need to remodel your kitchen to install this type of refrigerator. Some can be customized with wood panels to more closely match your cabinet design.
Cabinet depth refrigerators are usually side-by-side models, with a full-length freezer on the left and a full-length refrigerator on the right. Some also feature water and ice dispensers in the door. Bottom-freezer models are also available, which feature a one- or two-door refrigerator on top and a pull-out freezer drawer on the bottom.
Counter depth refrigerators are sometimes taller and wider than standard refrigerators, to make up for the lost depth and provide more storage space. Measure your kitchen carefully and plan ahead if you are building or remodeling to ensure enough space for this type of refrigerator.
As with most refrigerators, many come with warranties and the option to extend the life of the warranty. Counter depth refrigerators can be found at most appliance stores, though if you are building or remodeling a house, check with your contractor for any special deals on kitchen appliances.