Can You Put A Fridge Next To An Oven? – Expert Advice & Tips
Designing a kitchen is like solving a giant jigsaw puzzle. Each piece, or in this case, appliance, has its unique place. But one question that often puzzles homeowners is, “Can you put a fridge next to an oven?” At first glance, it might seem like a simple question, but the answer is a bit more nuanced.
In this post, I’ll delve into the great fridge-next-to-oven debate, examining the differences between types of ovens and fridges and the considerations you’ll need to think about.
So, by the end, you should have a clear understanding of when and how you can place a fridge next to an oven, ensuring your kitchen is not only stylish but also functional, efficient, and safe.
Let’s get started!
Can you put a fridge next to an oven?
In certain circumstances, yes, you can place a fridge next to an oven. In fact, it’s quite common in modern kitchen design these days.
However, it’s crucial to consider a few factors before you do. The type of oven and refrigerator, the layout of your kitchen, and the specific models of your appliances can all play a significant role in deciding whether your fridge and oven can be next-door neighbours.
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When Can You Put A Fridge And Oven Next To Each Other?
Both integrated fridges and built-in wall ovens, as well as freestanding refrigerators, American fridge freezers and built-in wall ovens, can comfortably share space in your kitchen under the right conditions.
Integrated Fridges and Built-In Wall Ovens
Integrated fridges and built-in wall ovens are designed to fit seamlessly into your kitchen cabinetry, offering a sleek, modern look. But they’re not just about aesthetics. They also offer a solution to our fridge-next-to-oven dilemma.
An integrated fridge is typically well-insulated from all sides as it sits inside a kitchen cabinet. This insulation significantly reduces the impact of external heat sources, making it far more resilient against a neighbouring oven. On top of that, these fridges often come with advanced cooling technologies, ensuring they maintain a constant temperature, regardless of what’s happening around them.
On the other side, we have built-in wall ovens. Unlike traditional range ovens, these are installed into your kitchen wall, usually at eye level. The critical aspect here is that they’re often insulated and vented in a way that directs the heat away from the oven, minimizing its impact on surrounding appliances. This means that the oven’s heat is less likely to affect a neighbouring integrated fridge.
So, does this mean you can put an integrated fridge next to a built-in wall oven? In most cases, yes!
However, it’s essential to remember that not all appliances are made equal. For instance, some integrated fridge freezers may require you to install a ventilation grill at the bottom of the cabinet, in the plinth (toe kick). This is often when the motor is located at the base of the appliance and may require some extra ventilation space to help it out.
Freestanding Refrigerators or American Fridge Freezers and Built-In Wall Ovens
Freestanding fridges or American fridge freezers can also be placed next to built-in wall ovens. However, there’s a critical detail to bear in mind — door clearance. You need to ensure there’s enough space for the fridge freezer’s door and hinges to open fully without hitting the oven handle or interfering with any cabinetry.
When it comes to freestanding appliances, the door swing can oftentimes be an overlooked aspect. The last thing you want is a damaged appliance or restricted access due to door clashes.
Remember, the manufacturer’s installation instructions are your best friend in this situation. These guides provide valuable information about clearances, ventilation requirements, and other crucial considerations. Always double-check them before finalizing your appliance layout.
When Can’t You Put A Fridge And Oven Next To Each Other?
Now I’ve explained the scenarios where you can place a fridge and oven next to each other, it’s important to understand when this layout is not advisable. Some scenarios require extra caution, while others are outright no-nos.
Stoves / Range Cookers And Fridge Freezers
Stoves and range cookers are freestanding appliances that combine an oven(s) and a cooktop into one unit, offering an all-in-one cooking zone. However, they also demand a fair bit of space, not just for their physical footprint but also for a vital element of kitchen safety and functionality: a clear landing zone.
A landing zone is the countertop space adjacent to your stove or range cooker, a safe haven where you can place hot pots and pans. Without this space, your kitchen becomes a potential accident waiting to happen. Therefore, placing a fridge or a freestanding fridge freezer – which can’t provide this landing zone – right next to a stove or range cooker is generally not a good idea.
And unlike their built-in counterparts, heat transfer becomes a significant factor to consider. Stoves and range cookers emit a considerable amount of heat, especially when you’re using both the cooktop and the oven.
Now, consider what would happen if you place a fridge or a freestanding fridge freezer – appliances designed to maintain cool temperatures – next to such heat sources. The result? Your fridge has to work harder to stay cool, leading to higher energy consumption and potentially shortening its lifespan.
So, while it might seem convenient to have your cold storage right next to your cooking station, in reality, it’s not the best move for your appliances or your energy bill. It’s usually better to keep some space – ideally, a countertop – between these appliances to ensure safety, energy efficiency, and appliance longevity.
Key Considerations for Placing A Fridge Next to An Oven
While modern kitchen design offers a lot of flexibility, the placement of your appliances still requires careful thought. When considering placing a freestanding or integrated fridge freezer next to wall ovens or stoves/range cookers, there are several key factors to keep in mind.
Hinges and Handles
Often forgotten about and overlooked. Consider the layout of the hinges and handles on your appliances. This might seem like a minor detail, but it can significantly impact the flow and functionality of your kitchen. The doors of your fridge freezer and oven should open without obstructing access to either appliance.
One common issue arises when the fridge door hinge of a freestanding fridge freezer hits the handle of the oven, especially if the appliances are placed side by side without enough clearance. This can not only disrupt your cooking flow but also potentially cause damage to the appliances over time.
For integrated fridge freezers, this tends to be less of an issue as they’re usually designed to fit seamlessly within the cabinetry. However, it’s still crucial to ensure that the doors can open fully without obstruction for easy access and efficient use.
So, when planning your kitchen layout, remember to account for the swing direction and depth of your appliance doors. Make sure there’s enough space for them to open fully without hitting each other or any other kitchen elements. It’s these little details that can make a big difference in the functionality and enjoyment of your kitchen.
Proper ventilation is essential to prevent your appliances from overheating and to maintain their efficiency. Especially with freestanding appliances. Make sure they are not too close to any major heat source and ensure there’s enough room for air to circulate around these appliances.
And as I mentioned before, integrated fridge freezers often have specific ventilation requirements, such as grills placed in the plinth (toe kick) or open-backed cabinets to allow proper ventilation. These will need to be factored into your kitchen design.
When planning your kitchen layout, there’s an age-old concept that designers often refer to: the working triangle. This principle revolves around the three primary work areas in a kitchen: the fridge, the stove, and the sink. The idea is that these three points should form a triangle, optimizing the flow and functionality of your kitchen.
When designing your kitchen layout, consider the placement of these appliances and the flow between them and the rest of your kitchen.
However, even though the working triangle concept has been around for decades, modern kitchen designs have evolved, and it’s no longer a hard-and-fast rule. Many designers, myself included, like to think about the kitchen as a variety of zones instead. Optimising the layout for these particular, storage or task areas.
In essence, while the working triangle is a useful guide, your kitchen layout should ultimately cater to your specific needs and lifestyle. Whether you’re a passionate cook who needs extra prep space or a busy parent who values easy cleanup, your kitchen should be a functional space that works for you.
So, when you’re considering placing a fridge freezer next to a wall or built-in oven, always keep your unique kitchen workflow in mind.
Clear Countertop Space
This one is crucial if you’re considering putting a range cooker near a fridge. Don’t put them side by side!
You should ensure you have enough clear counter space. This space serves as a landing zone for hot dishes coming out of the oven. A countertop width of around 24 inches is often sufficient and ideally my minimum. However, you can get away with less, (I don’t recommend it) but if you often cook large meals or use larger cookware, you may need more space.
Landing zones are also important to have even with built-in ovens. Ideally, there should be some clear countertop space close by so when you take anything out of the oven you can safely put it down without walking halfway across your kitchen.
If you’re at all unsure about the feasibility of placing your particular model of appliances next to each either, always refer to the manufacturer’s specifications for both your fridge freezer and oven.
These specifications provide critical information about the necessary clearance, ventilation, and installation requirements. Ignoring these specifications can lead to reduced appliance efficiency, increased energy consumption, and potential safety risks.
While less crucial with integrated fridges and wall ovens, it’s still important to pay attention to heat transfer. Ovens and stoves produce a lot of heat, and if your fridge freezer is placed too close without adequate insulation and ventilation, it may need to work harder to maintain its cool temperature, leading to higher energy usage. Some modern appliances come with improved insulation to combat this issue, but it’s still a critical consideration.
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What Is A Safe Distance Between A Stove And A Fridge?
There’s not a universally agreed upon minimum distance that a refrigerator should be placed from a stove.
As a general rule, you might want to maintain at least a few inches of clearance between these appliances. Many kitchen design guidelines often recommend at least 8-15 inches (20-40cm) of countertop landing area next to a stove or range cooker. (or a hob/cooktop for that matter!)
If it’s possible to put more space between them, that could be even better. Ideally, I like to recommend a distance of at least 24 inches (60cm) or more, but it will depend on your kitchen layout and the specific appliances you’re using. For instance, a gas stove may require a greater distance away from anything on either side due to the open flame and combustible nature. Compared to an electric or induction stove.
Keep in mind that manufacturer installations manuals, local building codes or regulations might have specific requirements or guidelines about appliance placement, so it’s worth checking those if you’re doing a major remodel or installation.
So there you have it! You’re now equipped with the knowledge to make an informed decision on the “fridge next to oven” conundrum.
From the type of oven and fridge in question, whether they’re built-in or freestanding, to factors such as hinges and handles, ventilation requirements, and heat transfer considerations, many elements come into play when deciding the layout of these essential kitchen appliances.
Remember, placing a fridge next to a built-in wall oven can work in certain circumstances, thanks to their design and insulation. However, when it comes to stoves or range cookers and their freestanding fridge counterparts, it’s generally best to maintain a safe distance. This ensures adequate landing zones, limits heat transfer, and aligns with safety best practices.
A well-designed kitchen isn’t just about aesthetics—it’s about functionality, safety, and efficiency. Here’s to creating a kitchen space that’s not only beautiful but also a joy to cook in!
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Michael is a kitchen designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new kitchen installations for around 10 years. Before that, he was an electrician and part of a team that fitted kitchens. He created Kitchinsider in early 2019 to help give people advice when it comes to getting a new kitchen.