Recessing Refrigerator Into Wall (Read This First)

By - Hs Saini

Updated -

When it comes to the house’s interior, many things come into play to give the house its look.

One of the many things considered is the home appliances you hope to install. And the refrigerator is the one really important one. 

When you buy a new refrigerator, you’re now responsible for fixing it where it suits you best. For big refrigerators, recessing the fridge into the wall serves you just right.

To recess a Refrigerator Into the wall, you’ll need to take a series of measurements before buying one. The recess process doesn’t require professional help as long as you have all the space and tools needed. 

Can You Recess a Refrigerator Into the Wall?

Recessing Refrigerator Into Wall

Yes. It is possible to recess the refrigerator into the wall of a specially reserved room.

By recessing your refrigerator to the wall, you will increase available space for other activities or appliances to sit in. 

To recess a refrigerator into the wall, you’ll have to build a recess area inside the wall where you want the fridge to be. That way, you have room to fix the refrigerator in.

The recess should have an inch of extra room to allow space for air in and out of the engine of the refrigerator.

What is a Recessed Refrigerator?            

Recessing a refrigerator means pushing it into the wall such that the doors of the refrigerator become even with the wall.

It would be best if you recessed the refrigerator, so there is an allowance between the fridge and the door. This action is to ensure the refrigerator door can open properly. 

How to Recess Fridge Into Wall?

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The largest home appliance in most houses is usually the refrigerator, especially in big family houses.

In cases where the refrigerator is very big, recessing it into the wall will help you save more kitchen space. 

Some people chose counter-depth refrigerators to make recessing easy for them.

However, this doesn’t mean you cannot recess your regular big refrigerator into the wall. To recess a fridge into the wall, follow two major steps. They include: 

#1. Preparation and Construction

Under this step, all you’re doing is preparing to create room for the refrigerator. To do this, you’ll need certain tools like:

Measuring tape.Buy On Amazon
Chalk line.Buy On Amazon
Reciprocating saw.Buy On Amazon
Sledgehammer.Buy On Amazon
Pry bar.Buy On Amazon
Utility knife.Buy On Amazon
2-by-4-inch lumber.Buy On Amazon
Circular saw.Buy On Amazon
Drill.Buy On Amazon
4-inch wood screws.Buy On Amazon
Screwdriver bit.Buy On Amazon
Drywall saw.Buy On Amazon
2-inch drywall screws.Buy On Amazon
Drywall tape.Buy On Amazon
Putty knife.Buy On Amazon
Palm sander.Buy On Amazon
Paint.Buy On Amazon

 The steps are simple: 

  1. Pick a wall and get an expert to reroute any plumbing, electrical, or heating lines only if necessary. 
  2. Take the width measurements of the fridge and add 11 extra inches. It will serve as the ventilation measure space for the refrigerator. Using this measurement, use a marker or chalk to mark the lines on the left and right sides of the floor. 
  3. Using a plumb bob, transfer the measured marks to the ceiling. Use a chalk line to connect the left and right measurements. 
  4. Use a drywall saw to remove the wall in the measured lines from top to bottom. You’ll also be needing a utility knife. You’re to use the drywall saw vertically and the utility knife horizontally, along with the ceiling.
  5. Create temporary support to hold weight in the adjacent room. You can do this using three pieces of 2-by-4 inch lumber. A piece is put against the ceiling, and the remaining two are trimmed to the right height and serve as legs to the floor. 
  6. Take out any stud in the opening by cutting from top to bottom using a saw. On both hand sides, measure three inches inwards of the opening. And make a mark on the bottom 2-by-4 inch plate. Take out the plates in-between these marks to see proper depth using a circular saw. 
  7.  Cut out two lengths of the 2-by-4 inch lumber to the distance between the wall’s top and bottom plates. Cut out an extra two to the length of the refrigerator and get two nails. Nail a short piece to a long one and flush on one end. Repeat the same process with the other pair. Toenail in place aligned short studs you have placed facing each other. 
  8. Bring two lengths of 2-by-6 lumber to their width in-between the tall studs. 
  9. Take the distance measurement between the studs on the side. Take a section of the 2-by-4 inch lumber with this measurement to produce the top plate of the wall opening. Take the lumber and drive 4-inch screws into the studs through the section. 
  10. Cut four portions of the 2-by-4-inch lumber into the depth of the wall you want to recess the refrigerator into. Put down a section on your subfloor lying perpendicular to the inner wall. Lay down woods and drive in 4-inch wood screws aligning them to the ceiling. 

After doing these, you have to measure the header and ensure you cut out the drywall.

Paint the area where you have scraped off the wall after using mixed cement to make a slab. This way, you’re half gone since you’re finished preparation and Construction. 

#2. Recess the Refrigerator Into the Wall 

After preparing, it is time to fix the refrigerator to the wall. Now, you want first to put a carton or a big leather bag on the floor and the fridge on it.

This action will make it easier for you to pull or push the refrigerator into the wall. Also, it will help avoid direct contact with the fridge and the floor. 

It would be best to avoid direct contact between the fridge and floor, especially when your refrigerator doesn’t have fixed edges for elevation. 

After pushing it into the wall, you want to be sure you left enough space, so try to open the door (s) of the refrigerator. And see if it can open properly.

Do not push the refrigerator to the wall completely; leave an inch extra between the back of the refrigerator and the wall.

Please take all necessary room ventilation measures to ensure the fridge has air. 

How Much Does it Cost to Recess a Fridge to the wall?            

Major refrigerator recessing will cost you an average of $2000. However, this price includes the price of the refrigerator and the installation. 

The prices of recessing a refrigerator into the wall can vary due to certain factors like: 

  1. Availability of professionals or experts.
  2. Country currency.
  3. The cost of work materials used in the recession ( nails, boards, screws, paint, cement, e.t.c).
  4. Your location.
  5. Who is doing the fridge recessing? 

How Can I Make My Refrigerator Look Built-In?            

To make your refrigerator look built-in, you have to ensure you provide enough space that measures the same width as other kitchen appliances.

It means you’re building the refrigerator wall such that the end of the wall will be on a straight line between where the cabinet ends and where the cookers are. 

To do this, simply: 

  1. Borrow space. You can get a built-in look for your refrigerator by taking space from the nearest room and constructing a recessed alcove for the refrigerator. 
  2. Cut out a stud space.
  3. Turn it to a focal point. 
  4. Extend your countertops. 

Do Built-In Fridges Need Ventilation?            

Certainly, built-in refrigerators need ventilation to function properly. This ventilation is more needed at the back throughout the top of the fridge. And also on the edges.

For some refrigerator companies, they build the fridges in such a way that they have no issues even when there is no ventilation. 

Built-in refrigerators can be built near the air vents where there isn’t enough ventilation. The back of the refrigerator should be the one facing the air vents directly.

It will enable the compressors to let out heat, and the heat will not come back to hit the refrigerator.

How Much Space Does a Fridge Need for Ventilation?            

While building the recces, many people leave an extra 11 inches of space between the fridge and the wall.

This space is to ensure there is proper ventilation reaching the refrigerator compressors and body.

Also, the space will help you easily remove the refrigerator if there is ever a need to move it, maybe replacing it with a new one. 

The space can be a bit more if the amount of ventilation the entire kitchen receives is insufficient.

Increasing the ventilation space’s width allows more air into the corners and behind the refrigerator.

How Close to the Wall Can a Refrigerator Be?  

The closest a refrigerator should be to the wall is 5 inches. So you don’t risk running the refrigerator’s surface and allowing air.

Asides from allowing air, the refrigerator not being very close to the wall has several other benefits, like:

  • Easy access to clean the sides of the refrigerator.
  • Allows the doors of the fridge to open and close freely.
  • It makes the kitchen look less stuffy. 

If you are unsure how much space you need between the fridge and the wall, make do with 11-inches. With 11-inches, you don’t have to worry about too little or too much space.


 To achieve a good home setting, you must ensure big appliances like the refrigerator are well placed.

For Refrigerators that are quite big, recessing the fridge into the wall will help you reserve space in the room.

Also, it will keep the refrigerator fixed to a spot and make organization easy. Just ensure it’s not so close to the wall so you can have space for the refrigerator fan to rotate. 

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