Standard Cabinet Opening For Refrigerator (Read This First)

By - Ron Singh

Updated -

The standard cabinet opening is essential when getting a refrigerator. This factor is important because it determines the size of the refrigerator unit you will need.

The standard cabinet opening is usually based on the dimensions of your kitchen and the amount of space available for a refrigerator. 

This question might be lingering in your mind: “what is the standard cabinet opening for refrigerators?” 

36 inches is the standard cabinet opening for a refrigerator in terms of width, and the cabinet on the wall over it is usually 36 inches wide. But this varies depending on the model that you have chosen. For example, some models have an additional hole to accommodate larger models or more storage space.

What Is the Standard Cabinet Opening For Refrigerators?

Standard Cabinet Opening for Refrigerator

The standard cabinet opening size for a refrigerator is 36 inches in width. The 36-inch deep refrigerator is a standard that most manufacturers use.

It is the industry standard depth and width for most fridges, including the popular GE Profile Series.

The 36″ inch-deep refrigerator is also an industry standard because it easily fits inside most 36-inch cabinets without cutting any of the cabinet’s sides.

Here is the dimensions chart of wall cabinets:

Cabinet TypeDouble Door Cabinet Single Door Cabinet
Width In Inches24″, 30″, 33″, 36″9″, 12″, 15″, 18″, 21″, 24″
Height In Inches12″, 15″, 24″, 30″, 36″, 40″, 42″12″, 15″, 24″, 30″, 36″, 40″, 42″
Depth In Inches12″, 24″12″, 24″

What Size Opening Do I Need For a 36-Inch Refrigerator?

The refrigerator opening must have minimum dimensions of 70 inches in height, 36-⅛ inches in width, and 24-1/2″ in depth.

These dimensions mean that the length and width of the opening must be long enough to accommodate a full-size refrigerator, and the depth of the opening must be deep enough for the refrigerator to fit in.

The opening must be at least 36 inches high to accommodate the refrigerator’s door handle, hinges, and locks. The opening must also be at least 24 inches wide to easily access the shelves.

The size of your opening is important because it dictates how much space you have for other items in your kitchen.

You need to measure from one end of your kitchen countertop to another to determine how far your refrigerator will need to protrude into your kitchen space. 

You also need to measure from one side of a wall or cabinet in your kitchen area to another. 

This measurement is called “clearance,” and it’s important because if there’s not enough clearance, you cannot fit both sides of your refrigerator in the space set aside for its installation.

Will a 36-Inch Fridge Fit In a 36-Inch Cabinet?

Regarding the size of a refrigerator, there are two main questions you want to ask yourself: First, will this refrigerator fit in my kitchen? Second, will this refrigerator fit in my cabinet?

Yes, Cabinets are precise in their measurements most of the time. A 36-inch cabinet from 99.9% of manufacturers will measure within 1/32 inches of 36 inches, usually within 1/64 inches.

Most cabinets are built to be as exact as possible. Although these dimensions and degree of precision vary slightly between manufacturers, they’re typically within 1/32 inch or 1/32 inch of 36 inches. 

A 36-inch refrigerator does not measure up to 36 inches in width. Therefore, the 36 inches there is considered somewhat “nominal.”

Like It was stated earlier, this all depends on the manufacturer. These dimensions mean that most fridges that measure 36 inches in width sold today should fit into most kitchens with no problems.

And should fit nicely into 36 inches cabinets. However, the doors on some refrigerators might not close when set into a cabinet with an oversized door frame. 

In this case, it is best to check out the dimensions of your existing door frame and ensure that your fridge will fit before purchasing.

Generally, there is no inch of side clearance reserved for ventilation. The side clearance is only needed for effective ease of installation of the refrigerator into the cabinet.

A standard 36-inch refrigerator will fit into a 36-inch cabinet without modifications or cutting.

For example, a 30-inch wide refrigerator would fit into one side of a 36-inch wide cabinet, but not both sides at once.

Measuring the cabinets very carefully before shopping for a new refrigerator is necessary. If you’re looking for the right size of a refrigerator, then consider a 36-inch fridge. 

If you’re new to this, then you should know that every manufacturer makes a set of instructions available for you. 

An example of this is the minimum clearance you need to be able to install that refrigerator and ensure its smooth operation. 

Most refrigerators today need at least 1 inch of clearance beyond the actual dimensions of the unit.

The more space behind your fridge for airflow, the less likely it will be to have a problem with cold air not circulating properly around all sides.

You want to ensure that the fridge will fit in your space and that it will be easy to install.

Will a 35.75 Refrigerator Fit In 36 Spaces?

The refrigerator is an important part of any home. It is a place to store food, drinks, and other items. The larger the refrigerator is, the more space it will take up in your kitchen. 

If you have a 36-inch wide opening, most “35.75-inch” refrigerators will fit in your kitchen. Knowing what size will fit into your kitchen is important if you want to buy a new home refrigerator

It is also important to know if it has enough room for all the food you need to store inside. Most “35.75 inches” refrigerators will fit in a 36-inch wide opening if it is tall enough.

All “35.75 inches” refrigerators are less than 36 inches wide and will fit in an actual 36-inch opening.

The refrigerator will be slightly smaller than a traditional 36-inch refrigerator, but it will still fit and look fantastic in your space.

Try as much as possible to measure any cabinet or refrigerator before buying, as it is somewhat difficult to adjust the size of both.

How Is Refrigerator Space Measured?

If you want to know how much space your refrigerator has for an opening, you should follow these four steps to help guide you.

#1. Step 1– Measure the Space Needed for Ventilation

Ventilation is important because it allows the refrigerator to maintain the desired temperature. You can feel the air circulating your food when you open your refrigerator door. 

If there isn’t enough room, condensation will form inside your refrigerator and drip down onto your food.

The amount of ventilation needed depends on how many people are in your household, how much food they consume each week, and how often they use your refrigerator. 

For example, if only one person eats a lot of snack foods during the week and uses your refrigerator frequently, you’ll need less ventilation than if two people eat a lot of snacks but don’t use them very frequently.

Most refrigerators are designed to be installed in a kitchen, but that doesn’t mean you can throw them anywhere.

The space between the refrigerator and the wall should be reasonably long. This space is important because it gives the fridge enough space to move its compressor and fan around as needed.

Trying to put a refrigerator in a small space will run too hot and cause damage. In addition, if there isn’t enough air circulation, your food will spoil faster and more quickly than normal.

#2. Step 2– Consideration of the Fridge Door(s) When Taking Measurements

Many people who have a kitchen remodel are concerned with the placement and size of their refrigerator. 

The best option is to measure the space in front of your fridge to ensure enough room for the unit when it is open. This is where your measuring tape comes in handy.

If you’re planning on moving a new refrigerator in front of your old one, you should also consider how much extra room you’ll need for the installation process. 

The measurement of the doors you take determines whether or not your fridge can fit where you want it to be.

#3. Step 3– Draw Out a Delivery Path

When you’re shopping for a new refrigerator, you’ll need to calculate the route of your new appliance when it arrives—from the truck to your kitchen space.

You can measure the room’s width to determine if there’s enough clearance above it for your new refrigerator to fit in.

Once you’ve determined the length and height of your space, you can use these measurements to find out how much extra room you’ll have after your new appliance is installed.

#4. Step 4– Finally, Installation!

Installing your new refrigerator is the next key step in the process. You’ll need to have a certified technician install your new appliance, so it will arrive safely and be ready to use right out of the box.

Ensure you have an experienced technician review the installation instructions and the wiring diagram with your new refrigerator. This diagram will help ensure everything is installed correctly and all parts function properly.


Getting the standard cabinet opening for your refrigerator is essential. This cabinet opening will determine whether or not you can use that particular refrigerator. 

And knowing the cabinet opening is essential because certain measurements need to be made to fit the door into the space. Good luck with your installation!

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