What Is A Zero Clearance Refrigerator? (Must Know This)

By - Ron Singh

Updated -

As a homeowner, when you live in a house with a cramped or very little space, finding the right home appliances that fit your space may get challenging.

A large piece of equipment such as a refrigerator may not allow you to minimize space as much as you should. 

The space management leaves you probably wondering what the best size for a small apartment refrigerator is.

If you live in a small home, a zero clearance refrigerator is a good option for purchasing a refrigerator.

A zero clearance refrigerator fits perfectly into cramped spaces. It is possible because they do not have gaps when you open the doors. They also have pre-designed hinges to keep the doors straight, unlike other large refrigerators with doors that can swing sideways. As a result, a zero clearance refrigerator is also known as a wall-to-one-side refrigerator.

What Is a Zero Clearance Door On a Refrigerator? 

What Is a Zero Clearance Refrigerator?

Zero door clearance refers to the space between the refrigerators and the walls on the left and right sides around where it stands.

Zero clearance doors are installed on refrigerators to help manage the space around them, especially for small-sized kitchens and homes. 

Zero clearance doors are mainly on refrigerators with clearance of at least two to four inches.

Zero clearance doors on refrigerators give adequate space on the sides, rare and top unit of the refrigerators. Generally, Zero clearance doors should open at least 90 degrees max. 

A smaller opening angle will only cause inconvenience and damage to your walls, which will require you to repair and repaint them from time to time continuously.

In addition, the door hinges are smaller and firmer than standard refrigerators with broader and bigger door profiles. 

A zero clearance door refrigerator allows you to snuggle your refrigerator into a tight end or corners in your kitchen.

The pre-designed hinges help to maintain a straight angle on your refrigerator when you open it.

 However, unlike other models of refrigerators, zero clearance doors do not open or swing wildly like the doors on regular refrigerators.

Interestingly, refrigerators with zero clearance doors are known as wall-to-side refrigerators due to the door’s function.

Therefore, a zero clearance refrigerator is a perfect choice when purchasing a new fridge for your home.

Zero Clearance Refrigerator Counter Depth 

Zero clearance counter-depth refrigerators give the kitchen a streamlined look. A streamlined look means that a counter-depth refrigerator gives a uniform look to the kitchen.

It also cuts down the inches of side clearance, top clearance, and rear clearances on the refrigerator. 

This type of refrigerator also makes it easier for refrigerator containers, food, and other content in the refrigerator to be reached easily. 

It has better access to keeping content in the refrigerator and cleaning it. You will not necessarily have to bend or overstretch yourself while cleaning your fridge.

Unlike standard refrigerators, counter depth has a tremendous storage capacity. It also allows refrigerator trays which are almost impossible with smaller refrigerators. 

#1. Zero Clearance Counter Depth Refrigerators – Pros And Cons

They give the kitchen a uniform and streamlined profile.More expansive and more prominent profile look
Offer more accessibility to contents in the refrigerator.Storage drawers are smaller and shorter.
Have an outstanding storage option.The freezer compartment holds fewer refrigeration contents.
They give the best traffic flow and provide lesser space consumption.Single doors with more expansive space

How Much Clearance Do You Need To Open a Refrigerator Door? 

As a homeowner, there are necessary things to consider before purchasing a refrigerator. They include the size of your home and the refrigerator.

In addition, it is vital to measure the space the refrigerators may occupy. Hence refrigerators come in varying sizes and shapes. 

You will likely measure the amount of space the refrigerator occupies, the type of doors it has, the space around the refrigerator condenser coils to aid ventilation, and the delivery path.

However, aside from this, the door clearance is a must factor to consider in a refrigerator. 

Most modern refrigerators have zero clearance doors that open just enough for owners to reach the cabinets. A zero clearance refrigerator requires a little quarter-inch to a half-inch clearance.

However, older refrigerator models with hinges require a quarter-inch or half-inch door clearance on each side of the door hinges.

So the conclusion is to say that, depending on the model of refrigerator you own, you may need a clearance of 2 to 4 inches max.

Nevertheless, to be more accurate, check the manufacturer’s guide of your fridge to get more appropriate information on the door clearance. 

Above all, always make sure to give your refrigerator doors and walls enough clearance, especially if you do not know the ideal space for proper ventilation on the condenser coils. 

Do Refrigerators Need Side Clearance?

Yes, all refrigerators require clearance for each side and angle. For the sides, refrigerators require a clear space of half an inch.

A one-inch clearance is sufficient because no matter the position of the refrigerator or where occupied, the side clearance always has the smallest space. 

Refrigerators require adequate ventilation, measured using side clearance, rear clearance, and top clearance.

For most refrigerators, the side clearance is usually one and a half-inch to one inch. 

The rear clearance requires about one and two inches of space towards the fridge’s rear, allowing the refrigerator to have proper ventilation.

Finally, as the name implies, the top clearance requires a minimum of one-inch and one-inch clearance on the top of the refrigerator unit.

Benefits Of Zero Clearance Door On a Refrigerator 

Generally, most homeowners install zero clearance door refrigerators out of convenience or want of space.

However, if you’re just interested in finding information on the benefits of zero clearance doors on refrigerators, read on.

A zero clearance door refrigerator is easy to set up next to a wall, especially in kitchens with a wall to one side.

However, smaller kitchens with a thin wall along the refrigerator doors allow every angle of the fridge to lie close to the walls; specifically, it is back and even the right and left sides. 

In this situation where you need to minimize space, only a zero clearance door refrigerator can fit appropriately into a small kitchen space.

A zero clearance refrigerator is so-called due to its ability to be installed with no gaps between the door and fridge itself.

In addition, the hinges are relatively small and do not open wildly like a standard refrigerator or a regular one. 

Managing the space with so much large equipment for a small kitchen becomes difficult most times.

However, a zero clearance refrigerator is always the best fit without gaps between the refrigerator and door. 

A zero clearance fridge does not cause damage to the wall surrounding where they stand.

It is because the doors do not slide or glide against each other; instead, they open tightly against the refrigerator even as it gives space to open the doors the way you desire. 

This simple process dramatically reduces the chances of damage to the walls surrounding your refrigerator.

It also helps to save costs by not having to repent and repair your war all the time.

Nevertheless, the most outstanding benefit of a zero-clearance door for most owners is the capacity of the fridge to be snuggled into very small or cramped spaces. 

If you live in a home with little space and would like to minimize the space while you enjoy a kitchen refrigerator, a zero clearance is ideal because it helps to manage space efficiently. 

Final Thoughts 

Zero clearance refrigerators is a design for refrigerators to fit into small spaces. The door hinges do not have gaps but rather keep the doors at straight angles.

Zero clearance door refrigerators need a clearance of 2 to 4 inches and rotate just about 90 degrees. Importantly, all refrigerators need side clearance to enhance ventilation.

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