Here’s our guide to whether you can put a refrigerator next to stove in kitchen including heat shield tips, proper placement, and distance between the fridge & stove. The kitchen is typically the busiest place in a home. Cooking meals, having an informal family breakfast, or baking cookies with the kids all happen in the kitchen.
The main appliances of a kitchen are the stove and oven, range hood, microwave, and refrigerator. If purchasing an existing home, you may not have an option to change the kitchen’s layout, at least for a while.
But if having a home newly built, it’s a good idea to plan ahead for the placement of these appliances.
Many home buyers and owners ask the same question—can they put a refrigerator right next to the stove in the kitchen? This guide will discuss whether a refrigerator can be next to the stove in a kitchen, the drawbacks, and what to do when you have a tiny kitchen.
Read on before you design or redesign your kitchen to learn whether it’s okay to place a refrigerator next to a stove.
Can You Put A Stove Next To Refrigerator?
The short answer is yes. A stove can be right next to a refrigerator, especially in a very small kitchen. However, it’s not the best placement for two appliances that serve the opposite functions, to cool and to heat. Read more about how to organize a small kitchen here.
If working with a tiny kitchen, there may not be many options for the two largest appliances to be separated. In a galley kitchen, the refrigerator and oven with stovetop are typically across from each other.
Problems With A Stove Next To Fridge
The heat from the stove, especially when cooking large pots of sauces, soups, or stew, may cause the refrigerator’s compressor to work longer and harder to keep the fridge at the proper temperature.
The extra work the refrigerator has to do also wears out parts faster, leading to expensive repairs. It can also raise energy bills as the fridge has to run longer.
There may also be local building code restrictions for placing a refrigerator right next to a stove. It’s essential for the homeowner to contact the city or county building code enforcement agency to check for any restrictions and requirements for the placement and spacing.
Having a refrigerator close to the stove also creates a hard-to-reach area to clean. Cooking on a stove often causes splatters and spills.
The liquids may hit the side of the refrigerator allowing the mess to drip down between the two appliances and onto the floor. It could be challenging to clean if the fridge is not on wheels.
Heat Shield For Refrigerator Next To Stove
A heat shield is commonly placed on the side of the refrigerator that is up against the stove. Many hardware and home improvement stores sell heat shields made specifically for use when the two appliances are directly next to each other.
The shield provides some protection from the stove and oven’s heat and can handle temperatures even higher than what the oven and stove generate.
Heat shields work by redirecting the radiant heat away from the refrigerator. Some heat shields can reflect as much as 90 percent of the radiant heat, saving money by increasing the fridge’s efficiency.
Most heat shields are easy to install and clean. Always be sure whatever type of heat shield you use is noncombustible and flame resistant to prevent fire.
How Close Can A Stove Be To A Refrigerator
Installers recommend a good 15 to 20 inches between the refrigerator and stove with a minimum of nine inches. The 20-inch distance is essential when the stove is gas, making the heat more intense.
An electric stove is best nine inches away from the refrigerator; however, in the case of a tiny kitchen, the fridge can be a minimum distance of two inches away from electric stoves.
Besides the heat transfer, the other considerations include safety and convenience. If the refrigerator is right next to the stove, there is little room for frying pan handles to extend out from the stovetop.
In an emergency, such as a flaming pan of hot oil, it may be too dangerous to grab the handle if it’s extended across other burners. And many handles may melt or, at the least, become very hot, risking a severe burn.
The lack of space between the refrigerator and stove also creates a cumbersome work area. Without room for the handles of pots and pans to be away from each other, it becomes difficult to maneuver when juggling several items cooking at the same time.
At least 12 inches of space between the refrigerator and stove makes for a safer and more convenient distance in any kitchen layout.
Where Should Refrigerator And Stove Be Placed In Kitchen?
For new kitchens where the design is flexible, the refrigerator, stove and oven combo, and dishwasher are typically placed in a triangular placement. The refrigerator is best placed near the counter most used for food prep and close to the sink.
Kitchen designers prefer to place the stove and oven across from the refrigerator for easy access to ingredients when cooking. The distance should allow for both the refrigerator and oven door to be open simultaneously without interfering with foot traffic.
This helps to prevent accidental burns when removing items from a hot oven. Having the refrigerator, stove and sink within four feet of each other provides a good amount of space to move around while cooking. An area not more than nine feet is ultimately the best to allow easy access to all appliances.
For a small kitchen, the refrigerator can go next to the stove instead of across from it, especially if the homeowner cannot open the oven and refrigerator at the same time. In this case, it would work better to have the sink and dishwasher also on the same side or wall.
Galley kitchens are a challenge when placing appliances unless they have a wide area between both walls. Galley kitchens are typically 12 feet from wall to wall with three feet of walking space between.
This narrow space may make it impossible to have both the refrigerator and oven open at the same time. Four to five feet make it easier to keep the refrigerator and stove across from each other rather than right next to each other.
For more related topics visit stove in corner of kitchen pros and cons page.