Design Question: Stove Adjacent to Refrigerator

Is it okay to have the stove right next to the refrigerator, when a small kitchen space is a challenge? February 19, 2008

I have a very small kitchen to build in an apartment and I was wondering if there were any drawbacks or problems with putting the stove beside the refrigerator without a filler or small cabinet between them? I usually put at least a 3" filler between them, but the 3" would be helpful added to the cabinets on the other side.

Forum Responses
(Cabinet and Millwork Installation Forum)
From contributor T:
I would think the heat from the stove would make the fridge run a lot, for one thing.

From contributor J:
I'm not sure, but check your local codes. In many areas you cannot put a panel (or appliance) immediately next to a stove. We make it our policy to never do what you are suggesting.

From contributor M:
There is no reason I know of, either legal or for safety, to not put a refrigerator and stove next to each other. Each draws cool air from the bottom, heats it, and sends it up. Hence, they are compatible and safe together.

However, there is a practical reason to not do this. Most people find it very convenient to have countertop space on both sides of the stove. But if you haven't got the space to give away, put them together.

From contributor L:
I concur with contributor M. Both items are insulated and will affect each other very little. You could also say the refrigerator is going to cool down the stove, but that is not going to happen either.

From contributor S:
Check out the clearance for doors on both units. Door and handle stick out from range and the door on the fridge probably pivots beyond the side of the case.

From contributor N:
If possible, you should have at least a 9" cabinet between the stove and refrigerator for a working platform both for items coming out of the refrigerator and items used near the stove. The functionality of the total design would dictate your choice, however.

From contributor T:
I respectfully disagree with contributor L. The heat from the range, especially when the oven door is opened (to check food being prepared, for instance) will cause the refrigerator to have to run more to maintain its desired temperature as the "cool" air it should draw is no longer as cool. That is not to say that they cannot be placed side by side. I have seen it done in apartment designs. Like the other mentioned consideration of workspace, it is not ideal. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do, though.

From contributor N:
Another thing you might do is go with an apartment size range. Something you could do to gain cabinet space is to go with an over-the-range microwave/convention oven and a stovetop. The cabinet under the stovetop is extra space.

From contributor Z:
Isn't that like putting a humidifier and a dehumidifier in the same room and letting them duke it out?

From contributor M:
Yeah, I guess kitchens should just have a stove or refrigerator, but not both, since they fight each other.

From contributor A:
Putting a fridge next to the stove is not really a good idea, but I've seen it, and worse! I would try to come up with a better plan, like contributor N mentioned. Use a smaller stove or fridge? But check the price on those appliances - smaller doesn't mean cheaper.

From contributor X:
If our oven is going night and day, I would say it's a no-no. Speaking from experience, since I have a very small kitchen and my stove is next to the refer, I have not had any problems with either the stove or refer in 20 some years. Common practice is I use the burners farthest away from the refer. Why? Just common sense. Having the oven on does not create any problems.