Can I put my refrigerator next to the stove?

Large and spacious kitchens are a privilege that not everyone has, and when space is limited sometimes difficult decisions have to be made. One of these decisions has to do with the location of the refrigerator and the stove. The question that is in everyone’s mind is whether the contiguity of these two appliances can cause damage or even malfunction in the kitchen.
If you too are asking yourself this question, here is my answer:

Putting the refrigerator next to the stove is a bad idea. It will make for poor workflow in the kitchen, not to mention the heat from the range can cause damage to the fridge. However, if space is an issue and putting the fridge next to the stove can’t be avoided I recommend using a fully integrated induction range or creating a barrier between the two appliances thereby insulating it.

Let me explain more broadly:

Putting the refrigerator next to the stove will make for poor kitchen workflow

According to the Triangle Theory and proper kitchen ergonomics, the two appliances should be at least 4 feet and no more than 9 feet apart- this guideline is implemented for easy kitchen workflow. Workflow in the kitchen is critical for optimal efficiency in the kitchen. Read this in-depth post to learn more about the best kitchen workflow layout.

Placing the refrigerator next to the stove can cause damage to the fridge

The second reason you shouldn’t place the refrigerator next to the stove is that the heat from the range may impact the refrigerator’s function meaning it may eventually lead to the breakdown of the fridge and you don’t want that.

Small kitchens require smart solutions

Although the two reasons why you shouldn’t have the two side by side make sense and should absolutely be taken into consideration when planning your kitchen, let’s face it, sometimes there just isn’t enough space for the two appliances to be placed apart (such as in a small apartment) and so if this is the case in point rest assured there are options where you can make the two work together, like using a fully integrated induction range or creating a barrier between the two appliances thereby insulating it.

Using an induction range

This solution actually helps with both of the main issues of kitchen flow and excess heat from the range that may affect the refrigerator’s function.
If you have not yet been introduced to induction cooking, a simple way to explain it is the heat produced from the appliance goes directly into the cooking vessel such as the pot thus eliminating the “middle man” like the coils in an electrical cooktop or in a gas range. It is a method of cooking that works using a magnetic current concentrating the heat directly into where it needs to go- into your food, cooking it much faster than using an electrical or gas range. about 50% faster if you are looking for a number. An induction range generates less heat than gas or an electric range which in turn means less heat is transferred onto the fridge.
Other two big advantages of an induction range are that it is a flat surface that cools off very fast. This means that when not in use (or even when in partial use) this appliance top can now be used as counter space, which is exactly what you need next to a refrigerator and the stove for a more efficient workspace.
One concern some people have regarding induction ranges and cooktops is the high cost. Induction cooking appliances have come a long way since being introduced and part of that means that they now come in a range of prices that can pretty much fit any budget.
Also, induction cooktops do not require a hood vent and that can be both a budget-saving incentive as well this may mean that there is more room for upper storage. As I always say, think about how your kitchen is being used, you may not need a hood vent for heat elimination or a safety requirement, but a hood vent also helps with venting out kitchen smells.

Invisible induction cooktops are completely integrated into the countertop and have hidden control panels. The mechanism is placed underneath the approved counter material leaving you with a beautiful, clean look and completely usable counter space when not in use.

Creating a barrier between the refrigerator and the stove

This can easily be done using a gable. You can use a 3/4” (or more- depending on your design and space) thick gable made of your kitchen cabinet material and that will be enough for the heat transfer issue. However, before using your cabinet material for this purpose make sure it can withstand the direct heat from your cooktop and be cleaned easily. You can find this information from either your kitchen company or if it is you that is selecting the material ask the manufacturer for the material specifications. This information should be readily available to you and if not then I suggest moving on to another material. Also, look at your range specifications for guidance on this matter. Generally, cabinet materials do not offer proper direct heat resistance unless otherwise indicated, and should not be used directly next to a stovetop.

Which materials are good to use as a fridge/ stove barrier?

There are beautiful materials to be used on either side of the stove such as steel, porcelain, granite, and marble to name a few. Using these can be your heat issue solution as well they may be easier to maintain than a gable made out of the kitchen cabinet material, however, always check the material’s specs when it comes to heat and stain resistance. Natural stone like granite is both heat and stain resistant, marble is heat resistant but can stain and some man-made stones made of the composite are not always recommended to use next to high heat sources because the resin in them may discolor leaving behind a stain. This actually was the case in one kitchen that I designed years ago. We used the counter material as a backsplash to the slide-in gas range that had the heat vent from the back and over time the heat affected the material and left behind a big yellow stain on the white stone. This only needs to happen once for a life lesson. So we sold that house. With the stain.
Remember that you will be dealing with oils and sauces that need to be wiped off, so having an easy to take care of material is a smart choice.

Good to know: Look for a range with ventilation at either the back or front
Slide-in ranges typically have a vent at the back. This is why some contractors like to leave a bit of a gap between the stove and the wall leaving a bigger escape route for the heat. You can typically tell if this is the case when you touch your backsplash after your cooktop is turned off and you can still feel the heat for a while. Other stoves may have the vent at the front making it even less of an issue to have the refrigerator next to it. In both of these cases, the heat is directed away from the fridge making it less of a concern for the two to be side by side.


Although it is better to separate the refrigerator from the stove for both a proper functioning kitchen (triangle theory- no less than 4’ apart of more than 9’ apart) and for less of the heat produced by the range to affect the refrigerator, the two can be placed side by side should this be your situation. You can solve this issue a few ways.
1. Using an induction cooktop or range can solve issues of counter space and heat emission, especially if you are able to use a fully integrated cooktop that is essentially cooking on your counter where the mechanism sits underneath the counter giving a beautifully seamless look. Or even a typical induction range because of its flat surface.
2. Create a barrier between the appliances by placing a gable in between, making sure the material chosen can withstand the heat produced by the cooktop, such as metal, granite marble or a man-made composite (again check the material heat resistance manufacturer specifications).
3. Choose a range with ventilation at either the back or front.


My name is Adi and I have been an interior designer for 17 years and loving it. Over the years I have designed many kitchens. Finding smart and easy to take care of materials, sourcing appliances, lighting, flooring and customizing the kitchen gives me joy. DOKITCH.COM is my way of passing my knowledge on. Feel free to explore..

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