How Much Space do you Need on Either Side of a Stove?

Photo of stove in kitchen of How Much Space do you Need on Either Side of a Stove?

When you’re planning out your kitchen you might be tempted to squeeze as much in as possible. After all, more counter space is never a bad thing, right?  Learn how much space do you need on either side of a stove.

Well, not exactly, you see some appliances need space and your stove is the prime culprit.

Professional kitchen designers will know how far apart everything needs to be and will include these distances in their plans.

But what if you’re doing it yourself? How much space are you supposed to leave around the stove? Can you put other appliances next door? If you find yourself asking these questions, you’ve come to the right place.

How much space do you need between a 30-inch stove and the cabinets?

We’ve gone with a 30-inch stove because it’s the average width of a stove. This means, you can more than likely just directly lift the measurements out of this article.

If you’re going for a larger stove or perhaps a fancy range, you’ll need to apply our rule to the width of your stove.

So, for a 30-inch stove you need to have a 31-inch gap. This will allow for a half inch space between the stove and your cabinets.

The same applies to larger stoves, try to keep a half inch either side of the stove.

Why do you need a gap?

I know what you’re thinking, wouldn’t it be better to make the stove flush to the cabinets? In an ideal world, yeah having your stove flush would be great. It would mean you don’t get crumbs stuck in the gross gaps, and it looks smarter.

Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world. In our world, the rules of physics apply. Specifically, we need to think about the rules of thermal expansion.

When your stove is on, and you’re cooking, the body of the stove heats up. This is because the stove is made of stainless steel, and it conducts heat. As the steel heats up, it expands slightly because the molecules within are vibrating and moving more than normal. This creates more space between them.

To account for this expansion, we leave half an inch around each side of the stove. This ensures that the stove has room to expand safely without causing damage to the cabinets.

The gaps also allow air to circulate around the stove during the cooling process. This helps the stove cool down equally and effectively. If the cabinets were right against the stove, then you’d end up with hot patches that don’t cool down.

Can a Fridge Go Next to a Stove?

Photo of Kitchen of How Much Space do you Need on Either Side of a Stove?

I have personally tried this, so you don’t have to. My first flat was tiny, with only one countertop next to the stove. This meant that the fridge had to sit on the other side of the stove.

Nothing exploded, and we definitely managed, but I would not recommend this placement. I appreciate that sometimes you don’t have a choice, but where possible, make sure you have some space between these two appliances.

The problem with putting your fridge next to your stove is that the fridge has to work extra hard to maintain the cold temperatures.

Naturally, when the stove is on it warms up itself and everything around it. This is not ideal for a refrigerator and can really put a crimp in your day. The number of times I made coffee only to find out that the creamer had spoiled because the fridge couldn’t keep cool was ridiculous.

Another problem you’ll come across is grease splatters. When you’re cooking on the stovetop, fat, grease, and oil have a habit of spitting out of the pan. This is why you typically have a splashback behind your stove.

Splashbacks are often tile or glass because they are easier to clean. Refrigerators are much more difficult to clean up. Especially if they are metal. You’ll spend hours wiping away grease and oil only to have to do it all again the next day.

Believe me, it is not worth the effort! I suffered so that you don’t have to!

If your kitchen is space-restricted, try to leave as much of a gap between the stove and fridge as possible. I would even consider moving the fridge to another area like the dining space if you can.

Again, it’s not always possible to keep these appliances apart, but if you do have to situate them next to each other, don’t expect your refrigerator or your food to have a particularly long lifespan.

Final Thoughts

Leaving space around your stove is important for the health of your cabinets and your stove. Your stove needs about half an inch on either side to allow for thermal expansion and to act as a cooling channel. Your cabinets need the gap to prevent heat damage.

Leave a Reply