How to Install an Under Counter Wine Fridge [Simple Guide]
Adding an under counter wine cooler to your kitchen needn't be a time consuming nor complicated procedure, should you do your homework thoroughly beforehand.
In this guide, I'll explain what considerations need to be taken to get your wine cooler fitting snuggly into your under counter cabinet space.
I'll also explain the steps you need to perform to actually install it.
First Steps: Scoping the Installation Site
Before even looking at buying a wine fridge you need to take some important measurements. Some of these are often overlooked and cause real (expensive) problems further down the line.
The preliminary investigation of the installation site is crucial. These are the key measurements you need to take:
Important Notes on Installing Under Counter Wine Coolers
Once you're armed with all of this information and you're installation site meets these criteria then you can start browsing under counter wine fridge options.
If you already own a wine fridge then make sure it is a built-in model (not freestanding) and has front air vents.
Installing a freestanding wine fridge into a compact cabinet space is asking for trouble as it will not be able to cool itself down properly.
How to Choose an Under Counter Wine Fridge That Fits Properly
I'm not going to provide a full buying guide here but rather provide some points to ensure that you choose a wine fridge that fits properly.
- 1Account for the door handle. The door handle will likely add a couple of inches to the length. So be sure to check double check that the handle is included in any stated dimensions.
- 2If you require a wine cooler to match your kitchen cabinetry you'll need to choose a model with a panel ready door.
- 3Account for surface clearances. Even built-in wine fridges need small gaps between the sides and the back. Check the manufacturer guidelines (in the manual) for exact measurements.
- 4Standard kitchen counter height is 36 inches (3 feet) so under counter models shouldn't exceed 34.5 inches.
- 5Under counter wine coolers typically come in 15" and 24" widths.
How to Install a Wine Fridge In a Cabinet
It's time to get your hands dirty! Installing a built-in wine fridge is pretty straight forward as long as you got all those measurements correct!
You don't need any professional help but it's wise to have some help to move the unit as they're very heavy.
At worst you might need to use a saw and a sander (if cabinets need removed and the floor is uneven) but if all is well you won't need any of these.
What You'll Need:
- 1Remove any existing cabinet doors or panels.
- 2Attach the door handle to the unit.
- 3The first thing you want to do before going any further is to move the wine fridge into place and ensure it fits as billed. Swing the door open and make sure it's unobstructed. Can it reach a power supply? (don't plug it in yet). Is there ample clearance at the back and sides?
- 4If needed, make the necessary adjustments.
- 5Perform any sanding/painting to the surfaces before installing the wine cooler.
- 6Check that the floor is level. If it's not, you'll need to level it up using shims or use the adjustable legs on the fridge (most have them).
- 7If all is good, then give yourself a pat on the back as it's plain sailing from here on!
- 8Move the wine fridge into place but DO NOT turn on. You need to let it sit for at least 4 hours after transit of any kind. This is to allow the coolant to settle. Your manual will have specific guidelines for this.
- 9After the required time has passed you can turn it on and set your desired temperature(s). Allow it ample time to cool down before loading it with wine.