42 inch refrigerators are somewhat uncommon because that is a rare cabinet size.
The most common cabinet sizes for refrigerators are 30, 33 and 36 inch by far with 48 inch being the most specified for larger refrigerators.
Still, I like the 42 inch size, especially in a shallow depth side by side configuration, and now several manufacturers also produce a French door refrigerator.
In fact, I would not buy a side by side in a size less than 42", because with shallow depth refrigerators there is hardly any useable capacity in the 36 inch size.
Updated for 2014
Professional vs. Regular Counter Depth
Professional refers to a more commercial looking product with the compressor on the top. They are available in 30" and 36" as well as larger sizes like 42 and 48 inch.
Regular counter depth refrigerators are just shallower refrigerators and are only available in smaller sizes like 30, 33 and 36 inch widths. Price on a regular counter depth is much cheaper at $1,700 to $3,500 vs. $8,000 plus on a professional.
Professional vs. Integrated Refrigerators
Integrated refrigerators fit within the 24 inch cabinet depth, so they are indistinguishable from the cabinet itself. The door of the professional (and regular) counter depth will protrude about three inches.
Integrated refrigerators are available in smaller sizes like 18, 24, 30 and 36 inch. You would buy two for 42 inches. Integrated is more expensive per cubic foot than the pro.
They offer two different looks in your kitchen. One is noticeable and the other is completely hidden.
The Best 42 Inch Professional Counter Depth Refrigerators
Sub-Zero BI-42UFD/S/PH - $10,249
A family owned company located in Wisconsin. Their refrigerator is the best constructed refrigerator in the market. It does keep food fresher longer with a vacuum seal and magnetic crispers designed to keep air out of the refrigerator.
They also have twin compressors to eliminate air transferring from freezer to refrigerator. Sub-Zero also employs an ingenious air scrubber, which scrubs the gases from spoiling food to eliminate cross contamination as well as to arrest the spoiling process.
Thermador KBUDT4265E - $8,749
A wholly owned subsidiary of the Bosch Company. They are known for manufacturing columns or componentary refrigerators. Thermador does not even manufacture this unit. KitchenAid is the producer of this solid yet unspectacular unit. Thermador, however, has the better rebate program with free dishwashers and hoods for qualified purchases.
Jenn-Air JF42SSFXDA - $8,499
A wholly owned subsidiary of Whirlpool. The JF42SSFXDA is one of the largest French door available in the world today. I like French doors as you have more useable capacity in the refrigerator with fruits and veggies at waist high level. Jenn-Air like Thermador has a great rebate program with free dishwashers and hoods with qualified purchases.
Which Do You Choose?
I like the Sub-Zero best for food preservation. However, Jenn-Air is a good product with really great connecting rebates.
It really depends on whether you prefer the better product or better price.
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