One of the most recent kitchen innovations is the built-in refrigerator. There are lots of variations on this theme. These include everything from in-your-face fridge in against the wall to one so camouflaged you barely know where to find it!
Let's look at the pros and cons of each option:
Ready-to-build-in refrigerators cost two to three times as much as the traditional fridge. These built-in models are clearly intended for high-end kitchens!
as their freestanding and counter-depth siblings, a true built-in isnâ��t always in the budget. A variety of tricks can achieve the integrated look without the cost. For instance, in the illustration, below right, the counter-depth refrigerator surrounded with cabinetry panels mimics the built-in version.
1. Traditional, Regular, Freestanding Refrigerators
Regular refrigerators have been around since the ice box was replaced by that miracle: the refrigerator. This type has the most depth. Traditional fridges come in a variety of models including:
Fridges with a top freezer compartment
Refrigerators with a bottom drawer freezer
Side by side refrigerators
French door refrigerators
The advantages of traditional fridges are that they are the least expensive and they can be moved if you relocate. The traditional fridges also offer the most functional storage space.
Because traditional fridges extend beyond the counter top, it is difficult to integrate it into your kitchen and make it look built in.
2. Counter-Depth Refrigerators
Strictly speaking most counter-depth refrigerators are not really flush with the counter top. They extend slightly beyond the countertops so there issufficient space for the doors to open. That said, some of the newer models have special hinges that allow the doors to open completely even when flush with the countertops. Counter-depth refrigerators come in three variations:
At no additional cost you can order your counter-depth refrigerator so the front panels blend with your kitchen cabinets to give your counter-top fridge the integrated look of a built-in refrigerator without the cost of a built-in model.
Counter-depth models offer the upscale integrated appearance of a built-in refrigerator at a lower cost. While more costly than a traditional fridge they are notably less costly than a built-in.
The downside is that counter-depth fridges have less functional space than freestanding fridges. They are also more expensive.
3. Built-In Refrigerators
Built-in models are designed to fit flush with the cupboards and countertops. You can purchase a built-in refrigerator with optional front panels to match your kitchen decor. Or you can make the fridge part of the cupboards adding a cupboard door so your fridge is literally invisible. Built-in refrigerators come in two configurations with a third option:
Side-by-side fridge/freezer models
Separate refrigerator and freezer units.
The main advantage of built-in refrigerators is aesthetic. They align with cabinets. Fronts can be finished to provide a modern sleek look to your kitchen.
On the down side, you are paying two or three times as must for appearances. A further disadvantage is that built-in refrigerators offer the least amount of functional storage space. They are wide but quite shallow.