Design Trend: Built-In & Integrated Appliances


These days when it comes time to select appliances for your home the options available can be a little overwhelming.  But one trend that has been growing in popularity over the past few years is the incorporation of  Built-In and Integrated appliances.  They have become a key element when it comes to designing a “truly high-end” kitchen.

Integrated and Built-In appliances are similar in that they have been designed to create a more cohesive look in the kitchen, where your appliances seem purposefully placed and to “fit” rather than the traditional free-standing models. They’re also very often confused for one another.  In today’s blog, we hope to make those differences a little clearer.

Built-In Appliances

14976190 - kitchen in luxury home with cherrywood cabinetry

Built-in appliances (sometimes called slide ins) are typically flush to the cabinets and counter tops in your kitchen.  Most models are available in a variety of finishes and have the option to add a panel or overlay to match your cabinets.

Built-in appliances are designed to add a sleeker and more cohesive look to your appliances without completely hiding them.  On built-in models you can typically still see any venting, handles, hinges, or in most cases some form of metal trim.

Refrigerators, dishwashers, and even microwaves are often available in built-in sizes or can be installed to provide a built in look.

These models are typically more expensive than traditional free-standing models, but provide you with additional customization options and can be a good option if you have limited clearance or space in your kitchen.  It’s also important to note that when it comes to Built-in appliances (as well as Integrated appliances), you sometimes sacrifice space inside the appliance in order for it to be flush with your cabinets/counters.

Integrated Appliances

15766990 - open dish washer machine and gas-stove on black hardwood kitchen

Unlike Built-in appliances, fully Integrated appliances are designed to disappear.  The ultimate in kitchen customization, all components are seamlessly hidden within the cabinetry.

Some of the most common appliances to receive this treatment are refrigerators and dishwashers.  These appliances must be professionally installed and custom panels, hinges, and/or hardware are added to complete the transformation.

When considering fully integrated appliances, it’s important that you also find a cabinet installer/designer who is familiar with them and to carefully plan your layout.

As expected, this level of flexibility and customization often comes with a hefty price tag when compared to traditional appliances.  It’s also important to note that integrated appliances offer primarily aesthetic benefits.

Another Option: Counter Depth Appliances

Although similar to Built-in appliances, Counter Depth models can often be a more affordable solution.  Although they do not offer quite the same seamless integration or level of customization, Counter Depth appliances are sleeker than traditional models typically with only the doors, etc. extending beyond the counter or your cabinetry.  They can also potentially be thousands of dollars cheaper.

You can also find ways to give your traditional free-standing appliances a “built-in” look by building out your cabinets, recessing your appliances, or with the help of trim kits.

Ultimately, the design of your kitchen is truly up to you!  We hope you enjoyed this post and that it helped clear up any confusion when it comes to built-in and integrated appliances.

As always, feel free to share this post with a friend and leave any questions or comments you may have for us below, and don’t forget to subscribe.  You can also check out our website for any of your appliance part needs at!

Written by: Sarah Walker

2 thoughts on “Design Trend: Built-In & Integrated Appliances

  1. Derek Dewitt

    I might get new appliances when I remodel soon. I like your point about getting appliances that are integrated into the design. I might do this so we can save space.

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