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 (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.
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.
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.
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Written by: Sarah Walker