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What is a Built-In Refrigerator?

Built-in refrigerators are refrigerators that are secured into cabinetry and offer a luxurious high-end look. Built-in refrigerators can either be stainless steel or panel ready, covered by custom cabinet panels to blend seamlessly into your kitchen. One of the best ways to increase the value of your kitchen remodel is to plan for a built-in refrigerator in your kitchen design.

Types of Built-In Refrigerators
There are three types of built-in refrigerators, built-in refrigerators, integrated refrigerators, and panel-ready refrigerators.
Traditional built-in refrigerators usually come in a side-by-side or bottom freezer configuration. If you were shopping for a high-end refrigerator 8+ years ago, chances are you bought a traditional built-in refrigerator. This style of refrigerator is characterized by the motor at the top and the door and handles protrude from your cabinetry 1-2 inches.

This style is great for:
  • Consumers that prefer easy-access to high shelves
  • A large refrigerator (42’’ to 48’’ widths) at a more affordable luxury price
  • Replacing an older built-in refrigerator
  • Consumers that prefer a more industrial look to their kitchen
Integrated refrigerators are a top choice among luxury appliance buyers today. Integrated refrigerators can either have a stainless steel or custom panel front to match your cabinets. Integrated refrigerators come in a variety of sizes and styles such as a bottom freezer, french-door, side-by-side, and columns. When you open the door to an integrated refrigerator you’ll notice that the shelves feel higher than in a traditional built-in refrigerator. This is because the motor is at the bottom instead of at the top. Integrated refrigerators are the most desirable style because they install completely flush with your cabinets.

Great for:

  • A perfectly panel-ready flush inset look
  • Handleless door (on select models)
Column refrigerators are a type of integrated refrigerator. Columns are all-refrigerator and all-freezer appliances that can be installed together or apart and are fully customizable based on your needs.

Great for:

  • A tight delivery path - since columns are shipped separately it’s easier to deliver 2 x 24’’ columns than a large 48’’ refrigerator
  • Customizing how much space you want to allocate to fresh food, frozen food, and wine storage
  • Since columns could be installed together or separately, columns give you more freedom to customize your kitchen design


Opting for a built-in refrigerator is a great way to elevate the appearance of your new kitchen. Regardless of your space or preferred refrigerator style, there are many built-in refrigerators to choose from.