There are many choices to make when improving or renovating your kitchen. One is whether to install a built-in or freestanding refrigerator. The one you choose depends on the type of functionality is best for you. Each has its pros and cons, so here’s an overview of each type and their benefits and disadvantages.

What Is a Built-in Refrigerator?

Built-in models fit within the design of your kitchen cabinetry, providing a seamless transition. This design makes the refrigerator a more permanent fixture; it’s essentially a fridge that looks like cabinets. A built-in refrigerator cannot be freestanding but, depending on the model, a freestanding version may be available.

What Is a Freestanding Refrigerator?

A freestanding model is not built into or attached to any furnishings. You can move it around if needed. This is the most common design and offers a little more flexibility. With proper cleaning and maintenance, you can get great performance for many years.

Built-in vs. Freestanding Refrigerators

The Pro’s and Con’s of a Built-In Refrigerator

The pros of a built-in appliance include:

  • Seamless design to match your kitchen décor.
  • Can be customized to match various design elements.
  • Longer lifespan than a stand-alone refrigerator.
  • Appliance is flush with the cabinetry.
  • Tall profile (about 84”) and availability in 36” to 48” wide sizes.

Cons of a built-in refrigerator cabinet:

  • Are more costly than freestanding units.
  • Cannot be readily moved without extensive work.
  • Installation must be done by a professional.

The Pro’s and Con’s of Freestanding Refrigerators

A freestanding refrigerator, compared to a built-in appliance, is:

  • Usually a more budget-friendly option.
  • Easier to install in any kitchen location.
  • Typically transportable, for relocation or repair.
  • Available in full/cabinet-depth versions.
  • Available with finished sides that can be exposed.
  • Compatible with in-cabinetry installation methods.

The cons of a freestanding model include:

  • Shorter operating life than built-in units.
  • Maximum width is limited to 36”.
  • Full-depth models extend beyond cabinet edges.

However, 24” deep models don’t exceed cabinets. While they cannot be installed completely flush with cabinetry, freestanding units do offer a more appealing degree of flexibility for some.

Which Fridge Is Right for You?

Every homeowner has different tastes and expectations. If you’re on a budget and prefer more flexibility, a freestanding refrigerator will be more suitable. But if cost isn’t a concern and a seamless design is your priority, then you’ll want to install a built-in fridge. Likewise, whether you like a refrigerator in cabinet look and the benefits of a built-in refrigerator, or prefer what a stand-alone model offers, it’s your choice to make based on what meets your needs.

Contact Wilshire Refrigeration & Appliance

Our technicians are factory-trained to install and service all types of Sub-Zero refrigerators. Whether you prefer a built-in or Sub-Zero stand-alone refrigerator, we are here to help you make a decision and provide all the service you need. Each unit has superior-grade components and the brand’s craftsmanship and attention to detail means you won’t be disappointed. The appliances we service are reliable and long-lasting, while featuring a magnetic door seal and heavy-duty insulation for a tight seal.

To schedule Sub-Zero refrigerator installation, repair, or maintenance in Santa Barbara, Malibu, and elsewhere in Southern California, or Las Vegas, call Wilshire Refrigeration & Appliance at 800-427-3653 today.