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Built-In Versus Stand-Alone Refrigerators

When designing a kitchen for either new construction or a remodel, you’ll need to decide between a built-in or stand-alone refrigerator. Each has pros and cons, but ultimately, it’s personal preference that matters most.

At First Coast Supply in Jacksonville, Florida, we carry both built-in and stand-alone refrigerator models. We also carry a variety of brands as various price points. For luxury, built-in refrigerator models, we’re a Gaggenau appliance carrier along with many other luxury appliance brands. Our expert staff is available to help you find the perfect refrigerator for your home.

Stand-Alone Refrigerators

Stand-alone or freestanding refrigerators are the most common type of home refrigerator. This means that there’s more selection of brands and styles. Freestanding refrigerators are a great option for homeowners that want flexibility. Stand-alone refrigerators are affordable, movable and easy to install. For modest and mid-range homes, stand-alone refrigerators are usually the right choice.

Advantages with Stand-Alone Refrigerators

Freestanding refrigerators offer many advantages. First, when compared to built-in refrigerators, stand-alone models are less expensive and available at a variety of price points. Overall, freestanding refrigerators offer flexibility.

Stand-alone refrigerators are available in full-depth or 24-inch depth. For width, there’s also a variety of options; however, the greatest width available is 36 inches. Also, for homeowners that want off-the-shelf options, most stand-alone refrigerators aren’t customizable. This makes decision making quicker.

Like with built-in refrigerators, models are available in many different finishes and door styles. From white to slate finishes and traditional freezer-on-top to French doors, you can find a model to fit your design preference.

The best advantage for stand-alone refrigerators is the easy installation. Professional installation isn’t required. Also, freestanding refrigerators are easily moved from one location or home to another.

Disadvantages with Stand-Alone Refrigerators

When compared to built-in refrigerators, freestanding refrigerators usually don’t have as long of a lifespan. Also, even at the 24-inch depth, stand-alone refrigerators won’t line up perfectly flush with cabinets. The other disadvantage when compared to built-in models is that freestanding refrigerators have a maximum width of 36-inches. If you need a wider refrigerator, the stand-alone model won’t meet your needs.

Built-In Refrigerators

Built-in refrigerators are primary designed for luxury or high-end kitchens. For kitchen remodels, built-in refrigerators take your kitchen design up a notch. However, built-in refrigerators are more expensive and require professional installation. Most luxury brands, like Gaggenau, offer a selection of built-in refrigerators.

Advantages with Built-In Refrigerators

Built-in refrigerators deliver a sleek and luxury style you just can’t achieve with stand-alone models. These are a crucial element of high-end kitchen design. While built-in refrigerators are limited to a 24-inch depth, to keep them flush with surrounding cabinets, they come in a variety of widths. In fact, built-in refrigerators are available up to 48 inches wide. They’re also usually taller than stand-alone refrigerators so that there’s not a gap between the top of the refrigerator and the cabinets.

Built-in refrigerators are built to last. They have a longer lifespan than most stand-alone refrigerators. The other big advantage with built-in refrigerators is the limitless customization. A variety of door styles are available, including custom paneling and see-through doors. Also, they have unique features like a built-in wine cooler.

Disadvantages with Built-in Refrigerators

While built-in refrigerators are top-quality and luxury, there are some disadvantages. The biggest disadvantage is the price. Because of the large price tag, built-in refrigerators are usually best suited for luxury kitchens. Also, professional installation is required, and the refrigerator must be attached to the wall. This makes it very difficult to move a built-in refrigerator. Since they are designed for a specific space, it’s usually best not to try and move the refrigerator to a new location.

Making the Choice

Both stand-alone and built-in refrigerators offer a variety of finishes and styles. Both also come with energy efficient and smart technology features. When choosing the right type of refrigerator for your space, consider your design style and budget. Also, think about what types of features you most want. Either option provides both advantages and disadvantages. Work with an interior designer or kitchen supply expert, like First Coast Supply, for help with decision making.

Visit the First Coast Supply showroom in Jacksonville to see a variety of both stand-alone and built-in refrigerator options.