Integrated Kitchen Appliances vs Freestanding
When planning a bespoke kitchen, it pays to think carefully about which appliances you’ll need. In fact, this decision should ideally be made at the outset, since the kitchen appliances you choose could have an impact on the layout of your kitchen, as well as influencing the size, and even style, of the surrounding units.
Integrated appliances – also known as built-in appliances – have become much more popular in recent years, but freestanding appliances still have benefits, and may suit some homeowners better. In this article, we’ll look at the pros and cons of each.
Why Choose Integrated Kitchen Appliances?
The main advantage of integrated appliances is their aesthetic appeal, or, to put it another way, the fact that they just look better! Integrated appliances typically fit underneath the countertop, and may also be faced with a false door, matching the look of the neighbouring cupboard doors. As a result, the appliance itself is discreetly hidden away, for an overall look that’s seamless and stylish.
An integrated appliance will typically take up slightly less space than a freestanding alternative. That’s because integrated appliances are made to sit beneath a standard-height countertop. This works well in smaller kitchens, since you’ll have more counter space available for food-prep activities. Their depth is also limited, to ensure that a door can be fitted flush with the surrounding units. (This difference is typically small (often a matter of a few centimetres), but if you’re short on space, then every little counts.)
Why Choose Freestanding Appliances?
Freestanding appliances tend to come in slightly cheaper than their built-in equivalents. Sometimes, the difference in the purchase price is only thirty pounds or so, but added to this is the cost of facing an integrated appliance with a false door. This adds a little to the material costs, while the installation time is also increased.
Removing a freestanding appliance can be as simple as pulling out a plug and uncoupling the plumbing connections. Integrated appliances are clearly a little more complex to remove and replace. But in reality, most of us buy an appliance in the hope that it will last us for several years, so while freestanding appliances are more flexible, this shouldn’t be the deciding factor when you come to make your choice.
The Final Decision
If you’re going down the DIY route, and fitting a bespoke kitchen yourself, then you may need to choose freestanding appliances to make the installation as easy as possible. But if you’re bringing in professionals to fit your kitchen, then this needn’t be a concern, leaving you free to choose the option that will work best for the long term.
Ultimately, the decision between a built-in or freestanding appliance will depend on where your priorities lie. You’ll need to ask yourself whether you’re aiming for a kitchen that looks elegant and coordinated, while making the best use of the space, or whether you’re focused on saving money and opting for the simplest choice.