When designing your new kitchen, a common question is “should I use integrated appliances in my new kitchen design?”
Well, the answer is not that straight forward and it all depends on your budget and how integrated you want the final design to be.
Some people like to integrate everything apart from an American fridge, which they tend to build into the centre of some tall units and a top box. So, the decision is really down to your own personal taste, but here are some things to consider if you are thinking about going fully integrated.
(1) If you move house at some point in the future, not only will your new kitchen add value to your home but all those integrated appliances built into your beautifully fitted kitchen will also give you extra bargaining power to ensure that you get the asking price and beyond as the new occupant will have built in mod cons already.
Conversely, when you buy a new home, if the new kitchen is not fully integrated then you’re going to have to buy your appliances again!
(2) If you have a utility room, which is separate to your kitchen, and its hidden away behind a door then you may opt to have your freestanding appliances like your washing machine & tumble dryer in there. This could allow you to keep the practical utility appliances all freestanding and just integrated the fridge/freezer, oven, hob & dishwasher in the main kitchen. Having your washing machine and tumble dryer freestanding will probably make them more accessible as well.
(3) The cost of a new kitchen plus the cost of new integrated appliances could put some people off and push them over budget but if your old appliances are in good condition then you could sell them on the likes of Ebay & Gumtree and recoup some money to offset the expenditure on new integrated appliances.
(4) Integrated fridge/freezers really do work well in a kitchen but if you are used to a 50/50 freestanding one, then you will notice that you have a little less space in an integrated 50/50 fridge freezer, as they are made a little smaller to be able to fit inside the tall unit housing. One solution to not lose freezer space is to get a freezer section with 3 deeper drawers rather than 4 shallow ones.
(5) When installing your kitchen, if you are going to have integrated or freestanding appliances under your worktops then you need to ensure that there is enough clearance to fit the appliances into the gap.
Most appliances that fit under your worktop are about 850mm high so if you set your units at 870mm from the floor then you’ll have plenty of clearance for the appliances. Also, by placing your units at a height of 870mm, you’ll be able to slide your 150mm underneath them without having to cut them down. Once you place your worktop on top, you’ll then get a height of around 900-910mm, which is the ideal height for working/prepping food on.
(6) If you have the space in your kitchen then a tall unit can be used to house your oven & microwave. This is an excellent way of accessing them as they are both at waist height. You may lose a little work surface with a tall unit but you gain space in the kitchen run where the built under would have been fitted and you don’t have a microwave taking up worktop space either. You also get a little extra cupboard space in the tall unit from the space above and below the appliances.
Here is how your appliances could look when integrated into your kitchen units
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