At first when you unpack your tall 50/50 fridge/freezer housing and the fridge freezer itself, you get a sinking feeling that something is wrong, as to the untrained eye, it looks like the integrated fridge/freezer is too small for the standard 1970mm tall housing.
As manufacturers of integrated fridge freezers tend to change their sizes slightly and the doors are not always in the same position, there is something that you need to do first to ensure that the appliance doors line up with those of the kitchen unit.
Before you continue…
One very important thing to do first is to look at the hinging on your tall unit housing compared with your appliance. When you ordered your tall fridge/freezer kitchen unit, you may have opted for a left hand hinged version, which is fine, but many integrated fridge/freezers are delivered with their hinges on the right hand side!
Changing the hinges is pretty simple and having only just changed the hinges on my own fridge/freezer some 48 hours ago, here is how to do it firsthand.
(1) The best thing to do is to get two people to do this. One person to hold the appliance door to stop it from falling whilst the other person unscrews the 2 screws on each of the hinges.
(2) Now that you have the 2 hinges, the hinge that used to be top right will now be bottom left and the hinge that used to be bottom right will now be top left. Screw these hinges back in with the screws that you have. I had a little trouble doing this by hand as the screws kept getting stuck, but with the aid of an electric screw driver, they soon went in fine.
One thing that I did notice was that on the freezer section was that the hinge that was at the bottom had bent slightly downwards from the weight of the appliance. When I put that hinge on the top left of the freezer door, the bend was reversed and now too far up and there was a lot of play in the freezer door moving up and down. I managed to bend this hinge back into position with a few pairs of pliers quite easily though.
How to measure up and adapt
The total height of an integrated 50/50 fridge freezer is around 177cm. The height of each of the tall kitchen unit doors is 98.6cm. If you do the math, 177cm / 2 = 88.5cm for the centre point of your fridge/freezer section. At this point the 98.6cm unit door seems too high to cover an 88.5cm appliance door, but here is the solution.
As you can see from the image below, you need to raise the integrated fridge/freezer up enough, so that the centre of the appliance is in line with the centre of the unit doors. Your fridge/freezer usually has a space of around 6cm between each door, so you have a little wiggle room with your measurements.
One thing to remember is that your kitchen unit door will cover the base of the tall unit carcase, which is around 2cm, you’ll then need to raise the fridge/freezer high enough so that you can line it up but also factor in the small support shelf you put in as this will have a thickness of around 2cm, so don’t forget to add these into your calculations. The best way of making the bottom support is to use a tall unit shelf and some plinth for the sides and screw them together.
When everything is connected, there will be a 3-5mm gap between each of the unit doors to prevent them from touching each other upon opening and closing.
What do I do with the space at the top of the fridge/freezer?
When you measure up and created the shelf support at the bottom of the freezer/freezer, you’ll notice that there is a gap at the top, as shown below.
Now you can do 1 of 2 things here.
(1) Create a shelf above the fridge freezer to create a bit of additional storage where you could store empty ice cube trays for example.
(2) Just get a piece of plinth material and cut it to size so that it fills in the remaining gap. See the right hand side of the image above.
You may want to order an additional tall unit shelf and some additional plinth in unit material, so that you can create the necessary shelves to support your fridge freezer.
Securing the fridge/freezer into position
To ensure that your doors stay aligned and nothing gets pulled out of shape, you’ll need to secure your fridge freezer to the unit housing. This is done by:
(1) Use the supplied supporting brackets that fit across the middle of the fridge and attach to the sides of the tall kitchen unit. Then use the supplied plastic clips to hide the metal bracket.
(2) Place screws into the bottom of the feet of the appliance that will screw down into the appliance housing. Your fridge freezer may look a little different but the principle remains the same. There will be a small cap to cover the screws on some appliances to make it look neat and tidy.
(3) If you opt to have some plinth material fitted to the top of your tall kitchen unit then you can use any screw holes present in the top framework of your fridge/freezer, and screw it into the bottom of the plinth panel that you have just created.
I hope that you found this information useful!
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