The More You Know: Refrigerator Installations Explained

Let us help you clear up the confusion about refrigerator installations.

Share This Post

You’ve selected the perfect refrigerator for your kitchen. It’s spacious, stylish and in need of a refrigerator installation that matches your design and layout.

When it comes to refrigerator installations, there are three main types: built-in, overlay and integrated. Below we’ll explain the differences and advantages of each


Built-in installations are exactly what they sound like. “Built-in” is a general term used to describe refrigerator installations where the unit fits into a cabinet space.

The refrigerator is mounted inside a space fit for the unit that is flush with your cabinets. The unit’s door or doors will stick out from the cabinets. Built-ins are the most common refrigerator installation, so they won’t require any special work or custom designs outside creating the space for the unit.

- Screen Shot 2016 07 21 at 11.39.45 AM e1474301937222 -


Overlay installations are those that can be fitted with a panel to match your cabinets. The advantage of an overlay refrigerator installation is that your cabinet design will flow throughout the space, uninterrupted by a large stainless steel refrigerator.

In this installation, the doors will still protrude from the cabinets and the unit will vent from the top. While the panel overlay will match your cabinets, it will still be obvious where your refrigerator is.

Overlay installations are also considered built-in units, but they have the added feature of customizable panels.

- Screen Shot 2016 07 21 at 11.39.53 AM e1474301965711 -


Integrated refrigerators are excellent at hide and seek. As the name suggests, the units are integrated with your cabinets and layout. Completely camouflaged, this refrigerator installation is paneled to match your cabinets, but there are no obvious giveaways as to where it’s located.

Fully-integrated designs have no visible compressor vents and an inset door that sits perfectly with your cabinets.

Integrated refrigerators give you a smooth and seamless kitchen design. They are the most popular choice in professionally designed kitchens.

- Screen Shot 2016 07 21 at 11.39.59 AM e1474301988456 -

To Recap:

Built-in is flush with your cabinets, but does not have paneling.
Overlay matches your cabinets, but is still visible.
Integrated is flush with your cabinets, has panels and is completely camouflaged.

Now that you know the differences between refrigerator installations, you can make an educated decision when creating your dream kitchen.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore


Vendor Feature: Sub-Zero and Wolf

As a leader in the appliance industry, Sub-Zero and Wolf holds a special place in the hearts of kitchen technology aficionados. The company, however, is

Cookie Notice

We and our partners use Cookies to improve and personalize your experience on the Site, measure the effectiveness of our Services, and show you ads and other content tailored to your interests as you navigate the web or interact with us across devices. Privacy Policy