To cover a refrigerator with cabinets or not?....that is the question.
disummers
August 19, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I am about to do a major remodel of my kitchen. I like the look of covering the frig with cabinets. I realize it's an added expense, but are there disadvantages like...does it make the doors heavier? Will the water dispenser leak and ruin the wood etc. Any advice is GREATLY appreciated! I plan to do before and after pics...should be fun! Thanks!
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feeny
Are you planning this with a built in refrigerator (i.e. fully integrated) or a cabinet depth one? If the latter, just be aware that the cabinet faces will not sit completely flush with the rest of your cabinetry because the door hinges need to function. They will stick out as much as 4". This comes as a surprise to some people and bothers them. But it isn't an issue with the more expensive built in models.

I can't answer your specific questions about water dispensers and door weight as we didn't use matching cabinetry panels on our refrigerator, only on our dishwasher. But no problems there.
August 19, 2013 at 4:54pm      Thanked by disummers
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7j DESIGN
The fridges made to accept cabinet doors don't make a difference to the function of the door. They are made to compensate for the additional weight. As for the finish being affected by water drips would be the same as the sink cabinet doors.
August 19, 2013 at 5:08pm      Thanked by disummers
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disummers
I guess I need more advice than I thought :) I would like the frig to look like a piece of furniture in a traditional kitchen. So I assume that I would buy a built in, not cabinet depth. Thanks for the help and advice!
August 19, 2013 at 5:12pm   
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Judy M
I have a friend with subzero with wood panel front and is having issues with the area around the ice/water dispenser.

I also have subzero with panel but no ice/water through the door, as I don't like those, I have no problem with the panel or the weight of panel.
August 19, 2013 at 5:16pm      Thanked by disummers
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disummers
Thank you Judy M, this is good to know. May I ask why you don't like a water dispenser on the door? Isn't it convenient?
August 19, 2013 at 5:22pm   
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Judy M
Had one in last refrigerator an rarely used it. I don't use ice that often, so no problem to open freezer door.
We did add a filter to the water line that makes the ice.
August 19, 2013 at 5:26pm   
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Judy M
Oh and our local water is very good, no bad taste.
August 19, 2013 at 5:28pm      Thanked by disummers
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disummers
I understand. Thanks so much. The (ice) filter is a super idea.
August 19, 2013 at 5:30pm     
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Barbara Purdy - Purdy & Associates Design
There is a kitchenaid fridge that accepts a custom panel but you need to have room around it to allow for the hinge/door opening more than 90 degrees. I don't recommend that one if you are looking for a flush look, integrated is definitely the way to go. Thermador seems to have some deals on right now...
August 21, 2013 at 7:38am      Thanked by disummers
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disummers
Thank you Barbara! This information is so helpful and very much appreciated!!
August 21, 2013 at 12:26pm   
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Jenny Youngblood
So if you want one to look like a piece of furniture- you will ruin the look of it with a water and ice maker on the outside. I say either commit fully to the look or just buy a nice stainless fridge. I personally love the look of the integrated appliances, and the three that do it best are Thermador, Sub Zero and Miele. I am currently doing one in my new kitchen with Sub Zero- a 48". Be prepared that the average cost to integrate it will be 4-10K extra in cabinetry. But this is a form over function thing- and the entire purpose of this is to have it look like furniture over the functionality of a fridge. Mine is going to look similar to the first photo- but I will eventually love to have a kitchen with something similar to the second one!
August 21, 2013 at 12:52pm     
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Jenny Youngblood
Also be prepared for hardware cost- appliance pulls usually start at 250 a piece and you often need 2-6 pulls as you can tell by the photos. I went with Edgar Berebi pulls that were $375 a piece - but I only needed three. The first photo above looks like the hardware is Hawk Hill- which is almost a thousand a pull, and the second photo looks like Top Knobs and those are about 2202-250 a piece, but notice they have 6 pulls.
August 21, 2013 at 12:54pm      Thanked by disummers
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disummers
Wow... thanks so much Jenny!! So much helpful information. The first pic is one of my favorites! Although I'm doing rustic cherry cabinets with Pottery Barn chandeliers. Thanks again!!!
August 21, 2013 at 3:35pm     
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Jenny Youngblood
Disummers- we can't wait for you to post pics!! Sounds beautiful.
August 21, 2013 at 4:45pm        Thanked by disummers
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