Refrigerators are designed to last anywhere from twelve to twenty years. In that time, the implementation of new technology and design trends could make today’s units unrecognizable if you haven’t shopped for a new unit recently! One of the most requested design options, which relates to technological development behind the scenes, is a streamlined aesthetic where countertops, cabinets, and appliances blend together to create a look that is very pleasing to the eye. For refrigerators specifically, this can be achieved with several types of units – truly built-in, counter-depth, or freestanding models. Let’s explore the differences of each type so you can choose the best unit for you and your family’s needs!
True Built-In Refrigerators
As implied in the name, a built-in refrigerator is built directly into your counter/cabinet space to make your kitchen as a whole appear more uniform, streamlined, and luxurious. The biggest benefit of these units is the potential to gain more free space in your setup, which is undeniably the most valuable thing you can do to your kitchen. They can also harness the power of the latest technology with features such as touchscreens to help you do more. However, the true built-in refrigerator is not an ideal choice if you need a lot of storage space in the actual unit – these refrigerators tend to have shorter crisper and deli sections as well as a smaller freezer compartment.
The counter-depth refrigerator is similar to a built-in model, except the unit is slotted into a space within the counter and not built directly into it. It’s very important to take precise measurements of your counter before shopping for a unit – a standard depth for counters is 26″, so if you get a typical-size countertop and a counter-depth refrigerator, only the doors will protrude. While this type of refrigerator can also succeed at creating a streamlined aesthetic, it comes with the same cons as truly built-in units – namely, that you will have to sacrifice some storage space within the unit.
The most common type of refrigerator, the freestanding models will protrude from your cabinetry/countertops. This eliminates some element of uniformity in your kitchen design, but it also provides some benefits. Since you aren’t limited to counter-depth, you will generally have more storage space in the unit for storing food and other items. And just because you’re giving up on aesthetics doesn’t mean you give up on having the latest tech – many freestanding refrigerators will feature technology comparable to their built-in and counter-depth cousins. Moreover, freestanding units will often cost less as well, making them great options for those on a budget.
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