Looking for built-in frig with crushed ice / water dispenser

dryslickFebruary 18, 2012

WeâÂÂre bumping out our kitchen and weâÂÂre in the appliance selection phase. We stuck at frig selection. We had planned for a 36â but we may be able to change our layout to accommodate a 42âÂÂ. Do many quality models offer crushed & cubed ice with the water dispenser? We have that in our current freestanding frig and we donâÂÂt want to give that convenience up. We were going to go with SZ BI-36U until we decided we wanted to keep this option.

I started researching additional built-ins this morning. I see that a 42â Thermador (model KBUDT42) has crushed ice but I canâÂÂt find any reviews. Do other brands offer crushed ice as well? If so, are any of these units quality products? If we canâÂÂt find a quality built-in with crushed ice, how could we achieve chilled water / crushed ice? I know we can add filtered water to the sink and we see some under counter ice units but that seems like overkill.

Any advice would be great. We didnâÂÂt realize something like this is what weâÂÂd be agonizing over!

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Built in fridge + exterior ice and water=

It goes from gorgeous and understated and not about the appliances to having a honking ugly dispenser hole in the middle of it that makes it all about the appliance. Why spend the money in the first place? Get a regular fridge and be done with your selection.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 2:04PM
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The ice maker is the most delicate part of any fridge, and the through door units take up a lot of space and make the concerns that much worse. Not the best idea for a fridge you expect to last for more than twenty years. Combine that with the fact that people get built-ins in order to have them blend into the cabinetry, and you start to understand why there just isn't a lot of demand.

If you use the ice/water dispenser on daily basis, you'll probably want to keep it. If it's less often, you might consider using an ice crusher (small appliance) or a garage sale food processor for that part.

SubZero does have an ice dispenser on the 48" side-by-side, but as I said, it's the weakest link. The only thing on an SZ that most people find needs service over its lifetime is the ice maker, and the through door ones seem to need service sooner. (Just an observation on frequency--check with their repair service for first hand knowledge.)

Here's a search on AJMadison for custom panels and through door ice. I don't know which of these have crushed ice and water. Some of these aren't built-in models, but you could do a faux if one of the suits you.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 2:26PM
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I donâÂÂt think the photos were needed to make your point.
That aside, my original preference was a freestanding but our refrigerator will be on an appliance wall (no countertops) with the double oven and pantry along the main walkway between rooms. The site line and the extra inches that the frig sticks out compared to everything else is the reason weâÂÂre looking built-in. I agree that fully integrated does look great. We may still do that but we are also looking at how we use the kitchen, which is why we want to make sure we look at all our options before deciding what to trade off on.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 2:30PM
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You can make the sight lines work out if you can increase the depth of cabinetry on that wall a couple of inches (the body (not including handle) of cd is usually 26"). Then you can have any counter depth or built-in you want. The freestanding fridges with dispenser have better dispensers from what I hear, and even though people tend to replace the whole fridge when the ice system packs it in, you can get three of them for the price of one SZ, which gives you the same longevity per dollar, more or less.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 2:42PM
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Very good points to consider since, youâÂÂre right, we hope a built-in lasts 20 years. We probably shouldn't try it on a high-end unit. We use the in-door water and ice for nearly all meals which is why weâÂÂre re-visiting our earlier decisions. We do have the option of extending the cabinets to 26âÂÂ. The problem is we donâÂÂt have the extra width for the door swing of a freestanding in our current configuration. WeâÂÂre bound by a drain pipe and another hallway. We could free up some space on that wall by moving the microwave and other items, which is the only way a 42â or a 36â with a larger opening for the door swing would fit. ItâÂÂs something to consider.

Thanks for the good advice to consider

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 3:12PM
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I'm writing to close the loop on this thread in case some future members grapple with the same decisions and find these posts. We are going with a Sub-Zero 48" with internal ice and water. As I wrote, we really hated losing crushed ice on the door but a freestanding model, given our kitchen layout, would not have worked well. Based with different trade-off options, we decided to go with the built-in.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 1:08PM
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