Is and integrated refrigerator with integrated pulls possible?

jplouisApril 15, 2014

Can an integrated refrigerator with a wood panel door have a continuous wood pull? Tried to read the installation instructions for Thermador columns but they didn't have much details on the pull.

I'd like a wood door for the refrigerator but don't want metal handles since the rest of the cabinet wall won't have metal handles. We are thinking of doing wood pulls for our cabinets similar to the ones in the link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Continuous wood pull

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I'm sure if custom kayaks can be constructed in a simple custom 3D printer, then any shape of imitation wood door pulls would be a snap.
Any master carpenter worth his salt could also come up with something unique, even spectacular just applying his trade.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 11:36PM
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Why imitation wood?

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 12:39AM
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I have Miele, which have the same box. I don't think there is anything much in the instructions on the pulls. I wanted big, honkin' brass ones. They're three feet long and the artisan had to have the die made special (my other handles were part of her collection). So they didn't conform to any particular standard. I'm pretty sure the installer and I discussed placement, the handles were attached, then the door kit was attached to the panels and they were attached to the units. I'm pretty sure it was the cabinet installer who did it.

So I would think that as long as pulls are attached well to the surface, and the mounting hardware is countersunk so that it doesn't interfere with the attachments to the coolers, it should work just fine.

Oh! Lightbulb! Old SubZero with exactly that kind of pull but made out of metal. If it works for them, why wouldn't it work for Thermador?

What doesn't work well is an Olde Europe style giant knob in the center of the door. You need to have the handle in the vertical third on the far side from the hinges. That way you get enough lever action to break the seal when you pull. It gets harder toward the center. The edge of the opening? Most lever action.

Just make sure that the wood is strong enough for the wear and tear. There's a lot of pulling force. In fact, it might be better if the wood wrapped a metal core. Or maybe there's some kind of fancy compound mortise joint or something that would make it stronger, rather than just constantly pulling against metal screws. I could see that that--screw mounts--might fail over time...

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 2:46AM
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Sure - they can.

It's just pretty difficult (especially in wood) to pull off despite what laat2 says.

The handle you show won't allow much grip and consequently force, so opening a heavy fridge door could prove difficult.

If it were me , I'd look at doing a recessed channel like pictured. No reason it couldn't be made of wood instead of metal like the pic. The channel could even be fairly flat, with a recessed scoop on the back side of the door. Both of these are a easier than trying to fabricate a custom wood handle to be recessed into a door.

Here is a link that might be useful: recessed fridge handle

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 10:42AM
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xedos, sort of on this subject (and looking at the picture you posted) - what is the difference between a built-in refrigerator (mine - Thermador 30" single door bottom freezer) and an integrated refrigerator? I've attached a picture to what mine looks like installed (at the time the picture was taken, the correct panel had yet to be installed on the adjacent dishwasher).

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 11:30AM
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There are off the shelf wood pulls available, they are installed with a tongue and groove and lots of glue. Though I haven't seen one like in the original post.

xedos, I'm not sure I understand how the recessed channel works. The channel is behind the door, how does that work with side by side refrigerator columns?

Here is a link that might be useful: hafele wood pulls

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 3:27PM
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Your Thermador is integrated. Compare to built-ins like KitchenAid or the older style SubZero, which look like regular fridges, with doors that stick out, and breaks between doors and all, but they're built into the wall. "Integrated" is short for "flush integrated" while means that it's flush with the cabinetry. No stick out parts.

I could have had my Gaggenau ovens mounted flush, but that means that they're inset so that the front is flush with the surrounding cabinets, but that also means that the door would only open to 90 degrees, like what happens on most full overlay cabinetry. I say most because if that makes you nuts, like it does me, you can buy staged hinges that allow for a much wider swing. The Thermador fridge has similar hinges, so the door isn't limited to 90ð. Some integrated fridges don't have that great feature.

JPLouis, You might talk to Haefele and be sure that their similar pulls have been used successfully, long term, with refrigerators. It's pulling against the seal that takes oomph, and could wear down the joining over time, but there has to be a way to make it work, and they might know what it is.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 1:52AM
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fan - plllog already gave your a run down about your fridge.

I'll add the all integrated fridges are built in , but not all built in fridges are integrated.

louis - you'd need a channel between each column - or I suppose you could join the two together with the hinges in the middle instead of the typical outside arrangement and only have the channels on the outside of the units.

This design detail is not something that your carpenter or regular cabinet maker can just whip together. It takes a lot of planning and engineering to make it all work seamlessly.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 9:53PM
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Starting to think I just may go with the steel panels on the fridge. Rather have all steel than wood panels with metal pulls.

Thanks for your help.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 10:47AM
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