Help me communicate to the kitchen designer

flevyJuly 28, 2012

I'm buying the panel ready Kitchen Aid Architect II French Door Fridge, Model KFCO22EVBL.

At the appliance showroom, the salesperson showed me how SubZero creates an integrated look using a built in. Let me try and explain what they did...

To each side of the refrigerator, the installer, added a small filler, maybe 3/4". It is the same color as the cabinets. But is only runs the depth of the frige cabinet. It does not extend to the doors, ie, past the hinges.

Then, and this is where I'm getting confused, the finish cabinet or panel was applied over the filler. What I don't understand is when I buy panels for the frige, am I only getting ones for the front and I will slide my refrigerator plus the extra 1.5" into a tall refrigerator cabinet? Or will I receive a left side panel, a right side panel, and panels for the front?

If I use a tall refrigerator cabinet, wouldn't I need it to be 1.5" wider than the specs to accomodate the extra filler? If I'm receiving side panels, then I guess they would just mount to the filler.

Does this make sense to you? Unfortunately, my installer understands perfectly what I want to do. The cabinet person is nodding his head but I don't think he gets it. He just keeps saying he will follow the specs from Kitchen Aid. I don't understand how if I'm going to make the frige 1.5" wider, how he can just follow the specs. Then again, if what I receive are panels, then I guess it doesn't matter.

Thanks for your assistance.

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Sophie Wheeler

You are confusing a fully integrated fridge with a panel ready "built in".

Fully integrated.

"Built in"

If your cabinet person doesn't understand how to create the necessary surround for your fridge, then it's time to get another cabinet person because they are NOT a kitchen designer.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 9:06AM
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I don't know about Kitchenaid, but with Sub Zero you can request that your cabinet maker spec out the cabinets for a "flush inset" installation even if you don't have the "fully integrated" model.

If you do this, the cabinet around your fridge needs to be a bit deeper and wider; but the fridge will not stick out at all beyond the cabinets. A good cabinet maker should know what you are talking about when you say you want a "flush inset" installation.

The "built in" pictures hollysprings posted above are not "flush inset". They are the regular built in look.

Here is a link that might be useful: Flush Inset

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 5:47PM
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Here is a picture of a built in SZ (not an integrated SZ) with the flush inset installation:

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 7:16PM
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Thank you! "flush inset" is the term I was searching for. I went to the appliance show room and the nice sales person sent me home with the sub zero design guide. I showed it to my husband with its detailed specs and requirements. He was a carpenter many years ago. I explained to him my idea of doing the flush inset with the KA but I needed him to do the takeoff and create the specs for the cabinet maker like the SZ book. He just looked at me and said buy the

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 10:16PM
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Fori is not pleased

Well, I guess that solves your problem. :) SZ it is!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 11:14PM
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Well, not "Necessairly" fori. Here's my Jenn-air that is "flush" with the adjacent cabinets and is not "Proud" of said cabinets by even a quarter inch. It opens just fine (all the way)soooo SZ is not the only company that is able to do this.

Back in 2006 when we bought this fridge for $4588 the SZ was over $7000.00 plus it had "Gills" showing at the top and we just did not want a "Fishie" looking kitchen.
Add to that, that the JA Fridge has 3 separate temp adjustments inside the fridge (meat keeper, veggie bin & rest of fridge), all digitally controlled, The shelves have crank up/down handles---none of this was available on the SZ back then---is it even today?????.

The JA also has the variable Speed compressor (which I'm told the SZ's do not)??? so for us it was easy to "Solve our problem", much more modern -"up to date fridge",for less money--so hard to beat that.

We also checked reviews from respondents to Consumer Reports Surveys about Fridge Reliability back in 2006 and JA Won that one "Hands Down" JA at top, SZ was at the bottom.

Good luck on your pending decisions, unfortunately JA's are not the bargain that they were in 2006, Whirlpool bought them, and use the same "Price Fixing Scheme" that SZ and others use now, alto I think if you "Hunt a bit" You can find deals on the JA or the KA and either of these should be able to mount "Flush" but as mentioned, these are "Built in & Paneled Fridges, NOT "True Integration" which we could care less about--I was going to say a "Rat's ***" but I decided to be "Nice"! (LOL).

Here's a Pic of our "Built In Paneled JA Fridge"


    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 3:53PM
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The type of refrigerator that sticks out an inch or two (and sometimes requires air clearance around it) is called a "counter-depth" or sometimes "built-in look" or "built-in style" and is a completely different beast, basically a standard freestanding fridge that's not as deep. Sometimes manufacturers make frames to help reduce the not-quite-built-in look.

Several manufacturers make true built-ins, not just Sub-Zero. They include Bosch/Thermador/Gaggenau, Electrolux (Icon?), GE Monogram, and probably Kitchenaid and Jenn-Air. Not sure if Liebherr, Northland and the like do. Built-in refrigerators used to have a big exposed grille on top that gave them away, but most of the new ones don't and just look like cabinets from the outside.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 4:43PM
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