Connecting a wood panel door to a fridge door, to open together.

davidro1December 3, 2008

A few fridges sold as fully integrated fridges are white boxes that have a kit to attach the fridge door to a wood door panel that has its_hinges on the_wall or on_cabinets. When they both open, there is some movement between the two doors as they both pivot on their separate hinges and go through their range, so they need a slider that holds them together.

This is not overlay panels on built in fridges or on other fully integrated fridges.

Examples of each are E.g. Liebherr HC-1001 and E.g. Liebherr HC-1011

What to use for clip-slider-connectors?

What key words or what do I need to know to get started?

Clips and sliders to attach a wood door to a fridge door to make them move together. A built-in install.

Ability to connect plastic / slider / hardware so that opening a wood door panel opens the fridge door with it.

Here is Why: I don't need to fully integrate to lineup to other cabinets, it's a stand-alone that I'd hide as a column with custom doors, so any fridge that Can Be built in will do fine. I don't know where to get the connecting hardware -sliders- or where to start looking. Instead of reinventing all the necessary dimensions and building it from scratch I think it would be good to ask who might know.


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Sounds like you need specialized hardware made specifcally for that use. Just a slider wouldn't do it because in addition to a sliding motion there would also be some separation closer to the hinges as the doors wouldn't be rotating around the same axis. Possibly a sliding mechanism that is attached at only one point by a pin that allows some rotation? Are you sure that the doors aren't meant to be opened separately, i.e. first the wood panel door and then the refrigerator door?

    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 4:56PM
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"Integrated Fridge Door Mounting Mechanism" is a track and slider I found. It's in Australia. Also there, Fisher & Paykel has an attachment accessory they sell in Australia to make their rounded-door fridge be openable by a cabinet door (this is not an overlay panel).

In North America it must be a kitchen cabinet item.

I'll keep searching using terms like : parallel mounting panel hinge track OR slide OR glide etc. The jpg's I found show a numbskull simple plastic device. One flat rod about 8" , sliding in a channel about 2" wide. The channel is glued or screwed to the fridge door, the rod / track is on the inside of the custom door panel.


    Bookmark   December 4, 2008 at 12:01PM
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    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 7:13PM
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Circus Peanut

Oh, that explains it! I'd really tried to picture what David meant; now I get it. Hafele has a picture of how their 'door attachment mechansm' works:

Here is a link that might be useful: refrigerator door attachment mechanism

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 7:28PM
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Thank you Joe G and thank you circuspeanut for posting these images.

Joe G, I saw your web site. Looks fantastic. Not only is it a good site but you are also an extremely competent company, with female cabinetmakers too.

I'd be willing to pay your firm to get a box of ten of these slider barckets and mail them to me or have them sent from Häfele. Not a big deal for your firm but still it's a start, a good deed, and may lead to more PR or something else.


    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 2:35PM
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Many apologies for the slight hijack, but are you saying that this mechanism will let me put cabinet doors on my built-in all-refrigerator and all-freezer? We have the stainless Frigidaire "twins," and I would love to be able to put a panel or door on them. I tried to follow the discussion above, but a lot of it is going over my head. David, if you don't mind, could you clarify if what you're wanting to do would also solve my problem? Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 3:23PM
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Yes worldmom, to make the fridge look like a pantry door you need a slidy mechanism that attaches to the fridge. If the fridge is in an enclosure made up of two tall side panels (with cabinet above) than you need is a door hinged on the side panel and then a "refrigerator door attachment mechanism" to pull the fridge door open when you pull on the panel door. A door that matches the other panels / doors. So, you don't need a whole new cabinet if you have side panels already there, but do your side panels stick out far enough and is your fridge door rounded or flat? Read this other link below, which also leads you to another thread discussing how to build in fridges in general.

Here is a link that might be useful: Two different mechanisms to install an integrated fridge

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 4:06PM
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This mechanism has great call-back potential for any GC brave enough to attempt it. I can envision problems galore. The wood is attached to the cabinet side, which is self-supporting, while the fridge sits on the floor, thereby subject to settling and seasonal movement. I would like to hear reports from anyone on the east coast or southern US who has such a setup. Maybe the German engineers who thought it up put in a lot of flex and tolerance for movement.
I'm dubious.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 6:06PM
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It'll work when your floor is a concrete slab. Millions of them around the world. It'll work on 99.9% of wood floors too. In my opinion.

I agree that the alternative -- an overlay attached to the fridge itself -- solves the one problem you have brought up, but OTOH its weight on a fridge causes other problems... It's a bit cavalier to come in with your remark when a DIY wants to do it himself, and you are not trying to discourage him or any other DIY. Suffice to say that millions of people have solid enough floors (whether wood or concrete). And on top of that, European integrated fridge manufacturers have used and still use this slider bracket here in North America with their integrated fridges. Some migrate to the overlay system and that is fine too, since they want to always be upgrading. I found in a Miele manual a mention of this slider system since their KFN9753iD fridge now uses the overlay method instead of two independent doors.

Since it's good enough for millions of Europeans and Australians on a regular basis, don't be afraid, don't be negative, and don't predict the worst. Other than that, you are free to go now and have a nice day.


    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 7:21PM
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Wait a sec, you are saying that there are _millions_ of these hardware setups in use? One million is quite a few, for a type of fully-integrated panel hardware. I would bet that a scant one percent of kitchens in the US contain paneled fridges. Maybe Europe is rife with them.
I would have to install one before I could recommend it to others.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 11:08AM
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Circus Peanut

Casey, I think it is true that it's used quite often abroad -- I asked a German friend who says she's seen this done many times, says it's the classic way to do integrated appliances over there. They sell "refrigerator cabinets" to specific standard fridge sizes, apparently.

I suppose that's why Liebherr ultimately switched over to the attached panel for the American market after starting with the slider mechanism; they probably had trouble bucking the way we traditionally do it.

And that said, the common refrigerator sizes in other countries are much smaller than the American ones, so that likely factors in as well.

David, these slider mechanisms have other great applications I can think of, too. Please make sure to post some detailed pictures once you have your installation done (or before!).

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 12:07PM
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I would love to see how this turns out if you go ahead with it. Our fridge and freezer aren't installed yet, so hopefully we can learn from you as you attempt it! :o)

Thanks for the clarification.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2009 at 11:50PM
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Circus Peanut

Aha! I was at State Street Appliances in NH this weekend, and what do you know, they had a big Liebherr set up in cabinetry with exactly these hinges. It worked smooth as silk. Interestingly, the hinge apparently also screws into the narrow edge of the fridge front door.

One thing to remember is that you'll need cupboard/cabinet doors that are fully finished on the inside, since they'll be visible, unlike a set-on panel.

My cell phone doesn't take great photos, but in case you can use these, David, here you are:

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 9:43AM
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Wow, great photos. Such a simple device. And "smooth as silk" too.

The last pic shows a minor movement where the strip might pull away from the panel door since the other part is more rigid, fixed to the fridge door. Since this strip is screwed at one end only, it can flex a little and pull away a 1/16th of an inch as the two doors open. This is an advantage since it can assure the two parts remain better aligned than if the strip were bolted at both ends.

I'm looking for a White plastic slider like this. I have already seen it on Liebherr (HC-1001 and HC-1050) and on the Blomberg BRFB-0900 and on old Miele fridges.

Today I don't know where to order the white ones as a kit (unless I go through the parts distributor for these fridges).

The Hafele slider is made in Brown plastic, so I haven't followed through with ordering a box of ten.


    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 12:06PM
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I purchased a Fisher Paykel fridge because I needed something small for my kitchen. It is a flat front fridge and I was told at the store that a panel could be attached to any flat front fridge. This turned out not to be true, FP does not have a kit for attaching panels to the doors. There is a through the door water dispenser, how does this complicate the process, can these mechanisms still be used? How do you do the cutout for the water dispenser? It looks like this might work except I am uncertain about the water dispenser. Would it also work for a flat front dishwasher? Is there something else that would? Thanks

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 6:52PM
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Hi David
Have u located the hinge?
I stay in south africa however my sister, who is visiting in december, stays in new york. Hoping there is somewhere near her she could buy these for me.
Also...and i know im being cheeky, do u know of something similar for dishwashers?
Would also like white however will settle for any colour lol

    Bookmark   November 21, 2013 at 1:26AM
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Can't remember the details but I remembered seeing a solution in Fine Homebuilding. I can't remember the details and you can't get the content online unless you are a member, but you may have it on your shelf already, or maybe your library does. Check out the article from Fine Homebuilding #127, November 1999... pages 52-53.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2013 at 5:28AM
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This is it, from Amazon UK but you should be able to get it delivered anywhere :

If you have friends in Europe, those could be purchased at any DIY or appliances store (this hinge type is more a European thing).

Re. dishwashers, if you have an integrated model, the hardware to screw the panel on the DW comes with your DW, but usually you only need a few screws.

Bosch/Siemens/Neff Europe has just released a few integrated dishwashers with sliding panels but I believe it is proprietary as this is very new. The sliding panel allows for a lower plinth/higher panel.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sliding dishwasher door video

This post was edited by barthelemy on Fri, Nov 22, 13 at 13:59

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 1:48PM
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Before you folks get all excited for this new cheaper alternative to a built in fridge -

What are your SPECIFIC fridge's venting requirements ? How are you going to provide for them inside the cabinet ? Will you like the necessary holes, slots, grilles, ect. in the face and on top of your cabinetry that are required to every model that is not specifically designed for this type of install ? Namely , everything except those few Liebherrs.

This mechanism is not beefy enough for a 32" -36" wide American fridge door. Most of those Euro units are 60 cm wide (24") and the weight starts to add up the wider you get !

There is a bit of design work and engineering going into this type of install, and it's not for the neophyte.

This post was edited by xedos on Sat, Nov 23, 13 at 0:40

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 5:34PM
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A vent is easy. Just make sure there is a gap above and a space behind. It's worked fine in Britain this way for ever. I wish IKEA in the US had the everyday common EU integrated fridges. I also wish they had 60cm cookers. (stoves). I also wish they had the integrated fans for above the cooker. I also wish the US had integrated washer/dryer compact combo. So many WISHES. Integrated. It's very common in the EU and a big hassle in the US.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2015 at 11:39PM
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