Freestanding vs. Built-In Appliances

When selecting appliances for the kitchen, one is presented with a variety of choices (almost too much variety for those of use prone to indecision!). One place to start in narrowing down the selection is figuring out whether they they will be freestanding or built-in:

Figure that out as a first step, then narrow your choices from there. For a start, here are advantages and disadvantages to both:

Freestanding:
Pros

  • Generally less expensive than built-ins.
  • Simpler initial installation and easier to change out in the future.

Cons

  • Cooktop and oven are either both electric or both gas.
  • Appearance is not as integrated/seamless as with built-in appliances.

Built-In
Pros

  • Visually integrated (some built-in refrigerators even let you install custom door panels to match your cabinetry).
  • When it comes to separate built-in ovens and cooktops, you can install a gas cooktop and electric wall oven.

Cons

  • Cost: Product and installation costs are almost invariably higher than with free-standing appliances.
  • Could be complicated and costly to change out in the future, possibly impacting cabinetry.

There are cases for both - and like anything, it greatly depends on your individual needs and wants. Do you have built-in or free-standing appliances in your kitchen? What do you see as additional pros/cons of each?

Related: What Is the Best Way To: Shop for a New Appliance?

(Images: Chris and Heather's Serene and Hippie Kitchen, Christen Carter's Bright and Serene Chicago Kitchen)

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Shopping, Kitchens, Appliances, Kitchen

Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and children in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.

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