We have a fairly modern, yet poorly planned kitchen (installed by
previous owner). There is no room for anything else but a washing
machine, but their are lots of spare cupboards, including a floor to
ceiling unit (for a fridge?). We want to replace our existing
appliances with integrated ones, are units with integrated appliances
any different to standard kitchen units? (will new appliances fit
straight into my existing cupboards), Can I modify existing doors do
fit, for example, an integrated dishwasher?
Thanks in advance
OK, my experience is the following:
1. Fridges/freezers: These can be inserted in standard kitchen cupboards,
but the cupboards may require modification. The width of the appliance is
usually about 56cm, which gives enough space inside a standard 600mm wide
cupboard to slide past the outside door hinges. The cupboard will usually
need modification as you need to remove the larder unit shelving and ensure
a top shelf is in exactly the right position. Also, the fridge freezer must
be chosen wisely to ensure that the fridge/freezer split is at the same
height as the split in the preexisting doors. Do not consider connecting the
doors so that both the fridge and freezer open simultaneously in order to
get past split matching problems. This will result in excessive force being
required to open, possibly snapped or twisted connectors and your freezer
icing up. The door split issue obviously doesn't arise with single fridges
or freezers. Even a tall larder fridge requiring two doors is OK, as it can
have the doors connected with strips in this case.
2. Dishwashers: These do NOT require a unit. They require an exact 600mm
hole. This can be obtained by entirely removing a 600 cabinet and retaining
the door. The door attaches to the front of the machine using fixings that
come with the machine. The door choice is important. A semi-integrated needs
a drawerline door. A fully integrated needs a drawerline door AND a drawer
front. If you can't source new doors, this means that you should remove a
drawerline unit. The two parts of the door should be connected together with
metal connecting strips, which can be obtained from B&Q. Using a full height
door is rarely aesthetically or practically successful, as the handle needs
to be at the top.
3. Washing machines/tumble dryers: These also do not require a unit, but
require an exact 600mm cabinet space.. They require full height 600mm doors
(although connected drawerline+drawer front, might work if you check hinge
cutout requirements). The doors connect to hinges that come with the
appliance. The drill holes required in the doors rarely match those
preexisting in the door. You will, therefore, need a special drill bit to
attach the hinges. Tumble dryers tend to be very deep. If your worksurface
is only 600mm deep, then there is little space for plumbing or sockets
behind it. Choose location wisely. With 650mm deep worksurfaces, there's no
I should also mention that the design of the back of the larder unit is
critical. If it has a hardboard back, then this may have to be removed, as
it is likely to be at a position less deep than the appliance. The same goes
for any struts which aren't right at the back of the unit.
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