Home Improvement Ideas

Kitchen Appliances 101 – Built-In VS Freestanding

Kitchen Appliances
Written by Shiyamala

When renovating your old kitchen or building a new one, one of the major decisions you’ll make is choosing between built-in and freestanding appliances. 

Kitchen appliances that are integrated into the walls and cabinets of your kitchen are known as built-in units whereas appliances that are stand-alone and free from built-in structures are known as freestanding. 

Both types of appliances have their own set of benefits and drawbacks. It’s important that you take into account all the relevant factors before making a choice. 

Let’s first explore the advantages and disadvantages of built-in vs freestanding kitchen units!

Built-In Kitchen Appliances


Visually Pleasing

Perhaps the biggest advantage of built-in units is that they are extremely aesthetic. Since these units are concealed within the structure of your luxury kitchen design, they help maintain a rather streamlined and uncluttered look. 

Since these units are well hidden, they do not interrupt the overall flow and design of your kitchen. With built-in appliances, you can create the ultimate minimalist look in your kitchen.

More Compact and Less Disruptive

When compared to their freestanding counterparts, built-in appliances tend to be less disruptive and noisy. The cabinets they are constructed in help minimise the noise these appliances make, not to mention they are tethered to one particular place along with other surrounding units. 

All these elements help subdue the noise and vibrations that emerge from these appliances. 

Switch between Power Sources

With regards to power sources, built-in units offer more fluidity as to where you plug these units in. It’s relatively easy to go back and forth between electric and gas in-built appliances like ovens and hobs when compared to freestanding solutions. 



In-built kitchen appliances are difficult to integrate into your kitchen design which makes the overall installation more expensive. These are bespoke which means, it’ll cost you an arm and leg to get ‘one of a kind’ custom appliances made. It costs more to repair these units too.

Difficult to Source

Since custom units are made by fewer brands, it can be difficult to come across kitchen installation companies that’ll get the job done. For the same reason, built-in units cost more as not all kitchen installers offer custom appliances.

Freestanding Kitchen Appliances



Freestanding kitchen units are comparatively cheaper than their expensive built-in counterparts. Since you wouldn’t need kitchen specialists to set these up in your kitchen, the cost of installation drops even further. If you are on a tight kitchen budget, freestanding appliances are the more sensible option for you.

Freedom to Move/Shift Places

These appliances offer more flexibility in terms of placement and positioning. This means if you decide to give your kitchen a quick makeover, all you have to do is switch places of your freestanding appliances and voila, you are done! If you are moving houses, you can take these appliances with you. 

Can be Used As a Feature Element

If you invest in a sleek freestanding model, it can act as the feature element in your kitchen space. If your kitchen is done in neutral or industrial style, adding a colourful freestanding unit will not only brighten up the space but also introduce a fun and playful vibe in your space.

More Options and Variety

Since freestanding appliances are more readily available in terms of colour, style, capacity, price range and brand, you have a plethora of options to choose from.  


Difficult to Match with Your Space

Freestanding options won’t match your kitchen and home decor. Moreover, they will always draw attention as they do not have custom cabinet spaces where they can be stowed away. 

If achieving a streamlined look in your kitchen is on top of your list, it just won’t be possible with freestanding appliances as they’ll always be out there in the way, disrupting the flow and design of your space.

Say Bye to Tailor-made Items

If you wish to have ‘one of a kind’ elements in your kitchen, then freestanding solutions aren’t the right choice for you. 

Things To Consider Before Investing In Kitchen Appliances

Now that you know the various pros and cons of investing in each type of appliance, let’s take a look at the things you need to consider before making a decision.


When renovating your kitchen or installing a new one, your budget plays a key role. Once you’ve come up with a number, all your decisions will be based on the kind of budget you have. Several different appliances are available at varying prices depending on the brand, quality and style of the model. 

Typically, kitchen appliances tend to take up 15 to 20% of your total budget, so work with that figure in mind when looking for units to install. 

Features, Colour, Size of the Appliances

Since freestanding appliances have far more options than built-in units, your decision becomes a whole lot easier. You will get extensive options in half the price in terms of colour, features, size and more.

Combining Built-In and Freestanding Features

If you don’t wish to go all out on either type, the best solution is to settle for a combination of these appliances. This becomes especially handy if you have large cabinets that’ll make the amalgamation easier. Store freestanding units in the cabinets where they remain hidden to achieve an uncluttered and uniform look.

While the effectiveness of integrating both in-built and freestanding units depends on a number of factors, you’ll have to introduce some changes in your kitchen design to make this work. 

First off, you’ll require a larger space that facilitates ventilation and manoeuvring of units. Secondly, you need to ensure that all the locations you choose to place your appliances in have easy access to a power or a utility source. This method could be comparatively cheaper than going all out on installing a built-in kitchen without compromising on the sleekness and aesthetics. 

While you will surely need some planning to decide which factors will be freestanding and which will be in-built, with professional help, you can achieve the kitchen of your dreams. The key is to choose materials and accents that link all your kitchen elements seamlessly to create a common theme and fluidity in your space.

To Sum Up

It all boils down to how you want your kitchen’s final look to be like when debating about freestanding vs built-in appliances. If being minimalist is a priority, then choosing built-in options is ideal. If versatility and convenience are essential, then opting for freestanding solutions will be perfect. 

Seek professional help to get the best for your dream kitchen.

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