APPLIANCE GUIDES, REFRIGERATION

Can You Get An Integrated American Style Fridge Freezer?

While talking about integrated or freestanding fridge freezers with a client the other day I got asked the question; can you get an integrated American fridge freezer?

They wanted the storage space and convenience of an American-style fridge freezer but hidden behind kitchen cabinet doors, giving it an integrated look.

It’s a great question and one you might be surprised by the answer to.

Let me explain more.

Can You Get An Integrated American Fridge Freezer?

Yes, you can get an integrated American fridge freezer. However, there are very limited options currently available on the market.

Integrated American fridge freezers are not quite the same as a standard integrated fridge freezer because it doesn’t require a housing cabinet to install the fridge into.

Just to clarify, an American fridge freezer is a double-door opening refrigerator, sometimes called a French Door refrigerator.

Instead, you need to leave the correct gap between cabinets (or end panels) for the appliances to fit into, then attach custom kitchen cabinet doors to the front of the appliance.

Finally, install a bridging cabinet or infill piece above to complete the integrated look.

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Which Brands Make Integrated American Fridge Freezers?

There are currently only a few manufacturers (to my knowledge and research) to offer an integrated American fridge freezer.

Fisher & Paykel and Liebherr.

I’m talking about fully integrated models. These appliances sit flush with the rest of your cabinets and have matching kitchen cabinet doors attached to the front of them.

Personally, I’m a lot more familiar with the model from Fisher & Paykel having used them in multiple kitchen design projects over the years.

I think they have a great build quality and are a fantastic choice if you want that bigger (family-sized) fridge freezer but love the sleek modern look of integrated appliances.

Fisher & Paykel currently have two models available:

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Fisher & Paykel RS90A2 Integrated French Door Refrigerator
Fisher & Paykel RS90A2 Integrated French Door Refrigerator

Liebherr has one model:

Liebherr ECBN 6256 Integrated American Fridge Freezer
Liebherr ECBN 6256

How Do You Install An Integrated American Fridge Freezer?

With these integrated American fridge freezers, you do not need to have a fridge housing cabinet as you would normally have for a standard 60cm (24 inches) wide integrated fridge freezer.

Instead, you need to leave the appropriately sized gap to fit the American fridge freezer as you would for any other freestanding American fridge freezer.

You do not need to leave a large venting or door opening gap around the refrigerator like other freestanding American fridge freezers.

Generally, these integrated American fridge freezers don’t come with finished door fronts. Instead, you’ll have your own custom doors, that match the rest of your kitchen, created and attached to give the appliance that integrated look. (That’s the whole point!)

With the Fisher & Paykel models, you can also choose to purchase their stainless steel doors and handle sets if you’d rather. Personally, I think that kind of defeats the purpose though.

All the technical information about the custom door dimensions and installation gaps for the Fisher & Paykel model can be found here – RS90A2 Technical Drawings

Fisher & Paykel RS90A2 Integrated American Fridge Freezer Technical Diagram
RS90A2 Technical Drawings

What Other ways can you integrate American-style fridge freezers?

A common alternative is placing two separate 60cm (24 inches) wide integrated appliances side by side. I do this all the time! πŸ‘

This approach provides a semblance of the American style while offering flexibility in the choice of fridge and freezer models.

By choosing a full-height larder fridge and a full-height freezer, you’ll not only benefit from maximum storage capacity but when these two models are placed side by side, they can look like a single, expansive appliance.

Keep in mind, having two separate appliances side by side will take up more room than an individual integrated American fridge freezer.

If you’re looking to capture the aesthetic of the American fridge freezer more closely, you could opt for two 50/50 integrated fridge freezer models placed next to each other. As I’ve done in the kitchen featured below.

The top half of each unit would house the fridge, while the bottom half would be the freezer. When installed together, this setup gives the impression of a double-door refrigerator with freezer drawers below. A signature look of many American-style fridge freezers.

Side by side 50/50 integrated fridge freezers to give the look of an integrated American fridge freezer
Side-by-side 50/50 integrated fridge freezers give the look of an integrated American fridge freezer

Can A Freestanding American Fridge Freezer Be Integrated?

No, you can’t fully integrate a freestanding American fridge freezer.

However, if you want to create a ‘built-in look’ for a freestanding American fridge freezer (not fully integrated like the models mentioned above) you can create a surround using kitchen cabinetry to set the appliance in, giving it that built-in look alongside your other kitchen cabinets.

The example below uses tall end panels and a bridging cabinet to create a surround for the American fridge freezer. Making it appear more built-in to the kitchen and cabinetry.

Tall end panels and a bridging cabinet to create a built-in look for an American fridge freezer.
Surround created for a Freestanding American Fridge Freezer.

You could also achieve this built-in look by having tall kitchen cabinets on either side of the American fridge freezer. Again, with a bridging cabinet above to complete the look.

Depending on the make and model of the American fridge freezer, they may stick out past the cabinets or end panels on either side and may need to have a venting/door opening gap around them (some need bigger gaps than others).

Always check the appliance dimensions and installation requirements to make sure you can achieve the look you are after.

Personally, I think creating a surround and that built-in look for an American fridge freezer is a great choice and one I often design for my clients.

Can You Get An Integrated American Fridge Freezer With A Water Dispenser On The Outside?

Not completely, no. I have yet to come across a fully integrated American fridge freezer with a water/ice dispenser on the outside.

However, using the Fisher & Paykel model discussed above, you could half achieve this.

Using one of the Fisher & Paykel models along with purchasing the stainless steel door panel set for the water/ice dispenser door section. You could have custom door fronts installed on one of the doors and the freezer drawer, then use the stainless steel door on the water/ice dispenser door.

Creating an almost fully integrated American fridge freezer with a water/ice dispenser. Although, this would be quite an expensive exercise.

Fisher & Paykel state that you cannot use custom door fronts on the water and ice dispenser section.

This is the door kit and handles options you would need.

The Liebherr model mentioned above has an ice maker inside the freezer drawer, which is nice, but not really what I’m talking about with this question.

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Final Thoughts…

There you have it! The question of whether you can get an integrated American fridge freezer is answered and explained.

While it is possible there is currently very little choice on the market and it’s not a straightforward ‘off the shelf’ item.

However, if you have the budget and determination then an integrated American fridge freezer can be the best of both worlds and a stunning design feature to any kitchen.

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Author

Michael from Kitchinsider.com

Michael is a kitchen designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new kitchen installations for over 10 years. Before that, he was an electrician and part of a team that fitted kitchens. He created Kitchinsider in early 2019 to help give people advice when it comes to getting a new kitchen.