Home Refrigerators It is possible to turn an ordinary refrigerator into a built-in one

It is possible to turn an ordinary refrigerator into a built-in one

Necessary tools and materials

The list of necessary add-ons and fittings includes:

  • Level.
  • Pencil.
  • Metal corners.
  • Screws or euro screws.
  • Self-tapping screws.
  • Quality hinges with at least 110-degree swing.
  • Furniture edge by 2 millimeters.
  • Fronts and other parts made of laminated chipboard.

Self-tapping screws for metal help to fix metal corners, but varieties for wood will not be superfluous, so that the refrigerator, built into the cabinet, will work properly.

Built-in fridge in the cabinet: step-by-step instructions

First, think again and compare the built-in and conventional refrigerator. The second definitely wins in price, it’s cheaper. And the size. the built-in has more compact dimensions. But you don’t have to make anything up, t.к. Built-in appliances are designed precisely to be hidden.

There are two ways to build a unit: order the work from professionals, for example, together with the kitchen: they themselves will make measurements, make the furniture and make the installation. Or you can do the same thing with your own hands.

To build a conventional refrigerator into a kitchen unit yourself, assess the model you already have: take general measurements, separately mark the height of the lower and upper door. Put the numbers on paper.

The next step is to design the frame. Several requirements for the design in which the unit can be built:

possible, turn, ordinary, refrigerator

  • the door must open on the unfolded angle, so that it is more convenient to use the refrigerator;
  • the back wall should be removed, leaving room for ventilation;
  • There must be enough space between the floor and the bottom of the refrigerator, taking into account the free opening;
  • The inner width of the frame is made 7-10 cm larger than the refrigerator. this is necessary for air circulation and quality cooling without overheating;
  • The external width of the construction depends on the free space in the niche. but cannot be less than the width of a normal refrigerator of 10 cm;
  • the depth should preferably not be wider than the tabletop.

At the stage of designing a suitable module, you should have a clear idea of where exactly it will stand: this depends on which way the door opens and exactly how much free space you have.

When the technical drawing on paper is finished and the exact dimensions of each part are known, start sawing. If you are going to make a cabinet from Laminated chipboard, make sure that during the cut the glued film is not scratched. Doubting your technique and experience? Order a saw cut to your dimensions at any furniture shop.

Important ! After sawing, do not forget about edging: all the ends must be protected from moisture.

Do not forget to order the fronts as well. it is best if they are made at the same factory as everyone else: otherwise you risk not getting the color of the kitchen set.

Proceed directly to the assembly and installation of the refrigerator in the kitchen cabinet.

  • An electric screwdriver or drill with a screwdriver drill for a screwdriver;
  • The furniture screws themselves;
  • a ruler and a pencil;
  • angle piece;
  • a tape measure;
  • level;
  • a suitable special bit for screwing;
  • Fittings (hinges, corners, fasteners);
  • Ball bearing rails. 2 pcs.

Let’s start placing the regular refrigerator in the kitchen:

  • The first thing to do is to assemble the cabinet body. Screw the side walls to the bottom, shelves and lid with mini-fixes. Install spacers (10-15 cm wide) at the top and bottom of the back wall. Screw on the hinges, 2 per upper and lower door.
  • Insert the fridge into the box. Position it so that there is enough space for air at the back and sides of the door.
  • Screw it with the corner brackets on both sides to the sides. 2 in the center. between the upper and lower parts are enough.
  • Hang the front parts on the hinges, align them, screw the handles.
  • Screw the rails to the front panels at the top (3-7 cm below the top end of the refrigerator doors).
  • It remains to screw the metal corners to the refrigerator door and to the rail, thus fixing the front to the door.

Important ! Be sure to check the cabinet for stability. in the process of operation the fridge vibrates a little, which may cause the unreliable structure to collapse. To make sure that nothing happens to the frame, fasten it to the wall using brackets.

To understand the fitting process in more detail and to listen to tips from the craftsmen, see

Can the built-in refrigerator be used as a regular refrigerator

A built-in unit performs the same functions as a regular refrigerator, but differs in design, size and method of installation. These appliances can have one or more compartments, a freezer, containers and other appliances for storing and cooling food. All the basic features, such as automatic control and No Frost, are also present. Built-in refrigerators have no external housing, t.к. All the basic features. such as automatic control and No Frost. are also present, as are decorative panels camouflaged under the kitchen furniture. This is a practical solution that helps to save space in the room.

Dimensions of the appliance

The main question when choosing an appliance is the height, width of the refrigerator and its useful volume.

Dimensions of conventional and built-in appliances:

  • the width is 40-350 cm for the standard units and 40-112 cm for the built-in units;

Built-In Refrigerator Ventilation Clearances | Don’t Burn Up Your Refrigerator | THE HANDYMAN

  • The depth of a conventional device. 18-60 cm; built-in. 40-60 cm;
  • Height of ordinary. from 18 to 225 cm; recessed. from 60 to 200 cm.

When buying a unit, the main reference point is the number of family members and the specifics of using food. There is a calculated value: for 1 person is entitled to 120 liters of useful volume. For each additional family member, 60 liters are added. Freezer and refrigerator compartment capacities are counted separately. Freezer is necessary for buying meat and fish in large volumes, freezing summer fruits and vegetables. There are tables that have glass sliding functions with photo-printing, which will fit very well into the kitchen ensemble.

The difference between the built-in appliances and conventional ones is the smaller size and lower capacity: narrower and lower models.

The optimal height of the built-in. from 1.5 to 2 m. The niche in which the unit will be located, should not look dissonant compared to other elements of the furniture set and not exceed the standard height of the kitchen door (2 m).

Refrigerator under cupboard

There are several types of refrigeration equipment that are allowed to be built into the kitchen set. The place for placement should be chosen based not only on the size parameters, but also on the type of refrigerator. So, when you want to build the unit into a cabinet and thus save the biggest possible space, it is desirable to give preference to built-in models without a freezer. This refrigerator will “fit” well in a small-sized kitchen, and its volume is on average represented by 90-170 l. Some models have a freezer compartment, which also does not add to the difficulty of integrating the unit into the furniture. These refrigerators can also be positioned under the countertop, which allows you to leave even more free space.

Such units are not suitable for a family of 4-5 people or more, as its capacity is insufficient. With a large number of users and large volumes of stored products, the preference is given to dual-chamber models whose main distinguishing feature from the previous type. the presence of two separate chambers. a refrigerator and a freezer. The freezer can have an upper or lower position.

Such models are present in virtually every manufacturer and are widely available in home appliance stores. Given the choice presented, it is not difficult to purchase a suitable model in terms of functionality and capacity. To integrate the equipment, nothing complicated is required. often a separate, specially adapted cabinet is assembled, into which the unit is “hidden” and it becomes a component of the kitchen set.

Getting started with a recessed unit

Before installing the unit, get acquainted with the intricacies of the upcoming event. In the vast majority of cases, built-in refrigerated cabinets are equipped with a personal option of hinged sash. With effort, it is possible to pick up a model that will be installed without the use of a hinge system. Such a unit is easier to build into the cabinet than a standard recessed model.

There are models whose leaves are equipped with a hinge system, the so-called “hinge on skids. The fact that the doors of such a construction open in such a way that the impression of sliding shutters is created. When deciding whether it is necessary to build the unit, take into account the weight of the sashes. It must be evenly distributed between the furniture hinges and built-in appliances. The furniture itself is possible to assemble from a variety of materials. The main condition. the texture and color of the material must match the interior design of the kitchen.

Tip! If you have no experience with wood, you can use laminated chipboard as a substitute.

What to do if the refrigerator is a classic freestanding

Quite often interested in the question of the possibility of embedding a classic freestanding unit in the cabinet. This can be done, but in the course of the work there are many problems:

  • A classic refrigerator according to the rules is installed on the floor and because of this, the cabinet in which the unit will be placed, must be without a bottom, which makes the entire structure unreliable and fragile.
  • Cabinet, which will be built into a standard unit, must have a great depth, which will be in parameters exceed not only other cabinets, but even the countertop. The width of such a cabinet will also be decent, as it is necessary to completely hide the refrigerator.
  • The cabinet must have 4 or, more often, 6 doors. Each of the doors must swing open freely, and the door must open with them also easily and without hindrance.
  • To ensure proper ventilation, the cabinet in which you plan to build a standard unit, should not have a back wall. This is even more detrimental to the stability of the furniture. such a design will swing with every sloppy movement.

Because of the above-mentioned difficulties, it is not practical to build a classic freestanding refrigerator into the cabinet. “Packing” such a unit is a pointless waste of effort and money. If you want to decorate and build your fridge nicely, hiding it from sight, it is better to buy specialized appliances, designed for such actions.

Making a cabinet for the refrigerator

First of all choose. what material will be used to make a cabinet under the fridge. It is possible to assemble it from the following:

Focus on their own skills and budget. Work with gypsum board and Laminated chipboard is easy, but wood requires some experience. Prepare such materials and tools:

  • furniture hinges and handles;
  • drill;
  • Materials for assembling the cabinet;
  • Nails and self-tapping screws;
  • hammer;
  • Self-adhesive film, paint or wallpaper;
  • construction tape measure;
  • A saw;
  • construction level;
  • electric jigsaw (if present);
  • furniture screws;
  • a sledgehammer;
  • pencil.

The built-in unit does not have a decorative body, so it is possible to assemble a unique product by yourself, making it so that it will fit harmoniously into the kitchen interior, and due to the pantograph system connects the cabinet sashes and refrigerator. This eliminates the problem of twin doors.

First perform the measurements of the built-in equipment. Free space for the cabinet and begin to mark the details of the future box and their sawing. To saw the laminated chipboard you can use an ordinary jigsaw. Cut components are fastened with furniture screws.

Attention! In the process of installing the unit in the niche must be careful, because you want to ensure ventilation around the device, due to which the heat from the device will be removed to the outside. Cut openings in the upper and lower shelves and in the tray of the box to allow free circulation of air. Sometimes it is necessary to install an auxiliary fan to enhance circulation.

The cabinet itself must be supplemented with a small podium. The back wall does not have to be fastened. But, when putting the cabinet in place it is necessary to check the evenness of the assembly with a construction level. A hole is made in the side wall of the box for the cord of the built in refrigerator. The cabinet is placed in its final location and the unit is inserted into the box. The cabinet door is made into a pantograph and adjustable. Correct adjustment is the key to the absence of noise when the door swings open. Visually noticeable cuts are hidden behind a specialized edge.

Some built-in units are equipped with a system of hinged fronts on skids. The cabinet door in this option must have its own hinges, and when the built-in refrigerator is swung open, both doors will slide against each other. This system is recommended when the box is made of solid wood. This solution subsequently reduces the load on the sash of the built-in refrigeration unit.

Masking the refrigerator

For those who don’t want to get into the math and mess with the carpentry part, there is a variant with imitation. By means of decorative camouflaging, the refrigerator can be integrated into practically any interior.

Vinyl stickers

They stick up easily and can be removed without much trouble. You can find all sorts of variants on sale. There are thousands of them on Aliexpress, from tiny stickers to PVC vinyl sheeting that can coat the entire fridge.

Tip! If the store solutions do not fit, then the necessary figures, words, flowers and other motifs can easily be cut out of a large cloth by yourself.

Photo-printed film

So you can turn an ordinary refrigerator into a telephone booth, a soda machine or organize a window into Paris with a view of the Eiffel Tower, for example. There are lots and lots of design options. In addition, the film will be an additional protection against scratches and dirt. If necessary, it can be removed and glued another.


Make the refrigerator less noticeable and at the same time visually add free space in the kitchen will help full painting. For this purpose, a quality enamel matched to the color of the surroundings is quite suitable. You can also paint the equipment with acrylic paint by means of a stencil. In this case, the drawing will need to be secured with a colorless varnish.

Important! Before painting, the surface of the refrigerator should be wiped with white spirit and treated with primer to prevent the material from drying out and cracking.

You can paint the fridge in any color

Magnetic board

It is a universal solution for all refrigerators. A black magnetic board, adjusted to the height of the equipment will be very useful if there are children and forgetful householders in the apartment. This solution is a little more expensive than the others, but it is more practical.

Can the regular fridge be built into the cabinet?? Do not tip! Here’s why.

The reasons are different: the unpresentable appearance, the white color of the refrigerator stands out from the overall range and other reasons push many to this idea.

We asked the director of the kitchen furniture salon “Kuhmaster” (Moscow, Russia) to help us.Saratov) Lyudmila Gennadyevna Bazarova.

Once upon a time, about 10 years ago, at the great request of our customer, we met her halfway and built the fridge into the cabinet.

We were not happy with the result and here is why.

Before we tell you how to build a regular refrigerator into the cabinet, or rather, why you should not do it, briefly consider what a built-in refrigerator is, and how it differs from an ordinary.

Can a regular refrigerator be built into the cabinet: practical tips

The procedure takes place in several stages: measurements, sawing with trimming, assembly and installation of equipment.

Tip! The best option to take care of the drawer in the process of designing the kitchen set. So you don’t have to look for materials that fit the overall style perfectly.

The cupboard should be slightly larger than the fridge itself, so that the air can circulate freely in it. Please note that you can not put the drawer next to the hob or oven, as the load on the material will be too high.

Necessary tools and materials

For manufacturing and assembling the frame you will need materials, furniture fittings and tools. The latter in the form of a drill and an electric screwdriver will certainly be found in the workshop of any home handyman. Body parts will need to be purchased separately.

  • Classic Laminated chipboard 16 mm and fronts (subject to local style);
  • movable edge 2 mm;
  • Solid hinges with a swing of at least 110 degrees (2 for each sash or 4 for the total);
  • self-tapping screws;
  • Euro screws (confirmations);
  • metal corners;
  • a pencil;
  • level.

To attach the metal corners, you will need self-tapping screws for metal (to the refrigerator) and wood (to the vertical post) of the appropriate size.


First of all, you need to know the dimensions of the device and the real. The thing is that some manufacturers specify in the specification only technical data without taking into account, for example, decorative elements. In addition, taking into account the available data, we determine the dimensions of the necessary accessories.

  • Outer width of the box. Enter the dimensions of the hinges 30 mm. That is, if the equipment will be 600 mm wide, and the sheets Laminated chipboard by 16 mm, the final figure will be 662 mm (600 30 16 2).
  • The height of the cabinet. In order not to violate the style of the set, the box should be flush with the hinged cases. It’s okay if there is a vacuum at the top of the refrigerator. The main thing is to have a sufficient gap of 50 mm.
  • Vertical uprights. Here you need to lay at least 50 mm. If the unit has a depth of 600 mm, the width of the cabinet rack will be 650 mm.
  • Shelf. It is located above the refrigerator. Find the outside width of the box and subtract the vertical struts. In our case 662 16 2 = 630 mm (width). The length of the shelf is better to reduce from the racks by 100 mm, that is obtained by 550 mm.
  • Spacers. One is located on the back, and the others on the bottom. The length of the spacers corresponds to the width of the purlins, minus the thickness Particleboard (16 2).
  • Base/plinth. Its height is the same as that of other similar elements in the set, and the width is calculated based on the box.
  • Doors. The number of fronts depends on the room, as well as the height. The calculation is specific for each model.

The back wall for the cabinet is not needed, because the refrigerator compressor requires good cooling. Spacers are added instead of the chipboard to stabilize the construction.

Sawing and cutting

If you can not make your own cut, you can go to any furniture company with the existing measurements. Ordering Laminated chipboard and the purchase of the board is a matter of decision: the market, a specialty store or furniture manufacturers themselves.

They can also be glued to the edge. Also do not forget about the holes for door hinges. It is difficult to make them with your own hands because of the large diameter.

Assembling the box

There shouldn’t be any major problems here. Connect the spacers to the uprights and cover, fix the base and try the enclosure in place. You may need to drill an extra hole or make a slit for the power cord.

For greater reliability, attach the box to the wall at the corners one pair at the top and one in the center of the struts. Remove the level and join the enclosure with the adjacent walls and tables. The last place to hang the fronts, with the hinges on the vertical racks must be screwed on at the beginning of the assembly.

Installing the Cooler

Carefully place the unit in place and check whether the furniture fronts rest against the refrigerator doors. Center the unit and fasten the metal corners. It is best to fasten them in place of the port connector of the device.

Fasten the brackets to the refrigerator with self-tapping metal screws (20-25 mm). The body of the refrigerator in this part is hollow, so you can drill without fear all the responsible elements are located behind the equipment, and the sensors and indicators are usually located at the top. Fasten the corners to the laminate with wood screws (16-18 mm).

Do not be afraid to puncture the fridge: in this part it is empty

You can also place the corners at the bottom of the refrigerator for extra security. The more fasteners the better, but do not get too carried away, so as not to inadvertently damage the wiring or other important elements. Then we screw the handles on the fronts and hang them on the cabinet.

How to build a regular refrigerator into a cabinet

To build a non-flushable refrigerator into the finished cabinet, you’ll need:

  • Full extension ball bearing rails half the width of the cabinet front (2 pcs.);
  • Metal nooks (4 pcs.);
  • Fastening elements (screws, bolts with nuts, self-tapping screws);
  • Drill and quality metal drill bits of the right diameter;
  • Pencil;
  • Ruler;
  • Level.

To make the frame and fronts of the cabinet with your own hands (or with the hands of a professional furniture maker) you will need:

  • Fibreboard or 16mm thick chipboard (chosen according to the kitchen design, i.e.е. use the same fronts);
  • Melamine edging in the color Fiberboard/Wood particle board 2 mm thick;
  • Furniture hinges, preferably with closures and an angle of opening not less than 110 degrees, so you can easily get to the inside of the refrigerator drawers and shelves (3-4 hinges for the large door and 2-3. for the freezer door);
  • Furniture handles (2 pcs.);
  • Self-tapping screws;
  • Furniture screws;
  • Minifixes;
  • Corners.

Measuring and designing the installation box

To integrate a standard refrigerator into a kitchen unit, you first need to create a cabinet. Here are two ways out: either you are an experienced craftsman and make your own box, or you are an ordinary person and order the production of custom-sized cabinet to professionals. In the latter case, you will only need to directly build the refrigerator into the niche. everyone will be able to do this, following our instructions.

  • Ideally, the box for the built-in refrigerator is worth considering at the stage of designing the kitchen set. so you do not have to bother looking for materials that match the existing furniture.

Whichever way you choose, you first need to determine the place where the appliance will stand and make accurate measurements of the future cabinet-penetrator.

  • The main principle in determining the dimensions of the frame: air must constantly circulate around the refrigerator to cool its surface. This means that your cabinet will be slightly larger than the refrigerator.
  • Measure the width, height and depth of the refrigerator, and the distance from the floor to the center of the space between the upper and lower doors.
  • Determine the dimensions of the parts of the cabinet, taking into account the technological reserves:
  • The outer width of the cabinet. In it you need to put a reserve for the installation of hinges of at least 28 mm. With a width of 600 mm and a thickness of 16 mm on both sides of the box, the external width of the refrigerator is therefore at least 660 mm.
  • Height of the cabinet. It is up to you, but ideally the plinth should be at the same level as the wall cabinets. That is, if the height of the kitchen is 216 cm, then the basement, and hence the racks of the frame should have a height of 216 cm. In such a tall peninsula above the refrigerator you will need a shelf for ventilation and storage.

Important note: in the height of the niche of the refrigerator it is necessary to provide not less than 5 cm clearance for ventilation.

  • Racks. We put no less than 50 mm reserve into the size of side-supports, it means that if the depth of the refrigerator is 600 mm, the columns of the box must have the width of 650 mm each.
  • A panel above the refrigerator (shelf). Its width is calculated by the formula: external width of the peninsula minus the sum of the thicknesses of the two racks (for example, 660-16-16=628 mm). But the length of the shelf should be less than the width of the rack by about 100mm. then the panel will not reach the wall and cover the back of the refrigerator, which is necessary for ventilation. If you don’t do this, the appliance will simply overheat. Thus, consider: 650-100 = 550 mm.
  • Top panel of the box (lid). If you plan to make a niche for storage above the refrigerator, you can make the top cover blank (for example, 628×650 mm), but it will have to build a vent in its back.grid. The second option: just make the top lid under the wall at 10 cm. Then we calculate: 650-100=550 mm.
  • Rear wall of the shelf. Its width = Inner width of the box (e.g. 628 mm). The height of the wall is at your discretion (depends on the height of the niche itself, but taking into account the two thicknesses of the top cover and the panel above the refrigerator.
  • Rear spacer. It should be 150-160 mm wide and as long as the inside width of the frame.
  • Spacer bottom (2 pcs.). It must be 50 mm wide and as long as the inside width of the frame.
  • Plinth. It should be a little less than the distance from the floor to the edge of the bottom door of the refrigerator so that the front can be opened comfortably. So, for example, if the distance from the floor to the edge of the door is 80 mm, the height of the plinth could be about 68 mm. The length of the plinth equals the width of the cabinet.
  • Facades (3 pcs. (for lower and upper door of the refrigerator, as well as for the shelf above the refrigerator) or 2 pcs. (if you’re building a cabinet without a shelf)). Height and width of the facades should be calculated taking into account the thickness of the edges (2 mm on each side of the part) and the gaps between the facades of 5 mm (they are needed in case of sagging facades over time). So, for example, for a 60 cm wide refrigerator you need 656 mm wide fronts (without taking into account the edges).



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