Built-In Appliances: Buying Guide

01 (2)

By Dina Amir

Built-in appliances became very trending when you plan your new house or redecorating your current house. By built-in appliances, we mean the appliances that take less space in your kitchen, or integrated appliances that are part of your kitchen décor. They are usually hidden behind a door like a normal kitchen cabinet, and that is to maintain your modern look and protect your devices. On the other side, there are the freestanding appliances, which most of us have at home. They are not part of the kitchen cabinets, and they are visible to everyone entering your kitchen.

Since Yaoota cares about your happiness and comfort, we are here providing a fully detailed guide about built-in appliances. The article includes the advantages and disadvantages of built-in appliances, the different kinds of appliances that you can choose from, and finally the dimensions suitable for each built-in appliance.

Advantages of built-in appliances:

  1. Help you make the best use of space, and leave room for other furniture.
  2. Make your kitchen more visually attractive.
  3. Easier to clean, as they will be maintained and protected.
  4. Safer for kids, as they are harder to reach.
  5. Variable compatibility; you can get a gas cook and wall electric oven, unlike freestanding appliances when both of them have to be of the same type.

Disadvantages of built-in appliances:

  1. A bit more costly than freestanding appliances.
  2. A bit more complicated to be changed later on.
  3. Require more frequent cleaning [1, 2, 3].

    Types of built-in appliances

In this section, we will introduce you to the different types of built-in appliances, from refrigerators to cooktops and microwaves. Information about the approximate dimensions of such appliances, and how to prepare your kitchen to accommodate these appliances will be included.

  • Refrigerator

When it comes to built-in refrigerators, the freestanding and the built-in are the same. The difference is in the installation and kitchen planning. If you are planning to have your refrigerator as built-in, it will be integrated in your kitchen, taking a cabinet without a door, so that the refrigerator’s front will be the only visible part of it. Regardless of the refrigerator size, you need to leave 50mm as a minimum distance from each side, and at the back. Also, at least 25 mm should be left above the refrigerator, along with the other mentioned dimensions. These dimensions should be cautiously applied to avoid the damage of the compressor as a result of the condensing of hot air. In addition, you should avoid keeping your refrigerator near sunlight, or a place that is far from water pipes to function properly [4].

Check out Built-In Refrigerator models here.

  • Microwave

built in microwave


Unlike refrigerators, built-in microwaves are different from freestanding ones.


  • If you will install your built-in microwave between two cabinets, leave minimum of 2.5cm above it and 4cm below.
  • If the microwave will be installed above an oven, leave a minimum of 2.5cm above it and 8cm below it.
  • If the microwave will be installed above a drawer, leave a minimum of 2.5cm above it and 4cm below it.
  • If you will place the microwave under the cooktop, leave a minimum of 8cm above the microwave (between the lowest point of the cooktop in the counter and the microwave) and 4cm above the toe kick (which is the wood between the cabinet structure and the floor) [5]. 

Check out Built-In Microwave models here. 

  • Cooker hoods


There are different types of hoods that can work as part of your built-in appliances kitchen:

  • Built-in cooker hoods, which are suitable for small spaces and fit perfectly into the kitchen cabinets. Their width range from 52-60cm.
  • The integrated cooker hoods perfectly fit into your kitchen cabinet and be invisible. They are suitable for four ring cooktops or ovens.
  • For a large kitchen, you can get an island cooker hood, but it will remain visible and won’t be built-in. 


  • Leave a minimum  of 65cm between the gas oven top/ cooktop and the hood surface and a minimum of 60cm if you have an electric cooktop (maximum 80cm in both cases).
  • Cut into the bottom of cabinet to install your range hood [6, 7].

Check out Built-In hood models here. 

  • Wall Oven

built in oven

This appliance will end the hassle of having both the hob and the oven together, which makes you suffer from the heat whenever you use the oven. Now, you will have them in two different units, and you can use both of them at the same time without having to deal with the high temperature coming from the oven. It will be easier for you to remove the hot dishes and trays when you have the oven at an appropriate height. Cleaning will be much easier as well. You can get a single or double oven, choose whether it is gas or electric, and can place it away from the hob. The built-in oven is usually around 60cm wide [8, 9].


  • The suggested distance between the oven and the floor is 29cm.
  • Leave at least 59cm for the oven door to open.
  • Leave around 4cm between the front oven door and the cabinet.
  • A minimum of 4cm is required above the oven cabinet, not the oven itself.
  • Leave a minimum of 6cm on each side of the cabinet cutout where you will place your oven [10]. 

Check out Built-In oven models here. 

  • Built-in hobs

  • Gas hob  gas hob 

    It uses visible flames and requires a gas supply. It is less costly than electric hobs, and can be used with any cooking utensils. Instant heat and no adjustable temperature, yet it doesn’t look as stylish as Electric hobs. There is gas on glass hobs, which is more stylish and easier to clean, but not as efficient as normal gas hobs.

Check out Built-In Gas hob models here. 

Electric hob

electric built in hob
It requires electricity to operate, which makes it a bit costly on the long run. There are two types of electric hobs; ceramic electric hob and electric induction hob. Ceramic hobs are easy to use and quickly to heat, yet they don’t distribute the temperature efficiently in all areas of the pan. While induction hobs are efficient energy users as they create a magnetic field between the pan and the hob surface. These induction hobs don’t work with all types of utensils and they can be more expensive than other hobs [11, 12, 13, 14].



  • Leave at least 76cm between the hob and the hood or the cabinet above it.
  • Maintain a minimum of 5cm between the hob cutout and the wall behind it, as well as 15cm on each side of the hob cutout, whether there was a unit or a wall on any of the sides.
  • For electric hobs, the cutout height must be a minimum of 2.5cm.
  • Preferable leave a minimum of 60cm between the hob and the floor.



  • Don’t build the oven above a fridge, freezer, dishwasher, or a washing machine.
  • For electric hobs, avoid leaving fat or oil material on the hob, or they might heat up quickly causing fire.
  • Never use the electric hob surface for cutting or chopping, as the surface might get scratched causing you an electric shock
  • Your hob must have a ventilation hood above, so don’t place it near a window or a door [15, 16, 17].

Check out Built-In Electric hob models here. 

  • Dishwashers

built in dishwasher

Built-in dishwashers will have more advanced features, in comparison to freestanding ones. They will also give you a modern and neat look of your kitchen, as it will be inside a cabinet. The top of your dishwasher is usually a countertop, which means saving space for another kitchen ware or preparing materials. You need to install it near water supply/pipes and an electric plug-in as well [18, 19, 20].


  • If you are installing the dishwasher beside a wall, make sure you leave at least a clearance of 5cm between them.
  • The wall behind the dishwasher must be free for pipes and electric wires.
  • The cabinet of the dishwasher must be on the floor, to facilitate the installation and removal later on.
  • Maintain a clearance of at least 69cm in front of the dishwasher to allow the door to open.
  • The dishwasher cabinet must have a width and depth of at least 61cm [21].

Check out Built-In Dishwasher models here. 

  • Built-In Washing machines   

    Screen shot 2017-04-26 at 11.33.41 AM         

A built-in washing machine is totally different from the freestanding one.


  • Leave a minimum of 0.5cm on both sides of the washing machines inside the cabinet.
  • Better leave a minimum of 3cm clearance between the back of the washing machine and the cabinet or the wall.
  • Leave a minimum of 1cm above the washing machine (between the washing machine and the cabinet above it).

Leave a clearance in front of the washing machine door, for easy usage.

Check out Built-In washing machine models here. 

Now you know how to pick you perfect Built-In Appliances. For best Built-In Appliance suggestions, check out this article. 

One thought on “Built-In Appliances: Buying Guide”

  1. Very useful article. Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *