What is a Kitchen Built In

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Last updated: April 10, 2023
The word "built in" is used to describe any type of feature or appliance that's part of your home but not necessarily attached directly to it.

Kitchen built-ins are becoming increasingly popular because they provide homeowners with an easy way to add additional storage while keeping their kitchens looking clean and uncluttered. They often feature unique designs and styles that allow them to stand apart from other pieces of furniture found in a home.

Kitchen built-ins are the perfect way to add storage space in your kitchen without having to sacrifice countertop or floor space. They can be used for a variety of purposes, such as storing cookbooks and spices. You may also use them to store extra dishes while you’re cooking. If you have limited cabinet space, it is possible to create custom-made built-ins that will fit perfectly into any corner of your kitchen.

The best part about installing your own kitchen built-ins is that it allows you to customize the design however you like. From adding new features to updating older appliances, you can find plenty of ideas online or in magazines. With today’s technology, you no longer have to settle for boring old cabinets. 

The most common way to incorporate them into your design is by using custom-made kitchen cabinetry. This type of cabinet will allow you to customize it in any way you want. If you already have existing cabinet bases installed in your kitchen, it may be possible to install built-ins over them if you want to keep the same layout.

Modern Kitchen with built in home applicants and overhead creamy yellow storage cabinet units

Table of Contents

Kitchen built-ins can be made from a variety of materials. The most common material is plywood, but you may also find them in medium-density fiberboard (MDF) or particleboard. They come as either solid wood or hollow and have the potential for being painted or stained. If your kitchen has an island, it will likely need some kind of storage space on one side of its surface. A built-in cabinet is perfect for this purpose because they add depth without taking up much room.

The first thing you need to know about kitchen built-ins is that there are two types – freestanding and wall-mounted. Freestanding units come in many shapes and sizes but most commonly look like bookshelves. Wall-mounted units usually feature shelves attached directly to walls so they appear more integrated into the design scheme of your kitchen.

The next step after deciding what type of built-in you want is determining its size and placement. Most kitchen built-ins fall into one of three categories concerning length and width: narrow, standard and wide. Narrow refers to those units that fit within 18 inches of wall space along the longest dimension. Standard means there’s room enough for 36 inch long pieces of equipment. Wide refers to units more than 6 feet tall.

Kitchen Built In Benefits

Built-In Cabinets: If you want extra cabinet space without taking up valuable floor space then consider adding some built-in cabinetry. These drawers and cupboards will give you plenty of storage while still allowing enough open area around them for working at the sink or stovetop. Some models even include pullout trays which allow you to store larger items out of sight when not needed.
Storage Space: Another benefit of having built-in cabinets is that it gives you additional storage space. If you want to maximize available cabinet space, consider purchasing undercounter refrigerator drawers. Under-counters are perfect for storing smaller items like spices and condiments.  Some popular types of undercounter models include:

Cabinet Under Counter Refrigerator: This unit includes a full sized refrigerator along with two shelves where food may be stored. The door opens outwards towards the sink area making it easy to access ingredients when preparing meals.

Double Door Refrigeration Unit: A double door refrigeration unit offers plenty of storage capacity from many kitchen built ins.
Display Area: A built-in unit allows you to showcase your collection of cookbooks, china, glassware and other decorative pieces. It makes these objects easier to access than if they were stored elsewhere in your house.
Work Space: Having a dedicated workspace within your kitchen means you won’t have to leave your cooking duties unattended. This could mean leaving pots boiling over or forgetting ingredients in the oven. With built-in units this problem goes away because everything stays put!
Safety Features: Many built-in units offer safety features to protect children from reaching hot surfaces. For example, one model has a shelf above the range hood that prevents young kids from getting burned by accidentally touching the heating element.

Kitchen Built Ins for Small Space

If you need more space for your built-ins than what is already provided by existing walls, then consider installing them vertically rather than horizontally. Installing vertical cabinets adds depth and creates extra room within small spaces. A simple trick used to create more space involves mounting cabinets onto sliding doors. For example, you could use a single shelf system that slides underneath a large window. Sliding doors also make moving heavy loads much easier.

Modern Grey Built In Kitchen and Appliance in Modern Apartment

The next step when planning a new kitchen layout is deciding where to locate the appliances. In general, most experts agree that putting major appliances above eye level increases their usability. However, there are exceptions to this rule, so don’t assume that all refrigerators must be placed below countertops. Instead, think carefully about how high the appliance needs to be—and try to determine what else might block its view.

How do I Install My Own Kitchen Built in

Before installing any type of built-in, make sure you measure carefully. Measure all dimensions including depth, width, and height. Make sure you get exact measurements before ordering anything.

If you plan on using wood for your built-ins, you should order pre-finished boards. Pre-finished boards are made specifically for use in building furniture and are already sanded smooth and ready to paint. Choose between cherry, maple, oak, birch, mahogany, teak, walnut, and hickory. All of these wood types provide excellent looks and durability.

You can find kits online or purchase individual parts. 

Kits typically consist of three main components; baseboard molding, trim panels, and drawer slides. Baseboard moldings are used to cover the edges of doors and windows. Trim panels add visual interest to your cabinets. Drawer slides help keep things organized inside your cabinets.

How to Make Custom Kitchen Cabinet Built Ins

Built-in kitchen cabinets have been around for a long time. They were first used to store food and other items that needed protection from the elements, such as spices or wine bottles. Today they can be found all over kitchens of different sizes and styles. There is no limit on how many built-in cabinet units you can add to your kitchen design. The only limitation is the space available. If there isn’t enough room for an entire wall full of cabinets, then consider adding more than one unit.

Kitchen built-in cabinets and countertops can be a great way to add storage, display your favorite dishes, or create an attractive workspace. They’re also the perfect place for storing small appliances like coffee makers, blenders, and food processors. The best part is that they don’t take up much room in your home. You may have seen them on HGTV shows such as “House Hunters International” where homeowners choose from different styles of kitchens with built-ins.

Modern Kitchen with built in home appliances

Custom kitchen cabinet built-ins are very easy to install, so you don’t have to hire an expert or spend hours on end doing it yourself!  The most common type of built-in cabinets is made using wood paneling. These units usually feature drawers and cupboards beneath them. They tend to be more expensive than other materials like metal, stone, or plastic because of the extra labor involved in installing them. Nevertheless, wooden cabinets offer many advantages including durability, ease of maintenance, and flexibility.

The first step is choosing which style of built-in cabinet will work best for your needs.

Custom Cabinetry

There are several ways to incorporate custom cabinetry into your kitchen remodel project. The most common way is through the installation of prefabricated cabinets. This method allows homeowners to save time and money since they won’t have to build their own cabinets from scratch.

If you want to build your own cabinetry, it’s important to know what type of wood you plan to use. Hardwoods such as oak, maple, and cherry can last for decades if properly cared for. Softwoods such as pine and fir are less durable but still make good choices because they cost much less than hardwood species. Cabinets made out of particleboard or medium-density fiberboard (MDF) are inexpensive alternatives to solid wood. They also require little maintenance since there aren’t any natural oils present.

Cabinets made from plywood and masonite are manufactured using layers of thin veneers glued together to form sheets. Each sheet is cut into specific sizes before being laminated together. When combined, these pieces become strong enough to support heavy loads without warping. Plywood and masonite products are often available in standard widths or custom lengths.

Custom length cabinets allow consumers to purchase longer units that fit perfectly within a space. These long panels are ideal for areas where storage space is limited

Another option would be to install prehung cabinets which means that all the work has already been done for you. Prehung offers several advantages including ease of use, reduced labor costs, and better quality control.

When building your own cabinets, you have more customization options.

Prefabricated Cabinetry

There are two types of prefabricated cabinetry: standard and engineered. Standard prefabs come in various sizes and shapes. Some models include glass fronts, backsplashes, and shelves. Engineered prefabs are made specifically for certain applications.

For example, some manufacturers make refrigerators and dishwashers designed to fit inside a specific size opening.

Prefabrication can take anywhere between 3 weeks and 6 months depending on how much customization needs to be completed before delivery. During this period, builders must wait until the manufacturer receives approval for the final product. Once approved, construction begins immediately.

Once installed, these units require little maintenance and provide years of reliable service.

Prehung Cabinets

A prehung unit consists of three main parts: frame, door, and hardware. A prehung unit includes everything needed to complete the job except for doors and trim pieces. All components are assembled before shipment.

Once delivered, the entire package is placed directly onto the wall where it is secured with screws. any additional accessories such as handles, hinges, knobs, etc.

This type of system offers many advantages over other methods. For starters, installing a prehung unit requires very little skill or experience. In addition, prehung don’t need extensive finishing so they can easily blend seamlessly into existing décor. They also eliminate the risk of damaging walls during installation.

Because prehung isn’t attached to anything, they move freely within the room without causing damage.

Another advantage is that because there’s no exposed wood, there’s less chance of moisture getting behind the cabinet and rotting the structure. Finally, prehung is easy to clean and maintain.

The best part about using prehung is that they’re available in virtually every style imaginable. You’ll find them in traditional styles like Mission and Shaker, contemporary designs like French Country and Traditional Americana, modern looks like Modern Farmhouse and Contemporary Ranch House, and even transitional styles like Eclectic Rustic.

Modern Kitchen Built Ins

Kitchen built-ins are an excellent way to add storage space while creating a unique look. The most common kitchen built-ins consist of custom shelving systems mounted above countertops. These units usually feature open shelves and drawers that allow users access to items stored below.

Built-in appliances are another popular choice when designing a new kitchen. Many homeowners choose to have their refrigerator, microwave oven, range hood, and sink integrated into one convenient appliance.

There are several different types of built-in appliances such as the Refrigerator/Freezer Combination. This combination features both a refrigerator and freezer compartment. It typically has two adjustable glass shelves located at either end of the unit. Some models include a water dispenser that allows users to fill up bottles from the tap.

Other modern kitchen built-ins include range hoods which help keep kitchens free of smoke by drawing air through vents located near the ceiling. There are four basic types of range hoods: exhaust only, extractor only, dual vent, and variable speed fan.

Other built-ins include a microwave oven, cooktop, sinks, and backsplash which serve as a decorative accent between wall surfaces and counters.  Materials that remain popular for this include marble, granite, stainless steel, and ceramic tile.

Modern kitchen with built in home appliances and beige neutral color wall

Kitchen Refrigerator Built Ins

When choosing a refrigerator built in it’s important to know how much interior space will be needed before making any decisions on where to place it. If possible, ask friends who have recently remodeled if they would recommend placing the fridge against a wall or if they preferred having it installed under cabinetry.

A good rule of thumb is not to put the fridge too close to the back door since it will limit the amount of food people can see inside. The best way to decide whether an electric refrigerator should go into a built-in setting or stick out like a sore thumb is to measure the available square footage of your kitchen. This measurement provides valuable information about where other cabinets and furniture will fit.

Lighting for Built Ins

A few options exist in terms of lighting for these built-ins. You may wish to install recessed lights to illuminate the area around the refrigerator without adding additional light fixtures. Or, opt for pendant lights that hang over the top of the cabinet instead of being flush with the surface.

Another option for illuminating built-ins is using track lighting. Track lighting is very versatile because you can use it to highlight artwork, create moody shadows, or simply direct light towards specific areas. In addition, track lighting offers added security due to its ability to prevent anyone who doesn’t belong behind the fixture from seeing what’s going on within the room. Installing track lighting requires little more than drilling holes into walls and running wires throughout the house so there shouldn’t be many challenges involved. When selecting bulbs, make sure to select ones that offer high lumen output. Bulbs that emit low levels of heat also tend to last longer.

Overhead Storage Units

In many cases, kitchen storage units cannot fit beneath the cabinetry because they are too tall. That being said, there are several options available including: hanging from the ceiling, recessed within the walls, mounted onto the wall behind the stovetop, on closet doors, or attached next to the door leading out of the kitchen. Most people opt for overhead storage units for two main reasons. First, they offer ample amounts of storage area without taking up much room at all. Second, they make accessing items in the unit easier than having to reach down through open shelves or drawers.

The Cost of Custom Kitchen Built In Kits

Installing custom-built ins can be expensive but not always! There are ways around this price tag. You don’t need to spend thousands just to get some extra cupboards. Many companies sell prebuilt kits which come complete with everything necessary to build them into any type of installation desired. Some even include lighting fixtures and hardware such as handles, knobs, and pulls. These kits usually range anywhere from $150-$500 depending upon the style and quality you choose. This is a great option for those who do not know exactly what kind of look they are considering but still want the convenience of building something themselves.

The most important thing when choosing between these types of products is to determine the size before making a purchase decision. As mentioned above, every kit has different dimensions. By knowing exactly what space will be taken by each component, you could end up paying double the amount of money for a product that won’t actually fill that specific space. Having a clear idea of where things go is key to saving yourself some unnecessary expenses. Whether you decide to DIY or buy one of these kits, be sure to measure twice and cut once. Measure carefully along both sides of the cabinets to ensure you have enough clearance for the baseboard molding. Also, take note of the location of electrical outlets to plan accordingly.

Modern Kitchen with Red Cabinets, Built in stove, coffee maker, microwave, stovetop

Color Choice for Built In Cabinets

There are literally hundreds of color choices available for your new built-in cabinet. The best way to narrow it down is to think about how you would like to use the space. If you’re looking for an accent piece then perhaps white might work better than black because it creates contrast against other dark surfaces. On the flip side if you want to create a cohesive theme throughout the entire home then maybe consider using a neutral shade such as tan or light grey. Whatever choice you ultimately make should reflect your personal taste and preferences.

Other Kitchen Design Ideas & Tips

Here are some tips to help you create an attractive kitchen layout.

Use natural materials such as stone, tile and brick instead of painted wall finishes. Natural materials tend to be less expensive and last longer. They also match well with modern kitchens.
Choose neutral colors such as white, gray and black - sometimes, brown and beige will work! You don't need bright yellow counters to attract attention. Instead, choose something subtle like cream or light blue.
Keep countertops simple. Avoid busy patterns and designs. Keep the color consistent throughout the room. Use only one pattern or texture per surface.
If possible, avoid mixing different textures together.
Add unique touches to your kitchen design. Consider interesting lighting fixtures, artwork or plants. These small details will give your home personality while still keeping the overall look clean and uncluttered.
Create a sense of balance in your kitchen. Don’t place too many large appliances next to each other. Also, try placing taller appliances at eye level so people feel more comfortable.  There are any advantages such as making your kitchen look more spacious or adding extra work surfaces. They also make it easier to organize food.
When designing your kitchen, think outside the box. Try out new ideas and techniques. It's easy to fall into a rut when it comes to decorating but there is no reason why you shouldn't experiment every once in a while.
Remember that not everyone likes the same style.  Consider your design choices wisely; especially, if you're planning to sell your home in the next 5+ years.
Some prefer traditional styles while others love contemporary trends. We're fans of midcentury modern and contemporary style and why you'll see images in this article that are modern and contemporary. :) So if you're looking for inspiration, check out Pinterest! There are thousands of great images posted by users every day.

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