Q:

What is a panel-ready refrigerator?

A:

Quick Answer

A panel-ready refrigerator has unfinished doors when purchased. This allows the user to get custom-made panels which match the kitchen decor, then attach them onto the refrigerator. Panel-ready refrigerators are available with bottom-drawer and side-by-side freezer designs.

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Full Answer

Typical refrigerator colors are white, black and stainless steel, although refrigerators can be manufactured in custom colors. The cabinets and handles tend to match the color of the refrigerator, although stainless steel refrigerators may have gray or black handles and cabinets. As of February 2015, the traditional refrigerator finish is textured, but a smooth, high-gloss finish is gaining popularity because it matches the finish of other kitchen appliances.

Custom panels work well with built-in refrigerators that are placed flush with the surrounding cabinets. Matching the built-in refrigerator to the decor makes the kitchen look seamless. Cabinet-depth refrigerators have a similar design and also work well with custom panels. However, these refrigerators do not sit completely flush with the cabinets like built-in refrigerators do.

Custom panels are an additional cost on top of the refrigerator's price. Panel-ready refrigerators also tend to be more expensive than other refrigerators. As of 2015, manufacturers that offer panel-ready refrigerators include Bosch, Blomberg, Miele, Liebharr, Kitchenaid, Sub-Zero, Thermador, Viking and GE.

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