March 1, 2014

What is the Difference Between Sub-Zero Integrated and Built-In Overlay Refrigerators?


With the exception of those homeowners who love the look of an iconic gleaming stainless steel Sub-Zero refrigerator (and there are many), most people have long wished they could make their refrigerator disappear, while still keeping food preservation close at hand. Three generations ago, Sub-Zero introduced refrigerators and freezers that were the same depth as standard kitchen counters. And they have been improving  on the concept ever since.

But, you may be wondering, what the difference is between an integrated refrigerator or freezer and a built-in overlay model? In fact, that is one of the questions most often asked of the consultants at Clarke, New England’s Official Sub-Zero & Wolf Showroom.

The original Sub-Zero Built-in Refrigerator requires a countertop depth of no less than 26-3/16″. With a Built-In Sub-Zero, you can help to disguise your refrigerator or freezer by putting a cabinetry panel on the face of the refrigerator, freezer or combination. The face of the appliance will blend with your kitchen, but you will still know it is an appliance.

With an Integrated Sub-Zero, you can literally make your refrigerator or freezer disappear by adding customized panels and handles to blend seamlessly into the surrounding cabinetry. Most visitors won’t know whether they are looking at a cabinet or an appliance. The minimum depth for an Integrated Sub-Zero is just 25″.

Here is a quick comparison of features…


Sub-Zero is now in the midst of one of the largest product roll-outs in kitchen history. Due to its growing popularity, Integrated Refrigeration is a big part of this new product introduction. No brand comes close to Sub-Zero in offering so many full-size and undercounter options in integrated refrigeration — more than 20 sizes and configurations, with widths from a slender 24″ to a roomy 36″. Think ultimate kitchen customization.

Undercounter drawers now come in more widths (24″, 27″, 30″, 36″). Use them wherever refrigeration can serve your household, such as in the kitchen island or even in the master suite, home gym, or study.

Developed in consultation with leading members of the kitchen design community, Sub-Zero integrated refrigeration meets the high standards of those exacting professionals (and their clients). Precise manufacturing tolerances permit installation with a mere 1/8″ reveal between appliance and surrounding cabinets. The new integrated models even have a simplified system for achieving perfectly aligned installation of custom cabinet panels — another reason for designers and installers to love Sub-Zero as much as homeowners do.

The best way to truly understand the differences between built-in and integrated refrigeration is to visit a Clarke showroom, see these products and talk to a consultant who can’t point out the nuances between the models. At Clarke you will see more models of Sub-Zero refrigeration than anywhere in New England.

To explore your refrigeration options online, click here.

To see your refrigeration options in person, click here.

At Clarke – New England’s Official Sub-Zero & Wolf Showroom and Test Kitchen in Milford, MA or South Norwalk, CT, you will see more models of Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances than anywhere else in New England. Come to the source to explore your options and then we’ll be happy to provide you the name of an authorized dealer in your area.

Integrated or Built-In? The choice is truly yours.