Column Refrigerators, Freezers, and Wine Storage

While there are no official criteria or definitions for column refrigeration units, we’re going to define them as full-height, *built-in refrigerator, freezer, and wine units.

The main advantages to columns are the flexibility of capacity and location. Depending on the appliance brand, column widths include 18”, 22” (Miele), 24”, 30”, and 36”.  Smaller families might prefer an 18” wide freezer and a 30” refrigerator, while a larger family may want a 24” freezer and a 36” wide refrigerator. The two units may be placed next to each other in a side-by-side configuration below, or they may be used as bookends perhaps with workspace, a dishwasher, and a sink separating them. 

In the configuration below, an appliance wall features separate wine storage, freezer, and refrigerator.

 

 

 

 

 

Early on, European brands Miele, Gaggenau, and Thermador brands dominated the column refrigeration category. While all are made in the same factory in Turkey, the three brands have different features. Sub Zero, with their massive new refrigeration launch beginning in 2013, quickly became a major factor in column refrigeration. More recently, Bosch (parent of the Gagganau, Thermador brands) has added column refrigeration, as has GE Monogram. Other brands promoting columns are  Marvel, and the commercial oriented refrigerator brand Perlick.

As you might expect, purchasing separate units is likely to cost more than a single refrigerator/freezer unit. Nevertheless, columns are becoming increasingly popular. It appears that to be a member in good standing in the luxury category, brands must offer column refrigeration. Hence, Dacor and Jenn-Air have recently entered the fray with refrigerator columns, and GE Monogram has just announced a 120,000 square foot expansion at its Selma, Tenn. refrigerator plant for new column refrigerators and freezers.

*Frigidaire/Electrolux needs a mention here, because of their “all refrigerator” and “all freezer” configurations. However, they are not true built-ins, but what the industry considers counter depth models. This means that they can not be installed flush with the cabinet fronts.

COMING SOON:  Part 2 of this series on refrigeration focuses on key features of specific column refrigerator brands.

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Column Refrigeration

New Appliance Trends at Arizona Wholesale

Column Refrigerators, Freezers, and Wine Storage

What's a column refrigerator? Columns generally refer to refrigerator, freezer, and wine storage units that can be integrated into standard 24″ deep surrounding cabinets, i.e. fully flush with no hinges or grillwork showing. They are sometimes described as disappearing refrigerators because when installed with matching cabinet panels they cannot be distinguished from surrounding cabinets.

Disappearing-Refrigerator

Columns were first introduced in the U.S. by Miele and Thermador for use in high-end kitchens with sleek European kitchen cabinets. A few years ago Sub Zero launched a complete line of column refrigerators, freezers, and wine storage units.

Today, most of the major full line premium appliance brands offer columns in their lineup. With the flexibility that columns offer, they have appeal in many applications, and locations. Refrigerator and freezer columns can be installed together to create a side-by-side unit. Because these units are different *widths 18″, 24″, 27″, 30″ and 36″ you can customize by matching different width freezer and refrigerator columns. For example, if you don't need a lot of freezer space, it might make sense to install an 18″ wide freezer next to a 30″ wide refrigerator column.

Dacor recently launched its new Modernist appliance collection in Black Stainless Steel. The lineup includes new column refrigerators and freezers. The refrigerator can take a photo of your contents when you open it and email the photo to you so you can check its contents when you are shopping.

Dacor Columns

One of my personal favorites is Sub Zero's unusual configuration of a combination refrigerator over freezer unit below. It comes in both a 30″ and 36″ version:

Sub Zero Column

For more photos of column units take a look at our projects page on Houzz:

Columns

Call one of our showroom locations today, and make an appointment with one of our appliance consultants to view and learn more about column refrigeration.

*All sizes are not available in each brand.

Note: As of this date (May 20, 2017) our Phoenix showroom is undergoing a complete remodeling and is not open for visitors. Look for our grand re-opening later this year.


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Choosing a Built-In Refrigerator

Built-In Refrigerators at Arizona Wholesale

Types, Styles, and Look

In the early days of built-in refrigerators there were very few choices. Sub-Zero gets credit for creating this category in the mid-late fifties. It took a while for the category to grow into what it is today. At one point Sub-Zero was synonymous for built-in refrigerator, and even today they are clearly a market leader. However, many other brands now offer a variety of choices in built-in refrigeration. Here are a few:

Bosch, Dacor, Electrolux, Jenn-Air, KitchenAid, Miele, Monogram, and Thermador

Sub-Zero pioneered the traditional built-in refrigerator which, for our purposes, is a refrigerator with a cabinet depth no more than 24″. Early on the brand offered a choice of stainless steel fronts or models that would accept slide-in cabinet panel fronts to match adjacent cabinetry (overlay models).

Eventually, built-in refrigerators were developed that had hidden hinges and accepted cabinet panel fronts that were flush with adjacent cabinets. These refrigerators were fully-flush “integrated” refrigerators.

Sub-Zero-Fronts

Sub-Zero Fronts

Click below for a short discussion on integrated appliances from Houzz:

INTEGRATED APPLIANCES

Today, column refrigerators with cabinet panels have doors that go from bottom to top (no horizontal panel at the top), and when the doors are closed are truly not discernible from the adacent cabinets.

Columns

Columns

Configurations of built-ins includes side-by-side refrigerator/freezers, bottom freezer refrigrator/freezers, and separate column refrigerators, freezers, and wine coolers. In addition, some brands offer built-in under counter refrigerators and wine coolers; as well as under counter refrigerator and freezer drawers. The configurations for your kitchen are endless.

Click on the link below to review some of the choices in built-in refrigerators on our Houzz page:

Arizona Wholesale Houzz

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Appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more

Arizona Wholesale

Phoenix 602 258-7901, Scottsdale 480 596-0092, Tucson 520 795-4663

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