Built-in appliances buying guide

Designed to bring uniformity to your fitted kitchen, built-in (or integrated) washing machines, washer dryers and dishwashers offer a sleek and unobtrusive look.

Features are usually the same as any freestanding equivalent, but built-in units aren't just freestanding machines with a door on the front! These machines are wholly or partially housed into a cavity, behind a matching kitchen door.

Models tend to be slimmer (D55cm) and shorter (H80-82cm) than conventional machines, and they also tend to be more expensive as fewer are made.

When buying a built-in appliance you still need to think about what features you want. You also need to consider where and how they’ll be positioned, and how they’ll be fitted. Your fitted kitchen planner will be the best source of advice.

View our range of integrated appliances.

What is the difference between built-in and freestanding?

  • Freestanding
    As the word suggests, these appliances stand free of any kitchen unit, and can be positioned anywhere practicable
  • Built-under
    Appliances are boxed in at the top and the sides, under a worktop, but can be removed easily
  • Built-in / integrated
    These are fixed in, with the correct ventilation. An integrated appliance is fully or partially concealed behind a door panel and within a carcass; a built-in appliance can be seen, though it has unfinished sides and would topple over if left freestanding.
  • Semi-integrated
    As integrated, but with the control panel visible.

Replacing a built-in model

Built-in appliances may well have changed since you last bought one, so it’s important that you know exactly what you need from your new machine.

  • If you had an older built-in unit, it might have had a décor panel on it. These are rarely made now, so you will have to consider an integrated model instead
  • If there’s a kitchen furniture plinth running along the base of the appliance then it is probably integrated
  • If the worktop height is lower than the standard 85cm then you may need a height-reduction kit

Where to site your built-in appliances

Bosch HBA13B150B Single Electric Oven
Neff S51M53X1GB Integrated Dishwasher
John Lewis JLBIIH603 Ceramic Induction Hob
AEG L63742Vi Integrated Washing Machine
  • Your washing machine or dishwasher should be near the sink to keep the plumbing together
  • Never fit appliances in front of your stop tap: you’ll need to have easy access to it
  • Try to position your cooker and hob on an outside wall to help with ventilation
  • A hob will need an extractor unit above it
  • It’s usual to position a hob over a 600mm unit
  • Don’t position a hob or oven under a window or behind an inwardly opening door
  • Avoid placing appliances in a corner as they’ll be difficult to operate
  • Siting a cooker next to a fridge or freezer will force both appliances to work harder – thus using up more energy

John Lewis fitted kitchens

John Lewis is well known for great design, reliable quality and real value. You will find all these qualities in our comprehensive fitted kitchen service, with its distinctive styles and high-quality materials, supportedy expert planning and fitting.