Panel-Ready Appliances 101

Finding the right appliances can be a challenge. In addition to pricing and features, you’ll need to consider how the appliance looks in your home. Panel-ready options are a popular choice that allows you to customize the appearance of your refrigerators, dishwashers, and other appliances.  

Read on to learn everything you need to know about panel ready appliances! 

In this article, we’ll cover: 

  • What Are Panel Ready Appliances? 
  • Types of Panel Ready Appliances 
  • Benefits of Panel Ready Appliances 
  • Drawbacks of Panel Ready Appliances 
  • Best Panel Ready Appliances 
  • FAQs About Panel Ready Appliances 

What Are Panel Ready Appliances? 

When you select appliances for your kitchen, you can choose from many different finishes, including black, white, and stainless steel. Panel ready kitchen appliances can be covered with a custom panel of your choosing. Typically, the panel is made to match your kitchen cabinets, allowing your appliance to perfectly complement your kitchen’s decor.  

How do panel ready appliances work? When you purchase the appliance, the front will be unfinished. You’ll have the option of ordering a panel from the appliance manufacturer, or you can ask your cabinetmaker to cut a custom panel for you. 

Types of Panel Ready Appliances 

It’s becoming increasingly common to see panel ready appliances in kitchens, and today, most kitchen appliances, including refrigerators, dishwashers, and trash compactors, can all be fitted with custom panels. For safety reasons, appliances that emit heat, such as ovens and microwaves, generally can’t be customized with panels. However, you can find panel ready warming drawers. 

Benefits of Panel Ready Appliances 

Panel ready appliances can work beautifully in any kitchen. There are many advantages to custom panels, including: 

Complete Customization 

Choosing an appliance that’s panel ready means you’ll have full control over the look of your appliance. You can have a panel made to your unique, exact specifications. You can select the best appliance for your needs and decide what you want it to look like. 

Timeless Design 

Kitchen decor trends go in and out of style. When you choose appliances that are panel ready, however, your appliances will look timeless. Well-maintained appliances can easily last for a decade or more, and custom panels ensure that your appliances continue to look great as the years go on.  

Streamlined Look 

Large appliances can stick out and detract from the appearance of your kitchen. When you opt for panel ready appliances, you create a streamlined, harmonious, chic, finished look. Many appliances can even be installed to sit flush with your kitchen cabinets. 

Drawbacks of Panel Ready Appliances 

There are many excellent reasons to choose panel ready appliances for your kitchen, but there are also disadvantages to consider. Some of the downsides of custom panels include: 

High Cost  

If your budget is limited, you may be put off by the price point of panel ready kitchen appliances. In addition to covering the base price of the appliance, you’ll be responsible for the cost of the panel. It can be quite expensive, especially if you have custom panels made. 

Challenging Installation 

Installing panel ready appliances can be a complex process, especially if you want a completely seamless look. You may need to have your appliances professionally installed in order to get the results that you want. 

Best Panel Ready Appliances 

Fisher Paykel - 35.7 Inch 16.8 cu. ft Built In French Door Refrigerator in Panel Ready - RS36A72J1 N 

This French door refrigerator is designed to seamlessly blend into any kitchen. Not only is it visually appealing, but it’s a highly efficient fridge equipped with features designed to keep food fresh for longer.  

Asko - 40 dBA Built In Dishwasher in Panel Ready - DFI664XXL 

The Asko built in panel ready dishwasher is as smart as it looks. Loading features let you adjust the top shelves to fit even tall glasses and pitchers for cleaning. And the smart run modes mean better energy efficiency that will save you money in the long run.  

Marvel - 23.875 Inch 5.5 cu. ft Beverage Centre Refrigerator in Panel Ready - MLBV224-IG01A 

The Marvel beverage center fridge keeps wine, beverages, and even food cold in half a dozen configuration options, which means you can create a custom space that fits your exact needs. Store up to 18 wine bottles or more than 150 12oz cans so your next chilled beverage is always just a reach away. 

Jennair - 23.9 Inch cu. ft Built In / Integrated Freezer Drawer in Panel Ready - JUCFP242HX 

This built in freezer drawer offers you additional freezer space that goes where you need it. Add cold storage to your kitchen, basement, bar, butler pantry, dining room, or anywhere you want to have extra freezing options. Independent temp zones make the Jennair freezer drawer a breeze to customize, accommodating all your freezing needs.  

Bosch 22 inch Bottom Mount Refrigerator in Panel Ready - B09IB91NSP 

Thanks to its slim, compact design, this Bosch refrigerator can fit into kitchens of all sizes. It can easily be personalized with custom panels and includes cutting-edge smart features that allow you to remotely monitor your fridge. 

Samsung 35.75 Inch French Door Refrigerator in Panel Ready - RF24BB6200APAA 

With this spacious customizable fridge from Samsung, you’ll have space to comfortably store food for the entire family. Not only is this refrigerator equipped with an ice maker and water dispenser, but it can provide easy access to flavored filtered water. 

Porter & Charles 47 dBA Built In Dishwasher in Panel Ready - DWVFI 

This sleek and reliable European dishwasher features a top control panel and a stainless steel interior that helps absorb sound while the dishwasher is running. In addition to its customizable design, it has a third rack and 14 place settings for flexible cleaning. 

FAQs About Panel Ready Appliances 

Is panel ready the same as built in?  

Built-in appliances are installed inside cupboards for a seamless look. Panel ready appliances can be built-in, but there are freestanding panel ready kitchen appliances as well. 

Are panel ready appliances more expensive? 

Panel ready appliances can be significantly more expensive than appliances with other finishes. In addition to purchasing the appliance, it’s also necessary to purchase the panel of your choosing, adding to the overall cost of your new appliance. Additionally, you’ll also need to consider handles and fasteners for the appliance. And, installation can also be costly. 

Can any fridge be panel ready? 

While not all refrigerators are panel ready, many refrigerator models are available in a panel ready finish. This allows you to choose your ideal refrigerator and have it fitted with a custom panel to get the look you want. 

Can you put a panel on any dishwasher? 

The easiest way to install a custom panel on a dishwasher is to purchase an appliance that’s panel ready. On some models, it might be possible to remove an existing dishwasher panel and replace it with a new one, but this can be a difficult process. 

How much does it cost to panel appliances? 

The total cost of paneling an appliance can vary significantly based on the size of the appliance and the type of panel that you choose. On average, you can expect to pay between $500 and $2,500. 

You can create a beautiful streamlined kitchen by fitting your appliances with custom panels. At Coast Appliances, you’ll find an impressive selection of customizable appliances, including Bosch, Miele, and KitchenAid panel ready appliances.  

Browse our full selection of built in dishwashers and integrated fridges to find the best appliances for your kitchen today.