Are Kitchen Cabinets Considered Furniture Or Fixtures?

Would you consider kitchen cabinets to be furniture or fixtures? By definition, furniture is a freestanding item that can move, while a fixture is something that is attached to and stays with the building. We've taken a look at the topic to find out precisely what the difference is and how kitchen cabinets fit in.

Kitchen with cherry wood cabinetry, Are Kitchen Cabinets Considered Furniture or Fixtures

Your kitchen cabinets are both furniture and fixture. Cabinets can be built-in or free-standing. And though technically, you could move built-in cabinets with only a few screws being unscrewed, it wouldn't be easy to do without damaging the structure of the home. Therefore, for most residential real estate transactions, kitchen cabinets, and anything built-in stays with the home and they are categorized as fixtures. Free-standing units would be considered furniture. 

We're going to delve a bit deeper into the topic below and also give you concrete examples of what is what.

Are Kitchen Cabinets Furniture Or Fixtures?

When we researched the difference to this question, it seems as if there is a bit of back and forth. Because kitchen cabinets are removable, technically, they are furniture. The general definition of FF&E (Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment) is movable furniture, fixtures, or other equipment that have no permanent connection to the structure of a building. Because kitchen cabinets attach to the building and can't be removed without potential damage to the walls, for real estate terms and specifically in regards to a residential or commercial kitchen, they are a fixture.

What Is The Difference Between Furniture, Fixtures, And Equipment In The Kitchen?

The term FF&E is a term used in business that means anything you can remove without destroying the building. For residential purposes, we use the term when buying or selling a home. Classifying fixtures and furniture allows us to know what stays with the house and what we can move.

In the kitchen, for home use, there are some subtle distinctions.

What Is Furniture In Reference To The Kitchen?

Furniture is anything that is moveable. For instance, a kitchen island that is not built-in to the floor is furniture.

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Things like your kitchen table, bar stools, and kitchen chairs would all be considered furniture. In some cases, your cabinets are furniture if they're easily moveable. Frequently, these terms apply when selling or buying a home. Furniture leaves with the seller, while fixtures generally stay unless otherwise stated. As kitchen cabinets don't move after a home sells, we could argue that they are fixtures, not furniture.

A kitchen storage cabinet like this is moveable. Therefore it is furniture, not a fixture.

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A small beverage fridge, even your large fridge, classifies as furniture because they simply plug into an outlet and move with ease. However, if you're selling a home, the contract will often list the fridge as staying or going.

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What Are Examples Of Kitchen Fixtures?

Kitchen fixtures are the fixed tools you use for cooking and food preparation. Your stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, and microwave are all considered fixtures. So are your faucets, your lighting, and even your kitchen sink if you have a built-in island that is also considered a fixture.

This Bosch dishwasher is a fixture. This is something that would typically stay with the home unless specially noted by the seller's agent.

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A lighting fixture hardwires into the ceiling. Therefore, it is a fixture, not a piece of furniture.

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Is A Built-In Appliance A Fixture?

Yes, a built-in appliance is a fixture. Because it hardwires into the kitchen's electrical system and doesn't move easily, it stays with the building.

Induction cooktops are fabulous, and though it's tempting to call them furniture, they are not. Cooktops and stoves are fixtures. Click here for this on Amazon.

What Is Equipment In The Kitchen?

Kitchen equipment and kitchen fixtures are interchangeable in regards to large appliances. However, kitchen equipment is a broader term as it applies to other things as well. It refers not only to your typical household appliances, but to additional items like freezers, grills, fire extinguishers, your pots and pan set, and even cleaning supplies. Small tools like spatulas and spoons are kitchenware.

This freestanding commercial gas burner is kitchen equipment. Click here to see this on Amazon.

A digital turkey fryer is another example of kitchen equipment. It helps with cooking but isn't a permanent part of the kitchen.

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What Are Examples Of Fixtures And Fittings In The Kitchen?

Fixtures permanently attach to the walls, while fittings attach by only a screw or a nail. One example would be shelf brackets holding open concept shelving are fixtures.

Floating shelves are fittings. If you are moving, these shelves and brackets can go with you.

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Other items like pictures, mirrors, small appliances, and speakers are fittings if they are not built-in to the wall. A kitchen television utilizing a regular outlet plug is a fitting.

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Your beloved Kitchen-Aid mixer is a fitting, even though it is a fixture in your kitchen.

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Though the distinctions between the three terms are sometimes slim, think of it this way. Fixtures are permanent. They are bolted, hardwired, or built-in to the home. Furniture is movable. Equipment is also moveable and helps you get the job done. Fittings are things attached only by screws, nails, or a standard 110V plug.

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