Replace a new fridge with a used counter-depth refrigerator?

amyinaustinMarch 21, 2013

We're getting ready to remodel our kitchen and were initially planning to keep our current refrigerator. It's a Kenmore bottom freezer we bought 3 years ago that is quiet, efficient, and meets our needs fine.

However, our kitchen is tiny and the more I play with layouts the more I fantasize about a counter-depth fridge. Those 6 inches of space really would make a difference in the room.

BUT, of course, there's no way I can justify throwing down $7k+ on a SubZero or Liebherr. I have, however, found a few used options that I'm considering:

The first one is a new, stainless steel, never-been-installed Liebherr cs2602. It's recommend by Consumer Reports, gets good reviews on AJ Madison...It has a dent and no icemaker, neither of which bother me one iota. $3k + my current fridge for delivery and installation.

Second option is a 1999 KitchenAid side by side ksss36qdx. The benefit to this one is, predictably, the much lower price tag, $1.8k, and that it's built in and panel ready. Call me crazy, but I don't think stainless is right for our house.

Both come with 1 year parts and labor warranty. The dealer is smart and reputable.

Is the 14 year old Kitchen Aid worth considering? I'm told it was a solid model and is affordable to repair and find parts for.

Alternatively, can I expect the Liebherr to be considerably better than a new counter-depth fridge like the comparably-priced KitchenAid 21.8 counter-depth model?

Thanks in advance for your wisdom!

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I think you are confusing counter depth and built in fridges. There are plenty of free standing counter depth fridges that cost under $3000 new and don't stick out as much as a full depth fridge; however, they are not built in like a subzero or liebherr.

The question is whether you want the extra room a counter depth fridge offers or the integrated look of a bulit in fridge. If you just want extra floor space you can get a new counter depth fridge for a lot less money.

Personally I would never buy a used 14 year old fridge.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 2:37PM
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I agree with realism. Technology is ever changing these days, and 1999 seems like eons ago! Are you set on those brand names? I had a 4 year Kenmore Elite that I recently replaced with a LG counter depth french door with bottom freezer from HD. It costs $3300 but worth every penny! Those extra 3 inches make a huge difference in my small kitchen. The space seems so much bigger. The fridge was also highly rated on CR and Sears, HD, and Lowes. I would definitely do counter depth, you won't regret it.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 1:15AM
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We just remodeled our very small kitchen and moved the location of the fridge for the very same reasons as you. we need more room. We chose a CD fridge for the extra floor space and it made a world of difference. We installed an Electrolux CD fridge with no ice/water in the door after viewing a floor model. We are very happy with it. It fit into a 38 wide by 72 high space in our wall of pantries.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 7:08AM
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I second the Elux - ours is almost 3 years old and love it! We did something similar to jmarie

I would consider the LH but not the old KA

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 8:32AM
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Before the remodel, I sold my perfect condition 4 year old Kenmore fridge on CL. At that time I purchased a 3 yr. old counter depth SS KitchenAid for $1000 from a young woman on CL who had received the appliance as part of her divorce settlement. There are bargains if you are diligent about scouring CL daily even beyond the new Liebherr. Most of the folks who buy Liebherr have really tiny kitchens and need taller, thinner fridges than standard CD. How many sq. your kitchen? You may not need to go the more expensive Liebherr route. I would not buy the 14 year old KitchenAid. Even if the mechanics are great, the plastics inside become brittle and deteriorate over time. Three years age my 32 year old Montgomery Ward fridge was left with the house I sold still running great. However, the door lining was pulling away, and the door would not close completely due to a loose door casket. Neither of those items could be replaced any longer. I should add that we were a small family and careful with our possessions so this occurred due to age, not abuse. Paneled fridges are one technique to make a small kitchen look larger. However, door panels are an expensive option. You are at the beginning of your remodel, and there is frequently project creep. My approach was to go with SS and use the money for all built in appliances in my small kitchen so that the counter flow is not interrupted. I put the money in an induction cooktop over a 27" wall oven. This is a long way of saying go with the Liebherr over the KA but before you do, make sure you need to spend that extra money on the Liebherr over a standard counter depth like a KitchenAid. My apologies for rambling about on this post and good luck with your remodel.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 10:20AM
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Thanks so much, all, for the stellar advice. I wasn't necessarily *confusing* counter-depth and built-in as much as seeing them as equal solutions them in my quest for space. But it's true, there seem to be quite a few counter-depth fridges out there that should fit the bill. I'll definitely look into the Elextrolux and scour the boards for other model recommendations.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 11:11PM
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Amy - have fun!
Definitely read the reviews - but remember that there are good and bad for every appliance and item out there.

I think the only item that I never saw a bad review was on the Waterstone faucets - I think I was the first to have a problem but WS is working on fixing it. They are sending me a new head and told me to keep the old one - then the engineers are redesigning the original design and I am on the list to get the new design as well. The problem is not major but they want it to be right!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 4:35PM
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And realize that there is less space inside the CD refrigerator of the same width. I have the same Electrolux model and it's fine. I like that it forces me to keep editing the refrigerator contents. I live within an easy walking distance to a large supermarket and a specialty market, so I don't need to store a bunch of food, but if you have kids or live out in the country....

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 11:02AM
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I am going with Fisher& Paykel - like the price and the look- they are simple but good quality

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 2:25PM
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