Help/Feedback on Appliance Choices for a kitchem remodel

philwojoMarch 26, 2012

Hello, this is my first post on here and I have been reading a lot lately. My wife and I are in the very beginning stages of a full kitchen remodel on our townhouse.

We have some ideas of our own and are in the process of finding a good local kitchen designer (West burbs of Chicago). We have been going to local show rooms to get ideas of what we like and don't like for appliances. So far we have made the following decisions, but I would like to get some feedback from the very knowledgeable people on this forum.

Cooktop/Range top: We are leaning toward either the Wolf cooktop (model # CT36GS) or something from Bluestar, either a Rangetop or Cooktop. Honestly probably leaning toward the Bluestar myself, not sure if the wife is leaning either way.

Wall Oven/Micro Combo: We liked the look of the KA (don't know model number) we saw in a showroom until we found out they were one complete unit. So, if something goes bad on either one you have to replace/repair both. After that we are now looking at the Thermador oven/micro combo, though we are really open on this selection. Right now we like this one (model # MEMC301ES). We like the idea of the convection/micro model, but don't know much about them to be honest.

Fridge/Freezer: Right now we really like the SZ stuff, but are really leaning more toward a Liebherr. We are looking at the HRB 1110 (24" fridge only) and the mated freezer also 24" (model # HF 851). We love the look of the SZ stuff, but not sure if we can fit that in to the budget. I personally do want a 2 compressor system and think we have narrowed it down to these.

We have not even looked at hoods yet, so I still need to do research on those, but we are open to suggestions.

DW: we are looking at the Miele line, but nothing specific. I like the upper flatware tray and the wife likes the overall look. I have read good reviews of most of the line on this site and others, but again open to suggestions.

We are looking for feedback on our choices so far, and we are really looking to real world type experience with any of these units. Also, if you have other suggestions for us on any of the appliances, things to look for or stay away from that is what we want.

Our wants/needs:

- There is just the 2 of us.

- We cook but neither of us are "cooks" We like to experiment in the kitchen, but have a picky palate. We also both love to bake, but my wife is much better at that than I am.

- Mid to high end appliances that will last us for a good long time, we don't plan on moving for at least 5 years probably more like 10.

- We like to really use or stuff, not just have it there for show.

- We like good looks.

- Want a 2 compressor fridge/freezer setup

- Like the look of stainless, but probably will have at least the fridge/freeze with panels on it, maybe also the DW.

Please feel free to post your thoughts on our lineup so far, and ask me anything else you need for clarification.



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You mentioned you liked the Thermador oven. I just ordered a full Thermador package. Two "free" appliances (DW and hood, more than 3K value) and a 3rd year of warranty on everything. Pretty aggressive promotion, "1, 2 free." They have dual compressor refrigerators, what I got, and separate column models. I liked their stuff so it made sense to me. Was much better, cost-wise, than SZ, Wolf and Miele options. Can't say how good it is yet because I don't have it (new construction).

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 5:43PM
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I'm waiting for cabinetry, but I've bought all my appliances some time ago after exhaustive research and shopping around.

If you're ordering a single-unit fridge, the ones with dual compressors are Sub-Zero and Liebherr, plus now the Bosch stuff, including Thermador & Gaggenau.
Remember that if you're doing 2 separate columns you will automatically have your 2 compressors with whatever you do.
There are some very attractive column options from Thermador. The unification kit makes it look like 1 single unit.
I liked the shelving better in the Bosch ones than the Liebherr.

For dishwashers, I think you'll like some Bosch & Thermador models. The higher models also feature the 3rd rack for cutlery or chef's tools. The Thermador models with this start with DWHD650 or 651. The 650 comes in a panel-ready version; can't recall for 651. (I have a 651 sitting in garage waiting for install.)
KA has some 3rd rack models too, but why stray from Bosch/Thermador or Miele?

I left range hoods for last too. We settled on a Vent-A-Hood NPH9-236. Virtually every store recommended VAH to us.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 8:18PM
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Thanks for the feedback so far. I am not sure if the 1-2-free thing from Thermador would work for us as we are not looking at a cook top which I think has to be part of that, though I will admit I am not sure of that as we have looked at so many things over the past few weeks.

We are open on the DW and if we can get a deal to save us some money on stuff and still get some good quality stuff we are all for that.

I'll check out the Thermador web site more today to see if we can take advantage of anything.

Does anyone have any feedback on the Thermador vs Liebherr for fridge/freezer?

Also I totally understand 2 compressors on any 2 unit models. We just really liked the look and layout of the Liebherr models we got to see 1st hand. We also looked at the CS2062 (french door) and it was nice, but we did not like the way the doors worked on that unit. I'll have to bring my wife back again to check out Thermador if I like what I see online.

Thanks for the posts so far, hope to hear more.


    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 10:02AM
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I have a Liebherr All-Fridge and Gaggenau All-Freezer.

The Liebherr has nice bins and drawers but not the quality of Gaggenau-Thermador-Bosch(BSH) built-ins.The mechanicals on the Liebherr are as good and efficient as anything out there and better than most.

Doors on the BSH have a heavy or some might say luxurious feel. Liebherr has light weight doors or some might say cheap/or cheezy feeling. The bio-fresh safes work as well as anything out there.

Thermador DW are rebadged mid-upper end Bosch units. For the price you would think you got top-of-the-line Bosch units but,alas,you don't.

If getting the Miele I would get at least the Crystal because that has the built-in water softner.Unless of course you have really soft water in your area.

Both KA and Thermador have had electric oven trouble in the immediate past.Both claim issues have been resolved. Not too many buyers on this forum to confirm issues resolved. I would look at Electrolux wall ovens if looking at upper mid class or Wolf/Gaggenau if looking at top end. The Wolf /Gaggenau microwaves are seperate units but you could just buy the Sharp microwave drawer and place it underneath the wall oven and save some money.

Definetly take Bluestar cooktop/rangetop over Thermador/Wolf.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 12:31PM
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Deeageaux, thanks for the feedback, that is exactly what I was looking for. I know it all comes down to us and what we like, but I value all the posts on this forum they are a wealth of real world knowledge, not just fancy PR stuff in a book or by a salesman (at least in most cases).

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 2:18PM
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