KA Appliances/Happy?

mommyatlawMarch 27, 2012

Has anyone out there opted to use all or almost all KA appliances for a new kitchen? I am unlikely to do the research to find the best brand for each item. I've been leaning towards KA. Budget is important, but not the end all be all. I am not interested in paying more for the same item, manufactured by the same company, but with a different label. But a true difference in quality is important to me. Thanks very much!

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Why are you unlikely to do research? Isn't a kitchen full of expensive appliances bought with your hard earned money worth a few hours?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 6:33PM
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Breezy is right -- it is not hard to research online for appliances. Most online retailers have reviews of all appliances by consumers and they are well worth reading. This forum is also a treasure trove of good advice.

For what it's worth, Kitchenaid is owned by Whirlpool and yes, they are fairly decent appliances, but like most, they have their quirks. Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 7:10PM
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You are both right. I should do the research. But I've already spent a few hours on the reviews (here and on various appliance sites), and they are so conflicting that I'm back to square one. I love Viking! I hate Viking! Only Wolf will do! Wolf stinks! KitchenAid - Ugh! It's really just a Whirlpool. That sort of thing. I've always liked the idea of KitchenAid, but, now that I've picked my appliances out, I have the sneaking suspicion that they are actually middle of the road appliances. I am only going to get one big new kitchen (at least between now and retirement), so middle of the road may be short-sighted. I am a generalist and like things to match - I would rather use one brand for most (not necessarily all) of the appliances. I don't need a brand just for the sake of it, but I don't want to short my kitchen. Anybody willing to tell me their favorite all-around line of appliances? I know that it is very subjective, but posters on this board are truly the best resource.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 8:15PM
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Ok, well a good start would be to give some details on how you cook and what your needs/preferences are. You can list the KA appliances you have been looking at for starters and ask the forum for alternatives that might suit your needs and be a better product for your money.

I've selected my appliances based on product reliability, functionality and my cooking/cleaning style.

For example, We have 2 Miele dishwashers from the Futura series. In terms of DW, Miele is probably the best and many will agree. They are pricey, but worth it. Bosch also has many fans here.

Cooking appliances in my mind are probably the most important, and the choices should be based on what your needs are and how you prefer to cook. I opted for a six burner cooktop from Bertazzoni as I like sleek euro design and used cooktops like it when I lived in Italy. The ovens are Gaggenau, which are probably the best ovens money can buy, but I bake and roast a lot, and it was the right choice for me.

Look forward to to your post and am sure the forum will be happy to assist. Cheers!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 8:56PM
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We can be much more helpful if you give more information about whatever constraints impact your appliance decisions, such as kitchen size or preference for range vs. cooktop.

For example, you could mention if you plan to cook with gas or induction (if you've heard of that), as well as the sort of foods you cook / bake regularly (and for how many people).

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 9:39PM
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Yay! Thanks so much for your help. I had been looking at the following (all KA):

30" double ovens with convection
36" six burner range top
36" wall mounted vent hood
30" warming drawer
2.0 cf built in microwave oven
side by side 24.5 cf counter-depth fridge
undercounter bar fridge with front ventilation
KUDE70 dishwasher

Also, an Avanti dual zone 149-bottle wine fridge

We are a family of four, and I work part time (which really takes away from my kitchen research). I love to cook and especially to bake, but am not a chef. We live in a 1960's ranch style house. This is a complete gut and expansion of our kitchen into our existing dining room. It will measure approximately 12 by 32 (plus an additional 12 by 10 breakfast area). The kitchen will be transitional - modern farm kitchen with a little bit of shaker.

I prefer a range top and double oven to a range. Strangely, I have an aversion to built-in fridges. I want really good appliances at a really good value, if possible. They don't need to be the best money can buy. Not Wal-Mart, and not Saks. I would like the Nordstrom of appliances (did I really just type that?). I will be using these appliances for the long run (this is the long run house), so reliability is a must.

I love the look of the KA appliances, but quality seems to be an issue. From the research that I've done, Electrolux may be a good option. Bosch seems to have fans and is probably within my range (ha). I think Wolf is a stretch for my budget, but I am open to considering it if it is superior.

I appreciate any advice you can provide!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 10:21PM
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KA makes very good fridges and DWs - at least they did 10 years ago when I bought mine which are still going strong. From what I've read though, I'd stay away from their cooking appliances, particularly their ovens. There's no need to go with all one brand. Most of us mix and match.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 12:46AM
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Thanks, Weissman. I think I've gotten over the matching thing. I'm going to stick with the KA fridge and DW, but hit the research on the cooking appliances.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 9:44AM
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Changing the name of the post in the hopes that I get good GW feedback!


    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 10:39AM
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You may need to start a new post, as changing the name here will not change the original posting.
Good to hear you are exploring the possibilities...you will be much happier!
I see you are looking for double ovens -- you may want to take a look at Electrolux double ovens -- they are very nice ovens, with convection and smooth glide racks. Dodge59 will certainly chime in, he loves them. They were my second choice as well.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 11:02AM
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I am in the process of picking appliances for a new addition and it can be a long and tiring process.

Generally I've found that everyone has their favorites and that every manufacturer has some problem or another. Rarely will you find an item that warrants universal praise. Pro reviews (consumer reports) and user reviews can also differ sharply.

Here are some of my observations.

FRIDGE. Fridges with ice on the door break more than any other - up to 20% industry average. That's what I am getting anyway.

In general, there are lots of complaints about fridge makers. It's been the hardest thing for me to pick because every freestanding fridge seems to have detractors.

Consumer Reports seems to love Whirlpool , but the fit and finish don't match other brands. I love the interior design and flexibility of Samsung and to a lesser extent, LG. The new Kenmores also look great, are very big and have a better rep for support and reliability compared to the Korean manufacturers.

KA looks nice enough and is generally reliable but in need of a refresh. Electrolux looks great inside, but it had huge problems with icemakers recently and the shelves have little flexibility. The problems supposedly have been fixed, but I am leery. Bosch looks nice enough but didn't wow me.

I'd love to get a subzero, but it's not in my budget and two friends of mine who have one don't exactly wax enthusiastic. I was impressed by a few of the higher-level brands but they are outside my budget.

OVEN. Unless you want to spend big, Electrolux seems like the winner, hands down, based on pro and consumer reviews. The WaveTouch looks fantastic and has all sorts of features. I'd go with that. Lists for $3000 for double, $2000 for single.

KA Architect II series (107s) has had some problems but it looks quite nice and has plenty of fans. It's my backup among the main brands, but I think GEs would work well, too.

Jenn-air has some snazzy looking ovens, but they might be too complicated with their fancy electronic controls.

MICROWAVE. Electrolux doesn't have quite as good a rep when it comes to mikes, but I am getting one to match the wall oven. I view these devices are utilitarian and wouldn't worry. Get the Electrolux 30-inch countertop with trim. About $800 on AJ Madison.

RANGETOP. Bluestar or Thermador ($3100) if you do some low simmering. The Electrolux Icon at $2000 seems like another good choice.

RANGE HOOD. You can spend a ton on one of these things, but you don't have to. I like the all-round style, features and price of Kobe and Elica, but I'll probably get a Zephyr Anzio or Savonna, upgraded to baffle filters. I view baffle filters as must haves - I hate aluminum mesh filters - and the Zephyrs are a great value. About $1000 for a 36-inch.

IMO, the rangetop and rangehood easily can be different brands. I'd keep the mike and oven the same brand. You may also want to keep the same brand for fridge if it's close to the oven and mike.

Electrolux or KA are probably the best all-rounders among the better known brands. Just make sure to buy from a local independent store if possible to receive great customer support.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 12:43PM
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mommyatlaw - what did you decide? I am building a new home and currently have chosen the KA suite of appliances (rangetop, fridge, double ovens, dish). would love to know what you chose.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 4:11PM
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The new Kenmores also look great, are very big and have a better rep for support and reliability compared to the Korean manufacturers. Depending on which specific Kenmore model is selected, the manufacture may very well be LG or Samsung. Sears/Kenmore doesn't themselves manufacture anything. All Kenmore appliances are sourced from other makers. The first three digits of the model number (before the period) is a code for the manufacturer. Store display stock numbers and Sears website references typically don't state the FULL model number but the tag ON the appliance does. There are online appliance information sites that list the manufacturer codes.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 5:13PM
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I've had KA double ovens for 12 years and love them. No problems and, yes, I even use the self-clean. Also have a KA KUDE60 DW (with cutlery tray) and love it.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 5:31PM
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LOVE my KA KUDD60 dishwasher but my experiences with their slide in stoves is another story. The first one was demonic. It "growled" at me while it was OFF! We had to unplug it, and no, it never growled at me when it was on LOL
Lowes replaced it. The second one has had a few issues, more than average (based on my purchases). It's ok but I won't be buying KA ranges again. OTOH, appliance and their parts vendors seem to change like the wind. Their ovens may be GREAT now. Mine is 8 or 9 years old. Both were/are convection.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 8:47PM
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14 year old KA 42" builtin frig. No problems. Four year old double oven, DW and the drop down door MW. No problems. All are Art. II I think, all top of the line in each model. Also a KA disposal. No problems. No guarantees in life but I like them so far. Went with the Dacor cooktop, thought it looked much nicer and more heavy duty than the KA cooktop. All applicance are SS by the way.

Good luck

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 10:13PM
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