one door vs. two

cottonpennyApril 22, 2012

Getting a 36" bottom freezer fridge.

Are 2 doors really better? We have 48" clearance in that aisle, so I don't think that's an issue. But 2 doors seem much more popular.

Looking at Liebherr CS2062 vs. CS2061 so comments on either of those models is welcome!

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No comment on the Liebherrs. I thought I wanted a French door fridge as they are all the rage. When we moved into a rental house during our whole house reno, I was excited to see a FD! Hated it. I'm glad I had the chance to use one before I chose my own new fridge.

In a 36" fridge, for me, the doors are too narrow. Except for reaching the milk in the right door, I found I had to open BOTH doors for everything. I get into the fridge dozens of times a day, and opening/shutting both doors was an annoying PITA. I bought a single door KA for our new kitchen and couldn't be happier. My aisle is a few inches less than yours, but I have no trouble with it.

There are several threads around comparing the two styles so you might hunt around for more research.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 12:29PM
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I never considered a FD for the reasons breezy remarked. I knew this would be the case for me.

Additinoally, the shelves on the door has to become quite smaller so you lose useful storage space. This has to do with geometry. If you have long continuous uninterrupted space, you can store more things in a same lineal space versus cutting that space into multiple smaller spaces.

Example: A drawer that is 36 inches wide stores more items than 2 drawers that are 18 inches wide.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 1:41PM
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We were considering the HC2602 then went and looked at it side by side w/the SBS24I1 and my wife fell in love w/the 48". Granted it's still not a full 36" door but it is 24" rather than 18" and the left and right side are completely separate so no worry with having to open both doors to get to anything. I was concerned about losing the full width shelf w/the 36" but she reminded me that we rarely need a full width shelf and the 24" was already much larger than the one in our 30" SxS. We have 2 other freezer only units so the smaller freezer isn't an issue. The thing she liked best was the separate top fridge in the left unit w/the fresh food bins and that it didn't have a water dispenser. We have filtered water. I wish they had the same configuration in a fully integrated unit but I suppose I can handle the built in. We're building new so space isn't an issue.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 1:59PM
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I'm with Breezy and Kaismom, all the way.

I've looked at a thread or two on the forum re: French door fridges, and it seems many people choose them for space-related reasons (narrow aisle, one door would block an entryway into dining room, etc.)

My mom has a FD, and personally, I'm not a big fan.

Doors don't close all the way (always get stuck), have to use both hands to open both doors to really get a good survey of fridge contents to to put larger items back into the fridge, feels claustrophobic, and doesn't look as streamlined as the single door.

Now that we're doing a snowbird winter home for mom and dad, one of her requests is *no* FD fridge!

Don't feel embarrassed to spend some time in a showroom (without the salesperson there, just you and the fridge) opening and closing fridges, using them in the way you will every day, even bringing some of your bigger casserole dishes, pots, whatever you'll be storing in there.

I did this for my appliances, and while felt like a bit of a dork, it was worth it to get the right fit for me!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 5:25PM
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Like Madeline, my mom has a FD and that's the extent of my experience with one. She does live close and I'm over there "helping myself" at least once or twice a week so I feel qualified to comment :) Ok, I just don't get the FD craze, unless swing space is an issue. The objections are obvious. Unless you know where stuff is, and it's placed such that opening just one door will make it accessible, you're using two hands to open two doors. Door shelf space is reduced. Set the door open alarm volume on high.

That said, other threads where I've voiced this opinion have been largely pro FD, so I guess each to his own.

(If door swing space is an issue, I'd prefer a SxS any day of the week. I know I'm in the minority here, though, too!)

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 6:02PM
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i'll go the other way. we have a liebherr fully intergrated frig, can't remember the model #, and we love it. you don't have to open both doors to get in it or out of it. they close on their own, after you push them like any one door frig. we keep our frig pretty organized, if you can call it that. the milk is always on the side, along with the filtered water. condiments go back where they came from. i don't understand when people say they can't find anything.

i do have to open both doors if removing alot of food, but i don't find annoying at all. i actually like having the smaller doors that i don't have to open a big door when i go get something.

on the leibherr, it is so quiet, ice maker is great and so easy to is awesome. i really have no issues with this frig and would buy it again.

good luck with your decision!!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 7:53PM
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Opening 2 doors to access does not happen in my LG fd 25 c.f. baby. I don't need to open 2 doors. The newer models of other fd models likely don't have that issue either.

My doors also close on their own.

Yes, it makes sense that two doors would have less storage than one long door because of the architecture, but in practice, our $1500 frig is so very spacious, that both dh and I marvel at it's capacity.

A six year old fd is not the same as the latest models and all fd units should not be judged on earlier models.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 8:14PM
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Opening 2 doors to access does not happen in my LG fd 25 c.f. baby. I don't need to open 2 doors. The newer models of other fd models likely don't have that issue either.

My doors also close on their own.

Yes, it makes sense that two doors would have less storage than one long door because of the architecture, but in practice, our $1500 frig is so very spacious, that both dh and I marvel at it's capacity.

A six year old fd is not the same as the latest models and all fd units should not be judged on earlier models.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 9:50PM
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Westsider - I wasn't talking about a mechanical need to open two doors. If your family is pretty organized about where they put what in the fridge, then I suppose you have a better than 50% chance of opening the correct door on the first try. And I suppose you grow accustomed to placing larger plates, bowls, etc. on one side or the other so that you don't have to open both doors to access it, as you would if placed were placed in the middle. This stuff probably becomes second nature, but as a guest at my parent's house I typically just open both doors every time I go in there, and that seems clumsy.

I do see why some people might appreciate the lighter weight of the half door, esp. on a larger fridge.

I'm glad to hear they've solved the door closing issue; my parents' LG needs a little push at the end every time.

p.s. Anyone else see a smiley face every time they look at a FD?

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 7:47AM
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I think FDs look great when paneled, kind of like an armoire. I think they look more busy when they are stainless though. The one door is a few $$ cheaper.

Anyone have a one door and hate it?

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 9:32AM
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I have a smiley face about my FD fridge, but none to splat online! I'm no fan of those things iconified. ;)

Back to your regularly scheduled programming: I absolutely love my FD fridge. Way more than I thought I would. I want to second e/t westsider said: I think more recent DF fridges may be significantly different from older ones.

For that matter, though, older single door fridges are also probably less good than they are nowadays. Thus I was about to compare my new Samsung FD with my 12 yo single door Kenmore but probably that's no fairer than blasting FD fridges for features that are moot.

I can say only that in comparison with a 2011 Samsung FD vs 1996 Kenmore bottom-freezer (highly rated at the time by CR), I am SO much happier with my Samsung than I ever was with the Kenmore. The Kenmore never really distributed its cold air evenly throughout the interior of the machine. There were often cold spots that would freeze greens. I hated that.

My 36" FD has really deep doors -- I can fit in the bottom of the right side (where I choose), a half gallon carton of milk, two quart size kefir containers, a quart of juice, a spaghetti sauce jar (what's that doing there? I never use that stuff???) and an open thing of beer that I've been meaning to put in a marinade for months and months.

So all that is on one shelf of one door. There are 5 more shelves -- true all but 1 are considerably smaller, but there is more functional door shelf space here than I've ever had before. Thus it feels really convenient and really huge. It's really easy to fiddle with the shelf's heights. I much prefer having the stubby width over the whole-door's width.

We have through-door water. I'd read that service problems are associated with these devices so I was agin it, but dh was adamant. So far (1+ years) we've had no problems and so so far I'm really happy with it. I didn't realize how much I love this convenience. With several athletes in the family filling water bottles seemingly every 6 minutes, it's been a great boon. I will note that the literature sent has some really fiddly instructions. It could be that if you're not willing to follow slightly finicky instructions to the letter, you might have a hard time with the equipment. But I don't know, it just may also be more prone to breaking down; certainly there's more to break than if you didn't have this device, so there alone you're going to have more problems (on average).

My kitchen is designed with a big, flat open surface *behind* me, as well as one to the right. I think this makes a big difference in how useful the FD fridge is. Because it's been pointed out, you always need to get food out and around the fridge door, wherever it's located, however large it is. I find having the door be *shorter* and having a landing spot behind me is the best yet. No big door to twist around. And with the spot free behind me I can equally toss from either right or left.

BTW, I love my low counter to the side of the fridge: it's really useful for hefting huge grocery bags up onto.

I also love this fridge's freezer. It's got slide out drawers and these work in fridges as well as they do in cabinetry.

My 2011 fridge is designed so that there are two deep drawers right and left, neither of which needs both doors to be opened. There is one long bottom drawer that does need both doors opened to access. This may be different in newer models. It does not bother me at all. As has been noted, the doors open independently and close that way too with a very clever channeling piece in the center (I can't remember the name for that door part and it's driving me crazy -- even wikipediad "door" which has a really interesting article there but I'm still missing that word ... what is it?? ).

I am guilty of having too much inside my fridge always. I thought it was going to be impossible, just theoretically, to have a fridge big-enough, in the closets-are-always-too-small paradigm: if you've got the space you will just fill it to a smidge past comfortable -- a sort of Peter Principle in reverse or something.

But it doesn't seem to be happening. This fridge seems adequate to the task of housing my excess. Maybe I've reformed in the buying department in my old-age, but I doubt that; hard to teach old dogs.... Though it's true my CSA did die so there are fewer bunches of greens just hanging out, sadly.

But IME, functional space is a slightly different parameter from the mere measurements of what's available. The FD design makes things way more organizable and reachable. YMMV. But I am really loving this fridge - with basically no complaints at all -- and this is a state of affairs I thought impossible to even come close to. And I'm kinda critical as my teenagers remind me daily. Maybe next time I'll say: "It's not true. I like my refrigerator". :)

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 2:28PM
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