French door vs. Side by Side x-posted

ratremApril 25, 2012

We have a French Door now and I do like the upper part, but feel like the freezer just has no organization with stuff piled on top of each other and it's a pain to clean and organize. I am tempted to go to a side by side (never had one). They are cheaper which means I can afford a better model. I also like that no food will spill into the upper freezer door seal. Less handles to clean around etc.

Is there something I am missing that will make me regret this decision. I have only had bottom mount drawer freezers and never a side by side.

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There have been some threads on this here in the past. The link below shows one such thread.

How people feel about these different styles depends some on the foods stored (platters & frozen pizza fit better in a FD), but also on the number of people in the household (more might make stuff harder to find in a FD), etc.

Perhaps a different solution could be to get a separate freezer.

Here is a link that might be useful: Does anyone ... prefer a side-by-side?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 4:10AM
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One thing to remember as the other FD owners bash SxS's is that SxS's come in a VERY wide range of widths, heights, depths, ratio of fridge to freezer compartment size and internal setups (compartmentalizations). All of these things play into the usability of the refrigerator/freezer from a usability standpoint. They are also trying to convince you to stay with an appliance that you, yourself said isn't meeting your needs. Looking for an alternative is the logical thing to do.

I have always bought the largest SxS I could find for my full depth as well as my counter depth models. Then I looked at the fridge to freezer ratio (you would be surprised how many large units have a tiny freezer). Next I looked at how the unit was compartmentalized with shelves, drawers, etc. Then I looked at the icemaker setup--our first SxS had the icemaker in the freezer compartment hogging up valuable storage space and the ice came down through a chute in the door. I can't count how many times something small would fall off a shelf and end up in the ice chute. So while the in door icemakers take up door storage space, you do get much more valuable (IMO) full depth shelf space as a tradeoff.

Since you currently have a FD that you're unhappy with, the SxS should be considered. My advice would be to think about the things you want the refrigerator to have based on your needs and how you use it everyday. Then head off to the local Best Buy, Sears, Lowes & HD and take a look at everything they have to offer. Start with size--width & height to make sure it will fit your space--that will likely elimnate 1/4-1/3 of the fridges out there. Start opening doors to check out their features, fridge to freezer ratio and set-up--that will likely eliminate another 1/4-1/2 of the fridges out there. In fact, it may start to eliminate certain brands as a whole (you may have already decided to eliminate certain brands as well based on performance reviews). If the icemaker placement & having ice/water in the door (or not) is important for you, check that next--that will likely eliminate more and get you down to maybe around 5 -7 fridges to choose from. A much more reasonable number to base your selection on.

If you'd like a recommendation, we really liked the Samsung 30 cuft SxS for a full depth, the Kenmore Elite badged 24 cuft Samsung and the Samsung 24 cuft counter depth based on the criteria we used (36" wide, 68" or more tall, ~60/40 fridge to freezer ratio, decent sized deli & crisper drawers, in-door icemaker, separation of cooling for fridge space vs. freezer space, available in stainless, LED lighting is a plus). In our case, we ended up having to go with counter depth due to clearance issues. We narrowed it down to the Samsung, Kenmore Elite badged Samsung, an LG model & a Whirlpool/KA model. The Samsung brand won based on the setup & the cooling system. We opted for the Kenmore Elite badged Samsung in the end because I liked the style of the flat handles. If we didn't have to go with counter depth, I feel certain we would have bought the full depth Samsung 30 cuft.

Counter Depth Samsung/Kenmore Link:

Full Depth Samsung:

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 9:48AM
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One word: 'width'.
2-words: 'door shelves'.

If you routinely store things in the fridge that are on wide trays, they will not fit in a SxS.

If you like to store a lot of stuff on the doors, the SxS will probably (I didn't say always) have less room.

I go around and around with this a lot. I tend to eat out of my freezer. Hence freezer organization is more important to me and a big strike against a FD with a drawer freezer. However I do like the larger layout of the fridge and narrower doors taking up less space that full width doors.

With SxS's, you need to check how far the doors need to swing in order to get the drawers/bins fully extended or removed for cleaning. For some models, 90* is enough. Others will need 135* or more meaning that they could bash against your counters.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 2:59PM
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Weed- thanks for that tip about door swing, I had not thought about that.
I do not find myself storing a lot on wide platters, maybe a few times per year, we will also have a full size refrigerator and chest freezer in the basement, but we are on the second/third floor and prefer not to have to run down there everyday.

Mydreamhome, thanks for that long explanation that helps a lot. I am looking towards the DCS side by side as we have the range and their stainless is a bit different. I could not afford the french door, but their side by side is at the top of the price range. It is on the smaller side for cuft, but does not have the front door ice/water which we do not want as it takes up too much space.thanks again

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 7:55PM
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As mydreamhome said, "SxS's come in a VERY wide range of widths, heights, depths, ratio of fridge to freezer compartment size and internal setups (compartmentalizations). All of these things play into the usability of the refrigerator/freezer from a usability standpoint."

We have a 48" Jenn-air, and I can't imagine a platter that would not fit, if it didn't, I probably could not lift that loaded succer anyway!!!!

We like the fact that the stuff we use the most, both in the freezer as well as the fridge is kept at the perfect height for us and in plain view, the hardly ever used stuff in the freezer gets relegated to the bottom.

Since the fridge is a built in, it has a narrower depth and the likelyhood of "Scientific Experiements" (IE rotting food) is far less to happen than it did with our old deep fridge.

The way our Jenn-air is designed, that which is in the door, no way subtracts from storage areas in other areas of the fridge, and to us, the more room , the better!

So as mydreamhome said, shop around, You have many many choice as far as SXS's goes, both in terms of freezer space as well as fridge space.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 8:18PM
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ratrem--do you have a Sears outlet near you? For a while they were getting DCS refrigerators, double ovens and ranges. Don't know if that is still the case as I haven't been to ours in a while, but it may be worth a try & you could save some serious $$$.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 11:17PM
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mydream, I went to the Sears links you posted and it looks like the feezer section of the Samsung you ordered is not as wide as our old Whirlpool 24. And it seems to have fewer shelves both in the door and inside. Maybe it's the way my computer displsys. Anyhow I was amazed to see a Kenmore Elite badged side by sides there that cost over $6000. Never new there was such expensive Kenmore stuff. Must be made by one of the top priced lines.
By the way my Frig is about 5 yeass old and wsa a Kenmore that was a rebadged Whirlpool. It sure came with a lot of nice goodies like sliding glass shelves a wine bottle rack and lots of storage. We have had no problem that we didn't cause. Never hold a glass tightly against the ice shute or it freezes up eventually), Thanks for your efforts.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 5:13PM
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