Appliance Help for a Total Newbie / Novice

rdw829May 4, 2012

We are re-doing our kitchen next month (!) and will be shopping for all new appliances. I'm looking for advice or recommendations for quality appliances - but they don't need to be top of the line. We're a family of four, and we don't do a lot of gourmet cooking.

I am looking for decent appliances that will last- but not necessarily the best of the best. I am budget minded, but will pay for quality (I don't want something that will crap out in the near future).

Looking for stainless - or stainless like that still has a magnetic surface. Need to decide on side by side versus french door for fridge, probably counter depth.

Also doing gas stove, over the range microwave and dishwasher.

Any and all help / advice / recommendations greatly appreciated!

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I'm a newbie too, so take this for what it's worth.

I couldn't do a french door fridge due to the placement of my island, and wanted counter depth. We ended up with a Samsung sxs. It was the nicest looking (IMO) with the best pricing for counter depth The only issue we have had was with the ice maker. It made a clunking sound but still made the ice fine. I only heard it in the morning hours when I was getting ready for work and never remembered to call about when there was time. My fault completely as far as not getting it looked at while it was under warranty. It isn't important to us so I just let it be.

I just ordered a bottom of the line Miele dishwasher, it was about the only brand I hear consistently good reviews on, but I wouldn't consider it budget. I also considered a display Viking DW that was discounted to 900.00 but was discouraged from it from fellow GW'ers. I was looking for a great dishwasher after years of lousy ones, so I went for what I felt would make me happiest in the end.

Can't help with the stove, but our salesperson told us that most of the microwaves out there are made by Sharp. He showed us a Sharp microwave then showed us it rebranded over and over under higher end names. I might not have noticed if he hadn't told me, but it was true, each time I went into a kitchen display, and he showed me the microwave, it had the same "face" but different badging.

I felt the higher end Appliance Store salespeople were much more knowledgeable about the appliances vs the Big Box stores and Appliance shops.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 1:44PM
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Definitely visit a dedicated appliance store when doing your shopping. They can get you just about anything and have a wealth of knowledge. Best of all they'll work within your budget. I also found them to be cheaper than Lowes or Home Depot for the same appliance.

If you're able to do it you should consider perhaps a cook top with double wall ovens or a single oven/single microwave combo. The dude at Wholesale Appliance Center seemed to LOVE KitchenAid and tried to get us to go that route. He said that it's the brand that he owns. All of the KA stuff looked very good for that price range. Our current configuration is a 48" Thermador for our range and Therm convection microwave, Fridgidare full freezer and full fridge, and kitchen aid DW. We're a bit over budget, but we cook a lot in our house so the range and convection micro was worth it. Nothing is finalized yet though, so things could change. I need to look into Miele DW prices.

One thing I've learned is that the multitude of combinations can become very confusing. We initially started out looking at cook tops with double wall ovens. 5 configurations later we landed where we are now. I'd suggest figuring out what layout you want first and then go get pricing. Be sure to visit more than one appliance store and let them know that you're price shopping. Also get free installation if you can.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 4:37PM
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I am in the same position as you. We are set to start the demo on 5/25. I don't have a decision yet but can share where I am at and maybe it will be helpful.

We need a single door, bottom freezer. I like the Maytag and the KitchenAid (same parent company - also Whirlpool and Amana) but the KA is more. Not sure why yet. Magnets stuck to the front and side of the Maytag I looked at.

Ranges & OVR MW - I am looking at Bosch, Maytag and KA. Many of the new Maytag appliances have longer warranties on parts of the appliance. I like the 6.2 CF oven on the Maytag.

DW - right now thinking it will be a Bosch but go back and forth to considering maybe a KA one. Bosch seems to have a better track record but like some of the KA features better. I just wish they had the quality rep that they had in the past.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 6:47PM
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If you're buying a bunch of appliances, check out manufacturers promotions. I just ordered a whole Thermador package and got considerable savings. Jenn Air (Kitchenaid) GE and probably others have these promos. Generally, you need to buy 2 or 3 pieces to get "free" stuff. I know the conventional wisdom on this forum is no one manufacturer makes the best of everything. But (I think) some of them do more than good enough across the board, especially if you're not a gourmet cook.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 6:55PM
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We have the KA french door with fridge drawer and bottom freezer and I love it. The fridge drawer is awsome and holds so much. We saved a thousand dollars by buying scratch and dent, had a very small scratch. Sad truth is you will get more scratches over time anyways.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 11:31PM
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*bump* Any more recommendations? Where is the best place to read appliance reviews?

Any reviews on Frigidaire? We went to the local appliance store - and I was not at all impressed with the salesperson. Went to a Big Box Store (Lowes) - and they recommended Frigidaire Gallery Line - where I could do everything for the kitchen for $3k.

I'm willing to look at the outlets / scratch and dent places as well - just need some more ideas as to what to be looking at.

Any / all help appreciated!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 10:23PM
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You can peruse appliance reviews on AJ Madison's website. They are a large retailer in Brooklyn, and are very well respected here on GW.

Here is a link that might be useful: aj madison

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 10:27PM
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I couldn't find any reviews on these particular products and what I did find was negative. I have to say, so far, so good with my GE cafe series. I love the dishwasher- other than a couple of glasses that broke when we ran it the first couple of times(still don't know why but the glasses were old) it worked awesome. We got the model without the dishwasher soap automatic dispenser (one more thing to break;). My stuff is cleaner than it has ever been and it is super quiet. Even plastics come out perfectly dry. Love! We also got their double cafe convection ovens and cooktop- also amazing. The baked potatoes are the best I ever have had- crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. Cookies are perfectly baked. I have to say after reading many bad GE reviews I was worried. But we got such a huge employee discount that we couldn't refuse. We also got the KA French door bottom freezer fridge and love that too. It's only been a month but so far, super impressed.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 11:54PM
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All day, everyday customers ask me what are the best appliances because their expensive two year old appliance is broke. I always tell them the cheapest ones. If a frig is full of electronics it will break and cost 2-4 hundred to repair it. A basic simple no fancy electronic frig will last. Whirlpool or Frigidaire.
The fancier the range the better for me. Keep it simple. All ovens heat at 350 degrees. It seems today everyone is a chef, must be all those cooking shows. They buy $2000.00 ranges and pay me $400.00 to fix them. I love it.
People pay big bucks on a dishwasher with all those buttons but only use the normal cycle. I don't get it. A mid line whirlpool is a good dishwasher. All dishwashers work about the same. Water comes in, sprays around, and drains. Its not magic.
If you like the Bosch, Samsung, Miele, asko etc. make sure there are people in town that repair them. I'm like the only LG servicer in my area which means I can charge more to repair them. No competition, business 101. There are only a couple of people in my area that will repair Samsung refrigerators, bosch, asko, etc. And they are not cheap.
Everyone repairs Whirlpool and Frigidaire. I live in an area with over 500,000 people so its not like we're in a small town out in the boonies.
Talk to an independent local servicer that doesn't sell appliances and he can advise you on the appliances that he has the least problems with.
You won't find too many appliance tech's that own GE. Their parts are the most expensive in the industry. Whirlpool, Frigidaire and even LG parts are reasonable.

Fischer Paykel. There again one maybe two companies repair them. The only place I can find parts for them is from Fischer paykel and they're in New Zealand. Takes about 3 weeks to get parts.
I just picked up a customer with apartments full of Viking. Viking controls their part distribution so only one part supplier on the east coast carries the parts. No competition means expensive parts which equals expensive repairs.

Its a great time to be an appliance repairman. I was never this busy in the 90's with the simple basic appliances. All those new fancy electronic appliances keep me very busy.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 8:46AM
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