36' integrated fridge: Thermador Freedom or SZ 736?

brotherbJuly 15, 2012

Looking to get a fully integrated 36" fridge with bottom freezer. I was set on the SZ until I started reading about reliability and performance issues (condensation, mold, not holding temp, coils freezing up, etc.). Can anyone comment on the performance and reliability of the 36" Freedom? (specifically, model T36IB800SP) or the 736TCI? Anyone have experience with both units? Anyone looking at these 2 units, what were deciding factors in your selection of one over the other, and have you been satisfied with your choice?

Many thanks.

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Brandy4163

I am building a new home and have been looking at the Thermador Freedom French Door. From what I understand, the Freedom is now being made with dual compressors....ala
Sub-Zero. Have you considered Sub-Zero? I am leaning that way because of reviews I have read. However, most of the reviews are rather dated. Does anyone have a more recent experience?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 1:14PM
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brotherb

Hi Brandy,

Yes, I have been considering SubZero, specifically the 736TCI. I was all set to go with the SZ, but in doing more research I found that the Freedom, which _does_ have dual compressors and evaporators like SZ, may be quieter than SZ, and I have come across reviews of the 736 that give me pause over the reliability and performance. Because of these concerns I started looking at the Freedom.

So, what are folks experience with these units? Any comments comparing fit/finish, reliability, food preservation performance, noise, etc, are greatly appreciated, especially those with first-hand user experience.

Thanks,

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 2:15PM
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joc6820

Did the same comparison a few months ago as part of a new build. Went with the 36" Therm single door. I liked the layout/ergonomics better than the SZ, quality seemed as good or better, dual compressors/evaporators, etc. Pricing was also better (part of a Thermador promo). Don't have it yet, so time will tell. Keep in mind the side by side models in the Thermador line are not Thermador/Bosch built, but the 36" models are.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 7:12PM
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athensmomof3

We have the SZ 36 inch all fridge with the seperate produce drawers. It has only been in a month but I LOVE it. So much room it looks empty even when buying for 4 boys, it fully integrated beautifully and it keeps produce fresh forever!

I bought some artisan lettuce early in the week, washed it and forgot about it. Left town for a week on Saturday, came back the next Saturday and pulled it out - looked perfect. That would have never happened in my old GE. Maybe there is some truth to the hype about keeping things fresher ;)

I bought the SZ for service issues (we live in a small town) and customer service issues (everything says they are great). So good so far!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 7:50PM
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brotherb

Hi Athens,

Thanks for sharing your experience. What did you do for a freezer? What other choices did you consider before selecting SZ?

Hi Joc,

Thanks for your input. I'm definitely looking at the 36" over-under, not SxS. Good to know that BSH is the mfr. Do you know what country the 36" are made in? Out of curiosity, do you know who makes the SxS units? Are these the same as the independent columns? I was told by a dealer that the Therm/Gagg columns were made in a BSH factory in Turkey.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 12:48PM
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athensmomof3

I looked at Miele and SZ. Ruled out Northland (noise and lack of energy efficiency) and GE Monogram (I hated my old GE fridge). I also wanted fully integrated and paneled which left me really with those two choices, although I would have considered stainless if something had cost less and been acceptable. The Miele was more than the SZ.

We have a snack station in the kitchen with a fridge freezer drawer from KA (also fully integrated). We took out the icemaker (we have a big icemaker) and it is more than enough freezer space for items you don't want to walk to get (ice cream, waffles, etc.). The rest goes in a large freezer we had built into our laundry cabinets. It is just a frigidaire and was not expensive but is huge and we put cabinets on top of it, pulled forward, and it is recessed between two closets so it looks built in even though it is not. It has worked very well for us (particularly since we would have had another freezer somewhere even if we had a larger one in the kitchen because I have never found freezer space in a fridge to be adequate for our needs and family full of boys and their friends!)

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 12:33PM
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athensmomof3

Here is a picture of our laundry room freezer. Washer/dryer and sink are on the opposite wall. Left closet is for cleaning supplies. Right closet holds laundry baskets (eventually - right now it is loaded with random things as we just moved in a couple of weeks ago and that was the "not sure where it goes" spot!)

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 12:44PM
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joc6820

brotherb: I don't know for sure, but I believe the Thermador fridges are assembled at their US plant with European parts. My appliance guy told me the Therm SXS models are sourced from Kitchenaid, and they do look similar inside. The key things on the 36" bottom freezers are the dual compressor/evaporator systems and overall build quality, same as the freedom columns. I really liked the layout, lighting, adjust-ability, etc. Also looked like it would hold a lot. Liked the SZ models too, but couldn't see what the up charge really gets you.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 4:56PM
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kaismom

Fully integrated 36 bottom freezer in the SZ does not have enough crisper drawer space, IMHO. A few people that i know have SZ integrated bottom freezers model. They have used a pair of 27 or 30 inches. This is a lot of frig/freezer but it gives them the crisper drawer space. Even so, one family complains that the interior design is terrible and there is not enough drawer space.

I bought a Thermador Freedom 36 bottom freezer for this reason. I did not have more than 36 inches to devote to my Refrig/Freezer combo. I needed the drawer space for my produce. If I had more room that I could work with, I would have gone the all freezer plus all refrigerator in an integrated line with one or the other companies out there. But you got what you got to work with....

SZ36 bottom BIs (Not fully integrated( have really nice drawer arrangements and that is what i see in most homes that I walk into that have 36 inches of space. However, I was most adamant that I have a fully integrated model and not see the grill or the grill panel. Alas.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 9:54PM
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GDN11

We are retrying to decide between the Thermador T-361B and the Miele KF1901. We have had nothing but trouble with our Amana and want something quiet and reliable. Experiences with either product would be greatly appreciated.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 10:31PM
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joc6820

It's a little early to comment on reliability, but I've had the Thermador 36 for 5 months and it's been perfect so far.
What I like:
-dead quiet
-temp accuracy
-layout/ergonommics
-led lighting
-build quality
I have a whole package of new Thermador appliances and, for the most part and so far, am really impressed.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 5:22PM
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