Counter depth frig - French door or side by side

mtdeniseAugust 24, 2012

We are remodeling our kitchen and will be getting a CD refrigerator. My DH and I keep going back and forth between the French Door and Side by Side. We've always had side by side and thought french door might be a nice change. I'm concerned about the freezer in the french door. Having to stack everything and having to bend over to get anything out are my biggest concerns with the FD. We do have a frig in our basement, so we can put overflow down there. Family of 4 but my kids are grown and probably out on their own in a few years (fingers crossed!). Just would like some input from those of you who have either french door or sxs and what you like or disklike about the style. Thanks!

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We replaced our side-by-side with a French door about 6 months ago. So far, I'm happy. We couldn't get pizza boxes in the old side-by-side, can fit them in the new French door. I miss the ice dispenser in the door (both have water in the door). I am OK with bending down to the freezer - not ideal, but what is so great is having so much more useable space in the refrigerator. Space-wise, the two were the same, but the new French door feels so much bigger.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 11:33PM
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I purchased a new KitchenAid counter depth side by side (72" tall, 36" wide) back in 2006 because at the time it was the largest capacity I could find in a counter depth (24.5 cu ft).

In the 6 years that we've had it, it has work fine in regards to cooling and keeping proper temps. But we have had the mechanical ice maker replaced 3 times under extended warranty.

The fridge area is 15 cu ft and fits everything in it just fine. Our issue is with the freezer compartment on the left. Even though its 9 cu ft, it is very narrow in width, which makes it difficult to get a lot of larger items in the freezer. It has 3 shelves on top and 3 baskets below it, so we keep frequently used items on the shelves since that is at arms length, and packaged meats/chicken in the lower baskets.

We've been thinking if we ever replace it, to get a french door, but it would still have to be a counter depth, so it doesn't stick out as much as standard-depth units. So far, the only CD FD on the market that has the largest capacity is from LG. Even though it has good reviews, we hate the position of the water dispenser. A friend has a similar LG FD SD, and we've used the water dispenser and don't like it.

We've seen the new GE PFE29 FD model at homedepot and prefer the ice and water dispenser on it. But that one is a SD, though they will have a CD model out later this year.

I share your concerns about having the freezer on the bottom, but most of the time we are in and out of the fridge, which would be on top. The benefit of having the freezer on the bottom is what its full width and would be easier to fit larger items in it than with our current side by side.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 7:03AM
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I have had bottom freezer units only for decades and can't imagine having anything else- the convenience of having the fridge on top cannot be overstated. My freezer forays are usually quick in-and-outs and it is no problem getting to stuff. The compartments have two top, sliding basket/trays that each hold a lot and make organizing and gaining access to stuff easy. The bottom parts are huge and yet I have never had to root around looking for anything as I stack similar items so the top of each stack represents what is below.

I now have a counter depth french door (Maytag H2O) and love it. That said it could definitely use more space. If I did not have a second refrigerator in my downstairs family room I would have issues with my french door CD.
This is most apparent after Thanksgiving type dinner when I have larger quantities of leftovers to place. I can fit quite large things in it, just only one deep.

I would never consider a side by size because of the width limitations- I LOVE having the entire width of the fridge to work within. I have a deli tray that is the ultimate in convenience as every sandwich making ingredient we ever use is right there in one space.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 8:19AM
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I've had a KitchenAid CD side by side for four years with no problems. Love their icemaker in the door. I'm in and out of my freezer a great deal and would not want all that bending with a FD. Pizza boxes go diagonally into my freezer and deli trays fit in the fridge.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 1:01AM
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I answered on your other thread in Kitchens. I forgot to mention no problem storing frozen pizzas in our CD SxS--goes back to interior set up. Also, when looking at your different options, make sure you're not just going by the listed cu ft on the different units. If the ice maker is hogging up 1/2 the actual freezer compartment, that's a no-go IMO. Also, remember that the SxSs come in different frige to freezer ratios. So really analyzing how you use your fridge/freezer is key. We shot for one as close to a 50/50 ratio as possible.

Hope this helps!

Here is a link that might be useful: Your Thread in the Kitchens Forum

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 1:12PM
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There was a long thread here about the relative benefits of SxS vs. FD fridge designs a while back. You can find it by searching the appliance forum (below).

As I recall (from that thread), larger families ran a risk that stuff gets replaced in different parts of the fridge, meaning you end up opening both doors in a FD to find what isn't where you left it. In smaller families (or families where people actually put things back where they were), this may be less of a concern.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 2:38PM
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