KD said French Door fridges aren't so great

olivertwistkitchenSeptember 5, 2012

He was trying to talk me out of it. He is suggesting a traditional freezer on top (like I have now) or on the bottom.

I told him I wanted more fresh food capacity, and couldn't find that in the top freezer model. I also really like the KitchenAid with the extra (4th) drawer just for produce. I thought it would really increase my ability to store produce. He wasn't convinced.

He really didn't go into all the cons of FD fridges too much. I think the only examples were awkwardness opening in our space (fridge is opposite a penninsula) and that you need 2 hands to open the fridge because you pretty much always have to open both sides.


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IMO There are two real cons.

1) You can fit more stuff inside one door that two.
But you need less space for door swing,like in front of penninsula.

2) Models with ice dispersors put ice-maker in the fridge instead of the freezer,like any competent engineer would do.

You can gauge for yourself whether you are ok with,dislike,or hate using two hands for fridge.

Remember, KD works for you. Not the other way around.

BTW I have fridge tower and seperate freezer tower. My sister has four door Samsung FD and loves it.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 7:44PM
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I've often ranted here about my dislike of FD. It does take two hands to get into the stupid thing. I could never remember where moveable items (like spreadable butter, leftovers, applesauce jar, etc) were in the fridge so both doors had to be opened. I always knew the milk was located in the right-hand door so at least that was only a one door motion. Also, some FD like my cousin's have a long deli or produce tray *necessitating* the open of both doors anyway. I didn't feel like much fit in the doors either.

I have a bottom freezer, single door unit now and love it. I would never go back to a top feezer or FD. The door holds so much food. And I only have to open one door! I don't really understand the appeal of FD except that they are a relatively new idea so that must make them desirable, and sometimes a kitchen layout works a slight bit better with one. YMMV.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 7:54PM
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Fori is not pleased

Inventory your fridge and take the list to the appliance shop. Play with them and see how they work for your stuff. Imagine the turkey and the pizza box and whatever. Try 'em all out. They do come in a variety of configurations and they work differently for different households. I don't know that they'd hold more stuff though--it's definitely something to investigate in a hands-on manner.

If you have a tight spot with a door swing issue, you'll probably be better off with a FD or side-by-side so just find the one you like best and let your KD know that his point has been considered and overruled and it's time for the next topic.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 8:37PM
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You have to decide what you like/want/need. The french doors on my current fridge don't bother me at all. What does bother me is the lack of sufficient drawer space for produce/fruit/meat.

It was easy for me to open the door on any number of fridges and automatically cross them off the list. Finally decided on an all-fridge, even after KD and contractor voiced their concerns. I listened, considered, then decided what worked best for me :)

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 8:58PM
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I have a kitchen aid French door and for my kitchen it works better than the top freezer I had before I can open the doors better with the top freezer the fridge door was wide and banged in to the heat radiator in the room and I could never open right crisper drawer much. With the French door I have better access to the fresh food. Mine has 2 crispers and a covered pull out try on the bottom with a moveable devider for deli meats and snack items I have an ice maker in my freezer and a water tap inside left side door. So I have no ice maker in my fridge eating up the top corner the water tap stays clean and I just put a stainless scoop in to get the ice out. It works well for me it is a compromise in convince not having a dispenser on the door but it looks so much cleaner and more sleek plus there is no ice maker in the fridge like I said.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 8:34AM
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Do you have a 2nd freezer out in the garage (or somewhere)?
A few years ago when I was contemplating a FD w/freezer on bottom, 95% of the people polled on this forum answered yes to the question, "if you own a FD fridge, do you have an extra freezer?" The reason I asked is because I asked my daughter how she liked hers. She said she loved it, but if she didn't have the extra freezer, she would not. There just wasn't enough room in the freezer for everything.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 3:43PM
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My mom went from a SxS to a FD. She likes the fridge but hates the freezer. She routinely pulls a stool up in front of it, sits down and opens the freezer, then has to rifle through everything to find what she wants.

I like the idea of the 4-door units since that wide deli drawer is now separate from the upper section. Pull out the drawer rather than opening both doors.

My only concern with that drawer vis a vis vegetables is whether or not the humidity will be correct for longer storage.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 4:03PM
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Having a peninsula directly across from your FD is a good thing, not a bad thing.

FDs intrude less into the traffic space.

Also, FDs require landing space that is behind you as you are standing at the fridge, not next to the fridge. You can't get to landing space next to the fridge because of the doors.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 4:37PM
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Thanks for all your opinions.
Marcolo, I think maybe he was thinking of a FD in my current set-up, not the future one. There's a landing space NEXT to my fridge that I think he was afraid I would no longer be able to access, but there's a peninsula opposite it.

I think the major thing is that there's no way to increase capacity without going to a FD so that's what I'll do. And I'm hoping that the 4th drawer will increase usability. Just hoping I don't regret less door space.

Monicakm, yes we do have an extra freezer, so I think that should be ok.

I know the ice dispenser in the fridge part is "dangerous", but I'm willing to take the chance. I've never had an icemaker before and am looking forward to it.

Thanks all for your opinions.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 10:35PM
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I went with a samsung FD, also with the ice maker in the freezer and a water tap in the fridge part, and it's been great. Our apartment is fairly small, and when we designed our kitchen we built a nook that fit this fridge exactly. We would've had to allow for more room around the fridge if it had been a single-door model. It's the best performing fridge I've ever had, even though the ice maker broke once. (replaced in warranty)

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 1:49PM
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I did not know Samsung made a french door with inside water tap. I do like The KA I ended up with but know that Samsungs are nice too .

I have a small kitchen and just realized i use the kitchen table as my landing pad when getting a few items out.

this is the first fridge with an ice maker for me too and I love it. I will scare to crap out of you if you hear the ice drop in the middle of the night until that becomes a sound you are used to. I had to get up and check the kitchen out the first night....I thought the cat was in to trouble again LOL

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 11:07PM
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Both my sister and our son have the Samsung FD with water dispenser inside the fridge section. They each love their fridges. I'm not convinced it would be right for us. I have a bad low back, am prone to really bad spells with it. Bending down to dig or root around in a freezer drawer is not for me. In fact, it is really bad idea at my age. Not even sitting on a small stool would help, or prevent a back injury.

Our side by side, while not perfect, works great for us. We once had a small chest freezer for many years. I learned that stuff ends up at the bottom and stays there, while only the items on the top layer were what I saw and used.

It is nice there are so many styles for people to choose from, and something just right for everybody.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 9:43AM
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Nice to know something to think about if I ever look for a fridge again, but so far I love my kitchen aid.

I agree that there are different styles to suit everyone's likes and needs. when I was looking I wanted a side by side too but some here convinced me to look a french doors, I am glad I did because in the 33" wide SxS the compartments and shelves are narrow and I'm not sure I'd be as happy with that. I am sure I could have lived with it but having the full width is nice. Now if I could fit a wider unit I think SxS would have been fine for me. I know it was only a few inches less divided up between the fridge and freezer compartments but there was a big difference when you made a direct comparison between the 33' and 36" side by side models. I do have a small chest freezer so freezer space is not a huge issue it is just nice to keep most used items up stairs.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 5:44PM
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I love my FD GE. I have a counter very close to the front of the fridge so the double doors were the only way I could have a wider and deeper fridge there. I organized the space so I frequently can open only one door. My old fridge had shallow door racks so the gallon racks in the FD are great and get a lot more large bottles into the fridge.

What I do to organize my chest freezer in the garage and I'm thinking of doing with my bottom freezer in the FD is to sew bags out of plastic woven feed bags, cut off the end, cut off strips for handles, sew the bottom and triangles in the corners to make a rectangular bag, sew handles on the top. Then I load the bags and place them in the space so if I need to dig or get to the bottom I can lift out the whole bag and not have to bend over. They are strong.


    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 1:24AM
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It is all a matter of preference and kitchen layout. I had a side by side (a cheap one) and did not like the fridge layout. Bought a top of the line Samsung FD with the fourth slide out drawer and love it. I keep the produce in the fourth door and it is a simple one hand operation to pull out the needed produce at countertop level with no bending over like I had on the side by side. You can open one door on the FD anyhow and I many times know which side what I need is on anyhow. I pretty much don't eat frozen food so for me the freezer being a large drawer on the bottom was a no brainer. The ice maker is in the fridge w water and ice in the door. This set up is the best for me but others may differ.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 5:22AM
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Love my Elux FD fridge. I know which door to open and usually only have to open one at a time except if I need to get to the perfect temp drawer or my fruit drawer.
I opted out of ice through the door as it took up too much room in the fridge and mostly we need ice in batches (sports injuries) vs drinks.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 7:20AM
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I think like most things in life, what works well for one person isn't necessarily going to work so well for someone else.

I have a FD and I love it. But I totally agree that if you don't have a handy landing zone behind you, some folks may hate it. I have my island behind me as I open the doors, and the set-up is perfect for me. You don't need as much floor space to open the doors and move around, so it works great in the aisle space between the counter run and the island.

I also LOVE the full size produce drawer.

As far as the freezer on the bottom....well, something has to go on the bottom. I'd rather have my frozen stuff down there because I'm in that section far less than any of the others. But again, different people work differently, so what works so well for me may stink for someone else.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 9:02AM
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I have had all three. IMO the side by side is my least favorite for freezer storage. The old fashioned top freezer seems to hold the most of everything. Mine is smaller in cubic feet than my FD and holds more. I like the FD for many reasons after I got used to it. None of the refrigerator/freezers hold all my fruits and vegetables but I think one would almost have to have a complete refrigerator and a separate freezer to get the most storage like a commercial kitchen. The prices were too high for me when I checked into doing that. The FD bottom freezer pulls out and there is a top drawer for some small storage items. I placed 2 small plastic baskets in the bottom part and keep meats in them with things like whole chickens on the side of that. There is a divider on the left bottom freezer that I can place a standup pizza box. I ended up taking my favorite pan to place in the range I purchased to see how it fit. Maybe you should inventory your freezer and picture where you would put things.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 9:38PM
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Currently, nicer looking single door bottom freezers are hard to find except the expensive built in models at 6000$ plus. FD look so much better at a reasonable price because that is what the industry is pushing. If you want a nicer looking single door bottom freezer, you may need to pay way more by getting a subzero or such.

If you are willing to accept FD, there are more choices.
Top freezer looks cheap and outdated to most people.
S x S have issues with the width not accommodating large items.


I prefer a single door with bottom freezer.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 12:29PM
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> I prefer a single door with bottom freezer.

Me too! Our current plan is to spend $11K on columns to fit our wide U layout because we just can't get a big single door bottom freezer. One of the big reasons is that an FD is a PITA when your only nearby counter is to one side. Since the counter is on the right, a side-by-side would be even worse. We also couldn't convince ourselves that burrowing in FD freezer drawers was going to work for us - we generally have a ton of small tubs and vacuum pouches of stuff in our freezer, and that's enough of a pain in our top freezer.

This post was edited by PeterH2 on Thu, Nov 29, 12 at 15:58

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 3:57PM
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We have an FD bottom-freezer counter-depth model. And an additional regular top freezer one in the basement. I don't mind having to use two hands anymore. DH and I keep things in fairly consistent places, so sometimes we can just open one door or the other. We do have an island opposite it as a landing zone. But having that island there is what made us have to have a FD in the first place - a single door model would just about hit the island.

It's the bottom freezer space in any bottom-freezer model that gets me. If we didn't have the other (what I think of as "real," "regular," or "normal") top-freezer model in the basement, it would be completely inadequate.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 9:48PM
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Hate the FD fridge. Came home a few nights ago to beeping. The doors didn't shut and were open for hours. You must shut one door and the other. Really annoying but we need to constantly check it.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 12:12AM
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Personally, I'd go for a bottom freezer, with a single upper door. Unfortunately, they don't seem to make one in a full depth refrigerator (which is counter depth for me, with 30.5" deep counters).

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 2:27AM
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