Sub Zero vs Liebherr

amandaelmOctober 18, 2013

I'm deciding between the SZ 736 tci and the Lieb 2062.

I know this topic has been done to death, however I'm really not clear after hours scouring this site and talking to anyone (irl) who will provide an opinion.

So I passed it to the KD and he prefers the SZ, but that's just due to familiarity.

For me at this point it will come down to which will have the most seamless integration. I think the SZ can have a custom toe kick but the Lieb can't?

I really want the fridge to disappear into the cabinetry and will happily choose whichever of the two does this best.

Any insight welcome! Thanks!


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They will both disappear into the cabinetry. Either is a good choice.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 11:03AM
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Go into houzz and type in +Liebherr +panel and you'll see what an integrated Liebherr can look like. I assume you can do the same with +Subzero +panel.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 12:44PM
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I'm sure they both integrate equally as well, don't think you can go wrong with either.
As for my eight month old Liebherr, I'll just say I love it!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 2:58PM
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"I'm sure they both integrate equally as well"

well, they don't !

You may find the Liebherr acceptable but it does not handle the toekick in front of it very well or at all in some cases.

The freezer drawers on the Liebherr are no where nearly as big as a comparable SZ product. The shelving and plastic on the Liebherr is also a lot flimsier and cheap feeling than a SZ.

Now, many people can live with the drawbacks because they are often cheaper than SubZero, but the quality is not as good, and that's reflected in the price.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 7:58PM
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in regards to Liebherr....

" they are...cheaper than SubZero, but the quality is not as good..."

Lesser quality -- that was my opinion when I looked over both brands carefully.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 2:12AM
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A friend of mine purchased an integrated Liebherr and it looks spectacular.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 8:27AM
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Okay - I think I'll go to the store to have one last look. I need to let the KD know on Tuesday.


I had purchased the new 4 door samsung but the builder said no way. So here I am deciding between my two dream fridges!!

Sjhoxkeyfan- I will put that search into houzz. Oh the hours I've spent on houzz since tearing my house down.....

Xedos - the toe kick thing is a real sticking point. Looking at the panel instructions it does look like the SZ can have a custom toe kick while the Lieb can't (or at least not as fully hidden). I don't want to spend this kind of money to be disappointed upon installation.


    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 12:30PM
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I'd be interested to hear what the toe kick issue is? Our Liebherr has a grille that sits back flush with the adjacent cabinet toe kick, and is barely noticeable. Integrated refrigerators need to ventilate somewhere, and isn't it either the toe kick or a grille above? As far as the shelves, mine are glass, adjustable, and fit very nicely into slots on the sides. The smaller freezer drawers were a plus for us, and actually helped make our decision on the Liebherr because we freeze very little food and have a garage refrigerator anyway. We looked at SZ, and preferred the Liebherr even before finding out it was about 2k less, so that was just a bonus. Good luck on your search, and as I said, I don't think you can go wrong with either, it's just a personal preference thing.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 1:27PM
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ctydcm...i agree with you

we also have the liebherr and we love it....
we have model #hcb2062 and it integrated beautifully..
yes the vent is on the bottom but it is recessed and you don't see any metal at all when you are standing...and very little when sitting...
i am pretty sure the SZ 736 vent is on top and you can see the grill... it has to vent somewhere....

i am not endorsing either product...i think both are great, will just be your personal preference on linterior layout etc....

we have had it over 2 years and it is flawless and extremely quiet...fingers crossed!!!

we chose this b/c it was cheaper than SZ and they have been in the business of refrigeration alot longer than SZ.. great reputation on durablity and longevity... so for us it was an easy decision...fingers crossed again!!!

yes, we do have an freezer downstairs so for us its not an issue.. i also like having smaller freezer drawers, cuts down on "old " stuff and easier to find things...but to each his own as the saying goes...we put a cabinet over the frige so it looks even better IMHO...

really, i don't think you can go wrong with either one, best of luck in your decision. :)

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 2:51PM
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The SZ 700 series vents at the bottom. It is totally integrated, including the toe kick. The panel on the bottom drawer is longer than the drawer and the vent is behind it with circulating air in front of it but not visible. The wood (or whatever) toe kick goes across the bottom, just like a cabinet.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 10:39PM
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SZero fridges can have a solid 4" cabinet toekick in front of them regardless of the model or where they vent. It will remain in the same plane as the adjacent cabinetry toekick and it does not need any slots or grills cut into it.

This is not possible with the Liebherrs unless they've got a new one I haven't seen yet.

If the integrated detail makes a difference then the Liebherr is kinda out. If you don't really care and are just more interested in saving a few $$$ then Liebherr might just be for you.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 10:01PM
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You can have a custom toekick made for the Liebherr from 1/8' or 1/4' cabinet matching paneling. Just have some horizontal slots cut into it that will equal the square inches of air flow as provided by the factory toe kick. I've seen this done in trade show displays and they look fine.
Regarding the percieved quality differences between Sub Zero and Liebherr: I've owned both and can report that I am very pleased with the Liebherr French-door model I now have. It's quiet, extremely efficient, makes the best ice cubes of any refrigerator I have owned and (since nothing on it has brioken in the fiive years I'v had it) I'd say it is as well built as the Sub Zero it replaced.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 11:30PM
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Have to agree with everything kitchenkat says, and the ice cubes are awesome!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 9:26AM
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kat - " looks fine" (at a trade show no less) and totally integrated are two entirely different things !!!

1/8" and 1/4" toekick is what you get from retired, garage shop cabinet makers or the infamous "builder special" outfits. Fully integrated kitchens from Europe (where Liebherr is from ) all come with 1/2" or 5/8 thick toekick.

Additionally - the fully integrated fridges from SZ, Miele, Gaggenau, Thermador, and Bosch do not require an installer or manuf. to cut in any slots into the toekick. Furthermore - the required sq. inches needed would require A LOT of slots , more like a hole. You'd then have to figure out a way to mask the exposed plywood, or particle board behind the finished surface after you cut your holes or slots or you're going to be able to raw wood in there. Very pretty !

And guess what - all this hooey only applies to one or two of their "fully integrated models" anyway. Because YOU CAN"T EVEN HAVE CABINET TOEKICK IN FRONT OF THE MOST POPULAR 36" MODEL !!!!!!!!

Let me quote you right from the install manual on Liebherr's 36" model 2062 :

"It is important to use the provided cover grille for
the ventilation opening. This opening MUST NOT BE COVERED WITH A CABINET BASE."

I added the bold for emphasis to those just skimming this one.

So, what do we have? Liebherr is a nice choice for a built in or integrated fridge for someone looking to get in the game but finding the established players a bit too rich for the pocketbook. BUT, if you really notice or appreciate details then Liebherr will probably disappoint you. Re: your "perceived quality" comment - there is no perception about it. Liebherr's materials are not as substantial as the big boys. I've been in the kitchen biz for 25 + years and our family has been in industrial manufacturing for a century - so I know a thing or two about raw and finished materials.

Now, that doesn't make make Liebherr's stuff junk - far from it. But don't kid yourself by thinking you are getting the same quality for a lesser price because of some magic beans or offshore labor ! Or that the Liebherr suits are taking the bus instead of flying on private planes so they can "pass the savings on to you ".

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 7:29PM
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Thanks everyone! These were very helpful responses.

I finally had to make a decision today. I went to the showroom again over the weekend and I had a question about the subzero. I didn't want to ask a salesman so I went to the website. They had changed the fridges since I had looked a day or two ago!!!!!

I felt like the rug had been pulled out from beneath me! I had put so much research into the fridges and now I was going to have to start over. However, I liked the updates to the subzero and I really liked ithe fridge when I looked at the SZ & Lieb side by each.

So, I've decided upon the new SZ IT 36CI (replacing the now discontinued 736TCI).

Just an FYI, the Lieb is also updating their models but the new ones have yet to be released. I'm curious what changes they will make. In my wish list for the build I'm currently doing, all my tear sheets are of a Lieb so I really wanted to choose it. But the quality just seemed better on the SZ and I love the soft close drawers!

Finally, the KD said it would look perfectly seemless and he's had great success with the SZ. He was reading over the installation guide for the new SZ and said they've made it even easier.

So, I was forced to decide (I could have waffled forever but the KD needed a decision) and I'm really happy with my future fridge!

Thanks again everyone!!

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 8:19PM
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The unit I saw at the home show was a fully integrated installation in high-end custom cabinetry, exactly as it would be in a home kitchen. The wood toekick was installed in place of the factory one. The slots were cut in a uniform pattern and did not detract from the appearance. In fact, I also saw a Liebherr brochure which illustrates a 30" refrigeratior installation done the same way. The toekick obviously wasn't covered with a cabinet base. Since Liebherr made the installation rules, they wouldn't show a product in their brochure that couldn't be installed the same way in a home.

If the installation hadn't looked professional, I wouldn't have posted my comment for the benefit of someone who may want to install a Liebherr with a cabinet matching toekick.

Your 25 years in the kitchen business doesn't make your opinion of something you apparently haven't seen more valid than my opinion of something I have seen. As to your other comments, I think other Liebherr owners bought what they wanted for whatever features, etc that appealed to them, Once you are over about a $3,000 threshold for a refrigerator, saving a few dollars probably isn't an issue.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 8:38PM
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Xedos works for SZ, or one of its distributors. That to me is a testament of how good Leibherr's are, they need to have someone monitoring the boards to keep SZ in the mix.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 7:32PM
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Ah that makes sense bakerboy, it's usually the case when someone jumps all over and bashes another company... tell Xedos that I chose a Bluestar over a Wolf if you want to see some flames fly ;)

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 9:01PM
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Ctycdm, it's the holiday season, so I will be nice! :). Merry Xmas!

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 9:41AM
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Hey baker - xedos DOES NOT work for Sub Zero, Wolf , or any of it's supplies or subsidiaries.

Never have, and never will. I do have several fridges from them as well as models from Monogram, and Gaggenau, and have have specified and installed everything under the sun including Liebherr, so I DO KNOW what I'm talking about.

Kat et al - the model referenced in this tread is a 2062 and that model DOES NOT ALLOW a cabinet toekick to be installed in front of it in plane with adjacent cabinetry - all per Liebherr's installation specifications.

Not my OPINION, but FACT !

I don't doubt you saw a Liebherr at a home show with a cabinet toekick in front of it. If you bothered to read AND comprehend my previous post, I told you that they do have two models that allow this detail ! They just are not the 2062.

Of course you , and anyone else for that matter, are free to ignore manuf. install guidelines and install a product any way you chose.

Hey cty - I'm not sure where you come off painting me as bashing Liebherr.. Did you not read :

"Liebherr is a nice choice for a built in or...."

- or -

"that doesn't make make Liebherr's stuff junk - far from it."

or have you simply chosen to further you own agenda or bash me ?

oh , and bakerboy - you've made the list too !

Happy Festivus to all.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 11:40PM
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Well, I may be on your naughty list Xedos, but I was not on Santa's!

Toe kick, schmoe kick... We get it! Stop shouting and enjoy the holidays.

Merry Xmas to all.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2013 at 12:56PM
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Who said anything about naughty OR Santa ?

You guys project and infer waaaaay to much in addition to spreading false information. So stop whining when you get called out on your inaccuracies.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2013 at 4:38PM
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