Questions for Thermador Freedom Column owners

kaysdJanuary 6, 2011

My MIL can get a very nice employee discount on BSH appliances, so we plan to buy Thermador columns when we remodel our kitchen this year. The cost is still more than a standard CD fridge, but enough less than most built-in units that DH is ok with it. I just have a few questions.

1. How do the columns do with food preservation versus other brands you have owned? I've heard great things about SZ and Liebherr, but not much about Thermador's ability to preserve produce, meat, etc. Lettuce and veggies do not last very long in our current fridge, and as I do not like to grocery shop with great frequency, I am hoping for improvement in this area.

2. What size columns do you have and how does the storage capacity work for your family? Can you fit 2 gallons of milk easily? (We have a 2-year-old milk guzzler and another baby on the way.) In our last house, we had a 36" CD SxS that was 21" wide fridge and 15" wide freezer. I often wished for just a little more width in each compartment, especially the fridge. I originally planned on a 24" fridge and 24" freezer, in part because I like the symmetry. All the stores show a 30" fridge paired with an 18" freezer, and after seeing how shallow they are, I think we may need the 30" fridge for our growing family. I worry that the 18" freezer might not be big enough (probably about the same capacity as our 15" wide CD freezer). We shop at Costco, and I like to have a variety of thing on hand to cook, so I want to make sure I have enough freezer space. (Our house does not have a basement and our garage has no space for a chest freezer, which I would love to have.) I could do a 30" fridge and 24" freezer for only about $300 more, but hubby would balk and it would mean losing 6" of precious floor-to-ceiling storage space in our already limited reach-in pantry wall.

3. Have you had problems with your columns?

4. Did you go with the SS panels or custom panels? If custom, did you have any problems? (I remember someone had trouble getting custom panels to fit properly, but don't remember the details.)

5. I would love to see photos of your installed columns.


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We have the 30" refrigerator and 18" freezer. The columns replaced a 30" Subzero. I loved the SZ but it was too small for our family of 4. The 30" Thermador holds a lot of food and keeps our fruit and vegetables fresh as long as the SZ did. We've had it for over a year and haven't had any problems so far. I'm very disappointed with the 18" freezer, though. I don't know what's wrong with it but it doesn't hold nearly as much as the freezer in the 48" Monogram at the beach. In fact, it doesn't hold any more than the drawer in our old SZ and that was small! There seems to be lots of wasted space on the door, too. If I could do it again, I'd get the 24".

Sorry for the bad pictures.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 5:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks, Cheril. I love how the columns blend in with your cabinetry. We are considering slab doors and drawer fronts on our cabinets, and I am concerned a 30" wide x 80" tall slab door would not look nearly as nice as yours do. You have confirmed my fears about the 18" freezer. If I could convince DH to get rid of some of the garage cabinets so I could have a chest freezer out there, I might go with SZ UC freezer drawers and the 30" Thermador fridge column.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 6:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a 30" all fridge all freezer set and would not recommend an 18" freezer, esp if you have growing kids.
I'd gladly give up some pantry to have more freezer.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 6:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have the 24" frig and the 24" freezer and a pair of refrigerator drawers. The drawers were broken for a few weeks and I had a really hard time fitting everything in the refrigerator. For our needs, I think the 24" freezer is fine(family of 4), but if I didn't have the drawers, I'd definitely want a 30" frig. The frig keeps my fruits and vegetables fresh for quite a long time. No complaints. We have the SS panels. If you go with the stainless, I believe the new models come as part of the package. We had to purchase ours separately.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 7:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You don't have to have such a large slab door. It can be one piece but made to look like it's a top door with two drawers underneath. I've seen several done that way and they look great, in fact, they made me kind of sad that I didn't do it that way myself. Unfortunately, I can't remember any of the kitchens that posted that kind of panel but if you search Themador columns you might find one.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 9:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't have the columns--I have the Thermador Freedom 36" french door fridge. I have only had it for a few months, but I can say we are quite happy with how it performs. We panelled ours; there was a slight problem with the measurements (cabinet maker did them to specs and they were too short by about 1/4", which sounds like nothing but wasn't LOL, he had to redo them):

All in all, very happy with it!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 10:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

i can't answer questions about the thermador's ability to preserve freshness, but i also want to encourage you to go with a wider freezer, if possible. when my dh and i bought our first home we inherited a 1970s orange and yellow kitchen complete with a gold, side by side refrigerator. the freezer was approx 18" wide and it was completely useless. it was promptly replaced by a sub zero 650 bottom freezer ...and i hated that too. i can't wait to use my 30" freedom columns. i bake a lot and like to place trays directly in the freezer. i foolishly tried this with my sxs freezer (i was such a silly girl then!).

fridge on left, freezer right.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 11:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'd love the pair of 30's option, but I have a 30 fridge and 18 freezer. I do have other freezer space, but if I had that 30" I wouldn't need it. I have 2 teen boys and it is not uncommon -- for now -- to have 4 cartons of ice cream in the freezer as well as meat, fruit, bread, etc. I could live with the 18" but find that freezer space is subject to that corollary of Murphy's law and the need expands to meet or exceed what is available.

I've had no problems with mine -- they are stainless. Just know that if you keep trying different cleaners or polishes, they will streak until you get all the old product residue off. When I found a product I liked, I found it was best to stay with it -- until I got a Streak Free cloth and now only use water on it. The best thing is I can wipe a smudge without having to clean the whole surface of the fridge.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 12:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We have a 30" refrigerator and 18" freezer columns. Only a few weeks into it and so far we are loving it. We do have supplementary units in the garage -- so we are not over-crowded in the kitchen.

One of the principal reasons for going with Thermador Freedom Columns was that we needed the fridge on the left and the freezer on the right. Sub Zero does not offer the ability to switch the hinges -- so we paid an experienced installer to switch the hinges on both units and install the custom panels -- best $ spent on the entire remodel -- I would have gone nuts trying to figure out all he did in that 3 hour installation.

FYI -- those are Sub Zero appliance pulls on the two units -- we love the form and function -- they feel substantial and really help to heft open the doors.

Overall we are thrilled with both units!

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 2:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I know you don't have room for a separate chest freezer in the garage, but what about a small upright? Sears and others have a narrow, short upright that might be just enough extra space to get by with the 18" column. I'm planning on one when we get back into the house after reno.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 4:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My neighbor --momqs-- had some issues with installation of the panels if you search on google (momqs gardenweb thermador) you should be able to find it -- I'll let her know about your post!

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 8:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here I am.

We adore our columns, but the whole planning and installation component has been **PAINFUL**.

We also go the employee discount - AMAZING! We have their ovens, MW, DW, and cooktop - I love them all. The columns keep the food super fresh, and the ergonomics are awesome.

We have a 30 fridge column and an 18 freezer column and I really wish we had a 30 and a 24.

I couldn't live with less than a 30 fridge and the 18 freezer really is small. I have another freezer and it gets plenty of use, so that's the solution. I wouldn't have wanted 24 & 24. The fridge would be too small.

Our doors came in too small also (width)! Only by 1/8 of an inch, but we had them remade because it was painfully obvious that they were too small. You can make them wider than the Thermador specs because of the hinge, so be sure the person who designs them knows Thermador, or go to a showroom and measure their doors.

Also - because we got these directly from Thermador we had to hire the installer directly. He was recommended by an appliance store, but when there was a problem (crimped water line - tell your builder it goes in the front of the unit) he was nowhere to be found. So, if you can, hire the installer THROUGH an appliance store so he is accountable to someone.

Lastly, we used a long stainless steel bar pull as our handle and it didn't hold up - it broke after a month, so either use a smaller length (ours was about 38") or make sure it's beefy like jamis1021's Sub Zero handles.

We still love the columns and I would go through this all again, but just be aware that the planning and install can get dicey.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 3:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Dianalo, I think you are right about needing more than 18" with growing kids. We do not know yet whether #2 will be a boy or a girl. DH was already shocked I wanted to devote so much kitchen space and electricity to 48" of fridge and freezer when we have always had 36" standard units before. He will think I am nuts when I tell him I now want 54". LOL.

Malhgold, I did not realize the units now come with the SS panels included. Do you know if the price went up? (I got quotes in November.) I love the way your two 24" units look together. We will probably have our units on adjacent walls, so I guess the symmetry of size is not as important.

Cheril, you are right, we could do faux drawers on the same panel instead of one big slab.

Honeychurch, I love the way your FD fridge looks like an armoire. I considered going with a FD for the aesthetics of it, but I was much happier with my old SxS than the bottom freezer model in my new house. (I realize many people feel the opposite.)

Kateskouros, I just love your fridge/freezer wall with the concealed counter and appliance garages in between. I would copy your design if I had room in my kitchen.

Lascatx, I think you are right about empty space filling up because it is there, whether you needed it before or not. If I had a 30" freezer, I would probably do something crazy like order a quarter bison because the price per pound is better that way, LOL. Thanks for the tip about the Streak Free cloth. I have never had SS appliances before and am nervous about keeping them clean, especially with sticky little hands around.

Jamis, your columns (and the rest of your kitchen) look great. We want both units to open to the right, so we appreciate that flexibility with the Freedom units.

Breezygirl, I have considered a small upright freezer in the garage, but that would also mean getting rid of something else in the garage. Every inch of wall is taken up by built-in cabinets, workbench, exercise equipment, washer & dryer, bike rack and tool caddy. I guess I could block the side door to the yard, LOL.

Bellacucina, thanks for passing the message to Momqs.

Momqs, thanks for the guidance on unit and door sizes. We are getting custom cabinets from a great local company who did the cabinets in our last house, so I might wait until the columns are in my garage to let them measure directly for the door panels if we decide to go with wood panels. I have been wondering what to do about install since we will not be buying from a store. I might ask my GC if he knows any installers who are experienced with installing Thermador columns. If not, I will go to local stores to ask, although I am afraid they will not want to help me since I did not buy from them (although I have bought a lot of plumbing fixtures from Pacific Sales). Which ovens and cooktop did you go with? We are debating between Thermador and Gaggenau for the cooking appliances. We will probably go with the 2nd to top of the line Bosch DW because I prefer the curved handles to the pro handles and it is slightly less than the Thermador DW.

It sounds like people who have the 24" fridge or 18" freezer would not be happy with that size if they did not have supplemental units elsewhere. Using UC freezer drawers and a separate unit in the garage would fit better in my kitchen than the freezer column, but would cost at least $1,000 more since I could not get a discount on those. Lots to think about.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 6:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Would it look really odd to have the SS panel on the fridge and a wood cabinetry panel on the freezer? I think I might like the SS on the fridge to balance the 30" wide SS oven stack at the opposite end of that run of cabinets. The freezer will be on a separate wall, next to tall cabinet doors that conceal the 5? or 5.5? wide, shallow reach-in pantry, so I might want to put a panel on it that matches the pantry doors.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 6:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We are a family of 6 (4 small kids). We have the 18" freezer with ice/water through the door, 24" Fridge and 18" wine fridge. This has been plenty of space as you can store beer, soda, mineral water, etc in the wine fridge along with your whites / champagne. The freezer is fine although the ice maker takes up quite a bit of space. We have the stainless panels and they clean up nice. We have had to have the freezer serviced under warranty as it was cooling off and on. It took several months to fix as the 1st repair company proved incompetent or the 2nd company was lucky.

Installation is tough as these things come in many, many pieces. It took about 15 hours labor to get them put together and installed. - They look nice and we get many compliments.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 10:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We have the SGSX365FS cooktop the which I love. The appliance store tried to talk me out of the extra low setting because it clicks on and off but I use it all the time.

We have ME302ES ovens (double oven, convection on top only) with the professional handles. I wish I had convection in both ovens, but they are great.

Also - check out the Theramador dishwasher - we have the DWHD650GPR which has a top pullout drawer that's amazing. It was more, but worth every penny. I'm not sure if Bosch has this - I don't use it for my silverware - there is a much more convenient basket included for that, but I use it for all kinds of other long, flat, and small items.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 7:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The reason to get a Thermador DW is to have matching appliances (not a big deal for most around here) or to put a panel on. When I got mine, we decided to do 2 DWs and I didn't want that much stainless on a relatively short cabinet run, so we did panels to hide them. In the panel ready models, the Thermador were less than the Bosch, but the stainless ones were more. We've been pleased with them -- and the decision to get 2. Once the boys are off to college, well, we have a 24" space to do something different if we want to but may find the groups are that much larger when e gather.

BTW, the colums do preserve food well. DH and I have both commented that we things keep better. I didn't expect that, but it's a nice plus.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 7:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am getting the 30" columns with panels. For any of you that have these, what size pulls did you use? Most of the collections have a 12 or 13" pull. Do you think that will work well? The panel looks more like a french door style with a door and 2 drawers underneath-that's just the look. It's really just one big door.


    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 11:07AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
quartz countertops
I'm so confused. I keep reading that quartz countertops...
Can you help me make an idea board?
After looking more realistically at our kitchen renovation...
almost done & sharing banquette pics
Dh and I are on the "who knows when" plan...
1880s house kitchen: need to work in the current space
Note this is cross-posted at suggestion of a reader Plans...
Looking for stainless steel sink recommendations
Hey GW - I am looking for a single bowl SS sink for...
Sponsored Products
AICO Furniture - Victoria Palace Wood Chair - Grp2/Opt1 -...
Great Furniture Deal
Maxtrix Hypo-Allergenic Mattress - 3000
$285.00 | Hayneedle
Otis Comfort Collection Tamarack Mattress - 12TM2
$299.99 | Hayneedle
Modern Fan Company | Altus Ceiling Fan
$280.00 | YLighting
NM Creme Brulee Almonds
$35.00 | Horchow
AICO Furniture - Bella Cera Sideboard - 38007-45
Great Furniture Deal
Serta Maple 4 in. Futon Mattress - S510X5-2010
$92.22 | Hayneedle
AICO Furniture - Lavelle Blanc Chair and a Half - 54838-CHPGN-04
Great Furniture Deal
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™