Counter depth refrigerator - 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. Just would like some input from those of you who have CD.

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Love our Elux FD fridge - it does have a drawer and I don't have much trouble keeping it somewhat organized - It keeps the food really cold - the ice cream is even hard to scoop - but no problem - I can just pop it into the perfect temp drawer during dinner and it is ready to serve for dessert.
I have saved so much on food since I don't end up throwing food away - when my DD passed last summer, I left in such a hurry that I forgot about the milk and lettuce - well it was still fine 2 weeks later!!!
Did I mention that I love our Elux :-)

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 10:06PM
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I grew to hate our SxS. Neither side had efficient space, and anything wider than the shelf was just not going to fit inside.

We got a FD CD model a few months back and love it! Even though it is CD it is so much wider than the SxS fridge part it seems expansive. I can put a pot of leftovers in it, and still have room for a pizza box and platter. The low freezer is not bad at all for us. We have a basket in the freezer next to the ice maker that holds a long row of frozen dinners for work plus some odds and ends, a shallow full width basket that's great for meats and shallow things, and the main basket for everything else. So much better organized than the old top freezer models I grew up with.

Anything in particular you are wondering about?

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 10:12PM
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Mtdenise - I would suggest posting on the appliances forum for feedback. A lot of people the who have researched functionality issues well. My feedback is SXS. French door requires 2 arms to operate and that is annoying with a heavy container of something. Even if you prop it open with your body, you are keeping the door open too long.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 10:16PM
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Thanks. I'll post on the appliances forum too.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 10:20PM
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I've always had s/s and now have a counter depth FD. LOVE it... no issues with the freezer at all. I'm short though.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 10:26PM
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There are a lot of threads on this topic. People overwhelmingly prefer the FD, but everyone's storage needs are different. What don't you like about the S x S?

Most of the time you only open one door of a FD. It takes about a week to remember which door your stuff is on. If doors want to close on their own as mentioned, the fridge needs to be leveled.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 10:51PM
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Counter Depth for sure, French door or single door, your choice. French doors are great for tighter spaces. You use half the aisle depth of a single door when the doors are completely open. I loved my KitchenAid FD, but every once in a while it was irritating to have to use two hands to open the fridge.

That said, once you experience the full width fridge compartment, you'll never go back to the side-by-side configuration.

Look for a freezer compartment that has layered baskets. Also, whichever model you buy, make sure the fridge has fully adjustable 1/2 shelves so you can change your configuration if you ever need more tall storage. Samsung is particularly bad in terms of reconfiguring space.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 11:52PM
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We have a fridgidaire fd and will never go back. We are able to open just one side if need be, and love having the fridge items all up higher. Our freezer has different layers, baskets keep it from being one giant pile to dig through.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 12:02AM
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My first fridge when I moved in with now-my-DH was a sidexside and it was fine. When it broke, we got an all fridge and had a chest freezer in the basement. To me, that was a nearly ideal set up. In a perfect setting, I would have one freezer drawer for the frozen fruit or odd item I need daily. This new-to-us house has french door with drawer freezer (and a sliding top-second-wire shelf) and it is very nice.
I would happily get the FD again.
Ours is an LG and I can open either side, with one hand and close it without having to open the other side. I can also open either veg. bin drawer completely depending on which door I swing open.
The nice thing about a FD fridge is that you need less clearance as the doors are not as wide--incase that plays into your decision.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 12:32AM
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Neither. SxS make me feel claustrophobic. We used a FD in our temporary housing during our year-long whole house reno. Hated having to open both doors to get at anything. Somehow I always remembered that the milk was in the right door so I only had to open one door, but everything else required two motions to get at it. And, therefore, two motions to close the darn thing. I'm very glad I had the experience with a FD before I purchased appliances for the new kitchen because I had planned one.

Instead, I bought a CD single-door, bottom freezer unit. I love being able to open one drawer and see/reach anything. One hand. One motion. I have no trouble reaching anything in the freezer drawer with the various compartments inside. I love my fridge!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 2:08AM
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I would love to know which brand of FD this is that you have to open both doors. I only open both to use the full-length deli drawer.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 8:48AM
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We are getting a s x s CD with water through the door. My office has the French door version. The freezer is very awkward, but those wide shelves are great,. we all pick the feature that is most important. Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 8:51AM
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Another vote for FD with the bottom freezer. It holds a ton of food in the layered drawers in the freezer and I love the deli drawer in my KA that can hold a full tray of apps all ready for the oven when my guests arrive. I only open the door I need and know where everything is at this point. The time it is annoying is when I need to open the deli drawer- thats the only time I need to have both doors open as may_flowers pointed out. One door may be a bit more convenient but again you need a bigger space which our gallery did not provide.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 11:57AM
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I vote SxS. . We have the Kenmore Elite badged Samsung CD SxS. Initially, we were worried about the fridge not having enough space as we were used to a full depth SxS & we are a family of 4 (DH, myself and DS1&2--who try their best to eat us out of house and home), but we quickly found out that those worried were unfounded. It has plenty of space, lots of storage bin room, is well lit with LEDs and keeps produce fresh for at least 2 weeks! It also has a can rack in the door and a bottle rack in the main compartment. Ice and water through the door work great. We do have a backup fridge in the garage, but really we only use it for extra gallons of milk (we buy 3-4 at a time) and leftovers in those giant styrofoam boxes from restaurants. I think we had a pie or two in there at Christmas too. Other than that, everything fits nicely in the CD SxS. Overall, very pleased and would purchase it again in a heartbeat. I posted the link to our model below.

We also thought it would be a nice change to go FD, but after really analyzing how we use the fridge, SxS made the most sense for us. These are the things we figured out:

-Unless you're always making up really long platters/pans of food and storing them in the fridge that way, the extra width didn't really make a difference. What you gain in width you lose in height. Regular size pans (ie 13x9) fit just fine in a SxS CD.

-As mentioned above, having to open & close 2 doors can be a pain. Depending on the model, the door may have to be closed in a certain order or the mechanism may inadvertently keep the fridge from closing all the way as well.

-Having to bend over and rummage through all the freezer stuff seemed like a nightmare waiting to happen (think chest freezer). The only one that we even considered once we figured out the freezer issue was the 4 door version.

-The vast majority of CD FD models require you to open the fridge doors to fully access the freezer space. I maybe could have pulled a bag of veggies through the space between the edge of the open freezer door and the edge of the closed fridge doors--maybe. Anything larger would have required opening the fridge to find/remove anything from the freezer compartment. Not very energy efficient if you ask me. So definitely check this before you buy.

-No matter which style you buy, make sure the internal set-up will work for you.

Hope this helps!

Here is a link that might be useful: Kenmore Elite Badged Samsung CD SxS Fridge

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 12:54PM
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I was very happy to get rid of all the SxS's I've had. Nothing ever seemed to fit in them, I always lost food to the back and was throwing out more than I wanted to from it going bad. My freezer was a mess and I couldn't fit a large chicken in it, let alone a Thanksgiving sized turkey (in fact, a turkey that large wouldn't even fit INside the fridge barely). I love that I can get a platter inside if need be; and the deli drawer is fantastic - really long and wide. Since we don't purchase too many deli items, I use it for other things also; I keep all my cheeses, small containers (like cream cheese), meat I'm going to be cooking (packages of chicken or ground meat fit in it just fine), and for overflow of veggies, etc.

I love my French door. Nothing gets lost. Everything is in plain view which leads to keeping it cleaner and easier to clear out faster when things are getting past their prime. I have no problem with the freezer being low (although I am short). The one I have (Kitchenaid), has 2 levels. For me, it seems easier to keep organized and larger items fit. Pizza boxes lay flat, and frozen pie crusts are no longer in danger of breaking.

One thing I will mention which was an issue is that I had to have my original fridge returned for another model. The first one had the in-door ice/water and it gave me a lot of trouble from day one. After a year plus of constant service calls, the store I purchased it from and Kitchenaid finally through up their arms and offered me a new fridge. Instead, I got one with the water inside and the ice maker in the freezer. They also gave me a small spare refrigerator to make up the price difference. This worked out great for me. The new one has no problems with the water or ice maker and I got extra fridge storage in my basement to boot :D

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 4:50PM
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I have no idea if I'll like them, but we're putting in the Kenmore Elite counter-depth refridgerator and the Kenmore Elite counter-depth refridgerator along with the trim kit that makes it look like one unit instead of two.

Not sure if I'll like it but there appears to be TONS of space in both, and all accessible because of the counter-depth. Just another option ;)

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 9:01PM
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Like mydreamehouse, I also have the Kenmore Elite Badged Samsung CD SxS Fridge, and I really love it. I think it is easy to keep organized, and I like that everything I most frequently use in the fridge or freezer can be stored for easy reach without bending over.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 9:20PM
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I have a counter depth side by side and I HATE it. GE Profile works great, but there is no room for a tray or even a box of pizza. We're constantly moving stuff around and it's a pain. My next will be a French door, only because it's got to be better than this. Otherwise I'd probably rather have a regular depth fridge and build the surrounding cabs deeper. I've seen some great looking kitchens posted here that did that, but unfortunately it wouldn't work in my space.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 10:48PM
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Another strong vote for CD SXS. I love my KitchenAid with ice and water in the door. I've had it for 4 years with no problems so far. My freezer gets used frequently throughout the day so the idea of standing on my head to see what's below is very unappealing. Pizza boxes are stored in the freezer on the diagonal. The idea of opening two doors to hunt for things in the fridge is also a big turn off.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 6:56AM
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We went from a full depth fridge with freezer on bottom to a CD SxS and I really prefer the SxS. I love having full top to bottom views of both compartments. The smaller width shelves help me keep things more organized, i.e. dairy products (other than milk) or kept on one shelf, left overs on another, milks and juices and other tall items on another, misc on another.

All SxS aren't the same. Some use space much better than others. I've used some SxS's that would make me swear them off forever but luckily I read really good reviews about our Electrolux CD when we were hunting for a new fridge (many years ago, now) and we gave it a look. We've all been extremely happy with our switch from bottom mount to SxS.

No matter what fridge configuration we've had, they all fill up (it's just that some of our fridges allowed us to hold onto moldy food longer before we were forced to do a clean out). I don't find the SxS any less convenient than fridges with full width shelves. I've never had a situation when an item wouldn't fit because of the width of the shelves. But I figure if something like that comes up, I'd rather get creative with coolers for a day or 2 than to lose the day to day convenience of having both the fridge and freezer easily visible and accessible. I'll have to admit we're not overly fond of frozen pizza. But even if we were, I really can't imagine basing my fridge decision solely on that. The smaller pizza boxes (i.e. the ones from Trader Joes) fit fine flat.

This is our first fridge with ice in the door and it's been a huge plus for my family. We drink a lot more water now.

Like any other appliance, you should try the fridge out in the show room. Bring in the boxes from the larger items you think you would typically store in the fridge or freezer. If you are concerned about a turkey, stuff a plastic bag to represent the typical size of the ones you buy.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 12:41PM
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breezy - what fridge did you buy and how wide is it? We will eventually replace our fridge with a CD but I would like to avoid the FD part and just have a single door like you are describing.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 1:34PM
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