Appliance Hell

knitpunkOctober 2, 2013

After a 15-month kitchen renovation that has had EVERY construction cliche you can imagine, I'm ready to think about appliances. I have to buy everything and have no clue how to determine quality and reliability. The stores seem to push Electrolux; Bosch; Thermador. I need to choose:
--Standard depth French door refrigerator w/water dispenser (inside? outside?)
--36" gas cooktop
--Island hood (Contemporary - Zephyr Milano-G? Similar Broan for half the price? Something else?)
--Electric wall oven & microwave

Does anyone have words of wisdom?

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Don't be afraid to mismatch appliance brands. Go with what is the best rated for your budget. We ended up with a mix of KitchenAid (convection oven and separate microwave), Whirlpool Gold (cooktop and vent hood) and Bosch (dishwasher) to go with our existing GE Profile refrigerator (wasn't in the budget to replace).

I did a lot of scouring the web for reviews on particular appliances (the manufacturer's websites, Amazon, Home Depot, Lowes, Sears, and even the appliance forum on GW). Take the negative reviews with a grain of salt, as more people are inclined to post a review when they have a problem. Look for specific issues that keep cropping up.

For a refrigerator, we prefer having the water/ice dispenser on the outside. My brother-in law has his on the inside, which he likes since it takes up less overall space, but we wouldn't want to have to open up the refrig or freezer in order to get water or ice. It seems like it would be less energy efficient to have to do that.

Have you already ordered cabinets? Some appliances have specific installation requirements (location of electrical and gas hookups, cabinet cutout size and clearance from combustibles requirements). We needed to pick our appliances before finalizing the cabinets.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 8:12PM
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Please consider also posting over on the appliance forum. There are many wise minds here and there who dig appliances and can help you.

Considerations you might add to your post that help:
-36" gas cooktop: how many burners and total btu do you want: a powerhouse cooktop? looks?
-how many cfm to the vent hood are you planning? what are your city/state codes as to make up air (many require it if over 400 cfm, and northern states may required tempered make up air).
-what is your overall appliance budget?
-where will your appliances go? you might wish to show a design

Good luck. Glad you're at this point finally.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 9:17PM
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I have had water/ice in the door and now inside the fridge and I have to say that I do like the internal water dispenser better for the simple fact of the grody-ness of that dispenser box. It seems that I could never get it clean and it was always kind of ucky. Kids were little then, though, so that might have been a factor.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 10:13PM
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Quality and reliability? Sounds like Consumer Reports territory. They rate brands by overall reliability.

I like to use the same brand for the fridge, oven, and DW. They have matching handles.

My DCS (Dacor) rangetop has been prone to minor problems. The KitchenAid Superba DW has had 4 significant failures. Luckily I can repair appliances and have a parts source nearby.

The KitchenAid Superba wall oven and fridge have been trouble free.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 2:04AM
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You can find lots of information on the Appliances Forum. If you google "gardenweb ..." where "..." is whatever you wonder about - wall oven recommendations, or fridge or hood - you'll find lots of threads. The GW search function doesn't work as well.

Based on my researches on the Appliance Forum and other consumer sites two years ago, I chose the Elux non-icon double wall oven, which is a fav around here among mid-range brands. I also bought a Kobe hood online, based on a rec on the Appliances Forum for quiet hoods. I'm very happy with my choices, but there is no one right answer.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 1:08PM
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