Refrigerator shopping advice please

chloenkittyDecember 12, 2013

Hello everyone :) We currently have a standard size side by side samsung refrigerator in our home and I hate it. You can barely put anything in it and forget it for party trays or holiday leftovers. Those of you who have one know what I mean.
We are building a home and I need all appliances. At first I was looking at French door models, but I don't know how I feel about that style. I do like the side by side concept, but a standard size won't cut it and the really big ones where each side is the size of one regular refrigerator is too big. I'm thinking a 48" may do the trick. Am I correct? Like when range shopping, sadly I cannot find one locally to see in person :( does anyone have a 48" side by side? If so, is the size sufficient and what brand do you have/are you happy with it? I have found sub zero, jenn-air, kitchen aid and Thermador online in a 48" size that's look nice. My husband uses the water/ice maker on the door several times a day. I'd prefer a cleaner dot with the ice maker on the inside, but hear that's not so good to be opening the freezer door all the time. Thoughts? I'm guessing a 48" side by side is going to be costly and I'm not thrilled about that. I'd like an attractive stainless steel one with a good track record that hopefully won't break the bank. Appreciate your thoughts.

Thanks so much.

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If you find the 48" is too large or too expensive, I would suggest a french door model. I used to have a SXS and hated it for the very reasons you state, so we went with a counter-depth FD with our remodel. I do like it. We have ice/water in the door--I am the one that uses it every day. One thing I discovered when looking was that some models have a fixed divider in the freezer, again, forget about putting in large trays. So make sure you get one where the divider can slide to one or be removed. I think the only style I would like better is if it was just one door instead of two...but I don't think you can get ice/water in the door with that style. We have a Kenmore Elite (made by LG) and no problems so far.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 10:15AM
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LG makes a 32 cu. ft. French door fridge that looks nice online. I still don't like the price, but it's half the cost of the 48" ones I saw. It looks like it would hold the items you mentioned and still ask for more to fill it up.

Here is a link that might be useful: LG 32 cu. ft. fridge on AJ Madison

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 10:55AM
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I second the idea of a french door model if you need the lateral space for trays etc. We had a sub-zero 42 s x s before our current sub-zero french door and it is a world of difference. I love being able to open both doors and see all my food in front of me, in addition to being able to store large pans and trays of food. I couldn't do that before with the side by side.

One thing that people don't mention much but which is a huge deal for me is that in a side by side the produce drawers are usually on the bottom. In a french door, they are at waist level. So now that we have a french door, there is no more bending down to get my fruits and vegetables. That may or may not matter to you.

Needing the lateral room to store party trays sounds like a pretty bad reason to get a 48". In my view, you get a 48" if you need the storage space, not because you are trying to get a different spatial configuration. Not only will a 48" be tons more expensive, but you will lose lots of cabinet storage space.

FWIW, I am in the minority who absolutely LOATHES water and ice in the door. Not only do the parts break, but in my opinion, they are hideously ugly. We have a cold filtration faucet at the sink. If we need ice, we open the freezer to get it. When I make a smoothie in the morning and need a handful of ice, the freezer is open for about five seconds. Hardly enough to make any temperature difference.

If you have or can put in a filtration faucet at the sink and/or use a filtered water pitcher, you can avoid needing the water dispenser in the door.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 11:03AM
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We have an LG similar to the one laughable linked to, but ours doesn't have ice and water in the door. I don't have a need for it, and I don't like how much space it takes up.

We went from a freezer on top model to a french door - major change. I wasn't sure how I'd like it, but I LOVE it (after 4 months of use). It seems like we have a lot more room, just because we can see everything more easily, and it's better organized. I was worried about losing things in the freezer, but with a pull-out shelf inside the drawer, that is also much better organized than before.

Since you are building new, perhaps you can recess the fridge into the wall, giving the appearance of counter-depth, with the capacity of full depth.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 11:49AM
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We also have a kenmore elite trio. I don't know the capacity but it is a 36". We also use a lot of ice but have the ice maker in the freezer. Its easy and quick to pull over the door and scoop out some ice. I leave a scoop in the tray. We just get cold water from the kitchen faucet. We have a whole house water filter (very reasonably priced) so we can get filtered water at any sink.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 11:50AM
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I actually dislike the ice maker on the outside of the door, but my husband uses it a few times a day, ugh. We haven't talked about if he needs it or not, but if I can, in going to talk him out of it :)

I am having a hard time going with a french door. I just fear there's not a lot of room in the bottom freezer and always bending down, routing through the drawer, ugh! Hiw do you get ice with a French door model?

Also, I don't have parties every week lol, so being able to put a party tray in a large side by side is not what matters to me most. I said that because I know the times we have had get togetherness or holidays, it's so frustrating because there is no room. I hate them!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 5:47PM
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Regarding the ice maker in the door, I rarely use ice and they take up a lot of space, so if it were just me I wouldn't have one. And in fact our last fridge didn't have one for those reasons. But it turns out my kids use ice often and they don't usually wash their hands before they do, so I came to the conclusion that the "grab ice from the ice bin" arrangement was not good from a sanitation standpoint. I'm not one to fret about germs in general, but unwashed kid hands digging around in the ice bin is too much for me. So our new fridge has the dispenser.

The other advantage of the ice dispensers is that they cycle through better. That is, the dispensers are "first in first out" queues, as opposed to the bins, which usually end up being "last in first out".

This post was edited by GauchoGordo1993 on Fri, Dec 13, 13 at 19:27

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 7:23PM
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The ice is in a tray that gets filled by the ice maker. The freezer has two sliding baskets with dividers so it is not hard to organize. The ice tray is in the top basket My complaint about the freezer is that it is relatively small. It is just two of us most of the time now, but when the kids are home for the summer, I feel the pinch. I may get a chest freezer to hold bulk items.

Gaucho makes good points, especially about last in first out, but I don't care enough. I hate external dispensers with a passion.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 8:17PM
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First purchase when I moved into my house 16 years ago was a freezer; not a terribly big one, but with regular shelves.(Sears? maybe $400?) Since I've always worked, I woud cook soups and spaghetti sauce, chili, or stews on Sunday, and freeze portions. I also freeze berries and nuts, things I use for baking . In the bottom freezer of regular frige, I keep ice cream, desserts, things the kids and S/O would look for.

I went from a bottom freezer to french door; it seems everyone I know with a SxS has an extra fridge.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 8:39PM
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i have a lg 32cubic ft french door with water/ice in the door. we just got it 2 weeks ago and it replaced a kenmore sxs. it is stainless which i didnt want as all the other appliances are white.
so far i love it and the space is awesome! i was worried about maxing the freezer but still plenty of room and easy to keep organized. we looked at samsung but hated the big ice maker thing that took up a chunk of space on the top shelf. we got ours from HD with the extended warranty just in case. btw i really like the stainless. i was concerned about constant cleaning but i dont have to wipe it down much at all. i read bad reviews about every fridge out there hence the extended warranty.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 9:07PM
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There are several current threads (from this week) comparing fridges on the Appliance Forum. Lots of tips and opinions.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 9:25PM
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I love having a French Door Refrigerator since January 2007. I Love seeing all my produce when I open the doors and all the food above. I love having a bottom freezer so nothing ever goes back again as I can see everything that is no longer hidden in the back. I am also very petite so it is so easy to use the bottom freezer.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 10:28PM
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Getting a French door model and a separate freezer in our garage is not a bad idea. I'm sure we'd save a lot of money that way.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 3:51PM
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Just wanted to add that we also have a separate freezer in the basement.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 4:17PM
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