French Fridge: yes or no?

southernmumDecember 17, 2012

We're building and it's time for me to pick my appliances. What do you guys think of French fridges? Give me the good, bad and the ugly. Thanks!

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I don't own one, but have had a bottom freezer for 28 years and love it! Do you have to open two doors on top every time you want to access the fridge...??

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 11:52PM
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I've expressed my strong dislike of them here many times, including on the thread linked below on the Appliances Forum. The only appeal I can see is that they're trendy and sometimes a narrow clearance in front of a fridge makes managing the shorter door swing a good choice.

I've used the old school top freezer models, French door (FD), and now a single-door bottom freezer. My favorite, by a country mile, is the bottom freezer configuration. You couldn't pay me to go back to the other types. I'd even squeeze one into a kitchen with narrow aisles before buying a FD.

Here is a link that might be useful: French door thread from Appliances

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 1:20AM
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I have the kitchen with the galley necessitating a narrow door swing and would rather have 2 doors than a blocked aisle. The FD fridge I chose was the KA that has the split produce drawers so you only have to go into one door. I keep the frequently used items in the easily accessed door and only open 2 when loading/unloading.

It also has the bottom freezer, which is wonderful, too.

I love, love, love the fact that it is so wide and can accommodate wide platters, boxes from the party place I go to and also means I'm not having to dig deep for items.

It would be ideal to have that wide open kitchen with all the room to choose your ideal everything, but some of us don't have that nice option. Overall, I'm really enjoying mine.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 4:01AM
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Have one x 10 years. Like it fine, except the cover on the long deli drawer has broken twice. Going to an all-fridge, but I wouldn't hesitate to have another FD if it worked in our space.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 4:46AM
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We had a 33" space to work with, so our fridge had to be only that wide. In FD models, we simply couldn't find one that had sufficient space, particularly depth, to hold the stuff we normally keep in a fridge. We ended, up with a bottom freezer model and love it.

Suggestion: take something the size of things you keep in a fridge with you to the store and try them out for fit. We took a Costco pizza box and a 1-gal. water jug. Not that we have Costco pizza all that often, but it just so happens that there is one in there right now - got back from a 9-hr. drive at dinner time last night.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 6:32AM
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Live my FD!
I used susanne's trick and took my pot luck trays and a few other items and went down the row until I came to the elux. Everything fit but the price- and then it turned out to be on sale.
Freezer keeps everything frozen including ice cream.
I usually only have to open one upper door except to access the perfect temp drawer and for deep items in the left fruit drawer.
I have recouped the cost of the fridge over the past few years with so much less wasted food!
Usual iPhone goobers.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 7:29AM
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I just converted from a sidexside to a counter depth FD. My entire family loves it.
I love the bottom freezer. I love that the fridge doesn't go to the bottom so I dont have to squat to rummage through the produce drawer.
Mine has two separate produce drawers and I can open just one door to get most things. In fact I rarely have both doors open at the same time, probably only when I want something from the full width deli drawer.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 7:30AM
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I love my FD and will never have anything else. Only sometimes do you have to open both doors. We keep drinks on one side for example so if you want milk you only open that door. Also the doors are lighter than 1 big door. So many reasons I love this set up.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 7:46AM
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Thanks so much! I appreciate the responses. I'm so tired of picking things out... And to think that i really thought building a house would be FUN! I just want a house!! ;) Tired...

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 9:06AM
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I thought you meant a French manufacturer. I was curious who that might be.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 2:31PM
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i love mine. we don't have to open both doors all the time, just to load or unload. the milk is on one side, water on the other. produce on one side, deli on the other. we have no problems with it. i like not having one big door.

love the freezer on the bottom.

would buy again

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 3:20PM
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I never thought I would like bottom freezers, but I retired my broken side-by-side and because of space and not wanting another side-by-side, I went with an LG FD. I love it! Absolutely love it! So does my tall husband - who hated crouching down to see what was in the bottoms of the side-by-side.

The FD has so much more interior space than a same-sized side-by-side it's almost like magic.

I like that I can put wide items in both the fridge and freezer.

I like the bottom freezer - it has a slide-out drawer that holds a ton of stuff, and two compartments underneath for easy organization and visibility.

I'll never, ever go back to side-by-side. And I don't like the one big door style.

I love my LG FD! (Did I say that? LOL.)

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 5:30PM
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Consumer Reports looked into fridge configurations and determined that boring old top freezers are the most energy-efficient configuration. We went with a fairly nice top freezer and don't have any regrets, though a door-in-door for getting drinks out without opening the whole fridge door would have been nice.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 6:51PM
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We just got a Samsung French door fridge and so far we really like it. The only thing you need both doors open for is the long deli drawer. The produce drawers are split with separate humidity controls. We haven't really fiddled with all the features yet. I do like the freezer drawer too.

Good luck with yr decisions!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 7:25PM
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I love our FD. I love FD fridges so much that I have put them in 3 houses (and by gosh, I am staying here to enjoy this fabulous fridge).

Ours has the water on the inside, not the outside, because we have a dog who sheds and the fur is self-propelling. We usually open just one door, unless we are looking for a snack and don't know what we want. The crisper drawers are each half-width.

The only problem we have had is that spinach and salad greens freeze when they are too close to the back of the fridge (we have a counter depth fridge). So now I have 1 door bin dedicated to baby spinach (the big "shoebox" size container from Costco fits in there). I had that problem with our side by side as well, if salad was too close to the freezer wall it would freeze. I may keep my fridge too cold, but I'm okay with the trade off of "salad in the door" in exchange for icy cold milk.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 9:10PM
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I like having the FD over our old freezer on top. But I never get the left door (the side that has the flap) to close correctly and it dings just about every time I open it! I don't know what it is about the way I shut it. Hardly ever happens to DH. But I just realized while reading this thread that if I put my most frequently used items on the right side, I wouldn't have to open the left as much! Duh.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 9:47PM
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Love it! I was not very sad to see our SxS die. We now have a FD bottom freezer model and it's great! The freezer has baskets to keep it organized, so everything is easy to get to without an avalanche. The smaller doors are great for our small kitchen. I love all the room, you should have seen the smile n my face the first time I slid a pizza box in after dinner! Not possible with the SxS. My favorite part is having everything within easy reach in the fridge, no more bending!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 10:51PM
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Hate it! They are horrible! I knew going into - read negative reviews but we were somewhat limited bc we needed a counter depth fridge. We had a SxS and were very happy to get rid of it. There really wasn't much to choose from. We ended up with a KA FD fridge. You have to open both doors to get into the deli drawer which by the way feels very cheaply made. And you have to close the left door first or the right won't close. We came home recently (after being gone for hours) and guess what)? The fridge was beeping. It had been open for hours. It happens all the time! And we have only had it for 6 weeks. Definitely do not recommend.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 12:50AM
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Those are the reasons I didn't buy the KA that everyone recommends here. With the Electrolux, you can close either door first. The drawers are a better quality than KA and they glide smoothly. It's like having Blum hardware vs. the old stuff. You do have to open both doors to use the deli drawer, but that drawer holds everything and keeps it fresh longer. It's my favorite part of the fridge. As for beeping, make sure it's level. My doors seem to close better when they're full.

The only thing I don't like so much is the smaller produce drawers. If I buy a big bag of apples or a huge head of leaf lettuce, it takes up most of one bin. So do evaluate your fresh produce needs when you decide.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 9:48AM
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I have a FD KA. I love it far more than the side by side I had that's for sure but I'm thinking the perfect fridge would have the freezer on the bottom but a single main door. I don't like opening both doors and tend to keep putting things only on the right side so I won't forget to look on the other side since I seem only to open the one door most of the time.. I do love the extra wide and deep pullout drawer at the bottom of the fridge where you can put large trays and casserole dishes. That was a huge problem with my side by side. I really hated that thing. I would have gotten a single door upper with freezer on the bottom but they were out of the budget as most were SubZero.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 10:02AM
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I LOVE my FD Kenmore Elite. We had a small space for the fridge in our old kitchen , but this one fit the bill. When we remodeled the kitchen we kept this fridge, as it was only a few months old. I am able to open either door. And, as many have said, the space is GREAT, especially in the freezer. I had a side by side before, and couldn't fit a frozen pizza (a teenage boy necessity)for the life of me. Now I can stock up on the lovely delicacies! HA!

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 10:35AM
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I hated my old SxSs. I do love my FD Frigidaire Professional. It also allows opening only one door at a time (I would make sure your fridge has that feature! It would be very annoying if not.) As others have said, only the deli door requires both doors open. Of course, we use the fridge much more often than the freezer so the amount of stooping over to find things is reduced.

If I bought another fridge, I would make sure it had a bottom freezer. Whether the top is one door or two isn't something that would matter as much. I would never buy another SxS.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 11:22AM
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Oui, j'adore mon fridge francais! Hated my old double door...nothing fit in it. With my french door, my small space doesn't seem so small...and I can fit a sheet cake inside. I'm happy with my KA fridge!

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 11:34AM
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I had a French door, then moved and ended up with a 20-year-old top mount. I like the 20-year-old top mount better, and will probably get another top mount when it fails.

I disliked the bottom freezer (apparently, I'm in very small minority on that). I'm in the freezer all the time, so the location was inconvenient. I also found that things got buried in the freezer drawer and it is hard to find stuff. Finally, even though the French Door was bigger than the refrigerator it replaced, and I think that the freezer compartement had more cubic feet, we couldn't fit everything from the old freezer (a top mount) into the FD freezer. The configuration was just wrong, somehow. (Sorry, I don't remember the mfr of the FD).

I had a young child who ended up needing help to get things out the fridge long after she would have been able to access the fridge compartment of top-mount fridge. Yes, kids grow and eye-level for the kid is bend-down for the adults. But I would rather deal with 20 years of bending down than 5 years of "Mom! Can you please get me some milk?"

Having food at eye level was great for the grown-ups. We tended to keep frequently used things on the right and so often only needed to open one door. But when you do have to open two doors, it can be a bit awkward, since (unless your refrigerator is perfectly balanced, which mine wasn't) you need 3 hands: one for each door to keep it from swinging either closed or all the way open and at least one to get what you wanted out of the fridge.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 12:37PM
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It would help to understand your configuration. With a French door, you need a landing zone, ideally behind you or else on both sides. As access is often a 2 handed operation, make sure you are OK with that. It will also probably work better for someone who keeps their fridge very organized so that you know that Milk is on the left and juices and cheese are on the right. Bottom freezer is great, but I do not personally like the French doors. I prefer a single door that has landing zone nearby to make loading and unloading easy.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 12:46PM
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I have a Whirlpool french door and absolutely love it compared to a side x side. My freezer has a slide out basket which really helps keep it organized, a definite plus. My only complaint is the location of the ice maker. Ours is accessible in the door but the actual maker is inside the fridge, which does take up some space. I would 100% recommend getting one with the space saving door ice maker. Other than that I would highly recommend getting a french door. I am actually surprised at how much I like it.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 6:16PM
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Thanks so much for the responses. ALthough I don't know how to post my CAD rendering my kitchen designer printed for me, I think I'm good for the mentioned "landing zone." The fridge will be located in my perimeter cabinets and my island is right behind where you stand when you open the fridge. (Clear as mud?!) ;)

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 7:38PM
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