kitchen appliance recommendations, esp refrigerator

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anncatchingup
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kitchen appliance recommendations, esp refrigerator

Postby anncatchingup » Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:26 pm

We bought and moved into our retirement home a couple years ago. The house came with bisque-colored appliances, including side-by-side refrigerator, over-the-stove microwave, gas cooktop, electric built-in oven, and dishwasher. All are GE, except refrigerator, which is a Whirlpool. All appliances are original to house built in 2002, so now 15 years old. The microwave just died. We know the fridge and dishwasher are probably the next to go. So we're contemplating our long-term replacement options.

We like the bisque color (AKA cream, beige, almond), but it's not a popular color anymore and there's not a lot of options available. If that weren't a problem, we'd just stay with bisque and put in a new microwave and wait for the other appliances to die. But it is an issue, so do we stay with the bisque or go with stainless steel (black and white are out)?

In the meantime, we started looking at refrigerators. It's a small kitchen and we'd prefer a counter-depth refrigerator. We looked at Lowe's and Home Depot and read Consumer Reports and other reviews and, oh my gosh, what refrigerator horror stories we found! From noise to leaks to other breakdowns, it makes us reluctant to buy ANY refrigerator! Even those top-rated by Consumer Reports have serious flaws as reported by consumers.

Can anyone share refrigerator recommendations? We'd like a counter-depth, french-door style refrigerator, but would consider another side-by-side if we have to. What we really want is a reliable brand that is reasonably quiet. (I don't want to burden bogleheads too much by asking about recommendations for the other appliances, but please share them if you're so inclined.)

Thanks for any feedback. :)

Ann

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FraggleRock
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oh, yes

Postby FraggleRock » Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:29 pm

refrigerator - Sub-Zero, 30-inch. 12-year warranty.

It is what we are doing in our small kitchen.
Image
The crappy Whirlpool "counter depth" frigo is being replaced by a Sub-Zero 30-inch - http://www.subzero-wolf.com/sub-zero/fu ... anel-ready
The really poor performing microwave with minimal suckage is being replaced by a Zephyr vent hood and a Miele speed oven - https://www.mieleusa.com/domestic/speed-ovens-1452.htm
The inadequate Bosch range cooktop (16K BTU max burner) is being replaced by a Wolf 36-inch hob - http://www.subzero-wolf.com/wolf/cookto ... as-cooktop
We are also installing a Sub-Zero wine fridge and a Miele oven.

The cost for the entire south wall of our kitchen is only $50K. This is cabinets, appliances, electrical, plumbing, demolition, management by contractor.

anncatchingup
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Re: oh, yes

Postby anncatchingup » Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:16 pm

FraggleRock wrote:refrigerator - Sub-Zero, 30-inch. 12-year warranty.
It is what we are doing in our small kitchen...
The cost for the entire south wall of our kitchen is only $50K. This is cabinets, appliances, electrical, plumbing, demolition, management by contractor.


Wow! FraggleRock, that's a beautiful kitchen! A bit out of our budget, though... But then, looks like you redid it all. :shock:

Thanks for sharing.

Ann

123
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Re: kitchen appliance recommendations, esp refrigerator

Postby 123 » Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:13 pm

About 7 years ago we bought a counter-dept refrigerator from Sears (Kenmore Elite). It was a Whirlpool underneath. We have had no problems with it. We had to get a counter-depth due to our kitchen configuration, regular size would stick out too far. In shopping for counter-dept refrigerators you will find a limited selection and high prices. I figured that the cost of a counter-depth refrigerator is at least twice the cost of a similar sized regular refrigerator. But if you are limited by kitchen layout you really have no choice.

Edited to add:
In our area there are regular newspaper ads by Pacific Sales (now owned by Best Buy) for complete sets of kitchen appliance (refrigerator, stove, dishwasher) sometimes at good discounts for buying the whole "suite". However, based on Consumer Reports testing, the same manufacturer generally doesn't excel across all product line. I think the suite are often aimed at landlords and/or flippers who have few requirements other then cost and that appliances "match". It probably worth it to read Consumer Reports for appliance ratings, though they don't seem to include as much detail in recent reviews as they did in the good old days.
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sport
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Re: kitchen appliance recommendations, esp refrigerator

Postby sport » Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:38 am

Our 10-year old GE fridge just broke again. I think this is the 5th time. This time it is a door latch that is not required for proper operation of the unit. I won't get it repaired.

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FraggleRock
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Re: oh, yes

Postby FraggleRock » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:46 am

anncatchingup wrote: that's a beautiful kitchen! A bit out of our budget, though... But then, looks like you redid it all.

That is the before photo.
Renovation completion is a month away.

stan1
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Re: kitchen appliance recommendations, esp refrigerator

Postby stan1 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:54 am

For the french door fridge: avoid an in door ice dispenser and you should have improved reliability. It's easy to observe that the in-door ice dispenser is in the upper refrigerator compartment not the bottom freezer. Manufacturers understandably seem to have a lot of problems fighting the laws of thermodynamics when putting a freezer in the fridge.

For appliances in general: they are now designed to last 7-10 years so make that assumption going in so you aren't upset if they don't last 20+ years. Energy and water efficiency standards have driven more noise (refrigerators) and longer wash cycles (dishwashers). High materials costs (steel) and competition from South Korea and China have driven down overall quality.

An $8,000-$10,000 Sub-Zero, Miele or Thermador refrigerator might operate better but I think the case can be made that four $2,000 refrigerators will have a good chance of lasting longer than one $8,000 refrigerator.

Rupert
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Re: kitchen appliance recommendations, esp refrigerator

Postby Rupert » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:23 am

Most important characteristic in a new refrigerator = it fits in the hole left by the previous refrigerator. That said, avoid Whirlpool. The circuit board in my Whirlpool Gold fridge failed when it was 13 months old, just outside the 1-year warranty. Repairman commented that they seem designed to do that because he sure does replace a lot of Whirlpool circuit boards. My Whirlpool Gold dishwashwer, bought at same time as refrigerator about 5 years ago, has rust near the air vent and mildews like crazy. I passionately hate the thing. Given how much I hate it, it'll probably run forever.

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lthenderson
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Re: kitchen appliance recommendations, esp refrigerator

Postby lthenderson » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:54 am

We gradually replaced our appliances with stainless steel ones and the one thing I hadn't thought about before doing so was how hard they are to keep clean. Every little fingerprint shoes up. It's a royal pain to keep clean. I've heard advertisements for stainless steel ones that don't leave fingerprints so easily but haven't seen how they work or if they work well. If I had a do over, I would not do stainless again just for that reason.

As far as what brands to buy, I always recommend calling up your local appliance repairman and asking them two questions. Which brands do they work on least often, i.e. most reliable and also which ones can they get parts for. In my area, it is impossible to get parts for anything made by LG which includes a lot of American sounding brand names that are essentially retagged LG's. I don't know why that is but I won't by an LG here for that reason.

sport
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Re: kitchen appliance recommendations, esp refrigerator

Postby sport » Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:14 am

lthenderson wrote:We gradually replaced our appliances with stainless steel ones and the one thing I hadn't thought about before doing so was how hard they are to keep clean. Every little fingerprint shoes up. It's a royal pain to keep clean. I've heard advertisements for stainless steel ones that don't leave fingerprints so easily but haven't seen how they work or if they work well. If I had a do over, I would not do stainless again just for that reason.

We use one of the cleaner products for SS appliances. It leaves a film on the surface that does not show fingerprints.

investor997
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Re: kitchen appliance recommendations, esp refrigerator

Postby investor997 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:26 pm

In eary 2007, I remodeled my kitchen. On an impulse, I checked Craigslist and found a Kitchen Aid (ie Whirlpool) side by side/counter depth SS fridge for about 1/3 the price of a new one. It was already six years old at the time but I jumped on it. About a month after buying it, the compressor relay died and all the food inside spoiled. The repair cost $300 - I didn't have the time to debug it myself. It's been ten years since that event and nothing's gone wrong with it since. Every once in a blue moon the feed line to the ice maker will freeze over requiring me to use a hairdryer to melt the ice plug out of the line. I figure I can live with that.

mhalley
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Re: kitchen appliance recommendations, esp refrigerator

Postby mhalley » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:16 pm

Best option is to go to the library or get a brief online subscription to consumer reports and buy their Best Buys. If you can wait till the holidays you can save some money.
http://clark.com/deals-money-saving-adv ... y-holiday/

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El Greco
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Re: kitchen appliance recommendations, esp refrigerator

Postby El Greco » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:44 pm

We bought a Kenmore Elite bottom freezer fridge about 3 years ago. It was manufactured by LG. Cost about $1800. We are very pleased with it. As others have mentioned, it has the ice maker in the freezer compartment, not the door and makes tons of ice fast. It also has bright LED lighting and is very quiet. I also just bought a Whirlpool Gold dishwasher. So far so good, but time will tell. Incredibly quiet. We can easily have it running while we are in the kitchen and barely realize it is on. Cost about $650. I simply cannot see the value relationship of buying SubZero, Wolf, Miele etc unless you have plenty of money to burn, run a busy commercial establishment or are a slave to prestigious brand names–but that's me. Coincidentally, all of our appliances are Bisque. We happen to like the color and it fits with our more retro kitchen decor (1928 house). When this batch of appliances goes, I guess it will have to be Stainless Steel.

twbd
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Re: kitchen appliance recommendations, esp refrigerator

Postby twbd » Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:27 pm

If you belong to Costco, you might consider looking at their appliances. The advantage Costco offers is free delivery and installation as well as haul-away. Plus you get a 2nd year of warranty included.
Regarding Sub-zero, I can anecdotally report our custom front built-in has performed flawlessly for 24+ years ---
not uncommon according to other owners I've known. Guess there's something to be said for Badger craftsmanship.

.

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telemark
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Re: kitchen appliance recommendations, esp refrigerator

Postby telemark » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:29 pm

twbd wrote: Regarding Sub-zero, I can anecdotally report our custom front built-in has performed flawlessly for 24+ years ---
not uncommon according to other owners I've known. Guess there's something to be said for Badger craftsmanship.
.

I have an avocado G.E. model that's at least 33 years old that refuses to die. It's also ludicrously simple: whenever I clean under it I look at the motor and think "that's all?" But this tells us little about the reliability of more recent models.

Anything with a circuit board in it should probably be on a surge protector. We had a thread about that not long ago.

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Re: kitchen appliance recommendations, esp refrigerator

Postby stoptothink » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:38 pm

El Greco wrote:I simply cannot see the value relationship of buying SubZero, Wolf, Miele etc unless you have plenty of money to burn, run a busy commercial establishment or are a slave to prestigious brand names–but that's me.


+1. My parents redid their kitchen about 2yrs ago, including a high-end (I believe Wolf) 6-burner stove to the tune of nearly $7k. I've heard my stepfather scream at that thing more times than I can count, constant reliability issues and they absolutely do not have money to burn. I don't know about how reliable they generally are, but there's has been a nightmare. I bet he has gone to bed many times the last few years wishing he would have saved himself $6k.

bloom2708
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Re: kitchen appliance recommendations, esp refrigerator

Postby bloom2708 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:43 pm

We have a few "mom & pop" type appliance stores. They are surprisingly competitive on pricing, service and focus on the customer.

We have an LG set (Refrigerator, Stove, Dishwasher, Microwave). The price was competitive with the Kenmore, GE, Amana packages.

Spend part of a day kicking tires, seeing features. We have the pull out drawer freezer on the bottom. It holds a vast amount more than the side by side freezer/refrigerator. Very good design.
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Go Blue 99
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Re: kitchen appliance recommendations, esp refrigerator

Postby Go Blue 99 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:37 pm

We are buying a new fridge so I've been doing a ton of research. Consumer Reports highest rated brands are LG and Samsung. Both of their repair infrastructures are poor though. So basically you're in trouble if they break down. That's why you so many negative reviews of those brands online. That said, we are leaning towards an LG due to reviews and features.

Alto Astral
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Re: kitchen appliance recommendations, esp refrigerator

Postby Alto Astral » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:49 pm

We got a Kitchenaid staineless steel finish with double doors and freezer at the the bottom. Pretty quiet most of the time. Makes a small noise when generating ice - lasts a few seconds and sounds like pebbles dropping on plastic.

anncatchingup
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Re: kitchen appliance recommendations, esp refrigerator

Postby anncatchingup » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:26 pm

Go Blue 99 wrote:We are buying a new fridge so I've been doing a ton of research. Consumer Reports highest rated brands are LG and Samsung. Both of their repair infrastructures are poor though. So basically you're in trouble if they break down. That's why you so many negative reviews of those brands online. That said, we are leaning towards an LG due to reviews and features.


I know! I can't believe Consumer Reports makes no mention of the problems reported, especially with the Samsung refrigerators. And no brands seem to be without problems. It makes buying any refrigerator kind of a crap shoot.

stan1 wrote:For the french door fridge: avoid an in door ice dispenser and you should have improved reliability. It's easy to observe that the in-door ice dispenser is in the upper refrigerator compartment not the bottom freezer. Manufacturers understandably seem to have a lot of problems fighting the laws of thermodynamics when putting a freezer in the fridge.


With all the technological advancements that have been made, you'd think they'd figure out how to make this work reliably. I guess eliminating the ice maker and ice/water dispenser would eliminate a lot of the problems overall. It's just so darn convenient! Something to think about, but I don't know if we want to do without them...

Thanks to all of you who shared your experience thus far. You've been very helpful and given us a lot to think about.

Ann :)

arsenalfan
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Re: kitchen appliance recommendations, esp refrigerator

Postby arsenalfan » Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:06 pm

Buy a couple of these $12 water leak sensors, powered by 9v batteries. Stick them behind/under your fridge (my subzero has vent you can unscrew, and I put 2 next to the condensate drip pan). I put under every fridge, water heater, p-trap sink, instahot, etc etc...wherever there may be a leak. $100-200 will save you a boatload in water damage.


https://www.amazon.com/Glentronics-Inc- ... 4J1X771FZQ

mindboggling
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Re: kitchen appliance recommendations, esp refrigerator

Postby mindboggling » Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:10 pm

If you buy a new fridge, make sure it's quiet. I replaced a fridge a few years ago and the new one (a cheap Fridgeaire) just screams.
In broken mathematics We estimate our prize, --Emily Dickinson

mindboggling
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Re: kitchen appliance recommendations, esp refrigerator

Postby mindboggling » Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:11 pm

If you buy a new fridge, make sure it's quiet. I replaced a fridge a few years ago and the new one (a cheap Fridgeaire) just screams.
In broken mathematics We estimate our prize, --Emily Dickinson

shorty313
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Re: kitchen appliance recommendations, esp refrigerator

Postby shorty313 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:20 pm

We bought a Samsung counter depth French door (RF28JBEDBSR) back in December and I like it a lot. It was replacing a side by side GE profile that was 15 years old that we had already done repairs on twice.

We read a ton of reviews and it seemed like every brand had its problems so we just went with what suited our needs best. So far so good.

2comma
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Re: kitchen appliance recommendations, esp refrigerator

Postby 2comma » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:12 pm

bloom2708 wrote:We have a few "mom & pop" type appliance stores. They are surprisingly competitive on pricing, service and focus on the customer.

We have an LG set (Refrigerator, Stove, Dishwasher, Microwave). The price was competitive with the Kenmore, GE, Amana packages.

Spend part of a day kicking tires, seeing features. We have the pull out drawer freezer on the bottom. It holds a vast amount more than the side by side freezer/refrigerator. Very good design.


We had a friend turn us onto the mom & pop type appliance stores. They had good prices and even come up with some nice high brand specials from time to time. The buying experience was way better than at the big box stores.

We redid our kitchen about 3 years ago; cabinets, floor, appliances/sink/counter tops, lights, everything. I was opposed to SS, it is hard to keep clean, and the glass top stove is not much better. My first wife was a home economics major and didn't like the side-by-side fridge with water/ice in the door - not efficient! My second wife would have none of that. I was very afraid of the longevity reports of new appliances. So far I have to say our LG side-by-side with slide out drawer below, Maytag dishwasher, Genn-air electric oven/stove and Sharp above stove microwave are holding up with no issues. My wife still regularly comments on how much she loves the refrigerator. I have to admit that the water/ice in the door is nice as is the freezer drawer. Our's is full size, I even had to move a wall over to get it to fit and it looks good where it is even though it sticks out past the counter top. Our dishwasher is very quiet. I say do your research and then buy what you think will make you happy. I wouldn't worry too much about the latest fashion, it won't be too long before it's out of fashion, whatever you pick.

BTW: We still have our almost 30 year old washer dryer in plain white; they still work, they stay.
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67AustinHealey
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Re: kitchen appliance recommendations, esp refrigerator

Postby 67AustinHealey » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:38 am

anncatchingup wrote:We bought and moved into our retirement home a couple years ago. The house came with bisque-colored appliances, including side-by-side refrigerator, over-the-stove microwave, gas cooktop, electric built-in oven, and dishwasher. All are GE, except refrigerator, which is a Whirlpool. All appliances are original to house built in 2002, so now 15 years old. The microwave just died. We know the fridge and dishwasher are probably the next to go. So we're contemplating our long-term replacement options.

We like the bisque color (AKA cream, beige, almond), but it's not a popular color anymore and there's not a lot of options available. If that weren't a problem, we'd just stay with bisque and put in a new microwave and wait for the other appliances to die. But it is an issue, so do we stay with the bisque or go with stainless steel (black and white are out)?

In the meantime, we started looking at refrigerators. It's a small kitchen and we'd prefer a counter-depth refrigerator. We looked at Lowe's and Home Depot and read Consumer Reports and other reviews and, oh my gosh, what refrigerator horror stories we found! From noise to leaks to other breakdowns, it makes us reluctant to buy ANY refrigerator! Even those top-rated by Consumer Reports have serious flaws as reported by consumers.

Can anyone share refrigerator recommendations? We'd like a counter-depth, french-door style refrigerator, but would consider another side-by-side if we have to. What we really want is a reliable brand that is reasonably quiet. (I don't want to burden bogleheads too much by asking about recommendations for the other appliances, but please share them if you're so inclined.)

Thanks for any feedback. :)

Ann


Ann,

Always go for Whirlpool or KitchenAid! They're the best & they're a great company. Here's access to brand new discounted appliances if you'd like to buy a Whirlpool appliance or one of their brands.

http://outlet.whirlpool.com - This is their outlet store. They're all brand new appliances & some are up to half off or more. Not many people know about it :happy

We have always used KitchenAid in every house we've owned & never had a problem. Good Luck shopping!

shorty313
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Re: kitchen appliance recommendations, esp refrigerator

Postby shorty313 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:03 am

Everyone I know with Kitchenaid has had the opposite experience. The regulator went out on our KA cooktop at 4 yrs. A friend dealt with a nightmare KA fridge that broke down 3 times in a year just past the 2 yr warranty expiration, ruining her wood floors, and they won't give her a replacement until the 4th breakdown. Another friend got her 2 year old KA oven repaired yesterday after the fan quit working, and her KA dishwasher has been a problem with not cleaning well right from the start. My parents also had a KA fridge issue (but at like 5 yrs old) and had to wait a month for the part. :shock:

harrington
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Re: kitchen appliance recommendations, esp refrigerator

Postby harrington » Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:12 am

Check out the Slate collection from GE.

mrsytf
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Re: kitchen appliance recommendations, esp refrigerator

Postby mrsytf » Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:21 am

In the meantime, we started looking at refrigerators. It's a small kitchen and we'd prefer a counter-depth refrigerator. We looked at Lowe's and Home Depot and read Consumer Reports and other reviews and, oh my gosh, what refrigerator horror stories we found! From noise to leaks to other breakdowns, it makes us reluctant to buy ANY refrigerator! Even those top-rated by Consumer Reports have serious flaws as reported by consumers.


I know! I almost twisted myself into a pretzel trying to figure out what kind of washer/dryer to get. There's never a perfect model. Someone somewhere will tell you to steer clear of any brand out there. FWIW we have an old kitchenaid fridge that's going strong. It's 6 years old to us and we inherited it from the previous owners who lived in the home for 4 years. To solve the color problem, have you considered cabinet panels? If we ever renovate our kitchen I would make the appliances essentially "invisible" with cabinet door panels.

lazydavid
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Re: kitchen appliance recommendations, esp refrigerator

Postby lazydavid » Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:40 am

mrsytf wrote:To solve the color problem, have you considered cabinet panels? If we ever renovate our kitchen I would make the appliances essentially "invisible" with cabinet door panels.


If you have to replace two or more appliances (and sometimes with just one), it can actually be more expensive to replace just those with cabinet models than to replace the entire kitchen with standard models. Case in point: our panel-ready dishwasher was $1450 as a floor model/return ($1850 at full price), the panel to go on it was $485 after our 70% discount off of list, and the handle was about $80 with a similar discount. So about $2k for one appliance, heavily discounted. Most panel-ready refrigerators start at around $6k, and obviously the larger panels that go on them are significantly more expensive than the dishwasher panels.

In the end, we did the panels for the dishwasher and two under-counter refrigerators, but bought a conventional counter-depth LG refrigerator. Our kitchen remodel was already costing more than a midrange luxury car, so we elected to save the ~$5k there.

annielouise
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Re: kitchen appliance recommendations, esp refrigerator

Postby annielouise » Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:01 am

I really like my LG (LG LFXC24726). It has an amazing amount of room for counter depth.

Can also highly recommend Bosch dishwashers.

sls239
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Re: kitchen appliance recommendations, esp refrigerator

Postby sls239 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:02 pm

I really like our Kenmore elite fridge. It is made by LG.

It is actually the second Kenmore elite fridge I bought. I bought the first one in our last house and the buyers specifically wrote in that they wanted the fridge and made a full price offer so...

What I particularly like about my fridge - it is easy to clean - there are no crannies or hard to get to areas, it is easy to adjust - it has 2 shelves that slide in (I've seen a virtually identical LG except it had only 1 slide-in shelf and was more expensive), the airtight crisper really does seem to keep leafy greens fresher, the 3 drawer freezer really keeps things organized, and the ice and water dispenser controls are super simple while the other controls are hidden on the inside - useful for both my child and my tech-averse mother.

You mentioned you wanted one quiet - I don't hear it, and our floorplan is totally open from the fridge to the TV on the opposite wall.

Dottie57
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Re: kitchen appliance recommendations, esp refrigerator

Postby Dottie57 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:36 pm

mindboggling wrote:If you buy a new fridge, make sure it's quiet. I replaced a fridge a few years ago and the new one (a cheap Fridgeaire) just screams.



I had the same problem. Sent it back.


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