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Most recommended kitchen appliances for kitchen remodel

I am about to embark on a kitchen remodel, and I am looking for recommendations for appliances. I will need:

-a 30"-36" gas range (looking into dual fuel, but not sure if they are worth the extra $$) (I'm strongly considering Wolf...tell me if I shouldn't...I like the look for sure)

-a quiet hood fan (I may only buy the liner parts and have a wooden hood constructed, so looks are not terribly important) (I've heard good things about Vent-a-hood, but I don't know much about fans)

-a dishwasher (looks are also unimportant since we're covering it up with cabinet face, the quieter the better) (Bosch has been recommended to me)

-stackable, front loading washer/dryer (the area is short on space, so the new huge stackables are probably not possible)

Also, I have pretty much settled on Diamond cabinets, but haven't placed the order. Does anyone have experience with them?

Thanks in advance for your time and imput!

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  1. We have an Asko dishwasher, put in new when we remodeled 8 years ago. It has been outstanding, never a service call, super quiet, all stainless. Would buy another in a minute.

    Have a Garland 30" gas range, is also great but doubt you could find one as I think they've quit making home units, only restaurant stoves. Has a gas oven which I've really learned to love after always having electric.

    1. L.A. Hound, it's critical you have your appliances picked out before you order your cabinets. (Each appliance's size and dimensions are listed on the companies' web site. Very important for built in's like the dishwasher and possibly your stove.) You didn't mention a faucet or sink. These can really add to your cooking experience and the look of your kitchen. I suggest going to www.designerplumbing.com and get some ideas. You'll also find the prices to be really good. Along with a built in oven, we selected Dacor's dual fuel range because it has an electric oven (preferred) with a gas broiler. (The only stove I've found configured this way; it provides professional quality results.) The burners are also gas. We love this unit. Make sure you use power strips under the cabinets instead of conventional, in-the-wall electrical outlets. The versatility is much improved. Next consider lighting--also under the cabinets. KitchenAid makes excellent dishwashers and refrigerators. Finally, get a good, battery operated a.m. radio so you can listen to talk radio. (Why? Because half way through the remodel, you won't be speaking to each other anymore.) Good luck!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Leper

        KitchenAide makes horrible dishwashers, and has horrible customer service.

      2. I ditto the Asko. I was blessed with a couple of great appliances I wouldn't have otherwise been able to afford when my parents sold their house. Before listing it, I was able to buy their dishwasher (Asko) and their range (Viking) for the price of purchasing new replacements for their house.

        The Asko is about 12 years old. I have never had a service call for it, either. I have, however, had one button that has caused a problem. It's the on/off button. The guy has come to repair the Viking numerous times, and he fixed the button for me twice. Long story, but suffice it to say that it hasn't caused a problem, and I would save the extra $ to buy an Asko if I ever needed another d/w. The dishes don't have to be rinsed/washed before going in the machine, and it is very, very quiet.

        As for the Viking ... hmmmm. Well, I love all the cooking area on the stovetop & in the oven. And it cooks just fine. The problem has been things that break on it. I have had the same part - one of the igniters - repaired numerous times, and it goes out over & over (no, it's not the repairman. And it's been covered under Viking part warranty twice, including paying labor.) Plus when my son was little, he turned a range knob the wrong way, and it broke. I had to order numerous knobs before I got any that matched or even remotely fit. (They had part numbers & everything. And they wouldn't pay the return shipping, so I just kept the non-matching, non-working knobs.) The new knobs don't even actually fit. They are wobbly. You kind of have to estimate where the temperature is (the original knobs are great, precise, etc.) Another knob broke somehow, and the oven knob did, too - I can't even remember how now. But same problem there.

        So as for looks & performance, I can't say enough good things about my Viking. But for repairs & parts, etc., I'm really disappointed. A piece of equipment with that price tag should a.) not break so easily and b.) should have repair parts that fit and work.

        BTW, the Viking is 36" gas w/ electronic ignition.

        Some of our best friends have a Wolf and love it. I would not buy their particular model over a Viking (even with the problems I've had w/ it). It's a nice range, but there are only 2 oven racks and 2 levels for them - one high, one low. The interior of the oven doesn't seem nearly as spacious as the Viking.

        It's an attractive range, but my experience with it certainly hasn't put it on my top "have to get it" list.

        1. The "Garland" mentioned above is light years better than any Viking or Wolf and their ilk (assuming your interest is performance not necessarily the coolest looks) but now is sold as "Bluestar." It is made by Prizer-Painter, who used to make them for Garland and continued after Garland decided to drop their residential business. Check the Prizer-Painter website. Also check the Appliance forum on the Garden Web where you will find far more information and opinions than you will know what to do with. Do some searches of this board for some further recent discussion of these matters.

          If you are a serious cook Bluestar is the way to go. I don't believe they make a dual fuel tho. Solution is to get a stove top and combine it with an electric wall oven. I did that and it works well (have a Jenn Air double oven-it was the most economical I could find that had true convection in both the top and bottom ovens as well as non-exposed heat elements).

          3 Replies
          1. re: johnb

            Thanks for the info, johnb. I will replace my Viking some day, and I am always looking for good suggestions. It amazes me the number of people who love, love, love their Vikings. I am not enchanted with mine. As I said, it cooks fine, and I like the space, but I have told a zillion people (who enviously looked at my Viking and said "some day") that I was sure there were better routes to take than that.

            One good thing I can say is that the founder of Viking is a civic-minded man who does good things with his money!

            Also, you really like your Jenn-Air? My mom had one for a while, and we really did not like it at all. Just curious. Maybe they're better now?

            1. re: luv2bake

              I guess my attitude is an oven is an oven, so long as it does convection well I'm OK with it. This is the 2nd one I've had (I installed one in my old house in a remodel prior to selling, in part to try it out) and I've not had any issues with either one of them. I don't bake much--I mostly use it to roast and do things like bread pudding, so can't say about serious baking. I have cranked it up all the way and done pizza a few times and it seems to be able to handle that as well as can be expected from a home oven. But I'm not a pie/cake/cookie kinda guy so can't help you much there.

              1. re: johnb

                You know, now that you mention it, the worst part of the Jenn-Air was the stovetop. She had a double oven, one of which didn't work (these were in the house when she bought it). But the stovetop was just awful. But I really should keep an open mind about it because it was not cleaned well by the original owners, and maybe a new one would be better.

          2. Wolf is great, but Garland has a more powerful super burner and a more stable simmer burner.

            A grill under the hood, for when it rains.

            A convection oven if possible.

            A double sink, for soaking and washing the big stuff.

            Room over the sink for a dish rack for drying, for when you use only a couple of things and don't want to run the dishwasher.

            A SubZero fridge if you can afford it -- the biggest one that will fit -- but definitely one that can hold a freezer at zero without freezing what's in the other part.

            A large magnetic strip for knives.

            If you have a stand mixer, a cantilevered shelf that goes down and under the counter.

            Lots of prep space, and also lots of counter space next to the stove.

            Twice as many electrical outlets as you imagine you could ever use, with at least one separate line for the heavy-duty stuff like the microwave, toaster, etc. Most should be at counter level.

            1. When remodeling, we bought a Dacor range and microwave but I can't recommend either. The range burners keep getting clickee (the click and don't ignite) and the repair guy said that we cook too much! The microwave handle broke, they replaced the entire microwave and, one year and one month later, it broke again, never to be replaced. The touchscreen display has conked out twice, once in warranty and once out of warranty. In fairness to Dacor, they fixed it both times as if it was in warranty (a known problem is what the dacor rep said).

              Dishwasher is a miele incognito and I love it. You can buy it without the stainless steel front if you want to build it into a cabinet. The quietest thing you ever saw. Perfect for a small NYC apartment.

              1. I love my Bosch range, although I'm still learning how to cook with its high-powered burners. This is a well-made and beautiful cooking machine.

                1. We did a kitchen remodel in 2005.

                  I have 2 miele dishwashers and a miele stacking front loading washer/dryer. I am really happy with my Miele appliances and but the washer/dryer is small. I have 3 small kids and we do laundry all the time in my house. They cycles are long and they don't hold much in each load. But, if you are pressed for space (we were), it may be your only option.

                  All my other appliances are wolf/subzero. My hood is Modern-Aire. I wanted a custom stainless hood and they were the only company who would make it.

                  We bought Downsview cabinets (on Robertson, just above Beverly) and are very happy with them. I looked at Diamond but I think I looked at everything. We went with Downsview because they were able to give us the best design/function/quality. When you price out your cabinets, be sure to find out about the cost of installation. Some cabinet companies won't warranty their cabinets if their installer does not put the cabinets in and the install was very pricey.

                  1. Think more about how you envision using your kitchen. Ranges are great but many people prefer to go with separate wall oven and cooktop.
                    Gives you all the advantages of duel fuel and some different design options.
                    Have fun choosing......

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Magnapro

                      I second the suggestion about the wall oven and cooktop. They not only look better, but you get more cabinet options (below the cooktop) and there is no range to "jut out" since the cooktop sits on top of the cabinets. When you choose a wall oven, you can also go for two ovens -- which I find extremely useful -- and if you are tall enough, even put the microwave above the ovens. I also like not having to bend to reach the primary oven, so if I could choose, I'd go with this configuration. Our friends recently built a new house and went for a big Viking range and no wall ovens, and to tell you the truth, as gorgeous as their kitchen looked, the range sticks out two inches in front of their custom cabinets and just doesn't look right. Yet they spared no other expense in the kitchen, so it must just a matter of taste and possibly poor planning, or bad advice received.

                    2. We bought a Wolf 30" range and it's great. No complaints. It works wonderfully.

                      1. We're will be embarking on a second kitchen remodel in the house we moved to 2 years ago. A few things I learned: I will seriously look at the Fischer and Paykel drawer dishwahers. I like my dishwasher now, quiet, but it takes forever. I think with the 2 of us, it would be nice to load one drawer and run it more often than I run the big washer. I also think that when we entertain, I'd like to start a drawer of dishes during the party, and have them be done and ready to empty after guests leave. I'm not much at cleaning up while my company is around, but I hate facing a kitchen full of dishes late at night or (gasp) leave them for the AM. I also will get another SubZero. Having a zero degree true freezer with its own compressor is well worth it. No stinky ice, and no frozen produce in the fridge. At this house, I have an Amana and a Whirlpool, and when the temps change, I get frozen produce in both of them. Never happened in the SZ. We have ice and water in the door now, and I'm not sure I'd get that again. We always have ice on the floor, whether we use crushed or cubes. My son's GE does the same thing. We had a Viking at the old place, and we loved it, but I only have room for 36" range, and I want 6 burners, so I will need to buy something else. I'm also hoping for dual fuel....and I'm hoping I can persuade my husband that the expense to run gas to the kitchen is worth it!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: sudiepav

                          My Viking is 36" and has 6 burners.

                          Also, inform on the drawers. I am really looking seriously at those when we redo our kitchen.

                        2. Thank you for all of the suggestions!

                          For those of you with Fischer and Paykel dishwasher drawers (or any other brand that makes drawers), have you had any problems with them leaking? I've heard that this can be an issue with the drawer design.

                          1. 'Hound...

                            Always a fun topic. We completely rebuilt a condo three years ago and spent eight months at it. Not the stylish SubZero levels, but top-line mass-market appliances. We're very happy with our Bosch dishwasher - can't hear it when running - and Kitchenaid electric double wall oven. Top one is convection, both self-cleaners. The Bosch is $1000, the Kitchenaid about $2000. If you are going fancier, have fun.

                            We couldn't have a gas stove (condo rules) and so picked a GE Profile ceramic-top electric cooktop. It stinks. Impossible to tell where your heat level is, or is going, either up or down. Don't go there.

                            You might want to shop at www.abt.com which is the low-price dealer in the Chicago area. They ship nationwide. We got a lot of our appliances there at execellent prices, and also www.homeclick.com where we got everything from ceiling fans to the kitchen sink. Great prices.

                            Have fun and try not to lose your minds.


                            1 Reply
                            1. re: MikeLM

                              We bought a house with a ceramic top GE, and words cannot describe how much I hate it. In addition to how difficult it is to control the temperature, I've noticed that if you spill liquid on the top, there's no way to keep it off the burners. With gas, the grates are above any liquid spilled on the surface.

                              A friend did give me a tip on how to simmer: bring things to a boil on one burner at high heat, and preheat another burner to a lower temperature. After you acheive a boil, move the pot to the lower temperature burner.

                            2. A chef friend has recommended DCS ranges, cooktops and hoods to me. We currently have a Bosch gas cooktop which turned out to be both unreliable and underpowered (but at least it was really expensive!) and an ancient Amana double electric wall oven. When we remodel I think we'll go to a dual-fuel range and a single wall oven. Our 17 cu. ft. Kenmore fridge is perfectly adequate for our needs, supplemented by an antique Frigidaire monitor-top and a small chest freezer out in the garage. The dishwasher and sink need replacing only because they're old and tired (the sink is cheap stainless); we need only a small and relatively inexpensive dishwasher, as it's used infrequently, like after a big dinner party. As for the cabinetry, I'm expecting to use IKEA stuff almost exclusively to replace the hideous wood-fronted particle-board units now in place.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Will Owen

                                Update, sort of: we're stil a couple of years away from that remodel, but the equipment will now include a like-new '50s Wedgewood 42" gas range, 4 burners with the griddle-in-the-middle and a big oven. A single electric wall oven will finish the job.

                                Some friends in Nashville installed a very powerful and quiet hood fan that uses only centrifugal force to separate the particles from the air being vented. I'm a tad dubious, but they've had it for years, and I need to ask how it's doing. Anyone else know about these?

                              2. I'm building a house, and just finished researching and choosing all of the appliances. It's going to be my home for about 2 years and then will be a rental, so I had a lot of decisions to make in order not to make it too upscale since it will eventually be a rental, while keeping it nice enough so that I don't feel like I am living in a rental. So I chose a DCS 30 inch all gas range with a self cleaning oven (which will probably go with me when I move and be replaced with a rental quality range), a Vent-a-hood ventilation system, a Fisher & Paykel 30" counterdepth fridge (there is not much choice for small counterdepth fridges -- money being no object I would have picked a 27" subzero, but the price difference between the SZ and the FP was about $5,000), and a KitchenAid dishwasher, the I series which is lower end but just fine for our needs -- we also like the Miele dishwashers, but the KitchenAid is deeper and we have one now that we are very happy with. We got a very small microwave which will be built in -- a GE Spacemaker II.

                                On the range, you have to decide if you want an electric oven or not. It wasn't important to me since I'm not a baker, where supposedly the more even heating of the electric (rather than the cycle on and off) is preferable. Also you have to decide if you want a self cleaning oven and sealed burners. Wolf doesn't offer a SC oven except in the DF and doesn't offer sealed burners at all, to my knowledge. We were choosing between the Jade and the DCS although the new Capital Precision looks even better but wouldn't work for our timing.

                                You should spend a lot of time researching the Appliances forum on GardenWeb which has tons of information.

                                We also considered the Kobe and Zephyr hoods, but the Vent a Hood and the Kobe priced out very close so we went with the Vent a hood. We still may change our minds on that and go to something less expensive after we discuss installation issues on all of these with our contractor.

                                We bought new washer and dryer in the summer of 2005 -- Kenmore Elite HE3T from Sears -- after reviews on CR and my parents' experience with them, and could not be happier. Not sure about stackable systems, but if your space is small you may want to look at European models like Miele.

                                Best of luck!

                                1. I remodeled my kitchen two years ago and thought long and hard before ordering appliances. I ended up with a DCS 36" range. Having had a Garland commercial range that was over 20 years old and wouldn't pass inspection, for me it's all about BTUs. I seriously considered the Bluestar because I loved my Garland but ended up with the DCS because all of its burners can simmer and the high BTUs. One thing you should be aware (although this may have changed since Fischer Paykel purchased DCS), in order to allow for the low simmer on all burners, each burner apparently has two ignition settings, so the more complex, the greater the chance of need for servicing. I did n't get the dual fuel because (1) the interior of a gas range is substantially larger than the electric same-size version; and (2) I also purchased a Dacor electric wall-in, which works just fine. (I use the gas oven with a hearth insert and get wonderful heat circulation).

                                  As for dishwashers, I purchased the Miele. It has top drawer setting so, in order to save water, it washes dishes only on the two top shelfs. Works like the Fischer Paykel drawers in that instance but you still have the flexibility of additional room for big jobs.

                                  I have the full size subzero refrigerator. It has the best air cooling distribution I have ever experienced and seems to keep fresh produce fresher longer.

                                  Re hood fans: I would recommend Broan.

                                  1. This blog has been the best research I have found for my selection of appliances. I thought I would go with a La Cornue range, but after reading these opinions, I am thinking of going with a Bluestar range and wall ovens. Question: Which wall ovens do you all think are great. I am plunking down much moola in my kitchen and could use your advice. Thank You!!!

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: irishgirl1007

                                      Very happy with my GE Profile PT916 oven. It bakes like a dream, and convection is nice. One caveat, the electric broiler does not perform like a gas or infrared broiler. This one works fine, it browns cheese very well, but when roasting tomatoes for Mexican food I don't get that black and blistered result I did on my old gas stove.

                                      1. re: irishgirl1007

                                        Consumer reports recent (8-2008) top three wall ovens are Thermador, Viking and Bosch. In that order. I'm not a great fan of wall ovens but have always liked gaggenau. CR did not test or rate many of the higher end brands so this top three could be very subject to interpretation.


                                      2. Hi
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                                        1. Don't know about the appliances but what concerns refrigerator water filters I recommend Kenmore. Here are some: http://www.filtersfast.com/Refrigerat...
                                          It's the best brand and best buy, in my opinion.

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                                            1. How have you made out? Bosch is awesome Wolf very bad experience. Hope it's all going good for you.