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Feb 21, 2012 02:36 PM

Kitchen remodel decisions that might help others

I have been researching appliances for my kitchen remodel for six months and after reading all the reviews and blogs about all the new appliances, I finally decided on the brand new Kitchenaid 36" induction cooktop, ASKO dishwasher, Samsung side by side twin cooling system fridge, Wolf E series double ovens, Sharp over counter microwave, and Demeyere cookware. I will follow up with how pleased I am after 6 months after they get installed, but I thought chow bloggers would find the decisions interesting since I had originally decided on an all Miele Kitchen. Brand new Miele appliances are not getting the best of reviews, but all the items listed above are. Happy cooking and I hope my final decisions help others with their kitchen-remodel decisions..

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  1. As good as raitings are, they are only as good as the people that are giving them and my experience is that can be questionable at times. What source or sources did you use for your reviews? Consumer Reports is one source I see that rates things that in many cases I really don't care much about, they seem to like gadgets on appliances for example. Cooks Illustrated seems to do a decent enough job, but I don't know if they do new applainces, especially large ones like you're talking about. Just wondered what your source was.

    6 Replies
    1. re: mikie

      Mikie, I agree. I did a lot of homework before a major kitchen remodel and relied about and found them accurate and helpful. Personally, I would stay away from any Sharp product and the ASKO dishwasher. (Service problems.) I also learned how bad customer service was for Viking and have friends you have since experienced it personally. The two non-English speaking Russian guys who did my appliance install could have been brain surgeons in another life. Wow, were they good.

      1. re: mikie

        I have long been suspicious of just relying on blogs and consumer reports and epinions, and chowhound, since I found out some people are paid to blog about products and services they have never used or experienced. I supplemented my research from online blogs with experiences from friends and relatives and their acquaintances across the US and Europe, as well as feedback from two builders, the UCLA Interior and Environmental Design Program, HGTV Designed To Sell (who helped me sell my Hollywood Hills house), and comments of owners of several local Brick and Mortar Stores.
        I found out that many microwaves of premium brands (ie wolf and viking and most others) are made by Sharp, all refrigerators (including Subzero) can no longer be expected to be trouble free more than 5 to 7 years, ASKO dishwashers have the least complaints from all the people I made direct contact with and many had started with Miele or Viking or Thermador and then switched to ASKO, every single person I talked with directly had complaints about their ovens except those who purchased Wolf, and Wolf and Kitchenaid induction cooktops had the least complaints from all above sources. I am fortunate to know many people directly and indirectly who have undergone recent kitchen remodels on multiple properties, and i found their direct undiluted no-hidden-agenda feedback invaluable. In fact, the direct feedback I received was just the opposite of what the blogs had said about Sharp microwaves .. and this I found fascinating. Also, the direct feedback about the KitchenAid induction cooktop from friends in Scottsdale and Palm Springs was also directly opposite of the blogs. Also, my prior experience with KitchenAid was flawless and their customer service was outstanding .. again, in contrast to many blogs.
        Unfortunately, in today's "made in China" and "customer disservice" and "paid-to-blog" reality, nothing is fullproof, but I feel confident that I have done enough due diligence to at least prevent a complete disaster. As I said above, I hope that my six months of research can possibly be of use to others also. I am hoping and anticipating that my future follow up after 6 months of use will confirm my due diligence results. I also suspect that, similar to wine vintages, some years are better than others for the exact same brand. Personally, I am very dissapointed that the new Miele appliances have so many issues since I truly had my heart set on an all Miele kitchen.

        btw, I am not an appliance manufacturers rep, have no affiliation with any appliance stores, and have never received any compensation for any blog posts I have created. I am just a consumer who is in the process of completing the first of 8 kitchen remodels and am determined to no longer set myself up for post purchase dissonance and disappointment.

          1. re: Nav210west

            Thank you for your explaination, it makes things much more clear, as to how you derived your conclusions on what to purchase. For years Toyota was the most trouble free automobile and then a couple of years ago they seemed to have nothing but troubles, appliances seem to be the same way. Miele and Bosh seemed to be riding high and then they start to get bad reviews.

            We too did a lot of research and evaluation of appliances before our kitchen remodel. We relied on the salesman to point out features and asked some point blank questions about which brands people complain about the most. We applaince shopped for about two years, I know that seems like a long time but the remodel kept getting moved back, so we continued to research and shop. The way our home is laid out we could do some unique things that most homeowners couldn't do. Our laundry room is right off the kitchen and the garage is right off the laundry room, so we have a second refrigerator in the laundry room and a stand up freezer in the garage, both are just a few steps out of the triangle. This allowed us to put a refrigerator only unit in the kitchen. We chose the Electrolux Icon, mostly on the fact it was the only reasonably priced unit I could find and it looked well made. It's only been in a couple of months, but so far that was probably one of the best purchase decisions we have made. Everything is within sight and easy to reach, the bottom shelf isn't that low and it's counter depth so food isn't lost in the back of the shelves. And since it's all frige, there's over 18 cubic feet of refrigerator space, more than we would have had with a "regular" fridge/freezer unit. We also bought the Electrolux Icon 36" gas 6 hob range top. The big driver was it looks easier to clean than most units as the burners sit on a ceramic surface. But I don't think I was ever able to find a review on this unit. My rationalization was gas has been around for so long, how can you mess that up? We've had good personal luck with Kitchenaid dishwashers, so that's what we stuck with. The unit we bought is extremely quiet, hopefully it will last as long as the other Kitchenaid dishwashers we've had. When we started looking at appliances the plan was to get a double oven, but the kitchen designer said those were so out, he hadn't put one in in years. His solution was a single convection oven and a "speed" oven, convection microwave combination. One criteria for the oven was no knobs, in fact, the only knobs on any of the appliances are the ones to turn on the gas on the range top. This limited the selection and eliminated GE Monogram, which was what the kitchen designer was pushing. The Kitchenaid oven was well enough reviewed that we were comfortable with it and that had the most useful size speed oven to match for the brands we considered. The last big item and we researched this as much or more than any other purchase, was the vent hood. Effective and quiet were the two issues, based on going to peoples houses and listening to the noise created by the hoods, we decided on a Vent-a-Hood. It's a 42" wide hood that's 24" deep to completely cover the range top. So far we like it very much. In the short time we've had the appliances in, we are very pleased with our choices.

            1. re: mikie

              I appreciate your taking the time to tell me of your experiences with your remodel. I have also decided on a Vent-a-Hood that is yet to be delivered. As a hobby I attended the UCLA Interior and Environmental Design program where I learned about kitchen design .. so I understand about "insane" micro-managment mentioned below by "ThanksVille". Today I go to inspect the progress on the custom inset cabinets I designed myself for this remodel. Once this project is complete, I can take this experience and apply it to the next 7 remodels ... it is exciting, but also exhausting at times .. hopefully, I will eventually have time to actually cook in the kitchens, as this is what I really like to do :-) Now that "Thanksville" has had the first positive experience with Miele that I have heard about, I may consider them again, especially since I grew up with Miele in Holland and would like to repeat the experience.
              Once again, thank you to all the chowhounders that have taken time to give me their feedback .. happy cooking!
              Nav210west (Brooks)

              1. re: mikie

                Thank you for this very informative post, Mikie.

          2. Researched and test drove each component of our long awaited kitchen makeover for more than a year. We qualified for an architects/designer discount program for several brands and chose several Miele products including a dishwasher, speed oven, warming drawer and convection oven. Each has proven to be utterly reliable and perform brilliantly. We chose a Bluestar range as our workhorse and our experiences with it have been utterly perfect. In all cases we opted for the equivalent of white glove installation services to set, test and calibrate the equipment (especially for the gas range) and from day1 everything worked perfectly. The only glitch in the project was a premature failure of one overhead LED lamp that was rectified with a replacement fixture control board. We worked with a tremendous kitchen design specialist who helped coordinate everything to our insane level of micromanaging expectations,

            1 Reply
            1. re: ThanksVille

              I realize this is an old post but I stumbled upon it through some searching for info on designer discounts. My husband is an architect and we are trying to get a sense of what kinds of discounts we can expect when we renovate the kitchen on an apartment we are in the process of buying. I know he will eventually have to call the reps and ask directly, but if you have any rough estimates of percentage discounts you were given I would appreciate it -- I am trying to start researching brands of appliances but feel like I won't be able to really hone in on anything until I know more about how much of a discount we'll get with different brands.

            2. We did a GE Profile for our range (powerful enough) and Bosch for our dishwasher. It works well but not quite as consistently as I would have hoped given the price. When the Bosch repair person came out, he told us, the unit can never be opened while it's running and can have no visible speck of food on any plate or they can't guarantee that it will function. This is of course very different from the way the unit is discussed on the sales floor. That said, it has been working very well since. I do wish I had had the chance to 'test drive' some of them. Our range and wine fridge have been superb if anyone wants the info on those. This is a great thread!

              2 Replies
              1. re: JeremyEG

                I am interested to hear about your wine cooler and range.
                I, also, heard unfortunate reviews of the Bosch dishwashers. Additionally, new dishwasher detergents are enzymatic and require some food residue be left on the dishes. At first I thought this sounded suspect until I confirmed it with a chemical engineer friend of mine. To work effectively, enzymatic cleaners need the food residue to react with. Without the food residue, the enzymatic cleaners will etch your dishes and glasses

                1. re: JeremyEG

                  Glad to hear you are pleased with your Profile appliance. I would be interested in your long term review of that range also, 6 and 12 months, as well as your opinion of its strengths and weaknesses.

                2. My sister must have done hundreds of hours of reaserch on the appliances for her new kitchen. Regardless of that, her induction cooktop had burner problems and was out of use for weeks--twice. The steamer in her oven stopped working. Her dishwasher--the same brand that we have been happy with--had exterior condensation issues. My point is, you can research to your heart's content, but it doesn't mean you won't have problems.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: escondido123

                    Unfortunately, "escondido123", you are probably right. There will probably be some problems, but I think the expectation is that time spent up front on due diligence will decrease expected time dealing with today's customer disservice departments ... who, I am sure, have been trained by the medical insurance claims departments to just say no to all claims.

                    1. re: Nav210west

                      I am vigilant about things like energy ratings and noise levels and I think it is good to do SOME studying. But it's also good to recognize you can't guarantee perfection no matter how hard you try and that makes life a lot easier to deal with.

                  2. How has your remodel gone? Are you happy with your choices? Can you share your experience, and how well you like the appliances you chose? Thanks in advance.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: sueatmo

                      Samsung fridge is great after one warranty call, Wolf ovens exceeded expectations, KitchenAid cooktop installed in the island has become the heart of the kitchen and great room as well as the current temporary talk of the neighborhood, Sharp microwave is great, Kraus sinks and faucets are wonderful, Multipure water filtration systems have ruined raw tap water for us forever (even our labrador (Bulldozer) won't drink raw tap water anymore ... seriously!), ASKO dishwasher cannot be heard when running but is complex and not for the impatient personality, 1 hp garbage disposal is a monster that will pulverize anything, Demeyere Atlantis cookware is the best I've ever used especially the "Control/Induct" skillets, and the Jura-Capresso coffee maker has turned our house into the neighborhood coffee house ... two neighbors have now also gone to Costco and purchased the Jura Capresso Z series machines. Additional discovery, Flitz metal polish returns pan interiors to literal new condition .. try it. Still searching for over-cooktop ventilation system, and so far like what Imperial hoods produces. My experiences so far are based on the fact that we are all serious cooks in this household, rarely eat out, and cook up to six meals a day .. so things are really put to the test here.
                      Hope this helps
                      Owner, Baywaters Inn, St Pete Beach, FL

                      1. re: Nav210west

                        Thanks for this entry. I am so happy you have had a good experience with your remodel.

                        1. re: Nav210west

                          Hello Nav210west,

                          Could you post a 2-year followup?