HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Are you making a specialty food?
TELL US

buying kitchen appliances!

jenniferrt Feb 16, 2014 05:47 AM

Im remodeling. I can't decide on which brand of appliances to buy, it's driving me nuts! Just when I decide on something, I read bad reviews. Here's what I know for sure. I want a dual fuel, free standing 30" stove. I want a fridge that keeps it's set temp.! Thinking of KitchenAide or Bosh dishwasher. I had a kitchenaide dw 25 yrs. ago and I loved that thing. Help me! lol

  1. monavano Feb 16, 2014 06:18 AM

    1. You will ALWAYS find bad reviews on any appliance, so weigh that when you read
    2. It really, really helps if you can see and feel the actual appliance. It's not always possible, but do visit several appliance stores if you can.
    3. Don't get sucked into buying a suite of appliances as each line has its strengths and weakness. Of course, if matching is important to you, weigh that against performance.
    If you do buy more than 1 appliance from a manufacturer, or are thinking about it, look to see who is offering rebates for multiple appliances.
    It shouldn't be THE deciding factor, but a little rebate never hurts.

    That's just to start!
    I felt that GardenWeb was also a terrific resource for everything kitchen redo!
    Here's a link to my kitchen redo set on Flickr. We did:
    KitchenAid- French door fridge, built in microwave, double wall ovens.
    Bosch- dishwasher
    Wolf- 5 burner gas cooktop
    Kohler- cast iron enamel sink and fauct
    Vent-A-Hood- range hood

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/11055869...

    24 Replies
    1. re: monavano
      jenniferrt Feb 16, 2014 06:40 AM

      thank you, that helps a lot :)

      1. re: jenniferrt
        f
        ferret Feb 16, 2014 07:52 AM

        I'd follow monavano's advice in that people sometimes get too hung up on matching everything brand-wise. Get what you like without worrying about whether it's all from the same manufacturer.

        1. re: ferret
          jenniferrt Feb 16, 2014 08:14 AM

          Yes. I've found three appliance centers about an hour from me I'm anxious to check out. They all three sell many different brands I've been looking at. All closed today :( I'm stoked.

          1. re: ferret
            westsidegal Feb 16, 2014 09:22 AM

            monavano and ferret are completely correct.
            keep in mind that the company that manufactures the best stove may very well make the worst dishwasher (and vice versa).

            1. re: ferret
              westsidegal Feb 16, 2014 09:23 AM

              concur with ferret and manavano.
              keep in mind that the company that makes the best stove may make well make a TERRIBLE dishwasher and vice versa.)

              1. re: ferret
                DuffyH Feb 16, 2014 02:04 PM

                +1 to non-matching.
                None of my appliances match and the only one I'm wedded to is the Bosch DW, it's the bomb. I say this having previously owned GE, KA, Miele and another Bosch. I started researching again from scratch 3 years ago, but in the end nothing could beat a Bosch for the DW Trinity of water use, performance and quiet. so I got me another one and love it.

                My Brother ripped out his 3 year old and barely functioning KA DW and put in the same Bosch I've got (he fell in lust with my cutlery rack) 2 years ago. He's thrilled and can't believe he didn't get one sooner. They're so worth the money.

                1. re: DuffyH
                  h
                  hawkeyeui93 Feb 17, 2014 07:42 AM

                  I, too, would wholeheartedly recommend a Bosch Dishwasher. I have owned two with good luck. Had to replace the control panel board on one I most recently inherited [over a decade old], but was covered by home warranty within first year of owning it. Trouble-free for four years since replacing board. I also had a previous home with all Bosch cook products [cooktop and wall oven] and had zero issues in five years.

                  As an aside, I purchased a full-sized Bosch Front-Load Washer being cleared out for 75-percent off three years ago and it was the best appliance I have ever owned for under $300.

            2. re: monavano
              c
              chloebell Feb 16, 2014 08:00 AM

              monovano, love your kitchen! Are those subway tiles you used? And your range hood, is it loud? We're in the process of starting to build our house. Any other advise you could bring, sure would help.

              1. re: chloebell
                monavano Feb 16, 2014 05:22 PM

                Yes, they are subway tiles- hand made from a company in CA. That was on the "splurge" side of the equation.
                It's good to sit down and think about what you'd like to splurge on, and what you're willing to not splurge on.
                For instance, DH and I knew right away we wouldn't be spending big $$ on appliances. No built in Sub Zero (or any brand for that matter), no Viking range etc.
                All very nice, but we knew we'd be more that happy with KA.
                Splurges went to finishes such as granite and tile.

                As far as hoods goes, I don't think you can have high CFM's with whisper quiet. You look for low noise- something that can be "on" and you don't have to raise you voice to have a conversation.
                I really like the way the Vent A Hood functions and it's very easy to clean and care for.

                1. re: monavano
                  t
                  Tom34 Feb 16, 2014 05:53 PM

                  That built in Microwave is a real nice touch.

                  1. re: Tom34
                    monavano Feb 16, 2014 06:32 PM

                    Thank you- we were so pleased with how it turned out.

                  2. re: monavano
                    m
                    mikie Feb 16, 2014 06:46 PM

                    Really like our vent-a-hood, most expensive appliance we bought, and well worth it. The most quiet hood we looked at.

                    To the OP we had KA dishwashers for years and that's what we went with in this remodel.

                    1. re: mikie
                      monavano Feb 17, 2014 05:28 AM

                      I think KA is overall a solid brand- good looks and performance.

                      1. re: mikie
                        t
                        Tom34 Feb 17, 2014 07:23 AM

                        We did our kitchen about 14 years ago and went with a Vent-A-Hood that utilizes an 8 inch pipe to vent outside. Ceiling is still as white as the day we painted it 14 years ago.

                        We went with the top of the line KA dishwasher & installed a wooded cabinet panel on the front which makes it blend in nicely with the cabinets. Broke one set of door springs which costs $15.00 to the front door & took 5 minutes to install.

                        Amazing how many upgrades they have made to cabinets , fixtures & appliances.

                        1. re: mikie
                          m
                          mikie Feb 17, 2014 08:02 PM

                          I should add that the KA dishwasher is soooooo quiet, you don't even know it's running. Fortunately there's a little light on the front to remind you it's on.

                        2. re: monavano
                          c
                          chloebell Feb 17, 2014 02:34 PM

                          Hmmmm, I was under the impression that subway tiles were on the cheaper end.........

                          Thank you for the info, bring on more if you can think of it. :)

                          1. re: chloebell
                            monavano Feb 17, 2014 03:28 PM

                            The tiles can range from inexpensive to more expensive. For example, you can get subway tiles at Lowes for about $2 a piece (bisque color/white), or you can get custom order handmade tiles like ours.
                            What's nice about the handmade tile is the slight variation in color with gives nice texture.

                            1. re: monavano
                              w
                              walker Feb 17, 2014 03:44 PM

                              I just looked at your kitchen photos: beautiful.

                              Are the counters granite? Name? Is that a standard edge on them? I really want a built in microwave; what is the brand you got?

                              I definitely want all the cabinets to be white; my dark ones are depressing, uninviting. What model of vent a hood did you get?

                              1. re: walker
                                monavano Feb 17, 2014 03:56 PM

                                Thank you- we are so pleased with our kitchen. We actually started out with a kitchen and bath design company and wound up dropping them, even after the design fee was paid, because it was such a painful process.
                                We were simply a very poor fit. Letting that money go led to actually savings in the 5-figures. Gauging bastards!
                                We wound up with a designer that a handful of our neighbors used and the process was so relaxed, so organic, that I think it shows in the final product.

                                Granite- AJ Brown (yes, a granite, not a '70's funk icon!)
                                Microwave- KitchenAid
                                http://www.kitchenaid.com/shop/-[KBMS...
                                We love our shaker style cabinets in white, with a cherry island. Along with taking down a wall, it makes the kitchen so bright with natural light.
                                Vent A Hood- 36" B200 MSC

                                1. re: monavano
                                  w
                                  walker Feb 17, 2014 06:42 PM

                                  Is AJ Brown the name of the color of granite? I definitely like swirls rather than confetti.

                                  1. re: walker
                                    monavano Feb 17, 2014 07:07 PM

                                    Yes, AJ Brown is the name of the granite. It's not ubiquitous, but we were fortunate to be able to pick from 5-6 slabs in the warehouse.

                                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fdcf2f...

                                    I forgot to add that the edge is bullnosed, nothing fancier than that should be done with this granite since it won't show as well as with other granites, like basic black.

                      2. re: monavano
                        CindyJ Feb 23, 2014 09:16 AM

                        Your kitchen is BEAUTIFUL!!! Can you tell me what paint color you used on your walls? Also, what is the name of your granite pattern? It looks very similar to the granite that's soon to be installed in my kitchen re-do. Mine is called Typhoon Bordeaux.

                        1. re: CindyJ
                          monavano Feb 23, 2014 01:09 PM

                          I will have DH find a paint can for the color of the paint- I believe we got it at Benjamin Moore.
                          My granite is A J Brown, and thank you!
                          It DOES look a lot like your granite. You'll love the variation in color and swirls of patterns!

                          1. re: monavano
                            CindyJ Feb 24, 2014 10:24 AM

                            Thanks -- I'd appreciate it. My designer has recommended a Benjamin Moore color called "Meditation" which looks similar to your wall color -- maybe a little more taupe, a little less gray.

                      3. beetlebug Feb 16, 2014 08:18 AM

                        We just finished a kitchen renovation in December 2013. Our kitchen is on the smaller side but I'm pleased with all of our appliances.

                        Range - 30" GE Cafe gas (love this. Check out recent threads. JoanN also recently purchased this as well and we are both enamored with the high capacity burner).

                        Dishwasher - Bosch 800 series. Great dishwasher. I was shocked at how clean our dishes and mugs got. It even washed out the brown coffee stains off the white mugs. Also, this dishwasher is super quiet and at first, we had to really listen for it to know that it was on.

                        Fridge - GE Cafe full size, french door. The cost for the full size was the same as counter depth. I refused to pay for less fridge/freezer space. What I am impressed with is how much longer vegetable life is in the drawers. Ours is a bit loud but it doesn't bother us.

                        Hood - Zephyr. I should have paid more attention to the hood. I'm happy with it but I wish the fans were more over the strongest burner. When I described my cooking to the appliance sales woman, she didn't try to upsell. She said that this vent was reasonably priced and would suit our needs.

                        Here is a pic of the main part of the kitchen. The fridge is to the left of where I was standing for the picture.

                         
                        1 Reply
                        1. re: beetlebug
                          jenniferrt Feb 16, 2014 08:40 AM

                          Nice! Thanks for the input. Ya, I think I'll get a Bosch DW.

                        2. law_doc89 Feb 16, 2014 10:03 AM

                          Keep in mind that many different brands are either owned by others, or that some actually farm out some manufacturing to others.

                          I would decide what you want to do with your kitchen first, then look at what will accomplish that.

                          Think about what you cook and go from there.

                          If you are more into appearance get whatever you like to look at.

                          I had to deal with a quirk of my kitchen that forced me to buy a GE Profile stove / oven I would not have. I found I love it. All the reviews were misleading.

                          I have a top of the line GE fridge that keeps food fresh ridiculously long, but has a computer motherboard that burns out and need replacing periodically. Turns out to be the same motherboard used by about six different brands. Relax and get what you like.

                          1. d
                            debbypo Feb 16, 2014 10:41 AM

                            I have a dual fuel GE Profile stove. I am very happy with in in general. My only wish would be for a second 'high octane' burner... maybe one more powerful than what I have. Overall, it's easy to clean, does what I want it to and works consistently. That's what I need in a stove. I like having the middle griddle/extra burner. Almost never use as an extra burner because there isn't room.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: debbypo
                              DuffyH Feb 16, 2014 02:10 PM

                              Another thumbs up from me for GE Profile. The one I had was my favorite range ever (until my new induction range, but that's another thread). I preferred it over the 8-burner Jenn-Air prostyle that was in our last rental.

                              If I were still in a house with a gas hookup, I'd be cooking on a Profile or Cafe range, no question. They're not the most high end, or the fanciest, but they're solid and reliable and just plain get the job done easily, IME.

                            2. jnk Feb 17, 2014 10:16 AM

                              Good luck with your renovation! We had a great time doing ours and as Monavano has stated you will always get negative reviews from people. What we decided to do was weed out the products that had the greatest number of those negative reviews since there had to be some basis of fact.

                              We ended up purchasing a KA dishwasher because it has a grinder in it unlike the Bosch and Miele which have to be cleaned out periodically.

                              We just bought a 30 inch Blue Star stove (RNB) which is all gas but has a convection switch (my wife wanted all gas) because among many other reasons it has the fewest gadgets on it to go wrong.

                              As I said, enjoy the process.

                              1. f
                                ferret Feb 17, 2014 10:23 AM

                                One last thing. On the recommendation of a relative we got a home warranty which covers all kitchen appliances, washer/dryer and even our pool equipment (heater/pump/filter).

                                It's paid for itself several times over in repairs to an aging Sub-Zero and currently our Thermador wall oven. Both were well outside warranty and ran us only a $100 co-pay for repairs that otherwise would have cost nearly $1,000 each for parts and labor.

                                No need to get it for a new kitchen, but worth considering once the warranties start to expire.

                                8 Replies
                                1. re: ferret
                                  m
                                  masha Feb 21, 2014 09:49 AM

                                  Ferret, this is such spot-on advice. I just paid $400 for repairs on my 3-year old KA dishwasher -- more than 1/2 the price that I paid for it new. I so wish that we'd bought a service contract but the 3-yr old KA replaced a 22 year old KA that was serviced maybe once, & that when it was at least 10 years old. Appliances simply are not made with the same durability at they once were.

                                  What company issued your blanket service contract? It sounds very attractive.

                                  1. re: masha
                                    f
                                    ferret Feb 25, 2014 09:11 PM

                                    We've been with American Home Shield (part of ServiceMaster) for a couple of years.

                                  2. re: ferret
                                    c
                                    calumin Feb 23, 2014 10:28 AM

                                    People always say that the warranties are very bad for the consumer economically. I generally don't get them but I did for my refrigerator and dishwasher. The lemon rates on these appliances seems higher than with most things -- there are people on all the boards who complain about every single model, which means people are buying bad appliances across the board.

                                    insurance in general is a bad deal economically by definition, but you're paying for piece of mind in the event you end up buying a lemon.

                                    1. re: calumin
                                      DuffyH Feb 23, 2014 06:33 PM

                                      <you're paying for piece of mind in the event you end up buying a lemon.>

                                      This is so true. Insurance is a bad idea, unless you're the person who needs it. Lemons abound in appliances. My highly regarded Maytag fridge had a circuit board that shorted out every time there was a power surge. Another fridge (JennAir) had an ice dispenser screw motor that kept seizing. To this day I'm wary of ice dispensers. Insurance, had it been available when I owned those units, would have got me replacements in which the problems had been fixed.

                                    2. re: ferret
                                      c
                                      chocchic Feb 23, 2014 10:52 AM

                                      Interesting concept (insurance for ALL appliances) I am totally convinced that I would rather have a 10 year old working appliance than a brand new one so paying to keep it running is necessary. However I have been frustrated by my 5 year old Maytag stove since a week after I bought it. I got the shiny black double oven with convection. It was not meant to be cooked on. Within days the stove top lost some of the finish and it always looks like crap. since I am hoping it dies any day now I certainly wouldn't want insurance to kick in and force me to keep. I would however be very sad to have to replace my 10 year old Maytag dishwasher.

                                      1. re: chocchic
                                        m
                                        masha Feb 23, 2014 11:44 AM

                                        The working assumptions as to the life of a major appliance has changed. When we bought our house 25 years ago, we did a complete kitchen gut. With the exception of a cooktop (KA) that we replaced when it was only 11 years -- the igniters kept breaking -- all of the appliances lasted in excess of 15 years. Indeed we still have the double ovens (also KA) and the only repairs they have had was replacement of one of the plastic knobs a few years ago -- a trivial repair that we did ourselves after ordering the replacement knob on line.

                                        When I bought our new DW 3 years ago, to replace a 22 year old KA that was still functioning but was noisy and not energy efficient, the sales people told me that the average life of a DW was only 8 to 10 years. I think that some of this is the increased use of electronic controls but it is also because of lower quality control. The $400 in repairs to my DW this week didn't even involve the "guts" of the machine. It was a problem with the door hinges and latch, which had locked up because the sagging door caused a plastic piece in the latch to break. (The repairman said that the part is plastic by regulation so as not to conduct electricity given it's proximity to wiring.)

                                      2. re: ferret
                                        CindyJ Feb 26, 2014 08:57 AM

                                        Many people don't realize this, but some credit cards extend the original manufacturers' warranties by up to a year. My AmEx and Visa cards both come with this benefit. It means having to hold on to receipts, but it's a benefit that's come in very handy for me on several occasions.

                                        1. re: CindyJ
                                          f
                                          ferret Feb 26, 2014 10:59 AM

                                          My issues were primarily with appliances that came with the house. Our last two homes had higher-end appliances which, while certainly not old, were out of warranty. For new appliances, I'd certainly be less stressed, but we have 3 expensive ovens, a Sub-Zero, high-end washer and dryer and the pool equipment, all out of warranty. It's worth the $50/month to rest easier.

                                      3. JuniorBalloon Feb 17, 2014 10:25 AM

                                        I'll throw my 2 cents to the Bosch DW. We replaced an aging KA two years ago with a Bosch. OMG it's quiet and efficient. We didn't get it on sale so was around $550, but worth every penny.

                                        jb

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: JuniorBalloon
                                          monavano Feb 17, 2014 10:35 AM

                                          Re: the quietness of the Bosch- we had a very nice Bosch before our kitchen redo, that we used for about 4 years. DH would constantly be opening it mid-cycle and getting sprayed!
                                          We got another Bosch for the redo (previous Bosch was black and we were doing stainless) and purchased a model with a floor indicator light.
                                          The funny thing is, the new one makes a tad of noise and isn't as "silent" as the old one!

                                          1. re: monavano
                                            JuniorBalloon Feb 17, 2014 02:13 PM

                                            I have opened ours several times when it was running...not recently. Proof an old dog can learn new tricks. :)

                                            jb

                                        2. d
                                          Deborah R. Feb 17, 2014 10:31 AM

                                          You're probably not even considering Sears/Kenmore, but if you are ... well, just don't. I got a suite of appliances from them and within a year started having trouble, first with the built-in microwave, then with the dishwasher -- needed a new motherboard, which cost as much as a new machine, then the stove. And the support and service Sears used to offer is no more.

                                          1. t
                                            taos Feb 25, 2014 10:26 AM

                                            I just bought a new house (new house) and it came with a newly-remodeled kitchen. All of the appliances (oven, microwave, dishwasher, frig) are Frigidaire and they are uniformly terrible. Stay away. In particular the Frigidaire dishwasher is POS.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: taos
                                              monavano Feb 25, 2014 11:15 AM

                                              Ouch!
                                              Any plans to swap them out?

                                              1. re: monavano
                                                DuffyH Feb 25, 2014 05:07 PM

                                                Ouch indeed! I guess I can count myself lucky my house came with 11 year old POS builder's grade appliances that were the worse for the years. It made it easy to justify replacements. :)

                                            Show Hidden Posts