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Kitchen Appliance Recommendations Needed
Old 05-26-2015, 12:29 PM   #1
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Kitchen Appliance Recommendations Needed

We are in the process of looking for new kitchen appliances for our "Forever House" and would like your feedback/experiences. We are both in our mid-60's. Currently, we're thinking about buying the following items, but would also like to get your opinions as well. Here's what we are thinking about getting:

(1) A 30" dual fuel range: Either the GE Cafe (PGS920SEFSS @ $2,800) or the KitchenAid (KDRS407VSS @ $4000). Anyone have either of these? Good or bad choice? Other recommendations? Want something to go with our current use of cast iron skillets.

(2) French-door Refrig with bottom Freezer: LG (LFX32945ST @ $3,300) or LG (LFX33975ST @$3,000). Want something with an outside water/ice feature. Trying to stay away from Samsung products of any type based on a bad experience with a faulty washing machine. But may be persuaded...?

(3) Dish Washer: Bosch Ascenta (SHX3AR7[5]UC @ $730) or KitchenAid (KDTM354DSS @ $1,200). Would like a quiet one!

Thanks for reading this. Would like to hear pros/cons from folks who purchased any of these products. THANKS!
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Old 05-26-2015, 12:35 PM   #2
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Cant speak to exact model, but we bought Kitchen Aid dishwasher KDTE104DSS last year and its incredibly quiet and washes very well.
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Old 05-26-2015, 12:39 PM   #3
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I did TON'S of research prior to buying our new dishwasher last year.

What I learned ~ More expensive does not necessarily mean, better.

We went with this: Frigidaire Gallery Top Control Built-In Dishwasher with OrbitClean Spray Arm in Smudge Proof Stainless Steel-FGID2466QF - The Home Depot

Best Dishwasher we have ever had. Its affordable, looks great, and SUPER quiet.

Not a huge fan of LG appliances in general. We have a washer/dryer LG combo and both are headaches.
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Old 05-26-2015, 01:11 PM   #4
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Just replaced all kitchen 5 appliances about a year ago. Sounds like you've narrowed your list already.

1) I'd only suggest you look at Consumer Reports or similar resources on reliability, it appears in the appliance world:
a) reliability and cost don't correlate well, some of the most glamorous, feature rich expensive brands have poor reliability (we have friends who would agree after horrible first hand experiences with same, LG to be specific)
b) no one brand is best for all appliances, e.g. one may have the best ranges and microwaves but poor refrigerators or dishwashers, etc.
2) We bought our first French door refrigerator/freezer last year. Love the fridge/top section. But the lower freezer drawer is much less user friendly IME than a classic top freezer/bottom fridge or even a side by side in terms of organizing/finding frozen items. We have a separate freezer too, so not a big issue for us, but bottom freezer drawers take more organization with partitions, containers, etc. to avoid digging through to find what you're looking for.

About all I know to contribute, best of luck.
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Old 05-26-2015, 01:50 PM   #5
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Not sure if you are building a new house or buying an existing one. As I get older, I want to bend and lift less. I prefer built in ovens at chest level and below. Convection for at least one of the two for better cookies and bread. One oven needs space for a 25 pound turkey. A convection oven microwave combination works for more limited space, microwave on top, oven on the bottom. Reasoning is the microwave gets used more. A separate 4 or 5 burner cook top with heavy grates that don't move around or tip. Flame height (BTU) control from simmer on at least one burner to wok hot on another. Bonus is a pot filling faucet at the cooktop. I can't carry full, heavy pots as easily as I used to.


With dishwashers, I look for the realistic loading capacity, how clean the dishes get in the reviews, and noise levels. I tend to buy Whirlpool, although not the ones with the silverware baskets in the door.


I hate the French door refrigerators. You have to be careful how you close the refrigerator doors and the freezer is small and inefficient for storing larger items. Again, you are bending or squatting to find and retrieve things. I would rather have the visibility and lower effort of a side by side.


Have never owned the Korean appliances. The rap is that parts are hard to get and they break down a lot. I stick to Whirlpool and GE, possibly Bosch for the dishwasher, and a high end cooktop.


Can't help with specific models because I have not been in the market for awhile.
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Old 05-26-2015, 02:54 PM   #6
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We just bought a house that came with a Bosch dishwasher installed. Standing next to the thing you couldn't hear it running ! Only time I heard anything was in the laundry room below when I could hear the water draining in the pipes after a cycle. Don't know much about it (cost, longevity, etc..) but it was damn impressively quiet !

Samsung though? We used to have a Samsung fridge. Bought new in 2008. Loved that thing. Everything well thought out and all the useful stuff right in front of your face. Sold it with that house. Still miss that fridge !
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Old 05-26-2015, 03:01 PM   #7
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We went with all Frigidaire appliances recently. The locally owned store that sells and services their own stuff recommended Frigidaire due to their service departments experiences with reliability.
Looked at the bottom freezers but didn't like them so went with a side/side.
We had the oven built in so the racks are the same height as the counter and the microwave shelf above is still easy for my wife to see into. The older I get the less I want to bend over.
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Old 05-26-2015, 03:11 PM   #8
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Our house (bought new) came with all GE appliances and I'll never buy another GE appliance. Every single one has needed either service or replacement in the 12 years we've been here. That's the refrigerator (repaired), gas stove (repaired) dishwasher (replaced), microwave (replaced) and disposal (replaced). And the dishwasher and disposal were incredibly noisy.

We also bought a Sears Kenmore washer & dryer. While the washer is still going (although repaired) we replaced the dryer at 18 months old when some expensive circuit board burned out. It would have cost a bit over half the cost of a new dryer to replace it. So never again on Kenmore either.
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Old 05-26-2015, 03:26 PM   #9
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We recently replaced our old dishwasher with a Bosch Ascenta very similar to yours except with the controls on the front. We like to see at a glance what's going on so preferred the visible controls. Makes it cheaper too. We got it on sale at BestBuy with an additional promotion for free installation and removal of old.

So far so good. We're still getting used to the racks as they are a bit different from our old one but it's very quiet, cleans very well and we've found it does a good job of drying especially with rinse aid that all the manufacturers recommend now. That's without using the sanitizer option. We also have soft water which may help too. As with most new dishwashers, the cycle times are long but we don't care as we run it at night. The door is a bit different from our old one too. It is designed to stay in place 20 degrees and more off vertical. Less than that it will close and latch automatically. Because it will stay in place at more than 20 degrees off vertical, you have to actually push it all the way down to get it horizontal enough to pull the lower rack out. Our old door was easier to move and just pulling the lower rack out would make the door go down to a fully horizontal position. Not sure if I've described it well but I suggest you try it out in the store. I wouldn't say it's really a negative, just different.

Ours has the countdown display which we wanted. However with our old one, we were used to the display turning off once the cycle was done - only a lit led indicated that a cycle had been completed. Opening the door caused that led to go out so just unloading the dishwasher would have everything off after your were finished. On the new one, opening the door will cause the display to start blinking and it will continue in that mode until you either press the on/off button or start a new load. In this respect, I prefer how our old one worked versus the new Bosch.
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Old 05-26-2015, 03:29 PM   #10
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FWIW
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
Our house (bought new) came with all GE appliances and I'll never buy another GE appliance. Every single one has needed either service or replacement in the 12 years we've been here. That's the refrigerator (repaired), gas stove (repaired) dishwasher (replaced), microwave (replaced) and disposal (replaced). And the dishwasher and disposal were incredibly noisy. Not up to par with appliances in the good old days, but I wonder what the norm is these days? Probably less than we all remember/hope/expect?

We also bought a Sears Kenmore washer & dryer. While the washer is still going (although repaired) we replaced the dryer at 18 months old when some expensive circuit board burned out. It would have cost a bit over half the cost of a new dryer to replace it. So never again on Kenmore either. You probably know that Sears Kenmore doesn't make anything themselves, they're all re-branded, mostly big name brands. So you could inadvertently go out and buy the same make of dryer, with disappointing results again, if you don't research first.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wiki
Kenmore Appliances is a brand of household appliances sold by Sears since 1927. The products are currently produced by manufacturers such as Whirlpool, GE, Panasonic, Sanyo, LG, Bosch, Electrolux, and Mabe Mexico.
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Old 05-26-2015, 03:34 PM   #11
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Midpack, regarding expectations I would expect any of those appliances to last at least 10 years, average 15, and see some go to 20 with only two people in the house. Growing up the appliances did and that was with five people, three of them children or teenagers, hence my conclusion that overall quality has gone down and there is no excuse for that.

I know about Sears not making anything themselves but they market the brand so I used that name.
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Old 05-26-2015, 03:36 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
Midpack, regarding expectations I would expect any of those appliances to last at least 10 years, average 15, and see some go to 20 with only two people in the house. Growing up the appliances did and that was with five people, three of them children or teenagers, hence my conclusion that overall quality has gone down and there is no excuse for that.

I know about Sears not making anything themselves but they market the brand so I used that name.
No question 18 months is totally unacceptable, but you also referenced 12 years, and I was curious how that stacks up with today's appliances. I know what you're saying, I have a 23 yo washing machine that's still going strong, and my local parts guy told me, 'they don't make appliances like that anymore. If you take care of it, it could run another 20 years...'
Quote:
Appliances. In 2007, the National Association of Home Builders and Bank of America Home Equity released the "Study of Life Expectancy of Home Components," which included these estimates for long various appliances should last before you should think about replacing them.
  • Gas range oven: 15 years
  • Refrigerator: 13 years
  • Trash compactor: six years
  • Dishwasher: nine years
  • Microwave oven: nine years
  • Washing machine: 10 years
  • Electric or gas dryer: 13 years.
  • Food waste disposer: 12 years
How Long Should Your Household Purchases Last? - US News
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Old 05-26-2015, 03:40 PM   #13
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Ah, yet another example of failing to meet expectations.
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Old 05-26-2015, 04:00 PM   #14
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FWIW, Consumer Reports rates the Kitchenaid dishwasher model you're considering at the top of its ratings scoring an 85. The Bosch gets an 81. However, Bosch dishwashers overall have significantly better reliability: half the repair rate of Kitchenaid according to CR.
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Old 05-26-2015, 04:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
Our house (bought new) came with all GE appliances and I'll never buy another GE appliance.
Sadly, me too. Got a new range 5 years ago. It had intermittent issues since day one. It would just reset, killing your baking.

They could never find the problem and basically denied it existed since I could not make it happen and have them witness it.

So now we have to babysit all baking. Only happens rarely, but when it happens, it is a complete shut down. This doesn't work well for cakes and turkeys.

My solution? Never buy another GE. Their service and warranty response was extremely poor.
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Old 05-26-2015, 04:11 PM   #16
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I've always had good luck using Consumer Reports ratings on appliances. Look at the annual buying guide. Your library should have it if you're not a subscriber.
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Old 05-26-2015, 05:19 PM   #17
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Many thanks to all that replied so quickly today to our original post! More info: As mentioned previously, we are renovating our current home to be our "Forever House" by completely remodeling the bottom floor (master bedroom, bath, kitchen, dining, living room) and adding about 500 SF for cool gathering place for our adult children (5) and current/future grandkids (2 to date). Will also have a porch and wrap-around deck. After approximately 1.25 years in planning (finding an architect, selecting a builder, going to home shows, visiting new construction, etc.), we are breaking ground this week! Whoopee! Our last big decision is picking appliances, so all of your information has been very helpful. THANKS!
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Old 05-26-2015, 05:33 PM   #18
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FWIW, you should be able to get much better prices than the ones you show. For example. you can get either dishwasher for $200 to $300 less, or lower. It looks like most of those appliances are available for hundreds less, if you shop around.
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Old 05-26-2015, 07:50 PM   #19
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Here's a re-cap based on 1 day's input:

(1) A 30" dual fuel range: Either the GE Cafe (PGS920SEFSS @ $2,800) or the KitchenAid (KDRS407VSS @ $4000). Anyone have either of these? Good or bad choice? Other recommendations? Want something to go with our current use of cast iron skillets.
• From Midpack: "Our house (bought new) came with all GE appliances and I'll never buy another GE appliance. Every single one has needed either service or replacement in the 12 years we've been here. That's the refrigerator (repaired), gas stove (repaired) dishwasher (replaced), microwave (replaced) and disposal (replaced). And the dishwasher and disposal were incredibly noisy."

(2) French-door Refrig with bottom Freezer: LG (LFX32945ST @ $3,300) or LG (LFX33975ST @$3,000). Want something with an outside water/ice feature. Trying to stay away from Samsung products of any type based on a bad experience with a faulty washing machine. But may be persuaded...?
• From Dropout: "Not a huge fan of LG appliances in general. We have a washer/dryer LG combo and both are headaches."

(3) Dish Washer: Bosch Ascenta (SHX3AR7[5]UC @ $730) or KitchenAid (KDTM354DSS @ $1,200). Would like a quiet one!
• From Greydog17: "Cant speak to exact model, but we bought Kitchen Aid dishwasher KDTE104DSS last year and its incredibly quiet and washes very well."
• From Koogie: "We just bought a house that came with a Bosch dishwasher installed. Standing next to the thing you couldn't hear it running ! Only time I heard anything was in the laundry room below when I could hear the water draining in the pipes after a cycle. Don't know much about it (cost, longevity, etc..) but it was damn impressively quiet!"
• From Dropout: "I did TON'S of research prior to buying our new dishwasher last year.
What I learned ~ More expensive does not necessarily mean, better. We went with this: Frigidaire Gallery Top Control Built-In Dishwasher with OrbitClean Spray Arm in Smudge Proof Stainless Steel-FGID2466QF - The Home Depot Best Dishwasher we have ever had. Its affordable, looks great, and SUPER quiet."
• From Ian S: "We recently replaced our old dishwasher with a Bosch Ascenta. We got it on sale at BestBuy with an additional promotion for free installation and removal of old.
We recently replaced our old dishwasher with a Bosch Ascenta very similar to yours except with the controls on the front. We like to see at a glance what's going on so preferred the visible controls. Makes it cheaper too. We got it on sale at BestBuy with an additional promotion for free installation and removal of old. So far so good."

----------------
Any more thoughts/advice? --- THANKS!
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Old 05-26-2015, 08:13 PM   #20
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Can not speak for the model Kitchen Aid range you have, but 10 years ago we put a kitchen Aid gas range in our new home. The oven has never worked right. Sometimes its too hot, sometimes its cold, never seems to be just right.

We had it looked at while under warranty. The Kitchen Aid repairman stayed about 30 min, said it was fine. He said it was normal for it to take 20 to 30 min. to heat to 350. We don't bake much, so we have not replaced it. However, I would never buy another one!
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