June 9, 2017 at 5:48 pm #7766
My husband and I visited a Ferguson’s showroom this morning. It’s a store that has upscale bath and kitchen items. They did not have a particularly large selection of freestanding ranges on the floor, which is fine, since there is no Ferguson’s near where we will be living in Indiana. What we wanted was to be able to see some ranges and look at how they are set up. The salespeople did not seem to be particularly knowledgeable. I think that I know more from our discussions here as well as the research I’ve been doing. There were very few dual fuel ranges, mostly cooktops and wall ovens or under the cooktop mounted ovens.
They did have one all-gas BlueStar, so I looked at it, but for me the unsealed burners are a deal breaker. They had the 48″ (I think) Thermador dual fuel. I’d probably buy another 30″ Thermador if I knew that I could get it serviced when needed. I really like the burners. There was also a large Wolf. I also looked at the cooktops and ovens.
While I did not see a range that is “the one,” it was helpful to look at controls. If we were to go with separate cooktop, I want the controls where they will not get splattered–so in the front not on top. I like that on the stand alone range as well. I also like the burner grids to be flush with one another so that I can easily move pots around. When we go appliance shopping in the Midwest, I’ll take along my large pan to make sure that it will fit.
I was amused to see a Wolf four slice toaster, with a price of $400. Let them eat toast!
June 10, 2017 at 5:11 pm #7778
- This reply was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by BakerAunt.
There’s a Ferguson showroom near us, we did some of the planning for our house there. I don’t specifically remember seeing kitchen appliances on the floor, but that was 20 years ago.
We went to Nebraska Furniture Mart in Omaha, they had a lot more stuff on display. But we also went to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) annual trade show in Houston in early 1996, because there were just too many things that we couldn’t look at locally. We found quite a few things there that we hadn’t previously considered, too. (For example, we wound up ordering 3 Kindred stainless steel sinks from Canada because at that time there were no USA manufacturers making sinks in the large sizes we wanted.)
We had selected our builder by then, and, in fact, he was getting a national award at that NAHB convention. We were able to meet up with him in Houston on the trade show floor and show him most of the things we were looking at. I figure that little trip probably cost us about $50,000 in add-ons. 🙂August 23, 2017 at 11:20 am #8675
Last week my husband and I were in Mishawaka, so we stopped by an appliance store with an excellent reputation. It also has a service department, so they service the appliances they sell. In fact, they will not sell an appliance that they are not allowed to service.
I looked at a DCS. The store only had a gas one on the floor and it was the 36-inch one. (It also was sold.) I also looked at the Thermador. The one they had out is a dual fuel. It, too, was a 36-inch. The sales representative was knowledgeable–very different from the surface oriented sales person at the store in Texas. I am now leaning toward the Thermador 30-inch dual-fuel Pro Harmony Range. I really like the star burners. It also has a larger oven capacity than the 30-inch DCS. I was happy to see that Thermador has gone back to knobs rather than the electronic readouts, which I suspect may have been a major issue in the earlier generation dual-fuel ranges they produced.
The salesperson told us that DCS and Thermador have the best record for not needing service calls. If I could, I would buy the 36-inch, but I know that 1) I’m dealing with a small kitchen area, and 2) I rarely need that much oven space. It would be nice when baking three cake layers or if I wanted to bake more than three loaves of bread at a time, but I do not do that often. I also have access to a second electric range in the apartment (now dubbed guest house) over our garage. It’s just a short walk across the backyard if I ever have two different items that need baking at the same time. There is a third, biggest consideration: It would cost an additional $2000. While Thermador is offering a “buy 2, get dishwasher free” deal, that will not be of use to us, as my husband and I will not have a dishwasher. Most of my china is older and would not tolerate the caustic soaps, and I’d rather have the storage space for dishes and pans. (I will be able to store specialty pans in the guest house kitchen.)
I was shocked at how much range hoods cost. While I do not need the high powered one, as my range will not have a grill or griddle, even the least expensive Thermador hood still costs a lot. (I’m also not into designer hoods as focal points.)
Now I need to think about the refrigerator. I was going to get one with the French doors on top, but I’ve learned from friends that these have problems because of the closing mechanism on those top doors. The seal is likely to be better with the traditional wide door.
I will need to think about location in the kitchen area. I’ll be starting a kitchen remodeling thread, so I will take up that subject when I do.August 23, 2017 at 2:18 pm #8683
We seldom use the grill or griddle on our 48″ dual fuel range, but I have never regretted for a moment buying the big range hood. If you fry, if you have things spill on the oven floor, if you reduce large pots of liquids (like stocks), a high powered vented fan will be very useful.
And, no, they’re not cheap.August 23, 2017 at 2:42 pm #8685
Thanks, Mike. That’s good to know. I was happy with the least expensive of the Thermador stove hoods years ago when I bought the first range. It was not cheap (although prices have gone up), and it was powerful enough for any job I asked it to do (like venting out smoke when I burned something and the fire detector went off). After years of the conventional hoods they install in apartments, that Thermador hood was a revelation. I will likely go that way again.
August 24, 2017 at 10:03 am #8696
- This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by BakerAunt.
It’s certainly not an appliance, but have you considered a motion sensor kitchen faucet for your remodel? I’m having one installed soon. I’m looking forward to not having to touch control knobs to turn on the water when I want to wash my hands after touching chicken. I’ve talked with people who have one, and they’re pleased with this faucet. The problem is that you can’t hang a dishrag over it, because it’ll mess up the motion sensor. So owners have to have some kind of a set-up for the wet cloth.August 24, 2017 at 10:09 am #8699
Commercial kitchens often have a foot-pedal control for water, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a home kitchen with one. I tend to prefer kitchen faucets where the faucet is a pull-out sprayer, I don’t think they make a motion-sensing version of that.August 24, 2017 at 10:17 am #8701
After reading your post, Mike, I hurried to call the plumbing store where the faucet will be purchased. I was told that the one that’s being bought for me does have the pull-out sprayer. But I was also told there’s more than one model of them, so there may be some variances between models — or even brands. But it certainly is a good thing to check before buying. The pull-out sprayer is quite helpful.August 24, 2017 at 10:23 am #8702
We have a Moen and a Price-Pfister pull-out style faucet in our two kitchen sinks. Of the two, I think the cheaper Price-Pfister might actually work better.
Both are replacements for the original Kohler faucets we put in, both of which had separate hose sprayers that just didn’t work well for us.
I’ve not spent a lot of time working in commercial kitchens, mostly when taking classes, but I kind of like the spring-loaded sprayers I’ve used there. They’re not very pretty, though.August 24, 2017 at 11:57 am #8705
Italian-Cook and Mike–You bring up a vexed topic in our house: the kitchen faucet.
Our house is on well water, and we quickly discovered, after ruining a load or two of clothes, that there is a lot of iron in the water, and it is hard water. The iron discolors. It also seems to corrode plumbing fixtures. I would not drink the water (and the dog we had would not drink it). My husband went on about that great iron taste but found that it did disagree with him. When we had the first remodeling phase done 3 1/2 years ago, we put in a water softening system, although my husband hated the idea. However, he insisted that the water to the kitchen sink cold faucet be “raw” water. Part of the reason is that he wants to be able to water plants. (He is a retired plant physiologist.)
As we plan the kitchen renovation, I have serious problems with the raw water at the kitchen sink, even as my husband complains that the soft water does not get the soap off of hands. I like the “stick shift” faucet, but that will not work with raw water in the cold. I’d not thought much about the pull out sprayer faucet. On the home shows, the people seem to want them just for show. However, I now realize that they would be very useful for cleaning pots, and I do plan on having a farmhouse style sink.
I’ve been suggesting to my husband that he needs a separate sink with raw water.August 24, 2017 at 12:40 pm #8706
We have two sinks in our kitchen, one on the north wall and one on the center island. The original plan was to put in a standalone commercial pot sink (really deep, for washing things like stock pots), but that ran into aesthetic issues. But we did find an especially large/deep sink at a homebuilder show, made in Canada by Kindred. That was 20 years ago, since then US manufacturers are making bigger/deeper stainless steel sinks.
I recently read an article about a chef who designed the kitchen in his new restaurant around the ‘pit’ (the place where dirty dishes are taken and washed.)August 24, 2017 at 12:49 pm #8707
One item that I would not be without in a kitchen these days is an instant hot water tap. It’s great for making tea or any dish or task that calls for boiling water, the water that comes out of the tap is at 185 degrees. (The only downside is that they wear out, we’ve replaced the one in the kitchen 3-4 times in 20 years, hard water might make that worse.)
We put a whole house filter in our house, a 5 micron particulate filter and an activated charcoal one, but we’re on city water. Every time the plumbing folks asked us about a water softener, I told them: I don’t add chemicals to water, I take them out!
There are whole house filters specifically designed for high iron (well) water.
We found out the hard way a couple of years ago that your water heater has to have an anode element designed for the chemistry of your water. The city changed its water chemistry a bit, and the hot water heater needed a different anode. We wound up replacing the basement dishwasher and then the input valve on the replacement unit several times before we figured that out, because there was this sludge that was collecting in the valve. It also caused at least one water heater replacement. Between appliance replacements and plumbing bills (plus $100 to have the state lab test our water, which was when we figured out the real problem), we probably spent more than $2000.August 24, 2017 at 2:39 pm #8709
When I have the kitchen faucet changed, I’m also having a new sink installed. Contractor wanted to do a 9″ deep sink, as I recall. I think I currently have 7″. We compromised at 8″. My concern is pulling pasta pots full of water out of the sink. The heft of lifting them up over a higher sink/counter top, because the sink bottom is lower concerns me. I think it’d take more muscle to lift it up 9″ instead of 7″, or even 8″. I’m unsure why contractor spoke up for the deeper sink, but now that we’ve had this discussion, I’ll probably ask him before he buys the sink.
BakerAunt, I grew up with well water. I know it’s a challenge.August 24, 2017 at 9:13 pm #8712
Mike, my husband did buy a whole house filter from a Canadian company, after doing a lot of research. The plumber did not want to use it for our house, so we had it put into the water system for the apartment. It ended up clogging, the renters had rust, and we had to buy a separate water softening system for the apartment.
A whole house system would be nice, but finding one that would work is the issue.August 24, 2017 at 10:31 pm #8713
Lifting a pot with 10 or more quarts of water is something I try to avoid, too. I never put the pot in the sink unless I’m washing it, and that sink is large enough that I can just tip it over to drain it.
To fill it I use the sprayer hose with the pot on the counter or the edge of the sink. These days I’m more likely to put the pot on the stove and fill it using a two quart pitcher.
I debated having a cold water tap by the stove, which I’ve seen in some commercial kitchens for filling large pots, but my plumbers recommended against it, because they drip.August 24, 2017 at 10:48 pm #8714
The single sink in the kitchen is 23 x 17 x 9. It was designed to be the ‘prep’ sink, but it’s the best one for washing the large pots and pans. We have an even bigger double sink in the laundry room, both 23 x 17 but over 11 inches deep. At the time it was the biggest stainless steel sink we could find in either the US or Canada.
A commercial pot sink is usually big enough to hold a full sheet pan, so the bottom is at least 26×18, but they’re not very pretty, I’ve seen one in a laundry room but never in a home kitchen.August 25, 2017 at 8:30 am #8716
Our water is actually pretty good here. We’re having a battle with a bottled water company because they want to start filling from our reservoir at a ridiculously low price while all of our bills are going up and, when they proposed this, we were at an all time historical low.
We actually have a pedal sink in the kitchen. It works very nicely. I used to tell people it was voice activated and say “sink on” and step on the pedal. In a couple years there will be Alexa-connected (or Google) sinks.
Like Mike, we have a commercial hood (which used to go with our commercial range until we pitched it). The only real challenge here is if something goes wrong. The people who can fix commercial products are not bonded to work in houses and the people who fix residential appliances have no idea what to do with restaurant gear.
Our commercial range had a 48 inch, stainless steel griddle and I loved it. My new range came with a really nice, thick, cast iron grill/griddle and I use it daily. It takes the place of two burners. I may take it our, put the burners in, and then get a griddle that sits on top of the burners. I saw one with a back splash that will be less messy to cook on and easier to clean.August 25, 2017 at 10:27 am #8717
Our range hood isn’t a commercial one, it’s the one DCS was selling with the 48″ dual fuel range 20 years ago. It has a shelf, 2 heat lamps (that we almost never use), a light and a variable speed fan that at high speed clears a lot of smoke quickly.
True commercial range hoods these days have fire suppression systems in them that make them way too expensive for a home kitchen, and they’re huge to boot.August 25, 2017 at 7:59 pm #8720
Let me ask another question: Do you prefer a stainless backsplash, either low or high (bought in addition to the stove) or some kind of a tiled backsplash? My last stove actually had a top piece in the back (no controls or anything on it) that was about 6-7 inches high. However, if I want that for this range, I will have to buy it. I see one advantage in that it keeps anything from running down behind the range (which in the best of all possible kitchen scenarios, in the best of all possible worlds, would never be a problem).August 25, 2017 at 8:18 pm #8721
I have stainless steel backsplash with the big 48″ stove that’s part of the range hood, I think it is easier to keep clean than a large expanse of tile would be. It took me a while to find something to clean baked-on stains off it, I use the same thing commercial kitchens use, carbon-off.August 26, 2017 at 3:57 pm #8724
I don’t have a backsplash, but the thought of tile makes me think of the problem with grout maintenance. Grout has to be cleaned and re-sealed. Have no idea how often in a kitchen. We do it every 3 years in the bathrooms.August 26, 2017 at 4:06 pm #8726
An email from Martha Stewart’s company had a tantalizing section on what makes the best backsplash. I looked at it, and it was all about design, not the nuts and bolts of maintenance when cooking. A lot of the home shows are now into fancy backsplashes and hoods as a “focal point” for the kitchen. Huh?! Do these people ever cook or bake?
The backsplash that is made for the stove I’m considering is 9-inches tall and stainless steel finish.August 26, 2017 at 5:59 pm #8728
Martha is about style, not utility. Whenever I see something recommended by her, I look for something else.October 30, 2018 at 1:23 pm #13851
I saw that Kitchen Aid is now making ranges in “misty blue.”
I’m not interested, as I’ve settled on a Thermador (please, please let the contractor be ready to start soon), but I wonder if “misty blue,” will end up going the way of avocado and almond appliances.
I’d actually prefer a white stove. Sigh.
October 30, 2018 at 3:26 pm #13854
- This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by BakerAunt.
Blue is my color but don’t care for the misty blue. It looks like it’s better suited to a laundry room rather than the kitchen.
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