You’re finally taking on a kitchen remodel to get the cooking space of your dreams. Don’t let your choices on cabinets, flooring, and countertops overshadow choosing appliances for your kitchen remodel.
There are tons of appliances and brands to choose from, so you’ll want to do your research to figure out which are the right appliances for your home and your family, based on your cooking and cleaning habits.
Read on for tips on choosing appliances for your kitchen remodel.
Start your appliance search with yourself. Evaluate how you and your family use your kitchen. If you rarely bake, you might not need those double ovens everyone seems to want. Got a large family? Make sure you work a good-sized refrigerator into your remodel plans.
Think through exactly what you need in your kitchen, and what you want. Make a list of what your needs are, and don’t get distracted by bells and whistles you might not want or need.
When choosing the perfect refrigerator, consider these points.
1) Size constraints. A good place to start your refrigerator search is with size. Not in terms of how much food storage you’ll need, but what your constraints are for your kitchen remodel plan. You might only have a certain height or width to work with, so don’t fall in love with a refrigerator you find out later won’t fit due to size constraints.
You’ll need to consider the maximum size of your fridge opening, how much space is available for the door to swing, and whether you’ll be able to get it in your kitchen entrance.
2) Types of refrigerators. Once you know your size constraints, consider the types of fridges available:
- Under-counter fridge: Works well in a small or galley kitchen. They also are useful second fridges for beverage or party food storage.
- Freestanding fridge: Usually sits in an alcove, or existing refrigerator space.
- Cabinet-depth fridge: A free-standing fridge that sits flush with the cabinets, giving a built-in look without the custom cabinet work and cost.
- Built-in fridge: Typically have custom door fronts to match the cabinetry, and are flush with the surrounding cabinets. Can be wider and shallower than typical fridges, and come at a higher cost.
3) Storage use. You’ll also need to think about what kind of food shopper and cook you are. Do you hit the grocery store once a week for a big load, and therefore need maximum capacity? Or are you a several-times-per-week shopper, who requires less space?
Also, what kind of entertaining do you do? If you cook for dinner parties, potluck dinners, or your kids’ soccer team, look for shelf areas that can support large plates of food. Flexible shelves and door storage might be key for you.
If you love to cook up a big batch of food and then freeze your leftovers, think about what size freezer you’ll need. Not only that, you’ll want to pay attention to how freezer storage is laid out, and whether you want the freezer on top, below, or beside the refrigerator.
4) Efficiency. Refrigerators are a big energy-user, so look for Energy Star models. Also, place your refrigerator away from stoves and microwaves that could reduce its efficiency. And remember that extras, like ice cube dispensers, can reduce efficiency.
If you’re doing a kitchen remodel, it’s likely your dishwasher is anywhere from years to more than a decade old. When choosing a new dishwasher, consider your dish cleaning habits, and what interior features would benefit you.
1) Dish cleaning habits. Everyone makes dirty dishes, the question is how do you clean them? If you pre-rinse everything, you might not need high-power washing and scrubbing features. But if you take everything straight from table to dishwasher, a food grinder to handle waste is likely a must-have.
If you’re somewhere in between, consider a dishwasher with a soil sensor that adjusts cycle time and strength depending on how dirty the water is.
2) Interior features
Whether you prefer a simple rack configuration, or like to be able to adjust racks to accommodate large pots, pans, or platters, there’s a dishwasher for you.
- Basket or flatware tray: A third rack designed as a silverware tray can free up space in the bottom rack by eliminating the basket. Or, choose a washer that offers the choice.
- Adjustable racks: Some washers offer the ability to raise or lower top racks as needed to make space for large pots, or wine glasses.
- Tub type: You can choose stainless steel or plastic tubs. Both are durable, though stainless steel tubs can help in the drying process.
There are two smart questions to ask when choosing a range: whether to go with a convection oven, and whether you want gas or electric.
1) Convection oven: Consider choosing a range with a convection oven, which uses a fan to circulate hot air around food, eliminating hot spots. Food will bake more evenly, unlike when the heat source comes strictly from below on a conventional oven.
Convection ovens can be powered with gas or electricity, which raises the next question.
2) Gas or electric? If you have one, and want to switch to the other, the time to do it is during a kitchen remodel.
Some plusses of gas ranges include even flames, the heat source being gone once the flame is turned off, can heat faster due to the ability to heat bottom and sides of pots, and natural gas is economical.
Electric ranges offer a more stable surface, don’t require an igniter, are easier to install, and come with ring burners that offer more choice.
Or, go for a third choice: induction ranges, which is easy to clean, has precision heat control, and heats faster than electric and often faster than gas.