Choosing Kitchen Appliances

Choosing Kitchen Appliances

BY Theresa Ulrich On

Appliances do not make or break a kitchen but, they are an important part of your space. Clients ask us how high-end they should go when remodeling their kitchen. First, you should choose your kitchen layout and design, then choose appliances that will fit the overall layout.

Choosing Appliances

  • Cooktops

There are a few different choices of cooktops which include, gas, electric or induction. When choosing a cooktop for performance, consider efficiency: how much heat do you lose from burner to pan? With gas, you lose about 40 percent. On the other hand, with induction heat—a flat cooktop like electric that performs like fast-heating gas stoves—you lose the least amount of heat. Induction isn’t mainstream, but it’s making a return.

When looking for gas cooktops, ask about BTU, which stands for british thermal units, a measurement of energy content. Serious ranges are 9,200 BTU and up. Ask about variable control, meaning how long can you maintain “simmer” without the flame going out. Make sure the burner grates are made of cast iron or a metal. This material will conduct heat better from the burner to the pan.

  • Ovens

A high-performing convection oven, which circulates heat with a fan to cook food faster and more evenly, will help you get dinner on the table faster than a traditional oven. Bakers, on the other hand, will want the traditional bake, roast, broil. In a perfect world, you can have both with a stacked or side-by-side oven set-up.

  • Range hoods

A serious cooktop demands a ventilation system that will usher exhaust out of the kitchen without sounding too loud. If you hear the sound of suction (and not the motor running), this is a good thing. If noise bothers you completely, consider units that can be installed with exterior motors.

Exterior blowers and inline blowers provide high-performance ventilation. Choose a hood with adequate cfms for your cooktop. As a general rule, a four-burner electric cooktop should have ventilation that performs at 400 cfms. Of course, there’s more to the hood than blowing out hot air, even if that’s the key function. Hoods are focal points in some kitchen designs, and they are available in many designs to fit your hom design style.

  • Refrigerators/Freezers

Freestanding refrigerator models slide into a space and may stick out 6 or 7 inches beyond counter depth (24 inches standard). But counter-depth refrigerator/freezers can be purchased that will look like a built-in unit. When evaluating refrigerator performance, quality comes down to the compressor. Single-compressor units that power a refrigerator-freezer work double-time to keep a moist fridge and a dry, cold freezer. A dual-compressor unit costs more but will allow you to keep fresh food longer. This might be worth it if you buy a lot for groceries.

French-door refrigerator models are popular, as are French-door refrigerator (on top) with freezer drawer (on bottom). Units might have two side-by-side freezer drawer, or a refrigerator drawer that is accessible to children. The ideal (and most expensive) option is completely separate refrigerator and freezer units.

  • Microwaves

Microwaves can consume a lot of space no matter where you put them: on the counter, built in to cabinetry or above a cooktop. If you want a microwave to work twice as hard for you, consider a convection microwave that also works as a fast-speed oven. Also available are microwave drawers, which are handy and fit in among base cabinets.

  • Dishwashers

Now you can get drawer dishwashers, which are easier to load and can be installed at various heights. Traditional dishwashers with doors that pull down from the top are the most popular style and they can be paneled to blend with the cabinetry for a cohesive look. Stainless steel is still the mos popular.

  • Sinks

It’s a good idea to choose a sink at the same time you choose cabinetry for a more cohesive look. If you opt for an undermount style, the sink is generally installed before the countertops. Don’t skimp on the sink if you splurged on a gorgeous countertop. If the sink has to be replaced prematurely, a contractor might have to lift up the entire countertop —a costly job.

Sinks come in a variety of depths, shapes, sizes and colors. Materials include stainless steel, enameled cast iron, composite acrylic and fiberglass, quartz and solid surface. Consider how the sink will be used before making the purchase.

  • Warming Drawers

These are convenient if you entertain a lot. Every household can benefit from a warming drawer that is properly utilized. Warming drawers allow you to prepare food in advance and serve it all at the same time.

  • Finishes

Now that you’ve considered all of the appliances, think about the finish. Stainless steel is standard and rated by gauge. Appliances range from 8- to 30-gauge steel. The higher the gauge, the more slick and sleek and shiny the surface. This means it’s better quality, easier to clean, more durable and will last longer.

KGT Builders, an eight-time Sand Dollar Award winning firm and CBIA Remodeler of the Year, is a licensed and insured residential remodeling company with over 45 years of experience. Their goal in every project is complete customer satisfaction by sharing their ‘5-Point Promise’ which includes: prompt and clear communication; listening, advising, and adding value; excellence in design and workmanship; custom client portal; and a clean jobsite.

For more information on full home remodeling, kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling or to receive a free consultation, call 239-992-2300

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