When you are planning on renovating your kitchen there is a good chance you will be updating at least one new appliance. Or maybe you’re happy with the kitchen but just need an upgrade. New kitchen appliances create an instant update and at the same time add value to your home. This article will get you started down the road to making great choices for your home and family.
Kitchen appliances can be one of the largest investments in your home and can seem like a daunting task when shopping. What do you look for in a model? What are the most sought-after functions? How do you choose the appliance that’s right for you and your family? Don’t worry we have the tips and guidelines to keep you well informed and confident in the purchases you will make.
First – A little homework
By homework, we mean just make a list of what you like and dislike in your current set up. If you’re going to invest in your kitchen, make sure you know exactly what you’re looking for to suit all your kitchen needs. But most of all, don’t pay for accessories and options that don’t matter to you and that you are not likely to use.
Determine the Right Configuration
As you begin to make more detailed plans, you will want to be sure you’re designing a highly functional kitchen – one that will be stylish, efficient, and provides a natural flow. There are three primary work-spaces: Preparation, Cooking, and Clean up. It’s good to locate these work-spaces and base your concepts from there. You can learn all about kitchen design in our feature article on Kitchen Renovations.
Then Measure Again
The biggest reason appliances are returned is that they didn’t fit. You need to make sure they will go through the front door first! You also need to consider leaving space for air flow around refrigerators and ovens. Check to make sure that oven, dishwasher and refrigerator doors have enough space to operate and don’t interfere with other kitchen appliances and cabinets.
No one likes to have a staring match with their hydro bill and being that your refrigerator can account for 10% - 20% of your hydro bill, ensuring efficiency is key. One of the key identifiers of efficiency is the Energy Star logo. Most retailers of the refrigerators come with energy usage markers, and even note how much it will cost to power the unit over a year. This applies to all of you the major home appliances as well.
A refrigerator is one of the most important appliances you can invest in for your kitchen since it’s the largest and most frequently used appliance in your home. If you haven’t shopped for a fridge in years, there are a few new options available now to help make your life easier in the kitchen. For example, if you’re constantly struggling to reorganize your fridge, there’s a solution for that. Many models now come with customizable storage that will help maximize storage space for quick and easy access.
Next, you want to consider the placement of your fridge. Will you need a built-in, counter-depth, or freestanding refrigerator? Built-in units are great for smaller kitchens because of the width. They are typically 24 to 25 inches deep and provide a sleek look next to the cabinets. Counter depth means the body of the fridge is as deep as the counter-top, however the doors extend past that due to the hinges. They are a great option for kitchens with tight clearances. Freestanding refrigerators tend to be less expensive and designed for easy relocation, however they typically extend beyond then kitchen’s cabinetry.
The last thing you want to consider is stainless steel vs. non-stainless steel. Refrigerators with stainless steel finishes are all the rage, but sometimes they show fingerprints and smudges. But many manufactures have come up with a matte finish that will help.
The range you choose can have a profound impact on how you cook. In the past it was always either gas or electric, but today we have more options to consider. For instance, you may be willing to spend a little more for an induction cook top. Not to be confused with the older glass tops with an element underneath. A true induction cook-top uses an electromagnetic field. The advantages are they heat faster and produce less heat overall. They also cool down quicker and are easy to keep clean. The prices for these appliances have been declining in recent years so it may be something to consider. But be aware that you will need the right type of cookware. All your pots and fry pans need to be induction capable. Convection ovens use an internal fan to circulate hot air throughout the oven resulting in even heat distribution and reduced cook times.
Whenever you have gas or electric ranges you need adequate over- appliance ventilation. There are many stylish options on the market today and these can add lots of visual interest into your new kitchen remodel. You need to provide the correct amount of air moving capacity too. A fan’s strength is measured in CFM’s or cubic feet per minute. This and the sound level it produces should be the first considerations before the design elements. We cover more details on ventilation in our article on your home’s air quality here.
Today’s dishwashers are loaded with advanced technologies that get dishes sparkling clean in half the time. The best dishwasher for your home is the one that’s sized right to suit your household needs. Some of the features you want to consider are the dishwasher capacity, energy-efficient, and noise reducing. Because models are continually evolving, before buying a new dishwasher, do a little bit of research. Check out consumer ratings for reliability and convenience, and make sure to select a dishwasher that will add not only style, but also convenience to your home.