Plan for appliances
How we use our kitchen is personal and varies with each person and family. Some people need just a fridge and a stove, while others love to spend all day trying out recipes and cooking for their family.
Whatever you value most in your kitchen, it is important to incorporate your needs and not just copy a picture in a magazine. This is especially true with kitchen appliance planning.
When it comes to selecting kitchen appliances, you can really go wild. There are so many bells and whistles that just add to the price and make you forget what purpose the appliance is serving.
Before starting to plan your new kitchen, visit an appliance store to learn what new products are available and which type of appliances you want to include in your plan. Don’t worry about the exact model or type at this stage, just the general idea of what you want, either slide-in stove or built-in oven.
Here are important things you need to know so that you can include the kitchen appliance planning in the overall kitchen design.
Before the kitchen is ordered you will need the exact dimensions of the appliances you have chosen so the cabinets can be customized for the appliances. This will give you a more professional looking kitchen installation.
You’re probably asking yourself this question: is a gas stove better or an electric stove? It really is a personal thing. Gas is a different way of cooking than electric. If you don’t do much cooking then electric stove is easier to maintain and clean than the gas stove. The electric stove is more suitable for cooking food slowly and the gas does work better for fast, hot cooking.
Another thing to consider when deciding on a stove is whether to choose a slide in stove or just a standard stove. With a slide in you do not have the gap where crumbs or worse can accumulate. There is also no gap in the front between the cabinet doors and the stove. This makes for a built in look without the built in cost. It is very important to decide on the stove type before you plan the kitchen cabinets and counter top as the slide in stove requires a narrower width and the counter is cut out of one piece.
If you currently have an electric stove and would like to change to gas make sure this can be done. Call in a gas fitter to confirm that he will be able to make all the connections required to accommodate your gas stove. You don’t want to be disappointed at the time of installation.
A dishwasher has to clean the dishes and it shouldn't be too noisy. It is proven that even an inexpensive dishwasher can give a great result if you use the rinse agents that are available. Without the rinse aid, dishes and glasses never come properly clean and that's not fault of a cheap dishwasher. So spend money if you want on a quiet dishwasher but otherwise you shouldn't be spending too much on this appliance.
A microwave vent combination can be a real space saver in a small kitchen. Even a large kitchen sometimes does not have a convenient place to store a counter microwave. You also have to consider that all microwave doors swing the same way. You might have the perfect spot but not be able to access it because of the door swing. The over the range units are able to vent to the outside or with a re-circulating fan. They are all about 30 inches wide and 16 inches high so you don’t need to purchase it until your cabinets are installed. If you are just using a very small microwave and you have a good spot for it, then you can use the space over the stove for a nice stainless steel hood or a matching cabinet hood.
If you don’t want the microwave on the upper part of your kitchen consider an under counter unit. Some microwave brands make a great microwave drawer unit that makes a lot of sense if you don’t want it over the stove or on the counter. It is a bit more expensive but you should certainly consider it for your new kitchen.
The fridge is there to keep your food cold and/or frozen. Anything over that is not really a necessity. It pays to have an energy saving appliance and to make sure you have the size that works for your family. If you live alone you don’t need a fridge wider than 30 inches, however if you have teenagers you might want the biggest fridge you can get.
If a stainless fridge is your choice consider one with matching color sides so it does not look unfinished if the sides show when it is in place. Imagine a white kitchen, stainless appliances with the dark black sides of the fridge in view. It takes away from your carefully designed kitchen look. Even the less expensive fridges offer at least a gray paint finish on the side; it does not have to be the same stainless as the front of the fridge.
When deciding whether to purchase a fridge with an ice and water dispenser in the door, or even just an ice maker, keep in mind that you need to run a water line to the back of the fridge to supply water. It is possible to run this through the base cabinets if you have a direct cabinet route from sink to fridge. Otherwise it has to come from the basement or through the walls. Work this out before you buy that fantastic fridge!
Consider the height of the fridge and the space available in the cabinets you are planning. If your upper cabinet over the fridge comes in only one or two sizes purchase a fridge that will give you at least one inch extra or one to two inches if it opens against a wall. That way you don’t have to worry about a large filler piece against the upper cabinet.
It's important to take the time to do your kitchen appliance planning so that you can enjoy your new appliances and your kitchen for many years. When it comes to searching for appliances you should look at many different options. If you find an item you like, the look and design of, chances are it comes with different options. You might like the shape of a gas stove but need an electric stove. Find out if this is an option that you could live with.