If you’re remodeling your kitchen, you will most likely want to install new appliances. This is an important decision. Deciding on appliances is one of the first decisions that need to be made in the remodeling process. Not only are kitchen appliances a considerable investment, but they also affect space and traffic patterns in your kitchen and need to be factored in to the design plans from the very beginning.
Before you even begin looking at appliances, set your budget. This will help you narrow down your options. Think about your family’s specific needs. If you have small children or family members with limited mobility, take that into consideration. Do your homework. Research brands, sizes, styles, functionality. Read reviews. Think about what color of appliances you want. White, black, and stainless steel are the most common choices. Look for energy efficient appliances that can help you save on your energy bills.
While oven-cooktop combinations are the most popular and most economic, separate ovens and cooktops are gaining popularity, especially with serious cooks. Having separate ovens and cooktops provide more options. Without an attached cooktop, a wall oven becomes an option. Double ovens are also gaining popularity, allowing users to cook multiple dishes at different temperatures at the same time. You can also choose between a standard oven and a convection oven. You may also consider installing a warming drawer, which keeps dishes warm without drying out the food.
There are several options for cooktops as well. Choose between a gas and electric range. While electric is less expensive, gas provides better control and precision. Induction cooktops are another option. They are flame-free, thus safer. Induction cooktops work by using magnetic-based pots and pans that interact with a magnetic field in the cooktop created by the cooking hob coils, which induce a current in the pot or pan. The pot or pan heats up but the surface stays cool. Cooktops are also available in a variety of sizes. Serious cooks may opt for a commercial cooktop with as many as 6 to 8 burners. If you want to be able to see guests as you’re cooking, consider locating your cooktop on an island.
An exhaust system is needed to help reduce or remove moisture, grease, odors, and heat from your cooking space. Your exhaust system should match the size of the stove or cooktop below it. A bigger cooktop will need greater exhaust capabilities. You can choose a range hood or a vent. A downdraft ventilation system is another option that eliminates the need for an overhead hood.
There are a variety of microwave options to choose from. First, decide if you want a traditional microwave or a convection microwave. Next, decide on a style. Where you want your microwave located will factor into this decision. Options include a countertop style, a built-in that becomes part of your cabinetry, a drawer style that slides out, or an over-the-range style which also serves as a range hood.
Most of us can’t imagine living without our dishwasher. Look for one that’s energy efficient and quiet. There is a growing trend of installing two dishwashers, especially for large families or those who like to entertain. One dishwasher can be washing while the other is being filled with dirty dishes. Another option is dishwasher drawers that are stacked one above the other. Each drawer runs independently so you can run just one if you have a small load or run both at the same time for larger loads.
One feature you may see available on more and more appliances is WiFi capability. WiFi enabled appliances usually cost more than non-WiFi counterparts so you have to decide if this functionality is worth the additional price. WiFi enabled appliances can send you energy consumption reports and can monitor performance and seek out a diagnosis for problems. A WiFi enabled refrigerator will allow you to schedule it to defrost at a convenient time, alert you if the door is left open, or even monitor the contents of your refrigerator so you know what you need to buy while you’re grocery shopping. A WiFi enabled oven will allow you to preheat your oven from another location, schedule your oven cook time, or turn your oven off if you accidentally left it turned on.
While you want to decide on your appliances at the beginning of the process, don’t buy them too early. Depending on the scope of your remodel, the process could potentially take a few months. If your new appliances are sitting in your garage that entire time, you’re wasting months of your warranty. If they have damage of some sort, you may not notice it until it’s too late to return them.