We did it! We finally decided on the appliances we want in the new kitchen. It hasn’t been as easy as I thought it would be. Who knew that a dishwasher might not come with a delayed start or that all ranges DON’T have a covered element!
We visited several appliance stores, looking for guidance. Our first stop was Tasco in Richmond Hill, conveniently located below our son’s karate dojo, where Mario was very helpful in directing us to his favourite kitchen appliances to meet our needs. He’s the one who first introduced us to the all-fridge all-freezer in a quality range other than SubZero. He also favoured wall oven and separate cooktop over a slide-in or free-standing range, but we never really found out why. When our dishwasher died, and we were deciding whether or not to replace it before the renovation or not, he was very patient in explaining the differences between various models. Mario was also very good at giving us his opinion based on the service history of the various brands over his 15 years in the business. FYI, I like opinionated salespeople — I value their expertise!
We also visited Ontario newcomer Corbeil Appliances, in Richmond Hill, but were not impressed with the selection or the staff. Ditto for Caplan’s, in Toronto, where we couldn’t get the salesman to differentiate between the various ranges for love or money.
Ultimately, we ended up at Tasco in Pickering, on a referral from Kitchen Court. We found manager Bill Verboom, and every staff person we dealt with, to be very professional and knowledgeable. This is where we will make the big purchase.
Here’s what we chose, and why.
I knew from the beginning that I would take the closet space from Colin’s office, and open it to the kitchen, to make room for a humongous fridge and freezer. As soon as we saw these, I was in love. Actually, the first ones we saw were from Electrolux, but then we learned that they were offered under the Frigidaire brand at a lower price. Both are made by the same factory; the Electrolux has a prettier, more ‘designer’ interior, but the Frigidaire’s exterior stainless steel is a better match for our gray cupboards. The quality of the mechanical parts is the same.
Choosing a range was a lot harder that I anticipated. I knew I wanted electric, rather than gas, and I wanted the largest oven available. (I bake every Sunday.) We also considered whether to go with an induction cooktop or not, and whether to go free-standing or slide-in. I was flexible on induction cooking, but I definitely did not want to ever again have food crap in the gap between countertop and cooktop with a free-standing range. I was originally directed to the GE Cafe range, but it is not available as a slide-in, and it has an exposed element (for quicker pre-heating, I was told.) I would rather wait for a slower pre-heat time and NOT have gunk baked onto the element. Although I loved the large pro-style knobs, and the oven size, the Cafe was out. We then narrowed our selection down to the GE Profile slide-in and the Electrolux. The Electrolux has an oven drawer in the bottom while the GE Profile has a warming drawer – we were happy with either. Luxury-glide racks on the Electrolux are impressive, but they take up too much space in the oven. The other strike against the Electrolux was the all-electronic control panel — without my reading glasses, I couldn’t see it clearly, and that could be frustrating, if not dangerous, in a pinch. We liked the all-glass interior door on the GE Profile (easiest to clean, with no gasket around the glass window) as well as the combination of knobs and easy-to-read electronic controls. Unfortunately, we had to rule out the induction model in the Profile because the controls would be all-electronic, with no knobs.
Our range hood comes from Sirius. I love the shape, which reflects the curves in the door design on the GE Profile range. David Courtney, at Kitchen Court, suggested several brands other than the popular Vent-a-hood. In his opinion, the Vent-a-hood products stick out too far and get in the way, especially for tall people like us. They are also much more expensive than other brands. Once at Tasco in Pickering, they directed us to Sirius, and we immediately liked the look.
Luckily, we didn’t purchase our new dishwasher when the old one broke down. Since that fateful week in February, the features have changed on the various models, and there is now a delayed start on the Classic. Previously, this feature, which I use every day, was only available on pricier models. As with TV satellite packages, I would have had to pay for features I didn’t want in order to get the delayed start. I also decided to take the visible control panel, rather than the hidden panel, so that we can see at a glance when the machine is running. Because it’s so quiet, I’m concerned that one of us will open it when it’s running, then forget to close it again, so hopefully the blinking lights will remind us not to do this. I do plan to panel the dishwasher with a cupboard door, because it will be visible from the front hall.
There you have it — the all-new kitchen line-up for Team Grier. Let’s hope they go the distance!