New Appliance Finishes

New Appliance Finishes

Review of the Latest Appliance Finishes

Choices of Appliance Finishes Abound at UAKC

The last half of the 20th century began with most appliances having porcelain enamel on steel cabinets. Porcelain was durable and easy to clean, but the manufacturing process was expensive, porcelain was subject to chipping, and was not environmentally friendly. Eventually, porcelain enamel disappeared in appliance cabinets to be replaced by steel with powder coat painted exteriors or stainless steel.

In the last decade, we’ve begun to see some different choices in appliance exteriors. While painted surfaces remain a standard for base appliances, more expensive stainless steel is enormously popular. In recent years, we’ve seen new smudge-proof Frigidaire and fingerprint resistant stainless steel in Maytag brand and others. They’re still stainless steel, but they have properties that eliminate or greatly reduce the possibility of smudges and fingerprints. European luxury brand, Miele, has introduced a fingerprint resistant steel called CleanTouch, as a replacement to stainless steel.

Even more recently, Black Stainless Steel has hit the appliance market and appears to be taking off. Black Stainless Steel is essentially stainless steel base metal with black painted finish. KitchenAid was the first to Black Stainless Steel, and it seemed to take off slowly. But now, it is available in more brands and seems to be rapidly taking hold as an alternative to the shiny stainless steel we see everywhere. Here are some of the brands that are now offering Black Stainless Steel appliances:

KitchenAid

Black Stainless Steel

Brands offering Black Stainless Steel

  • KitchenAid
  • Samsung
  • LG
  • Dacor
  • Maytag
  • Frigidaire Gallery
  • Whirlpool

It’s also important to note that vent hood manufacturers and ancillary appliance brands such as Sharp (microwaves and microwave drawers) have jumped on the Black Stainless Steel bandwagon.

Finally, a personal favorite of mine among the new appliance finishes is GE Slate. GE introduced Slate as an alternative to stainless steel at a popular price. It is definitely not stainless steel. I might describe it as gunmetal grey. I’ve had two friends choose GE Slate quite recently, and they are delighted. Slate provides the contrast from their cabinets that consumers want, and it is definitely fingerprint resistant. Slate is not shiny, and lacks the grain that is so noticeable on stainless steel appliances. Unlike white or black painted finishes, Slate has a commercial/industrial look. GE produces a full array of kitchen appliances in Slate so you won’t have to mix appliance finishes. However, Slate appears to exist only in the GE brand family.

It’s great to have all these new and attractive choices available for your upcoming appliance needs. Call Universal Appliance and Kitchen Center for the latest information on all your appliance and decorative plumbing needs.

Using Consumer Reports® for Appliance Purchases

Using Consumer Reports® for Appliance Purchases

Trustworthy Appliance Advice

Universal Appliance and Kitchen Center Sales Advisors

A friend recently purchased an older home in a retirement community, and I’d offered to help him with his appliance selections. In spite of my many years in the appliance industry, my friend wanted to go his own way. He researched refrigerators on Consumer Reports®, and chose to shop at one of the big box home improvement chains (you know, their sales associates wear orange or blue aprons).

My friend stuck with the exact model that CR ranked #1, and he found it On Sale at the big box store. Later, when I visited him in his new place, he proudly showed me his new kitchen appliances.

It was a small galley kitchen with the door from the garage going directly into the kitchen. His new fridge was right next to the door. Since he had purchased a full-depth refrigerator instead of a counter-depth refrigerator, the refrigerator prevented the door from the garage from opening fully. You had to turn sideways to enter from the garage. Similarly, there wasn’t quite enough space for the refrigerator door to open all the way,

While I was viewing his new kitchen and dutifully admiring his modest remodeling, I suddenly heard a buzzing sound coming from his refrigerator. It lasted a short time and then went quiet.

“What was that, I said?” He replied, “It does that every once in a while.” I thought for minute and said, “It sounds like the ice maker.” He said, “I don’t have an ice maker.” I pulled opened the freezer and pointed. “This is an ice maker!” He remaked, “Oh.” There was no water line nearby to hook up the ice maker.

Obviously, this is not a rap on Consumer Reports®. But, my friend religiously followed the CR ratings and wanted exactly the model rated #1, without considering his specific needs. This is one very good reason to deal with an appliance company that has sales professionals who know their product, and will understand your specific needs. How will they know your needs? They will ask questions so that they will be able to help you select the product that best satisfies your requirements. That’s why you should deal with experts like those at Universal Appliance and Kitchen Center.

Call or visit the professionals at Universal Appliance and Kitchen Center today for the professional help you need along with the best prices on major appliances and decorative plumbing fixtures.

Are Cooking Modules the “New” Thing?

Are Cooking Modules the “New” Thing?

New Cooking Modules From Jenn-Air

Best Selection on Jenn-Air at Universal Appliance and Kitchen Center

Cooking Modules are individual cooking units that can be mixed and matched to provide a unique combination of cooking options specific to the user. There are several advantages to using modular cooking units.

  1. Converting a Room
    Suppose you convert a room into a separate living room for a grown child or an elderly family member. A cooking module or two would be a great choice for this situation.
  2. Spot Cooking
    You could add a cooking module to a wetbar for added convenience.
  3. Extending your existing range or cooktop.
    You have an awesome gas range, but you’ve often got too much going on at the same time. You could really use a separate griddle unit for those big family breakfasts. Add a griddle module. Viola!
  4. Expanding your overall cooking capabilities.
    You love what you’ve got, but often a superfast induction module would be really nice or an separate wok module would help you show off your Asian cooking skill.
  5. Adding a second cooking station.
    Your spacious house is wonderful, but you know realize that a second cooking station would really work well for your family’s lifestyle. Avoid the cost of adding a second kitchen by configuring a new cooking area with modular cooking.

When it comes time to get specific, you’ve now got one more great choice with Jenn-Air modules.

Jenn-Air has long had cooktops with a base model which accepts an array of “plug-in” modules, AND has now entered the category of separate cooking modules with other leading brands such as Wolf, Miele, and Gaggenau.

There’s a complete array of Jenn-Air modular units with a gas single and double module, an induction module, and an exclusive induction module with a concave center for induction wok cooking (below). Also, Jenn-Air has added their popular chrome-infused electric griddle (below) to the modular collection.

Jenn-Air’s collection of cooking modules wouldn’t be complete without a downdraft option. After all, downdraft cooking is what got Jenn-Air started in the first place.

For more information on Jenn-Air and other great appliance brands or decorative plumbing fixtures call or visit the pros at Universal Appliance and Kitchen Center today.

Dacor Appliance Launches Modernist Line

Look at What’s Happening at Dacor

New Dacor Appliances Coming to UAKC

Privately held Dacor has long been known as a standout in the Luxury appliance segment. Dacor has had geographic strength in the Western US where they were founded and where their headquarters and manufacturing facilities have been located. With great performance and some unique features, Dacor carved out a solid niche’ in the cooking segment. To have a full line, Dacor outsourced most of the non-cooking products such as dishwashers and refrigerators.

Now, however, Dacor is part of the giant Samsung company and we’re getting a look at their strength and innovation in these newly launched Dacor products. The new Modernist Line from Dacor has a striking design that keeps some of Dacor’s classic looks and features, but plants itself squarely in the forefront of 21st century styling and innovation.

Let’s take note of a few of the new enhancements in Dacor’s new Modernist Line:

The most striking thing to note in the new line is the new finish which Dacor describes as a “dramatic graphite color that accentuates and elevates the sophistication of any kitchen.”

Dacor-Modernist- Range

Dacor Modernist Range

The Modernist Line includes an updated version of Dacor’s Pro Dual Fuel Range with a Steam option. Complete with digital controls, brass burners on the top, a burner that accommodates a wok, and a griddle. The touch controls are wi-fi enabled for remote operation.

Dacor’s recently launched refrigerated columns are now part of the Modernist Line, too. Below refrigerator and freezer columns are paired:

Dacor-Refrigerated-Colmuns

Dacor Column Refrigeration

As you might expect, thenew Modernist Line also includes Dacor ovens and pro rangetops, gas, and electric cooktops, and a wall hood that connects with the cooktops for seamless operation.

This is just the beginning. Add a matching finish to a Dacor dishwasher, microwave drawer, and warming drawer, and you have a complete Dacor Modernist Line Kitchen.

For more news on Dacor and the Modernist Line collection as well as other major appliances and decorative plumbing fixtures contact the experts at Universal Appliance and Kitchen Center.

Dacor Appliance Launches Modernist Line

Look at What’s Happening at Dacor

New Dacor Appliances Coming to UAKC

Privately held Dacor has long been known as a standout in the Luxury appliance segment. Dacor has had geographic strength in the Western US where they were founded and where their headquarters and manufacturing facilities have been located. With great performance and some unique features, Dacor carved out a solid niche’ in the cooking segment. To have a full line, Dacor outsourced most of the non-cooking products such as dishwashers and refrigerators.

Now, however, Dacor is part of the giant Samsung company and we’re getting a look at their strength and innovation in these newly launched Dacor products. The new Modernist Line from Dacor has a striking design that keeps some of Dacor’s classic looks and features, but plants itself squarely in the forefront of 21st century styling and innovation.

Let’s take note of a few of the new enhancements in Dacor’s new Modernist Line:

The most striking thing to note in the new line is the new finish which Dacor describes as a “dramatic graphite color that accentuates and elevates the sophistication of any kitchen.”

Dacor-Modernist- Range

Dacor Modernist Range

The Modernist Line includes an updated version of Dacor’s Pro Dual Fuel Range with a Steam option. Complete with digital controls, brass burners on the top, a burner that accommodates a wok, and a griddle. The touch controls are wi-fi enabled for remote operation.

Dacor’s recently launched refrigerated columns are now part of the Modernist Line, too. Below refrigerator and freezer columns are paired:

Dacor-Refrigerated-Colmuns

Dacor Column Refrigeration

As you might expect, thenew Modernist Line also includes Dacor ovens and pro rangetops, gas, and electric cooktops, and a wall hood that connects with the cooktops for seamless operation.

This is just the beginning. Add a matching finish to a Dacor dishwasher, microwave drawer, and warming drawer, and you have a complete Dacor Modernist Line Kitchen.

For more news on Dacor and the Modernist Line collection as well as other major appliances and decorative plumbing fixtures contact the experts at Universal Appliance and Kitchen Center.

Smart Appliances at UAKC

What to look for in Smart Appliances

Smart Choices at Universal Appliance and Kitchen Center

What’s a smart appliance?

There’s more than one definition, but for our purposes here we’re going to say that a smart appliance has some degree of connectivity. It might be as simple as an app that notifies you if your refrigerator door has been left open for some period of time. Or it might be remotely pre-heating and cooking a roast from your smartphone. All of this may sound wonderful, but there are pros and cons.

Is it safe?

Some manufacturers, as well as UL (Underwriters Laboratory) have expressed views on limiting remote capabilities for certain products. For example, should a remote app for ovens allow consumers to put their ovens through a self-clean cycle while nobody is home? Even remotely operating a cooking appliance of any sort has some consumers wary. One manufacturer has a remote app that can be set to operate only by Bluetooth which gives the homeowner complete use of remotely operating the appliance only within the house.

How much is the premium for Smart Appliances?

The first refrigerator with a TV built into the door launched over a decade ago and retailed close to $10,000. It really had little functionality, and failed miserably. Today, Samsung has a Family Hub refrigerator with a 21″ tall wi-fi enabled full-featured communications center in the door and cameras inside that can be viewed remotely eg. from the grocery store with the Samsung app. The Samsung Family Hub refrigerator retails for $5800. (Check with Universal Appliance and Kitchen Center for special pricing.)

Are there cost saving benefits to Smart Appliances?

Yes there are. For example, Whirlpool Appliances can be connected to Nest and set to operate at off-peak hours. If your Jenn-Air cooking appliances heat up your kitchen Nest can adjust the temperature to keep you comfortable and ramp a bit when you’re done cooking. There’s more.

Nest-Jennair

Guideline for New Kitchen Appliances

Preferences, Necessities, and Budget

There is lots of online advice on choosing new kitchen appliances. But honestly, this can be a difficult process. Some will say, “Start with your budget.” Makes sense, doesn”t it? But if you haven’t purchased appliances in years, and don’t know for sure what you’re going to need or what things cost, it’s like trying to hit a bullseye wearing a blindfold!

On the other hand, just going out blindly looking for appliances seems rather foolish also. You don’t know what you don’t know, so where do you start? Here is how you might proceed.

  1. What is your current status? Building new, remodeling, or just a straightforward appliance update. Make a tentative timeline from now to completion. Eventually, you’re going to need a hard schedule. Get started now.
  2. Think of the end state. How do you picture your new kitchen in your mind? It’s totally OK to to dream a bit. Close your eyes and think of what you hope your new kitchen will look like. Check your favorite home magazines, and clip photos of what you like! My favorite online site for new kitchen ideas is Houzz.
  3. Think about a budget. Whether it’s $10,000 for a built-in refrigerator, or for all your kitchen appliances, you’re going to need to start with a number. Here are the basic product categories you’re likely to consider. The categories are necessities. Make sure you get the features that are important to you, eg. refer icemaker and dispenser, self-cleaning oven, quiet dishwasher with sani-cycle.
    Kitchen package
  • Refrigerator > built-in or freestanding > side-by-side, top freezer, or bottom freezer?
  • Dishwasher > conventional or dish drawers
  • Cooking > range or separate built-in oven and microwave, built-in coffee maker, steam/convection oven, etc.

If you can, think of a dollar amount for each product category. Click the link below to go to UAKC website for pricing examples.

Go to home page below and scroll down:

UAKC

At this point, you’ve got a good beginning. Take some time to narrow the field of your preferences. Now, you need to go shopping. Call or visit the experts at Universal Appliance and Kitchen Center today.

P.S. Getting a new kitchen full of appliances can be a lot of work, and also a lot of fun. See if you can apply some of your savings to treat yourself to that built-in espresso machine!