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Talk Me Into Or Out Of Thermador/Monogram (Open to Options)

Melissa Taliaferro
May 24, 2019

Full remodel underway. We have five children, three of whom are teens, so I cook a lot of food, and I cook often! Also, I am a vegetarian, so it's very common for me to have multiple large skillets in use at a time + sauce pans, so I want a 36" range. I have an existing 30" electric wall oven that I intend to use in the remodeled kitchen (fairly new and in good condition).

I need a range, dishwasher, exhaust hood insert, and want a 42" refrigerator.

I have looked at Thermador Pro Grand (b/c of the extra depth), and the Monogram. I like them both. I am being told the Cafe is pretty much the Monogram, but the incentives are less. So the pricing isn't really that different in the end if I am willing to stay with one line for at least 2 pieces.

I can get the Monogram package for $15k for 4 pieces. And, for thermador, it's $21k. Both ranges are all gas, which I am fine w/ b/c I also have the electric wall oven.

What else should I consider? My initial budget was $15k for the appliances, so I would like to stay close to that. I've seen reviews that are all over the board.

If you were purchasing a 36" all gas range, and a 42" built-in refrigerator, what would you get?

Comments (15)

  • homechef59

    Blue Star for the all gas range or range top. If I had to buy a closed burner unit, it would be the Thermador range top, because I like the star shape of the burner.

    If you are keeping the ovens, do you really need a full range? Did you mean to say 36" range top? I prefer a range top and separate wall ovens. I think that is the best configuration if you have the space.

    I've got some friends that just installed the Thermador built-in refrigerator and freezer columns. They love them. I will say that they look really sharp. They didn't want to spend on the Miele.

    I've got the Subzero, but that might bust your budget. In my last renovation, I selected a 36" French door from KitchenAid and put an additional freezer in the garage. I saved a bundle doing that. I estimated that I could buy 2.5 of these before I equaled the expense of the Subzero. It didn't take up the space in the kitchen of a 42" unit. Those get expensive really quickly. And, I really don't like side-by-side refrigerator freezers. I much prefer the over/under design.

    Unless there is something compelling, I don't believe in selecting the same brand for everything. I'm more of a mixer rather than matcher. I like the mid-line Bosch dishwasher. It's a great value. I've had the high-end Bosch and Asko. I'm about to buy a new dishwasher and I will purchase the mid-line Bosch.

    Melissa Taliaferro thanked homechef59
  • mishmosh

    We just have the Monogram all gas range and electric oven. Got a free drawer microwave with factory incentive and in addition, local retailer had discounted pricing. So, you are right, Monogram is just slightly more $ than CAFE. Performance has been great. So has reliability. I think you will enjoy cooking with the Monogram and I would select the exact same appliances again given the choice.

    Melissa Taliaferro thanked mishmosh
  • PRO
    Diana Bier Interiors, LLC

    I have the Monogram range top, speed oven and electric wall oven. Love all of them, especially the speed oven. My fridge is a Subzero and dishwasher a Bosch. I wouldn't go near a GE fridge--they always have problems. I know they are very expensive, so the Kitchen Aid counter depth fridge is a nice compromise at a better price. Love the Bosch DW also--it's very quiet and cleans even stuck on food.

    If you need a package, then maybe Thermador offers a better one. But if you can find the best appliances for your needs, then don't get a package. See if you can get what you want in your price range.

    Melissa Taliaferro thanked Diana Bier Interiors, LLC
  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    IMo the Bosch DW still out classes the rest. I have the frdegadair all fridge/ all freezer coluumns wiyh the builtin kit. I do catering and we have 2 international students both boys so i cook alot and do not find the counter depth too small the Electrolux ones are a lot nicer inside than my old ones and still under 3K for both. As for the range I have an all gas Bertazzoni with convectionmine has the wok burner since I do a lot of stir frys and I have KA double all electric walls ovens with convection I like some things baked in a gas oven like bread, pizza . I will always steer my clients away from appliance pkgs. there is IMHO no maker that makes everthing well buy appliances for how you cook get them all in stainlessthey all look good together.BTW I vent=a hood for venting.

    Melissa Taliaferro thanked Patricia Colwell Consulting
  • zmith

    The only way you're getting a 42" Thermador refrigerator is with the columns (24 + 18). Have you ever had a side-by-side? I think you'll find the freezer stupidly narrow, speaking from experience here. I adore the sleekness of the Thermador products, but I've never actually owned any. My remodel hasn't begun yet. My needs are different from yours, but I found the Thermador package pricing very hard to beat. I'm getting the 30" Pro Harmony. I loved how the burners responded. They lit instantly rather than annoying clicking that some models I tested out had. When I turned the knob the adjust the flames, the flames responded. Perhaps it was due to other models lacking some fine-tuning, but a slow to respond burner was a non-starter for me.

    Have you actually tried out the Monogram range? I loved the look of it but couldn't get past the fact that it was a GE.

    Good luck with your decision. We've all been there. :)

    Melissa Taliaferro thanked zmith
  • Melissa Taliaferro

    Thanks for the input, all!

    homechef59: My existing 30" wall oven is a microwave and wall oven combo so I do need the 2nd oven provided by the range.

    Patricia Colwell Consulting: The Electrolux columns only come in 30" right? So, 60" for both?

    zmith: What did you choose for refrigeration? I haven't used the Monogram range, but I like the fact that it's deeper. I, too, am a bit stuck on it being a GE.

    Diana Bier Interiors, LLC Good to know about the GE refrigerators.

    You all raise good points about the side-by-side freezer being narrow. I have a 36" SubZero now w/ the freezer on the bottom and I don't really like the freezer drawer. I have a free standing freezer in the garage and an extra refrigerator with freezer, too. But, it's on another level of the house and it's sort of "out of sight out of mind". And, I am adding a 24" beverage refrigerator in the kitchen. Maybe I need to revisit the 36" SubZero again!

  • DrB477

    The Thermador fridge columns are nice (I have a 30+24) but 42" is going to be a 24+18 which is really pretty small on the interior. It's no bigger than a 36" integrated french door fridge and probably less functional given the minimal width layout, particularly on the freezer side. It is also more expensive. It would be hard for me to stomach a five figure fridge/freezer that's so small.

    Melissa Taliaferro thanked DrB477
  • zmith

    Melissa, I chose the 30" Thermador bottom freezer. As I said before, my needs are much different from yours. My decision boiled down to either the Thermador or the Miele. The package pricing was too good to pass up.

    Right now I have a 36" SxS, counterdepth. I hate, hate, hate the freezer section with the ice maker taking up 1/3 of the space. The refrigerator side is not so bad with more than ample shelf and produce drawer space for me.

    ETA: I will also have a separate beverage refrigerator.

    Melissa Taliaferro thanked zmith
  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    Yes sorray abou that but I sure love mine anyway and just designed my kitchen around them

    Melissa Taliaferro thanked Patricia Colwell Consulting
  • cpartist

    If doing gas, I agree about the Blustar. My sister has the 36" Thermador range top and says it's so-so. I wouldn't trust GE anymore as they're now made by Haier.

    My other sister had the Thermador 36" integrated FD and was happy with it. I have the Bosch version of the Thermador integrated and except for the ice maker not shutting off, I love it. Love the dual condensers that keep food fresh much longer.

    However, if I had it to do over, I probably would have bitten the bullet and gone with the SZ 36" FD.

    Melissa Taliaferro thanked cpartist
  • Melissa Taliaferro

    Now, to everyone recommending the BlueStar... I assume the RCS series is sufficient, right? Only $4500?

    Talk to me about open vs. sealed burners.

  • Michelle misses Sophie

    Agree on avoiding GE fridges, particularly the built-ins. They have A LOT of issues with control boards and inverters. We experienced no-cooling failures every 12-18 months with our 48" Monogram and had several neighbors and friends with similar issues on their 36" Monogram units. Most common failure was the inverter board, followed by the control board.

    I also wouldn't go with a package of all the same brand appliances. As many will recommend here, buy the best you are comfortable with in each category. Bosch and Miele make MUCH better dishwashers than GE. Thermador is a snazzed-up Bosch. GE does a very good job with cooking appliances but not refrigerators or dishwashers.

    BTW, if you can do a regular-depth 36" fridge, it will have much more capacity than a 42" built-in AND will be lower cost.

    Melissa Taliaferro thanked Michelle misses Sophie
  • Jerry Jorgenson

    For $15K this is what we got:

    Rachiele 42" copper sink

    Bluestar wall oven

    Wolf Induction cooktop

    Vent-A-Hood hood.

    Miele dishwasher

    We didn't replace the Bosch fridge

    Melissa Taliaferro thanked Jerry Jorgenson
  • M

    The Bluestar RNB is the sweet spot in their product line. But the RCS should be fine. If you feel comfortable messing with your appliances, you can always buy spare parts aftermarket and upgrade one of the burners to more power. Bluestar won't sell you parts from other product lines, but search the archives for how you can make these adjustments.

    Having said that, even the "low powered" burners in the RCS are not bad at all compared to any of the competitor's offerings. The open burners are a breeze to keep clean. If cleanability is your highest priority, get induction. If it is just high on the list, but you are willing to compromise a little bit, then get a Bluestar with open burners. Once the grates have been seasoned, it's a quick wipe with a damp cloth after each use, and cleaning of the drip trays maybe two or three times a year.

    If you have a big family, you should seriously consider buying a round-bottom wok. The Bluestar has a built-in wok burner insert and the tall walls of a wok are great at reducing splatter -- and you really can't beat the capacity. Once properly seasoned, a carbon steel wok is super easy to maintain and keep clean.

    On to a different topic. We have a SubZero all fridge column and some undercabinet freezer drawers. This combination works great for us. But of course things are different for each household. I also am extremely pleased with our True all-fridge in the garage. It is much cheaper than a SubZero column, but has all of the benefits of an all-fridge (I guess, they also make all-freezers). I called around and haggled with my local dealer. Got a great price including delivery. It's not suitable for kitchens as it is a little too loud for that. But in the garage it's perfect. We actually built a small wall around it. We now have an "integrated" fridge that we can unload into straight from the trunk.

    Melissa Taliaferro thanked M
  • Michelle misses Sophie

    If you are considering a Bluestar gas range AND you are interested in convection, research and understand the issues they are having (safety recall) with convection. They are having to respond/modify existing models so the convection fan can't run when the gas burner is on.

    Melissa Taliaferro thanked Michelle misses Sophie

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