How to choose kitchen appliances. Read our introduction to all the options out there.

How to Choose Kitchen Appliances

Surprisingly, appliance selection is a critical first step. Although appliances alone, do not make the kitchen, they are key to the primary function of the room- preparing & cooking meals. They also dramatically impact space allocation within the room. If you fall in love with a side-by-side fridge, will you have enough room for the double wall ovens and the cook top you want?  See, there will be compromises.  Having this information at the start of the project ensures that all of your wants and needs are met.  It will also move the kitchen design process along in a timely fashion.  

Download our FREE appliance type guide for kitchen renovation planning


The budget you establish for your new kitchen greatly influences the appliances you select.  It needs to be realistic for the size and scope of the project.  If you are doing a complete kitchen renovation, they say figure 8%-10% of that budget towards appliances. 

Example: In 2018, the average price paid for a home was $385,000. The rule of thumb is that you should spend between 5%-15% of the home's total value on a kitchen remodel. That means the TOTAL budget of our average house is $57,750;  8% of that would bring your appliance budget between $4,600-$5,800. 


When planning for your new kitchen, you'll want to take into consideration your family's lifestyle and design it around the way you live and entertain. Be sure to make notes on not only how you currently use your kitchen, but also how you might like to use it in the future. Busy family? You might want to add a speedcooking oven. Are you a hosting social butterfly? Specialty appliances like an ice maker or warming drawer might do.  Drafting a wish list of appliance features will make it easier once you start shopping.


Once you have establishes a budget and created a vision for your new kitchen, you'll need to start shopping aka researching specific appliances in each category with the features, performance and style that best meet your needs.  Also consider Energy Star-rated appliances to increase your home energy efficiency. Not to mention the rebates and reduction of emissions #winning! Here are some terms to know, and things to think about... 

Cooking Appliances

One of the biggest decisions you'll make in designing your kitchen is whether you prefer a separate cooktop and wall oven(s) combination or a free-standing range which integrates the cooktop surface and oven in one appliance. There are advantages and benefits to both. However, your choice may be dictated ultimately by the layout or space constraints of your kitchen - an open kitchen with little wall space or a smaller kitchen may not be able to accommodate a separate wall oven.

Whether you opt for a range or a cooktop, you'll need to choose a fuel source. Ranges are available in gas, electric or dual configurations. Cooktops are available in gas, electric radiant or induction. Be aware that induction cooktops require specific cookware for the magnetic interaction between the pan and coils. 

If you decided on a wall oven, you may be surprised to know that your decisions have only just begun. You have to choose if you want a double or single. If you want a convection feature or not (or both if you are getting a double!). Or if this speedcooking oven intrigues you. It is important to note that wall ovens do not allow for custom panel fronts. However, they can be installed under the counter or flush within cabinetry for a more integral look. 

A serious cooktop demands a ventilation system that will usher exhaust out of the kitchen. Proper ventilation not only removes steam, heat and odors from your kitchen but also keeps your cabinets and appliances clean and grease-free. One of the important features to look for is the fan's ability to move air. This is measured in CFM (cubic feet per minute). For best venting, the recommended rate is 1 CFM per 100 BTUs. Another important consideration for ventilation is ducting. To remove the maximum amount of heat and odor, you'll want your ducting to go outside. Otherwise, opt for a duct-free or re circulation hood, which will reply heavily on filtration for odor control. 

Microwaves can consume a lot of space, no matter where you put them, so if you want your microwave to work twice as hard for you consider a fast-speed oven, eliminating the need to purchase a double oven. The most cost effective placement would be above the range, so it doubles for a vent fan too!  


When selecting a refrigerator for your kitchen project, you must first choose one of the three installation types: Freestanding, Built-In or Columns/Full Integrated. Then consider the configuration based on your needs.


Freestanding refrigerators are able to do just that- stand alone. But more often than not, we design them to slide into a custom designed space so they appear to be built in. Standard models will stick out 6 or 7 inches beyond your counter depth (24" standard). If that's not your cup of tea, you can opt for a counter depth model. 

Built-in units are usually taller than freestanding units and will fit flush with your countertop depth for a seamless look. Their compressor is usually located on top and must be installed by professionals. They too, offer optional front panels so custom refrigerator panels can be applied so it will completely blend in with the cabinetry. 

Columns/ Fully Integrated units blend so seamlessly into the design, that is can be difficult to distinguish them from the rest of the kitchen cabinetry. 

Supplemental under counter refrigeration allows you to expand the capacity of your refrigeration in whatever area of the kitchen you need it the most. Beverage centers and wine coolers will not only free up space for platters and dishes in your refrigerator, but can keep your drinks at their optimal serving temperature. Ice makers are a great addition to an entertainer's house.  It is also great for boating or camping families who want to bag their own ice. 


The modern day kitchen has a dishwasher. It may have been a luxury back in the day; but today, it is a given. They are available in 24" and 18" widths.The most popular dishwasher models fold open, but there are dishwasher drawers available for small spaces- these tend to be great for stemware! Both standard dishwashers and drawer dishwashers can be integrated into the design with custom dishwasher panels. Although we always like to warn that wood and water do not mix. 

Often times the sink is an after-thought. But we are here to tell you that it is a good idea to choose one at the same time you choose your appliances & cabinetry. Why? For one reason, a farmhouse/apron sink requires a different cabinet than an undermount sink. Another reason? If you want a double bowl sink, you're going to need a 36" sink base or larger in your design to house the available sinks on the market.  We suggest speaking to the all knowing sink experts over at to help guide you on your way! 

Luxury Appliances

Luxury kitchens have key luxury components that you'd want to research at this stage as well. Besides a home bar and wine storage, what other beverage do we love?  Coffee!  Appliance companies now give you the capability to be your own barista with a sleek, custom look. 


Now that you got a quick introduction on how to go about choosing your appliances, it is now time to talk to an expert.  Our go-to appliance experts are Capuano Appliances in Farmgdale, NY. They too are a wholesale operation and require an appointment to view their extensive showroom. Be sure to let them know you are working with ADirect! They will send us your final appliance spec list, so we can ensure everything will work within your kitchen design. 

Capuano Appliances | (631) 694-0044

215 Central Ave # A, Farmingdale, NY 11735
Hours: Monday through Friday 9:30-5:30 pm 

Download our Free appliance type guide for kitchen renovation planning

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