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Commercial-Grade Appliances

A rundown on all you need to know about choosing the right professional appliances.

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choosing the right professional appliances

How much extra space do professional appliances require compared to regular ones? Well, it varies according to the appliance.

Stove -- The standard width is 30"; professional ones can be anywhere from 30" to 40" or even as wide as 60".

Refrigerator -- Standard refrigerators are usually 36" wide, and professional ones are 42" or 48". There are also modular refrigerator units on the market that come in those same sizes; these can be hidden behind cabinet doors -- and even used separately so that you have different units in a couple of locations in your kitchen. A couple of nice features about these refrigerators are that they can be set so they're flush with the fronts of your cabinets, and that there's more storage space on the bottom, thanks to the fact that the compressor is now located on top of the unit. Wall ovens (figure B) also come in standard sizes. They have lots of great new features too, such as pushbuttons to make the controls disappear when they're not needed.

Professional appliances look very heavy, which makes some homeowners concerned if they need to add extra support to the floor. That shouldn't be necessary. Weight isn't really a consideration, but you do need to have your appliances professionally installed. You should also consider the type of fuel that will be required, as professional ranges come in gas only (figure C). So if you opt for having one installed and you've never cooked with gas before, you'll have to have a gas line added and then learn a different way of cooking. Also keep in mind that a professional range will require a powerful ventilation system (figure D) -- a standard hood vent just won't do the job.

Whether or not professional appliances really worth the investment is a personal decision based on budget and taste. Many people choose professional appliances for their style, or because they have large families and/or cook and entertain a lot. In terms of budget, there can be a big difference between standard and professional appliances: a standard range and refrigerator can start at around $600 and $1000, respectively, whereas their professional counterparts can start in the thousands.

There are three innovative additions to the kitchen that comsumers may find interesting:

A dishwasher drawer, certainly an improvement in the looks department; a refrigerator drawer, which is deep enough to hold tall drinks and other large items that can be a challenge to store; and a warming drawer, which is great for keeping food warm when you're entertaining.

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