KBIS 2017 Highlights

February 16, 2017

A few of our Famous Tate team members got the opportunity to attend January’s Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) in Orlando.  While there were many cabinetry, flooring, lighting & plumbing manufacturers represented from around the world, there were also some great appliance brands showcasing their latest innovations for designers, builders & remodelers.  Here are just a few of the product highlights we are excited to share with our Tampa Bay area customers…

All Refrigerator with Glass Door for a built-in look

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Frigidaire Professional Series All-Refrigerators & All-Freezers offer the integrated look of built-in models at 1/3 of the price and, until now, have only been available with solid stainless doors.  This Fall, a glass-door All Refrigerator version will be introduced that provides the look of luxurious models costing thousands more.  A built-in proximity sensor will automatically activate the interior lighting to highlight it’s contents, while the smoky gray glass remains opaque when the interior lighting is off. The All-Refrigerator & All Freezer models can be installed separately or together…while optional trim kits provide the built-in appearance.

 

New Black Slate Finish from GE Appliances

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Black Stainless & dark gray finishes like Slate are quickly becoming the most popular alternative to stainless steel in today’s kitchens.  The fingerprint resistant finish is a major benefit to this new color, but the design appeal has been one of the biggest drivers.  GE Appliances has introduced a darker version of their Slate color called Black Slate, which will be exclusively featured in their Cafe Series models.  This Black Slate color is designed to add distinction and durability to kitchens and is versatile enough to match nearly any decor…while still commanding just the right amount of attention.  Currently offered in select built-in cooking models, this color will be expanded into other categories as the year progresses.

 

Jenn-Air Induction Downdraft Cooktop

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Many of our customers are looking to create an open kitchen with an island for food prep, entertaining and, of course, cooking.  Typically, if a cooktop is included in the island, an island hood is required to be installed over it and the open look is now obstructed.  Downdraft cooktops allow you to eliminate the hood and recirculating kits from the Jenn-Air brand make it possible to install one in almost every home, which is especially useful for Florida remodeling.  While downdraft cooktops have always been available in gas or electric versions, an induction model was recently introduced by Jenn-Air, which offers incredibly fast heating & the responsiveness of gas.  While we already display this model in our South Tampa showroom, we wanted to highlight it again because of how perfect it is for the Florida market.

60″ Thermador Pro Grand Range

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The ultimate entertainers center, period.  For those whose culinary endeavors require the very best, Thermador offers the 60-Inch Pro Grand® Steam Range. It’s the only range available with a steam and convection combination oven plus a full-size convection oven, giving you the flavor & health benefits of steam with the browning capacity of convection.  If there’s anything that can make this better, it’s probably the 1-2-Free offer from Thermador that gives you FREE Thermador appliances when you purchase cooking products!

Thermador Liberty Induction Cooktop

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Another great innovation is this new induction cooktop that gives you incredible flexibility for cooking.  This model will be priced just under the Freedom Series induction cooktop, but features 11 oval inductors divided into 3 cooking zones – each zone can accommodate pots and pans from 3” to 11” as well as teppanyaki grills that can measure up to 16”. It is equipped with an array of Thermador-exclusive features, such as HeatShift and MoveMode, which are unique to this cooking surface and empower cooks to move around their cookware during meal prep.

Built-in Refrigeration Columns

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Over the last few years, built-in refrigeration options have grown to include column units that allow designers the flexibility to add refrigerators & freezers in various parts of the kitchen or home.  With widths of 18″, 24″, 30″ and 36″, many different configurations can be used to create incredible layouts…concealing the units completely.  Monogram is the latest to be introducing their column units, while brands like Sub-Zero, Thermador and others already have theirs on the market.   You can seem them all here.

Our Tampa Bay area neighbors can stop in our showrooms to see the latest innovations in kitchen & laundry appliances.  Our sales associates can help answer any questions and provide information on the great, money-saving incentives available on the great brands we carry!  To start researching your options today, you are always welcome to visit our website and browse our wide selection.

 

 


The Connected Kitchen has Arrived

January 24, 2017

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Over the years, appliance manufacturers have added connected features to many premium kitchen & laundry models, but we are now at the advent of the truly connected home.  With products like Amazon Echo & Google Home being added to millions of households and iPhones with the Home app already installed in even more…connected features in appliances can now be easily used.  Homes across the country already have Nest & other similar products controlling how they air condition their home and some appliances will even communicate with these smart devices to manage operating times, based on how they’ve learned the household schedules.

Cooking

Wi-Fi controls now available on many brands allow you to pre-heat your oven remotely, which can be a nv51k7770ds_wall-oven-controlshuge time saver when you are on the way home from the grocery store and need to get your dinner in the oven quickly once you arrive home.  You can even adjust the cooking temperature or the turn the oven on or off without needing to be in the kitchen.  Other connected features allow your ventilation hood to automatically turn on when you’ve begun using a burner of the cooktop below it.  This feature is available on both gas & electric ranges & cooktops.

Laundry

Wi-Fi features in today’s connected washers & dryers allow you to monitor your laundry status and get notifications when cycles connected-laundry_appfinish…so you don’t need to be nearby to hear the end of cycle signals.  Running low on laundry detergent?  GE Appliances have partnered with Amazon Dash to automatically replenish your fabric softener & detergent bottles, so you’ll never run out!  Whirlpool’s new connected models can communicate with Nest devices to know when the house is empty.  If a wash or dry cycle ends while the house is empty, cycles will be activated to keep the clothing freshened in the washer or wrinkle prevent cycles will be activated in the dryer.  Longer drying cycles at lower, more economical heat settings can be utilized when the dryer knows the house is empty and there’s no rush.  Today’s connected laundry products definitely provide purposeful technology!

Refrigeration

Do you ever get home from the grocery store and discover you should have picked up another gallon of familyhubmilk?  Or even worse, you come home and see that you didn’t need another gallon!  Connected refrigerators from Samsung feature the Family Hub screen, which not only shows you the weather, connects with your family calendars and streams internet radio, but also shows what’s inside your refrigerator!  With 3 cameras inside the door, you can see what’s inside your refrigerator from your smartphone…so you can make a quick check before you leave the grocery store.  Other brands utilize this smart technology to monitor the internal water filter and remind you when it’s time to order.

Dishwashers

dishwashers-connected-appSo the rest of the kitchen is already connected…why leave out the dishwasher?  Many high-tech dishwasher models feature wi-fi so you can check remaining cycle times from your phone, or even be notified when your rinse aid is running low.  With GE Appliances partnership with Amazon Dash, a replacement container of rinse-aid can be on it’s way with the click of a button.  But will it be delivered by drone?  We’ll have to wait and see.

 

If you’re one of the millions of homes that already has the tools to create a connected Smart Home, make sure to look for these connected appliances when it’s time to update or replace one in your home!  Our showrooms feature many of these models already and we’d love to tell you more about the benefits when you stop in.  Welcome to the new age of home appliances!

 

 


Basics on major appliance shopping

September 7, 2016

Since major appliances are designed to last many years, it’s a category of products that can require a mad scramble of info gathering when it comes to picking out a replacement.  Since we want our customers to make smart decisions, we thought we’d share a few basics that can help…very similar to the shopping guide provided on our website.

Salesman and customer with kitchen appliances

Washers & Dryers – Capacity for laundry products is measured in cubic feet.  The “standard” width traditionally has been 27″ for the washer & dryer…while many nicer Whirlpool-built dryers have been 29″.  As newer, larger capacity models have been introduced, many models are now 28″, 29″ and even 30″ wide.  You always want to measure your actual laundry room space available, but with modern home designs changing over the last 20 years, most laundry rooms can fit this wider footprint…especially with luxury homes.  For traditional top load washers, expect to see capacities range from 3.5 cu ft – 4.0 cu ft…with or without agitators.  High efficiency models that do not have an agitator can range from 4.0 cu ft – 5.0 cu ft…and some new models even larger than that!  Even with these huge tubs, you’ll want to keep in mind that the washers are not designed to be filled completely with clothing.  There are many regulations on manufacturers to limit the amount of water used in each cycle, and you won’t find models that fill the tub completely any more.  Even without being able to fill them completely, many of the larger models fit double or triple what a normal load size used to be.   Front load washers have roughly the same range of capacities as top loaders…and are designed for ultra-efficient operation.  Matching dryers for either style will typically be about double the capacity of the washer, which allows clothing to spread out while drying for efficient performance.  Nicer models will have more sensors inside for delicate drying capabilities and efficient operation.  If your laundry room is not very big, or even in a closet, you’ll want to look at the smaller capacity top load washers & dryers, since they typically have a shallower depth.  Closet-depth front load models are also available.  For other applications, compact models are available that can be stacked or installed side by side.  These capacities are much smaller and models are typically 24″ wide.

Refrigerators – Like laundry products, refrigerators are also measured in cubic foot capacity. appliance_shoppingrefrig Standard top freezer models can be 15 – 21 cu ft capacity, with 18 cu ft being most  common.  With that being said, it’s hard to know what “normal” is anymore.  There are hundreds of models available in configurations like side by side, bottom-freezer, French Door bottom freezer and even all-refrigerator and all-freezer.  They are available in either freestanding or built-in designs.  Freestanding means it can sit on it’s own and has nice painted sides, while built-in will have unfinished sides and require cabinetry around it for installation.  Spaces for freestanding models can vary from as narrow as 24″ up to 36″, with typical heights from 66″ – 72″, while built-in models are available in 18″, 24″ 30″, 36″, 42″ and 48″ widths, with heights of  80″-84″.  If you have 36″ in width available in your kitchen, you can choose just about any style or capacity you want in freestanding models…but you’ll just want to note the depth of the refrigerator so it won’t stick too far into your kitchen.  Having 32 cu ft of space to store all of your Costco or Sam’s purchases might seem great, but not when it’s sticking out a foot from your cabinets in a small kitchen!

Dishwashers – There are really 2 different widths available for dishwashers – either 18″ wide models for small kitchens or the more standard 24″ width. All are designed to fit under normal countertops, but specialty, ADA-Compliant dishwashers are made to fit under lower countertop heights (typically 33″).  Beyond wash performance, many dishwashers are mreasured by how quiet they operate. You’ll see decibel ratings (dBa) on many models and a nice quiet dishwasher is 50 dBa or less…with the quietest being just under 40 dBa.  As a comparison, a library averages 60 dBa.  While most American dishwashers have always had hard-food disposers inside that get rid of food particles, many manufacturers have shifted to the European filter design to reduce the noise level of their dishwashers.  Cleaning a filter is not a big deal once a month and you still should NOT pre-rinse your dishes.  Detergent needs food residue present to properly clean your dishes.

Ranges/Stoves– While freestanding ranges are typically designed to fit in 30″ wide spaces, there are compact models made in 20″ and 24″ widths as well.  Pro-style ranges can be found in widths as narrow as 24″, but most commonly in 30″, 36″ and 48″…and even as large as 60″.  While most of these models are all-gas or dual-fuel (gas cooktop and electric oven), new induction models are available in 30″ width.  You’ll find lots of information online about how induction works, but in 2  words, it’s FAST and EFFICIENT.  In addition to freestanding and pro-style, you’ll also find slide-in models, which give a more custom, built-in appearance.  New “front control slide-in” models provide the same look, but can replace a standard freestanding range without any need for special countertop cut-out.

Built-in Cooking -When replacing built-in items like wall ovens & cooktops, you’ll want to know theWall Oven cut-out dimensions of your cabinetry.  There are standard sizes, but because of changes over the years…there aren’t always easy replacements.  Typically, items like wall ovens and cooktops have a long life-span in kitchens…and many changes can happen over 20 or 30 years! It’s not always easy to pull out your wall oven or look under your cooktop to get the cut-out size, but many dealers or installation contractors offer services to do the measuring for you and narrow down your replacement options.  Many manufacturers offer a “Fit Guarantee” that will provide a limited amount of reimbursement in case cabinet modifications are needed to make their product fit.

Microwaves – Microwaves are still an essential part of most kitchens.  You can always get a cheap countertop model and you’ll find many options in Over-the-Range models and even built-in models that can match other built-in products. Cooking power, measured in Watts, is always a good judge, but most Over-the-Range models today are 950-1100 watts, which is plenty of power to reheat coffee, make popcorn and thaw meats quickly.  You’ll only find lower wattage in cheaper countertop models. Another big difference is interior capacity,which is measured by…you guessed it, cubic feet.  Many good models are 1.6 cu ft capacity and can be found as large as 2.0 cu ft.  This does not affect the width, but some larger capacity models can be pretty tall, so you want to make sure you have enough height over your range.  (24″ is the minimum…otherwise you won’t be able to see your range controls on the back panel.)   If you are interested in finding new ways to save time in the kitchen, you’ll want to check out the SpeedCook ovens available in the Over-the-Range and Built-in styles, which use halogen light along with microwave energy to get oven-quality results in a fraction of the time.

With all of the information readily available on our smartphones today, we understand that there comes a point where there’s too much data to process.  That’s why our associates act as an extra resource to help guide you into your decision.  With the advent of the internet, our role has changed dramatically for most customers.  Instead of a sales person from year’s past that would try to sell you on a certain product or brand, we can now help curate your options and determine what models meet your needs…and what products can be available in time for your desired delivery or installation.


Last Chance to Replace Your Lanai Grill!

January 22, 2016

If you own a home that features a Jenn-Air downdraft electric grill on your lanai or backJED7430AAB_outside patio, this is your last chance to replace it with a new model!  If you don’t know what a lanai is, then you probably aren’t living in one of the “moderate climates” that these were popular in!  The manufacturer has announced that production of this long-running model will be ending in March 2016.  These electric grills were mainly popular with builders in Florida & Texas over the last 20-30 years, but there is not enough demand to justify continued production.  In the Tampa Bay area, this model was included with many luxury homes in the New Tampa (Hunters Green & Tampa Palms), Odessa, Lutz and Carrollwood Village areas…as well as in parts of Pinellas County just across the bay.

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So if you want to make an easy update to your outdoor cooking space without getting into a full renovation project, now is the time to purchase a replacement unit.  The current model number of the Jenn-Air lanai grill is the JED7430AAB and it’s available only in black color.  You can visit your local authorized dealer for more information.

 

In the Tampa Bay area, Famous Tate is an authorized dealer and plans on keeping these in stock while they are available!

*UPDATE – The JED7430 models are now completely sold out.  – July 2016

 


25 Design Trends in 2016 from Houzz

December 30, 2015

We love it when our posts on new kitchen trends gets shared by an editor from Houzz! Check out this great feature on design trends for the new year…


Which is better? Hand-washing dishes or using the dishwasher?

December 23, 2015

December’s Cool New Appliances

December 9, 2015

There are always great new products introduced throughout the year, but this Winter has some pretty exciting products being added to our showrooms!

The first you’ll want to check out is the new Whirlpool 5-door French Door refrigerator, which offers 2 independently temperature controlled drawers in the middle for added convenience.  Both  full-extension drawers feature a soft-closing system so you never have to worry about slamming them shut.  The glass shelving inside the refrigerator features Whirlpool’s exclusive Micro-Edge technology, which provides the most glass surface for maximum storage and still contains any spills.  Panoramic LED lighting inside lights up all corners, while the In-Door-Ice system conveniently stores the ice cubes in the door, providing more usable space inside the fresh food compartment.  It’s on display now, but you can check it out here:  http://www.famoustate.com/products/Whirlpool/whirl/wrv986fdem.html

 

With the popularity and convenience of Keurig k-cups, GE Cafe has now introduced a French Door refrigerator that features a built-in Keurig brewing system!  What a great way to free up space on your kitchen counters by integrating with the refrigerators water dispensing system.  GE Cafe models have had an industry-exclusive hot water dispenser for the last few years, now this just adds to the convenience.  Independent dealers, like Famous Tate, have this new model on display now and are ready for delivery to your home.  The new models are available in standard depth as well as a Counter-Depth version for a more custom look.  Check it out here:  http://www.famoustate.com/products/General-Electric/ge/cfe28ushss.html

 

Although not available for delivery yet, we wouldn’t want to miss out on an opportunity to mention the new Twin Wash system from LG.   Have you ever put in a load of clothes, then realized you have a few items that need a delicate wash cycle?  Instead of waiting for the next load and extending the time spent on your laundry, you can toss those items into the new small washer that fits below an LG front load washer!  The Side Kick washer fits inside the pedestal of a standard LG front load washer and conveniently tucks away when not in use.  It features 3 wash actions for a variety of fabric types…which is perfect for those extra items!  There’s an optional remote control available that is sure to impress your friends, but the smart features & styling of the new LG washers will probably impress them even more!  We will have the new Twin Wash system displayed in our showrooms as soon as they arrive this month!  Learn more here: http://www.famoustate.com/_CGI/SEARCH3?PN=lg+twin+wash