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Dylan Talks! AARP exclusive interview and in-depth look at the American icon. Read now

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FAQs for Kitchen Design Webinar

Make your dreams come true with these common questions on kitchen design

Appliances

Q: I've heard that refrigerator drawers are more efficient than the familiar stand-alone models. Is this true?

A: Although refrigerator drawers offer convenience and easy reach, Consumer Reports states they "provide poor energy efficiency." For more information, visit Consumer Report's refrigerator page (Note: a subscription is required for access to complete information).

Q: Do you recommend a built-in microwave? I'm concerned about having to replace it in the future and maybe not being able to find the same size. I'm thinking about mounting the microwave above the stove. Is this a good idea?

A: Microwaves come in standard sizes, so you don't really have to worry about replacing a built-in one. The safest locations for microwaves are on or below the countertop. You can also install them at an accessible height with the bottom of the microwave no higher than 34" above the floor.

Q: Which material is better to use for kitchen sinks: countertop material, stainless steel or enamel?

A: There are pros and cons to all sink materials, and the best choice for you depends on your lifestyle and your family's needs. However, a 2007 Consumer Reports testing showed that enamel was more durable than steel. (Just don't drop a five-pound pot into the sink!). You can read Consumer Report's report on the test conducted in 2007.

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