Consumer Reports test best stoves, floor tiles

AUGUST 4, 2011

You might be tempted by two new pro-style ranges that will fit into a 30-inch space, but they are pricey, costing $4,000 to $5,000.

Consumer Reports tested the Jenn-Air pro-style stove and one from GE.

"We put these two ranges through the same battery of tests that we use on all ranges here at the lab, including broiling burgers, baking cookies, and simmering sauces," said Dan DiClerico.

They are very good overall and excel at simmering, but they are not tops for things like broiling and fast cook top heating.

"If you only have 30 inches for a range, we suggest sticking with a conventional one. You'll get much better performance for a much better price," says Dan.

But GE says its pro-style Monogram range offers benefits that lower cost products do not, including reversible burner grates on all four burners, a 5.3 cubic foot oven with a professional reverse-air convection oven system; full extension, self-clean oven racks and rack supports, and a two-year parts and labor warranty.

Still, Consumer Reports recommends the conventional range from LG for $1,900 or the $1,600 GE Profile PGB910SEM instead.

Floor tiles testing

Home Depot sells Cliks, a ceramic floor tile that you click together yourself. No adhesive or grout needed!

Consumer Reports tested Cliks looking for resistance to wear and tear and stains.

"Cliks was impressive in most of Consumer Reports' tests, but when it came to what we call the drop test, that was a different story," explains Consumer Reports, John Galeotafiore.

Testers drop metal weights from various heights to see how well the flooring holds up. There were a lot of chips and cracks.

"And since the tiles lock together, you'd have to remove a whole row just to replace one," Galeotafiore.

The maker of Cliks, Daltile, says Cliks are manufactured to American National Standards Institute specifications and have been tested to exceed demanding industry standards.

Like all porcelain tiles, Cliks tiles are subject to breakage when heavy weights are dropped on them.

Meantime, Consumer Reports recommends, Surface Source plastic laminate. It's sold at Lowe's for just a dollar a square foot.

Mullican St. Andrews pre-finished solid-wood flooring is about $6.00 a square foot.

And Consumer Reports advises considering vinyl if you're worried about dropped pots. It says a good choice is the Congoleum DuraCeramic Sierra Slate just $5.00 a square foot.

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