Ranges, Cooktops & Wall Ovens

Ranges, Cooktops & Wall Ovens

If you’re looking to buy a range or cooktop at this time, consumers have never been so blessed when it comes to these appliance options. The choices seem almost endless. At the same time, too many options can be overwhelming especially without knowing the differences between these various appliances.

When choosing which to purchase, information on the differences, similarities, and benefits of each can help you with making that decision.

What Is a Range?

A range (or stove) is a two-for-one appliance that includes both a cooktop (or stovetop) with an area of usually four or more cooking zones. These can be either fueled by gas, electricity or induction. The lower part acts as the oven. Generally, the oven is either electric or gas powered and matches the fuel of the stovetop. A standard range is usually 30 inches wide, but there are smaller sizes as narrow as 20-24 inches and as wide as 36 to 48 inches. Professional ranges with double ovens can be as wide as 60 inches.

A dual fuel range (a more expensive item), means that you can have a gas powered stove top and an electric oven. These dual fuel ranges offer the best of both worlds. Gas stovetops have more temperature control and quick heat compared to electric stovetops. Electric ovens are ideal for baking since they distribute heat nicely and evenly.

Three Types of Ranges

  1. A freestanding range is the most common model and what most people have.  These ranges have sides that are finished, so they can stand alone or in between cabinets. They have an oven and stove top. The controls are usually on the back (or backsplash). More expensive models often have sleek looking controls on the front. Most of the time, they are the least expensive of the 3 types. But add ons will affect pricing. 
  2. A range requires a break in the length of a countertop to fit the stove into and a slide-in range does just what it says, it slides in and fits flush with your countertop. This can be used along a wall or a kitchen island. Slide-in ranges have a cooktop that rests on top of the countertop on each side. The cooktop slightly protrudes at the front. This type of range has unfinished side panels. Therefore there must be cabinets on both sides. Cooktop and oven knobs are at the front of the range. These ranges look stylish as they blend in with the cabinetry and the overall kitchen design. Slide-in models usually have a built-in bottom drawer below the oven for storage. These ranges are generally more expensive than freestanding ranges.
  3. A drop-in range fits into customized cabinetry. The control panel is usually on the front of the range. These ranges give a kitchen a high end and integrated appearance. Drop in ranges are the most expensive range option needing expensive custom cabinetry and installation. For this reason, they are not as popular as slide-in ranges. Drop-in ranges don’t have a built-in bottom drawer because they’re dropped down into a custom base.  

What is a Cooktop?

A cooktop is basically the top of a stove and so just takes up space on the countertop.  It needs a cutout in the countertop so the cooktop can be put into the hole. The burner’s knobs are on the top of the counter.

Cook Top Stove

A very similar option, a range-top, is basically a cooktop with the knobs and buttons placed on the front and takes up a little bit more room than a standard cooktop. 

Cooktops and range-tops are fueled by gas, electricity, or induction. The cooktop and range-top sizes are mostly sold in 30 and 36 inch sizes but can be as small as 15 inches or as wide as 48 inches. Although 4 burners is standard, 2 to 6 burner options exist. 

On newer state of the art cooktops, blending of gas/electric/induction technology makes for amazing options for cooking. 

Cooktops and range-tops are usually paired with a separate wall oven.

What is a Wall Oven?

A wall oven is a stand alone appliance that can be built into your wall separately from your cooktop. A nice feature of wall ovens is that they are often placed at eye-level. No need to bend or crouch in order to put food in or take food out.

Wall Oven

Double stacked wall ovens are also popular. They can be stacked on top of each other or side by side. Wall ovens are usually bordered by cabinets, usually above and below the oven(s). There are electric, gas or convection wall ovens. Sizes vary from 24, 27 and 30 inches wide.  

A kitchen remodel is the perfect time for a wall oven as it must be properly built into the wall. Wiring must be done by a professional to ensure safe and proper installation. 

The Benefits of a Range

  1. These are good for a small kitchen as they house two appliances in one, and in one location.
  2. You can adjust for size from 20-24 inches to 30-36 or 48 inches or even a whopping 60 inches.
  3. Ranges are easy to install and remove, especially the freestanding models.
  4. Many different cooking styles are available: freestanding, drop-in, slide-in, double oven and dual fuel ranges with added cost.
  5. There’s a range for every budget type from economy brands to very expensive depending on the type and amount of add ons.
  6. No need to buy extra cabinetry for a freestanding range.

Drawbacks of a Range

  1. The kitchen can get congested if there are too many cooks gathered around one stove.
  2. You have to bend or crouch down to put food in or take food out of the oven. Ergonomically it may not be the best choice especially if you have back problems.

The Pros of Wall Ovens and Cooktops

  1. You get a streamlined look since appliances integrate with countertops and cabinets.
  2. More than one work zone means multiple cooks won’t get in the way of each other.
  3. Cooktops offer increased storage space found directly beneath the cooktop.
  4. Wall ovens placed at eye level are more convenient and ergonomic.
  5. A cooktop (not a range-top) may be a safer choice because the control knobs will be out of reach of small children.
  6. With two wall ovens you can prepare two dishes together at different temperatures. This will allow for large meals with multiple courses. Two ovens provide lots of options for enthusiastic bakers. 
  7. Easy to choose different fuel sources for each appliance, such as, electric wall oven and gas-fueled cooktop.

The Drawbacks of Wall Ovens and Cooktops 

  1. Generally, more expensive because of the need for two appliances and two installations and more cabinetry.
  2. Potentially takes up more space in the kitchen overall.  

You can count on C&W Appliance Service to provide the very best in repair, maintenance and safety tips for all your major appliances. Call us at (855) 358-1496 or submit our online service request form for prompt service.


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