Traditional slide-in or freestanding ranges are a common feature in most kitchens, especially in the North American market. They are convenient and were traditionally 30-33” wide, which became the “standard” in many kitchen designs. Wall ovens and cooktop combinations have been around for some time but always required some custom designing. Still today, you are more likely to replace your appliances long before you redo your cabinetry, so sticking to what you have is usually your only option.
With so many more options, customers are now finding the appliances they want before they design their kitchen. This is always a smart idea! A common question we get asked is “What is better, a range or wall oven/cooktop combination?”
There is never a correct answer to this question. Most often it’s answered with a series of additional questions, along with the pros and cons of each, and eventually, we get to a conclusion of what they think they would like best.
So what are the advantages of each option?
Ranges have been and will continue to be, a practical choice in any situation. With options from induction, dual fuel, all gas or electric ranges, you can find your desired cooking method in almost any size and configuration. Not only have they come a long way since their old style coil burners and standard bake/broil oven options, but the variety of styles and colors has expanded immensely as a unique custom styled kitchen needs appliances to match.
One of the biggest advantages to selecting a range, is whether you need a 24” compact unit or a 48” professional style range, is the simplicity of incorporating them into your kitchen. A simple opening on your cabinets the right size is all you need (as well as required hookups).
With the addition of the options mentioned above, ranges are coming with more and more features and functions. Added start and stop functions for a fully automatic oven, convection cooking and with some models a built-in warming drawer, that’s like adding a third appliance without taking up any additional space. Even more so, ranges have become double ovens and even adding a speed or steam oven to the mix, making your range you all in one cooking station.
For those thinking long term, a range is always easier to replace, as the only requirement for the latest model is that it is the same width.
Built-In Wall Oven and Cooktops
Having the two separate units allows for placement around the kitchen, which gives more versatility to your design. The size of the appliance plays a big role in this as well. If you tend to do a lot of cooking over your burners, you may want a larger sized cooktop where a moderate or smaller sized oven works just fine.
Wall ovens can often give you more functions and features over a typical range oven. Options like steam cooking or fully programmable auto cooking modes can be a major factor in which oven you decide to purchase.
A major factor for some is the positioning of the oven. With a range, the oven will always be under counter height, which can make placing and removing your dishes from the oven more difficult by having to bend over to reach inside. A wall oven can be placed at any height and is usually placed at a higher level, making access to the oven much easier.
Cooktops can vary greatly depending on the size of the cooktop and burner configuration. Having it as a separate unit is great for finding the one that suits your cooking style best, without being limited to the configurations of an entire range, and usually without the big difference in price.
Again, for those thinking long term, replacing either unit can sometimes be difficult, as you are most likely going to be stuck with the similar make and model to ensure they can easily be replaced without altering cabinetry or countertop.