The kitchen is one of the most important spaces in the common household. It is where we gather as family and friends, where memories are made, ideas are hatched. and in most homes where the family also eats and socializes. Of all the appliances within the house, the cooking appliance is one of the most important and can be the most aesthetically pleasing in the kitchen, if the right type and style are chosen. Here you’ll be helped to understand your cooking appliance options.
A range (stove) is a single piece cooking appliance which consists of a cooktop area with sections that cook using gas, electricity, or induction. Below the cooking area is the oven.
The freestanding range is the most common cooking appliance due to its design and cost. Freestanding ranges are finished on both sides and include a backguard with stove and oven controls. Most feature a broiler, storage drawer, warming drawer, or second oven below the main oven. Installation is simple and requires pushing the range in place and connecting the gas or electrical.
The largest, and most easily noticed differences between the freestanding and slide-in range is the lack of a backguard and the placement of the oven controls on the front. They also lack finish on the sides so cabinets are generally required on each side. The top of the range usually has a lip that sits on the counter to prevent spills and drips from leaking between the cabinets and range.
These ranges are practically slide-ins, but are missing the storage or warming drawers beneath the oven. They are typically less popular due to the need for cabinet space beneath the range to accommodate for the drop-in style.
Cooktop vs Rangetop
The terms “Cooktop” and “Rangetop” are commonly used interchangeably. When in fact, there are many differences between the two. Both are essentially standalone stovetops, complete with all of the nooks and crannies. Burners, knobs, and cooking grates. Most choose a rangetop or cooktop over the conventional freestanding range because their cabinetry doesn’t have the space to fit the larger appliance. While both the freestanding range and the Cooktop/Rangetop have the same functionality, there are still a few differences between them.
A Cooktop is built into a countertop and is generally paired with wall mounted or built-in ovens. These can also be gas, electric, or induction. They require a much smaller cutout in your countertop space compared to the rangetop. Cooktops are set inside the countertop and are surrounded on all four sides. Cooking controls and knobs are on top of the appliance, not facing outward like the knobs on Rangetops. Parents of younger children typically aim for this design as it’s harder for the kids to reach the controls. Glass cooktops, also known as smoothtops, are easy to clean compared to their rangetop counterparts.
Unlike cooktops, rangetops are installed into the countertop and cabinet with control knobs positioned on the front of the unit. The cutout for the rangetop will also be deeper and the unit is taller than that of the cooktop. Many people prefer the rangetop due to the front mounted cooking controls, which stop them from having to reach over boiling pots of water and pans of grease to reduce or increase temperatures. The back of the rangetop almost extends to the wall, which usually requires a separate backsplash to reduce the amount of heat that reaches the wall. Rangetops are generally a better choice for cooks who need commercial-style power. Depending on the size your kitchen (and budget) can accommodate, your rangetop could include more burners, griddles, infrared charbroilers as well as a French top.
We can Dream. Can’t we?
How about this monster 60″ range! Who wouldn’t LOVE to have a kitchen big enough to house this?
Cooking Appliance Decisions
Appliance choice is often decided by the space available in your kitchen, as well as the type of cooking you will be doing. It’s important to remember exhaust options as well. Range hoods can hang freely over an island, mount to a wall, or downdraft (where they rise up vertically from the counter-top and exhaust fumes below the counter.) While we don’t sell appliances, we build our designs around the appliances you choose, so educating you on the different cooking appliance options is part of our job.