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Kitchen Island Cooktop or Range: Which Should You Buy?

Whether you have an island in your kitchen, or you’re planning to add one as part of your next renovation, adding an island range or cooktop can expand its possibilities.

Consider how you will move in the kitchen before choosing a range or cooktop. The sink, the refrigerator and the stove form the “working triangle” and, as the theory goes, should be equal distances from each other, but not too close. You can dramatically improve the flow and look of your kitchen with a kitchen island that has a range or a cooktop, but which one is right for you?

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Comparison: Kitchen Islands with Cooktops vs. Ranges

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When installed in-line with kitchen counters, standard ranges and cooktops occupy valuable counter and cabinet space and force you to work away from family and friends. By creating a kitchen island with a range or cooktop, you can free up space for countertop appliances and prep work around the perimeter of your kitchen. Compare the benefits of a kitchen island range and a kitchen island cooktop below.

Benefits of a Kitchen Island Range

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If you want to replace an old stove in your kitchen island or install one in a new island, you can enjoy the benefits of today’s ranges. For example, some ranges are now equipped with smart features that you can control from your phone, like preheating or steaming the oven to add moisture. When planning, consider how you work and move around in your kitchen, then consider your kitchen’s size and traffic flow before making your decision.

If you want a smooth island top, a slide-in range is a must. Kitchen islands with ranges help you:

1. Cook More Efficiently

Streamlining your cooking area with a range can make your kitchen run as smoothly as your creativity. It eliminates the need for multiple cooking and baking appliances. Your island range allows you to cook, bake, and prep on the countertop with ease.

2. Enjoy a Central Cooking Area

Organize your kitchen layout to meet your cooking needs by using your range and island as a central cooking location. An island range can also allow you to face your company as you cook, creating a “theatre” effect for your guests.  

3. Make the Most of Your Kitchen Space

You’ll have more room to move freely through your kitchen as you create when you add a range to your kitchen island. An island range can also open up more space on your countertops to display and easily access countertop appliances.

Can You Use a Gas Stove on an Island?

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While gas ranges can technically be installed in kitchen islands, you will have to take some additional steps, such as installing a gas line in the island.

Benefits of a Kitchen Island Cooktop

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When you choose a cooktop and wall oven configuration, islands with cooktops divide prep work into two areas: one at the cooktop for simmering, sautéing and boiling, and another at the wall oven for baking and roasting. An island with a cooktop and a separate wall oven is ideal for:

1. Kitchen Islands that are Small or Oddly Shaped

Consolidating your cooking space with an island cooktop will improve the flow of your small or unconventional kitchen layout.

2. Added Storage Space Near the Cooking Surface

The additional storage space that you will have at your disposal can be used to its full potential when you have a cooktop on your kitchen island. Keep your favourite spices and most commonly used ingredients handy in the island cabinets.

3. Large Kitchens with an Extended Working Triangle

A large kitchen can be made more efficient by having a dedicated cooking area, in which all your prepping and ingredients can be handled easily, without constantly having to move throughout the entire room.

4. More Oven Cooking Space

When you choose a cooktop plus wall oven setup, you can add additional baking and roasting space with a double wall oven.

5. Avoid Bending Over to Use the Oven

The addition of a wall oven will allow you to bake and roast without bending down like you would with a range, which is convenient for those with limited mobility.

What Is the Ideal Depth of an Island With a Cooktop?

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The typical width of an island is 24 inches (61 cm), but you’ll need about 8 additional inches if you’re adding a cooktop. Generally, an island with a cooktop should be 36 inches (91 cm) to 42 inches (106 cm) deep.

Ventilation for Kitchen Island Ranges or Cooktops

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As island cooktops and ranges are often at the centre of your kitchen, it is important to keep the air flowing. This can be tricky on a kitchen island since there are no walls in which to install ventilation. Fortunately, you can find kitchen hoods that can be installed over kitchen islands. Overhead island range hoods help capture smoke, steam, and grease produced by the kitchen island cooktop, provide an additional light source, and can add a bold statement to your kitchen design. 

If you’d like to maintain a more open feel in your kitchen, you can avoid adding overhead venting with a downdraft vent hood. Retractable systems are installed directly behind the cooktop or range in the kitchen island. The downdraft hood slides down until it is flush with the countertop for a more subtle appearance when not in use.

Downdraft Ranges and Cooktops for Kitchen Islands

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You might want to consider a downdraft cooktop or range for your kitchen island if you’re looking for a minimalist style. Integrated downdraft ventilation systems eliminate the need for separate vents in these appliances. This integrated ventilation system doesn’t require much space, and you won’t need to install a second venting appliance like an overhead hood or retractable downdraft vent. Downdraft ranges and cooktops are a great alternative which may  save you money compared to the installation cost of two separate appliances and installations, or if you prefer a home with more open sightlines.

Ready to Shop Ranges and Cooktops for Your Kitchen Island?

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Depending on your cooking style, you can choose from gas, electric, induction, and downdraft options if you’d like a range for your kitchen island.

Choosing a cooktop plus wall oven can still provide you with a wide range of design and burner options, including gas, electric, induction, downdraft and electric downdraft.

Our easy-to-use Appliance Finder Tool lets you browse a wide range of cooktops and ranges from the Whirlpool Canada family of brands. Find the right option for your kitchen today.
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