When renovating your kitchen, one of the first things to consider is the appliances you need. There are multiple options, and a question homeowners often ask is: “What’s the difference between a range or cooktop and why would I select one over the other?“
This article can assist you in better understanding their advantages as well as their differences so that you can determine which is best for your particular needs and lifestyle.
What is a Range?
These cooking appliances include a cooktop or stovetop and an oven in one streamlined unit. They are typically larger and designed to fit perfectly between your kitchen cabinets.
What is a Cooktop?
These appliances are installed in the countertop and are often paired with a separate wall oven to create a seamless and integrated look. Cooktops are also available in a range of sizes and configurations.
Which One Is Best For My Kitchen Size?
A range is often preferred over a cooktop and wall oven combination in a small kitchen with limited cabinet and wall space. For those who prefer built-in appliances, wall ovens and cooktops can still work in smaller spaces as many manufacturers offer appliances that are 24” (60 cm) in width and designed specifically for small spaces.
Typical range dimensions include 24”, 30”, 36”, and 48” in width (60, 76, 91 and 121 cm). Ranges are typically 30” (76 cm) wide, which means they usually fit into existing cabinet openings, making them a practical choice for many kitchens.
The space requirements of a single wall oven are similar to those of a 30” (76 cm) standard range, whereas the double or combination wall ovens take up more vertical cabinet space.
You can use the space underneath the cooktop as a storage area. Some brands of wall oven can be installed directly underneath a cooktop. Always check the installation instructions to be sure before purchasing your appliances.
Do I Need One or Two Ovens?
If you’ve been wondering, “Do I need one or two ovens?”, the answer is: it depends entirely on your cooking habits.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding:
- Do you find that one oven sometimes doesn’t provide you with enough capacity?
- Do you often cook multiple dishes at once?
- Is your kitchen large enough to accommodate two ovens?
Most manufacturers offer double ovens in a range format. However, if you need two full-size ovens, a wall oven may be a better choice for you than a range, since the second oven in the range is usually smaller than a regular full-size oven.
Which One is Best Suited To My Cooking Habits?
Your individual cooking habits are an important factor to consider when deciding between a range and a cooktop/wall oven combination. Here are some questions to consider before deciding:
- You should consider the distance between the cooktop and the oven if you’ll be cooking on the cooktop and finishing meals in the oven.
- A range oven can be difficult to lift heavy pots out of, so a wall oven may be a better ergonomic option, as you can install them at the height that works for you.
- Do you value flexible burner configurations? Cooktops can offer more options for style, size, and features.
- Is there a lot of cooking going on in your kitchen? Solo cooks don’t have to worry about competing for access to appliances. When you have two or more chefs in your kitchen, it’s wise to design your workspace so you don’t get in each other’s way. It is possible to have separate cooking and baking zones with a cooktop and wall oven.
Which Design is Best For My Kitchen Style?
Are you looking for a professional-style cooking set-up? Some brands offer this look with their professional-style ranges. These come in a variety of sizes, typically offering more cooking capacity.
Maybe you prefer the sleek look of built-in appliances? A wall oven and cooktop may be right for you. For those who prefer the over-under set-up of a range, many choose a sleek cooktop with a wall oven beneath.
We have summarized the benefits of ranges vs. cooktops for your convenience.
Benefits of Ranges:
- They may be more affordable if you go with a standard range.
- A space-saving solution for small kitchens.
- Easy to install.
- Typically, standard ranges will fit into existing cut-outs.
Benefits of Cooktop/Wall Oven Combos:
- A cooktop/wall oven is ergonomically ideal. When it is installed, you will not have to bend down to handle cookware.
- Wall ovens are offered in multiple configurations: single, double, and combination.
- Separate cooking and baking zones provide adaptability to kitchen configurations.
- You can choose from different stovetop and oven styles, as well as types of fuel and sizes.
- Multiple cooks can work together more efficiently.