Range or Cooktop and Wall Oven? A Comparison

If you are ready to remodel your kitchen and buy new appliances, buying a cooktop and wall oven instead of a range might be in your plans. Most homes currently have a range, which combines the cooktop and oven into a single appliance. Cooktops (or rangetops) have only the burners. They can be installed within the countertop and on top of cabinets. To have the oven functionality, a cooktop would be paired with a wall oven (which does not have a stovetop like a range). In designing your new kitchen layout, the flexibility of a cooktop and wall oven might seem better than a typical range. However, there are some other items to keep in mind.

Cost

One reason that many home currently have ranges is that they are cost-effective. Consumer Reports writes that top-performing ranges can be purchased for under $1000. While a cooktop can be bought for a similar or cheaper price, the wall oven alone can be more expensive than a range. Combining the costs of the cooktop and the wall oven, consumers should expect to pay at least $2000 for the set. The price can be far greater if other kitchen remodels are necessary to accommodate the combination.

Design

Many homes already have a cutout for a range. Buying a new range is as simple as measuring whether the footprint is 30" or 36" and purchasing a new range of the proper dimensions. Accommodating a cooktop and wall oven can be more extensive. Cooktops are typically placed directly into the countertop, which may require cutting countertop material. If the cooktop is replacing a range, cabinets would need to be installed below the cooktop. Similarly, cabinets would need to be removed for wherever the wall oven is accommodated. Installing gas or electric lines to new areas can also be an additional cost. With a complete kitchen remodel, it may be easy to accommodate these changes, but the challenges are a bit different than a freestanding range.

Cooking Efficiency

The professional-style cooktop with gas burners seems like an efficient choice. Top chefs everywhere seem to have that model. However, the gas cooktops are not really that efficient. Many electric and induction ranges (and cooktops) can boil faster and maintain simmering temperatures better than the gas cooktops. In fact, Consumer Reports recommends the induction style cooktops or ranges for the best performance.

When remodeling the kitchen with new appliances, it's important to consider the benefits and disadvantages of different setups. Replacing an existing freestanding range is typically the simplest and cheapest option. However, the flexibility of a cooktop and wall oven combination may be a preferred choice for an extensive remodel. 

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