Kitchen range manufacturers design and sell new models every year. While the technologies and features that these companies integrate into their products change every year, turning them into more efficient and flexible appliances, their overall designs remain unchanged.
There are currently two main types of kitchen ranges that cater to the needs of different people. They both come at all sizes and prices, and choosing one over the other is more a matter of personal preference and cooking style, rather than one related to features.
What is the difference between freestanding and slide-in ranges?
Those who are looking to get a new kitchen range are usually faced with many choices such as which features to go for, or selecting a bigger or smaller range in order to fit in the available space. However, deciding between a slide-in vs a freestanding gas range is also important, as this choice affects how the owner actually uses the appliance.
Let’s look at what sets the two models apart:
Slide-in kitchen ranges:
- Built to fit in-between kitchen cabinets – Slide-in kitchen ranges do not have finished sides due to the fact that they are designed to fit in flush in the space between kitchen cabinets, allowing for a smooth transition between the cabinet surfaces and the stove.
- General dimensions – Slide-ins are usual 30-inches wide, however, most models have a top section that’s two inches wider in order to overlap the countertop;
- Burner knobs on the front – These models have all the controls positioned on the front panel, above the oven, in order to allow the back of the kitchen range to make a seal with the wall behind it;
The slide-in models are essentially designed to look like they are part of the counter and not a separate kitchen element.
Freestanding kitchen ranges:
- Backguard controls – The most obvious difference in terms of design is the fact that a freestanding range has a backguard. This element houses various controls, usually related to oven features and functions, as well as an electronic display;
- Finished sides – Another big difference when compared to slide-in kitchen ranges is the fact that these models come with finished sides, giving owners more flexibility when it comes to finding a place for them in the kitchen;
A look at the advantages and disadvantages of a slide in gas range vs freestanding ones
When it comes to the pros and cons of each design, the main differences are in terms of aesthetics and usability.
Freestanding kitchen ranges can be placed anywhere. They have finished side panels and will look great even when they’re not surrounded by cabinets. However, the fact that the oven controls are usually on the backguard may make it more difficult to switch it on while the stove burners are active.
At the opposite pole, slide-in ranges have all of their controls on the front panel, above the oven, where they can be easily operated at any time. The disadvantage with this model is that it must be placed between cabinets. Placing it at the beginning or end of the counter is possible, however, the unfinished sidewalls do not look good and should be hidden.
In the end, those who are not sure which one to choose must look at where the kitchen range will be positioned and also decide if having a number of controls on the back panel is a deal-breaker or not. Other than these differences, it is also important to note that while slide-in ranges are easier to clean and have a nicer aesthetic when properly installed, they come in fewer models and are more expensive than freestanding ones.
Replacement of one type of range with another
Those looking to replace their existing kitchen range with another type will have to keep a few things in mind:
- Slide-in kitchen ranges will leave a small space near the back wall when installed in the place of a freestanding model. This space needs to be covered with a strip of material or a counter in order to prevent food from falling behind the kitchen range.
- Installing a freestanding kitchen range will require more room at the back, near the wall. If you had a slide-in model before, the countertop at the back will have to be removed in order for the new model to fit.
Choosing between a slide-in stove vs a freestanding model can affect the way you cook, and also how the kitchen will look. Keep in mind that you should always measure the available space, consider how you will use the oven, and make a purchase afterward.