Range vs. Cooktop: Which Should You Choose?
While a range is a classic, dependable choice for many kitchens, a cooktop plus wall oven configuration can offer some unique benefits. A range is an all-in-one appliance that’s simple to install, while a cooktop plus wall oven can add versatility and spread out kitchen tasks.
Whether you’re building a new home, remodeling or just updating appliances, it’s definitely worth taking the time to analyze all your options. Use this guide to get a better idea of what ranges, cooktops and rangetops are, what they can offer and how to find the right appliances for your kitchen and cooking style.
What’s the difference between a cooktop and range?
A range is the common kitchen appliance you’ll find in most American kitchens. It combines a stovetop, also called a cooktop, and an oven. A cooktop is the flat, open surface you sear and saute on that does not have an oven below it, but instead integrates into countertops. Some people use the term “cooktop” when referring to the top of a range rather than the standalone appliance, but that can be called a “stovetop” as well.
Both ranges and cooktops come in gas and electric options in a variety of sizes, like these gas ranges and electric ranges from Maytag. Most people who opt for a cooktop vs a range will also buy a single or double wall oven for all their baking, roasting and broiling needs. Learn more about your range options by reading an article on different range and oven types.
Is there a difference between a cooktop vs. a rangetop?
Cooktops and rangetops are very similar. The major difference is that cooktops integrate more fully into countertops while rangetops mimic the look of a range. Cooktops are surrounded by countertops on all sides while rangetops only have them on either side, much like a slide-in range would.
Control location: Cooktops feature controls that are built into the cooking surface while rangetops position them in front, facing the user.
Aesthetics: Cooktops have a clean, built-in look while rangetops tend to have a more commercial appearance.
Installation: Cooktops drop into a countertop cutout from the top and rangetops slide into them from the front. Some rangetops feature an overhang trim to cover the gaps between the appliance and the countertop.
Cooktops and Ranges: What are the pros and cons?
If you’re weighing a range vs. a cooktop plus wall oven configuration, consider these pros and cons.
Cooktop plus wall oven pros and cons
- Integrates with countertops and cabinets for a streamlined, built-in look
- Double wall ovens offer large capacities up to around 10 cubic feet
- Multiple work zones spread out cooking tasks
- Generally more expensive because of the need for two appliances and two installations
- Potentially takes up more space in the kitchen overall. Learn about wall ovens sizes.
Range pros and cons
- An all-in-one appliance where all the action happens
- A simple, single appliance installation
- Can be an economical, space-saving option
- Requires bending over to use the oven
- Harder for two people to be working near the range at the same time
Should I choose a cooktop or range for my kitchen?
Do you have a smaller kitchen?
A range can help make the most of the space you have by concentrating cooking appliances in one spot.
Do you often cook with a partner?
The ability to separate the oven and cooktop allows one person to sear, saute or boil on the cooktop while the other attends to dishes in the oven.
Are you on a budget?
Ranges offer a huge variety of prices and styles. You may find more options to fit your budget if you go with a range.
Do you want a large amount of oven space?
The largest double wall ovens tend to have more capacity than the largest double oven ranges. Of course, you could also have a range and a wall oven.
Shop for the right Maytag® range or cooktop
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