So you’ve decided to start shopping for a range, and you suddenly feel a bit overwhelmed. What you thought would be an easy switch out has become a detailed journey of how you cook, what you want to cook, what fuel you want to use, and more.
With the dizzying array of options available to choose from, you may not realize you have even more choices. You don’t have to get a range—you can just get a cooktop. As much as you want that Thor professional gas range, now you’re stopped in your tracks wondering whether a cooktop will do.
We understand how many details you have to consider when shopping for your high-end appliances. So to help you figure out which style best suits you and your kitchen, this post walks you through the differences and considerations of buying a cooktop versus a range.
Key Differences Between a Cooktop and a Range
Using a cooktop and a range serve similar purposes in a kitchen, but they have some differences worth considering:
- A cooktop is a standalone appliance typically installed into a countertop.
- It consists of burners or heating elements on the surface.
- Cooktops are available in various types, such as electric, gas, induction, and ceramic.
- They provide flexibility in kitchen design, allowing you to pair them with wall ovens or place them in kitchen islands.
- A range, also known as a stove, combines a cooktop and an oven in a single appliance.
- It comes in various configurations, including gas ranges, electric ranges, and dual-fuel ranges (which combine gas cooktops with electric ovens).
- Ranges are a space-saving solution, especially for smaller kitchens, as they eliminate the need for a separate oven.
- Ranges come in a wide variety of sizes and specifications to accommodate someone who only cooks on occasion to even the most serious home cook.
Considerations to Make Before Buying a Range or Cooktop
Choosing between a cooktop and a range depends on several factors, including your kitchen layout, cooking preferences, budget, and available space. Here are some considerations to help you make the decision—decide which of these are most important to you:
- Kitchen layout and space: Assess your kitchen layout. Do you have space for a separate wall oven, or is your kitchen better suited for an all-in-one solution? Cooktops offer flexibility in placement, allowing you to install them in a kitchen island or anywhere on the countertop. Ranges are a space-saving option, ideal for smaller kitchens. However, if space is not an issue you may want to devote a large space to a Thor professional gas range or spread your cooking throughout the kitchen by installing wall ovens and a cooktop separately.
- Cooking preferences: Consider your cooking habits. Do you primarily use the oven for baking and roasting, or do you prefer stovetop cooking? If you bake frequently or require precise temperature control for baking, a range might be more convenient due to the integrated oven. If you love stovetop cooking and want more options for customization, a cooktop paired with a separate wall oven could be a better choice. Of course, if you do a lot of preparation for large dinners often, you may prefer the convenience of a range so that you have all of your food in one place. However, if you want to allow for others to help in the kitchen with ease, you may want to separate the stove and cooktop.
- Energy source: Decide whether you prefer electric, gas, induction, or another energy source for cooking. Both cooktops and ranges come in various options. Gas ranges are preferred by many chefs for their precise heat control, while electric and induction cooktops are known for their quick heating and easy cleanup. While ranges and stoves all come with any of these energy sources, only ranges will allow for dual-fuel—where you have gas for cooking and electricity fueling the baking in your oven.
- Budget: Consider your budget. Cooktops tend to be less expensive than ranges because they don't include an integrated oven. However, keep in mind that if you opt for a cooktop, you'll need to purchase a separate wall oven, which can add to the overall cost. These costs, however, don’t account for any remodeling you may need to do. Unless you’re building a new home, you may have to spend money retrofitting your kitchen to your needs. You may need a professional to move cabinets, install a gas line, or add what you need to have the proper outlets available.
- Aesthetics: Think about the overall look and style you want for your kitchen. Cooktops offer a sleek and modular appearance, while ranges have a more traditional and cohesive look.
- Installation and ventilation: Consider the installation requirements and ventilation needs for your chosen appliance. Gas cooktops and ranges require proper gas lines and ventilation, for example. If you want a cooktop on an island, you may need work done to install the right ventilation in the right space.
- Future plans: Think about your long-term plans for your kitchen. If you anticipate renovating or upgrading your kitchen in the future, consider how your choice fits into those plans.
Carefully evaluate these factors to determine which appliance best suits your needs and lifestyle. Not all of these factors may be meaningful to your needs. So determine which ones are a priority to help you narrow down your options.
Pros and Cons of Cooktops and Ranges
If you’re still having trouble determining which choice is right for you, assessing the pros and cons of each option can be helpful. Cooktops and ranges each have their own set of pros and cons when it comes to cooking and aesthetics. Examine this quick breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages of both:
- Design flexibility: Cooktops can be installed independently, allowing you to place them in various locations within your kitchen, such as kitchen islands or countertops.
- Customized pairing: You can pair a cooktop with a separate wall oven, giving you the freedom to choose ovens with specific features or sizes that suit your cooking needs.
- Multiple cooking options: Cooktops come in various types, including gas, electric, induction, and more, providing options to match your cooking preferences and techniques.
- Easy repairs: If a component on your cooktop malfunctions, it can be easier and more cost-effective to replace or repair than an integrated range.
- Additional costs: Purchasing a separate wall oven to complement the cooktop can add to the overall cost compared to a single range.
- Installation complexity: Installing a cooktop and wall oven separately might require more extensive kitchen modifications and professional installation.
- Space efficiency: Ranges combine a cooktop and an oven in one appliance, making them ideal for smaller kitchens with limited space, and for large kitchens they allow you to maximize cabinet and countertop space even with a large professional range.
- Convenience: Ranges offer a seamless cooking experience, allowing you to easily move dishes from the stovetop to the oven without transferring cookware.
- Integrated design: Ranges have a cohesive and integrated look, providing a traditional and streamlined appearance in the kitchen.
- Limited design options: Ranges may limit your kitchen design options because they are a single, fixed appliance.
- Less customization: You have less flexibility to choose specialized ovens or cooktops tailored to your specific cooking needs.
- Potential repair costs: If one component of a range malfunctions, it may be more complicated and costly to repair or replace the entire unit.
Consider your priorities and needs to make the best decision for your kitchen, cooking preferences, and personal style, No matter if you want the dynamic capabilities of a Thor professional range or find the convenience of a separate cooktop and wall oven a win for your kitchen, Premier Home Supply has what you need to create a kitchen you’ll love to come home to.