Choosing the Best Type of Kitchen Range

Traditional kitchen with cooktop, vent hood and built-in double wall ovens

When choosing a new kitchen range, there’s so much more to think about than just how an appliance will look in your updated space. When choosing any new kitchen appliance, you must think about the following:

  • Budget – When choosing a new range, you have to consider both the cost of the range itself as well as the cost of any other modifications that will accompany it in order to integrate the appliance into your kitchen.
  • Cabinet and countertop modifications – Because cabinet refacing is our specialty and main focus, we’ll be talking specifically about how your choice in a kitchen range could be affected by your cabinetry, and how to combat any potential issues with cabinet refacing. But even if no issues arise that need correcting, cabinet refacing is still a great way to update the look and quality of your kitchen cabinets to match your brand new appliances without completely replacing what you already have.
  • Desired functionality – When you’re upgrading appliances, you should be thinking about more than just looks. You have to consider how the range will function, how safe the range is for your home (taking children and/or older adults in the home), and how the range will aid in your cooking experience.
  • Aesthetic appeal – While looks aren’t the most important factor in choosing new appliances and materials for your kitchen, it certainly makes sense to choose something that will fit your kitchen’s style.

Let’s talk about the different kitchen range types available and how they work for each of the points above…

Stand-Alone Range

Remodeled kitchen with a stand-alone range

Budget & Aesthetic Appeal

A stand-alone range is typically the cheapest option depending on the brand and features of the appliance, but it’s important to note that a top-of-the-line stand-alone can easily be more expensive than a basic slide-in range.

A stand-alone is distinguished based on its finished sides and backguard with burner and oven controls. This type of range offers the least custom and built-in look because there will always be an unavoidable gap between the countertop and stove top—no matter how small it may be.

Cabinet and Countertop Modifications

As long as you replace your old range with a new one that’s the same size, no cabinet modifications are needed. But you could always consider having your existing cabinets refaced for an updated look to match your brand new appliances—while also saving a considerable amount of money on your renovation and cutting down on materials that end up in a landfill.

However, if you decide that you want a larger range this time around, you’ll have to cut down your cabinets and countertop accordingly to make room for your new appliance. Both refacing existing cabinets (the process of changing the appearance and quality of your existing cabinets with solid wood veneer) and building new ones to fit a larger range can be accomplished by the American Wood Reface team.

A problem you could be facing, however, is having cabinets that aren’t standard height from the floor. If you’ve always been frustrated with a significant height difference between the top of your range and your countertop, it could be because you’ve had your floors replaced with tearing out the old ones, resulting in lost cabinet height. Having your flooring and countertops replaced by our team as part of a cabinet refacing project allows us to fix the problem and modify cabinets to bring them back up to standard height. Then, after refacing, the modifications are hidden and undetectable.


In terms of functionality, a stand-alone range is pretty standard and offers exactly what you’d expect—a cooktop and an oven. Additional features may vary based on brand and model. The type of burners and energy source used all depend on available hookups in your kitchen and personal preference.

There’s a lot you can explore when it comes to the features of your range. For example, there are dual fuel ranges available that combine an electric oven and gas cooktop into one appliance. Fuel preference is something that’s great to explore when shopping for your new range.

Slide-In Range

Transitional kitchen with a slide-in range

Budget & Aesthetic Appeal

A slide-in range offers a step up from a stand-alone in terms of creating a streamlined, customized look. Because it’s a slide-in, the cooktop is designed with an overhang on each side so that it can rest on the countertop. This eliminates any kind of gap that occurs with the stand-alone range and the tighter fit looks a bit more built in. However, taking it up an extra level means paying a slightly higher price.

Cabinet and Countertop Modifications

Similar to the stand-alone range, a slide-in range can be fit into an existing space for a range if the size remains the same and counter height allows for it. Counter height is key here because of the overhang of the cooktop. But if your cabinets are standard height, there should be no concern in that regard. This is something that our team can help you figure out and prepare for when searching for a new range.

In terms of modifications that are required with a slide-in range, the space behind it must be filled with countertop material or a metal filler strip. However, running the countertop behind the range looks much more finished and is easier to clean than the metal filler strip option.


Beyond the lack of a backguard and having the controls at the front of the range, functionality doesn’t differ much from a stand-alone range. Again, special features may be included with certain brands and models, but you’re still working with a cooktop and single oven that are conveniently combined into one appliance.

Drop-in Range

Drop in range

Budget & Aesthetic Appeal

A drop-in range offers a more customized look because rather than resting on the floor like a stand-alone or slide-in range, it rests on a built-in drawer that replaces the storage or warming drawer found on a typical range.

Drop-in ranges aren’t very common these days because of the level of customization required, but they were very popular in the 40s and 50s, which is why they’re commonly associated with a more traditional style today. Because of the lack of popularity, the few drop-in ranges you can find are typically at the higher end of the price range.

Cabinet and Countertop Modifications

Because drop-in ranges require a bottom drawer or shelf to rest on top of, some modifications would be necessary to facilitate this type of range if your cabinets don’t allow for this already. In addition, because there are so few choices available for drop-in ranges, you may have to adjust cabinets to accommodate the width of the range.


Similar to a slide-in range, a drop-in does not have a backguard and has controls at the front of the appliance. Without a backguard, you must be sure that your backsplash material can handle the amount of heat that comes off of your stovetop.

Aside from the lack of a warming drawer, a drop-in range essentially functions the same as a stand-alone or slide-in range.

Separate Cooktop/Rangetop and Oven

Traditional kitchen with cooktop, vent hood and built-in double wall ovens

Budget & Aesthetic Appeal

With some of the homeowners we’ve worked with, we’ve found that it’s their dream to have a kitchen with double wall ovens or an island with a cooktop. Not only does this setup give a kitchen a very high end and customized look, but it also increases the functionality of the space.

Our team can definitely accomplish this, but it often requires a complete reconfiguration of cabinets and countertops that will increase the cost of your renovation, unless your kitchen is already set up this way and you’re just looking to upgrade.

Plus, it’s not just one appliance you’re purchasing in this situation, it’s two—a cooktop or rangetop and a double wall oven—making this a more costly endeavor than switching out a standard range.

Cabinet and Countertop Modifications

Why does the addition of a separate cooktop and wall oven increase cost? Because wall ovens require space that your current kitchen doesn’t allow for, so we’ll have to cut out some cabinets to make room. Plus, retrofitting a cooktop or rangetop requires a certain level of customization that usually involves modifying or adding cabinets and cutting out a section of countertop.

But the good news is that even with cabinet modifications, you definitely don’t need to purchase brand new cabinetry all around. Cabinet refacing will save your existing cabinets—as well as your budget—and provide undetectable modifications in your beautiful, new, upgraded kitchen.


You might be wondering if there’s a difference between a cooktop and a rangetop, and there definitely is. A rangetop is a slide-in appliance that extends to the front of the cabinetry with controls on the front of the appliance.

Conversely, a cooktop requires a small cutout and does not extend to the front of the cabinetry because the controls are on the surface of the cooktop itself. Many families with small children prefer a cooktop over a rangetop so that burner controls are out of reach.

With a cooktop or rangetop, you can have it installed where it makes sense for you, keeping in mind the location of the necessary hookups. For example, you could have a cooktop installed in your kitchen island with a sleek vent hood overhead so you can be looking out to the dining room or family room as you cook. Plus, double wall ovens make it much easier to cook multiple dishes at a time. This is an ideal setup for households that love to entertain.

Take a look at this kitchen that went from having a stand-alone range to a kitchen island cooktop and built-in double wall ovens.

Tell Us About Your Ideal Kitchen Setup

Whether you’re looking to change things up from a standard kitchen range to built-in double wall ovens, or you just want to upgrade your current range to something a little more modern, we can make sure your new kitchen accommodates your desired appliances.

Let’s talk about what your ideal kitchen looks like and how we can achieve it! Contact us today to schedule a free in-home consultation.

Create Your Own Cabinet Style With American Wood Reface

Choose from thousands of solid woods, beautiful finishes, and attractive door styles to complement your home, lifestyle, and taste. Our designers will help you mix and match to create a look you love.

Explore door styles, colors and finishes to envision a new look for your kitchen with our Custom Cabinet Palette Tool.