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Freestanding Ranges versus Slide-in or Drop-in Ranges

by Tom Papageorge

Wolf Slide-In Range

The range is one of the most important features or your kitchen. With all of the different options available today, it can be confusing to navigate the different models and features. We’ll breakdown the difference between freestanding, drop-in, and slide-in ranges.

BlueStar Freestanding Range

What is a Freestanding Range?

A freestanding range is the most common option; it is what most people think about when they think of a stove. It can fit anywhere in your kitchen and does not require any cabinetry work. The sides are finished, so it can stand on its own or in between cabinets. It has an oven and burners. The controls are typically on the backsplash. Depending on features, it is typically the least expensive range option.

Thermador Slide-In Range

What is a Slide-In Range?

A slide-in range is designed to slide in and fit flush with your countertop. This is ideal for an island peninsula, but can also be used along a wall. Slide-in ranges have a slightly protruding cooktop that rests on top of the countertop on each side. This is a nice feature as it keeps food and debris from falling between the range and adjacent cabinetry. There must be cabinets on each side a slide-in range because the side panels are not finished. Because it does not have a built-in backsplash, it does not intrude on the look of your countertop or backsplash tile. With a slide-in range, cooktop and oven controls are at the front of the appliance. Slide in ranges tend to be more expensive then freestanding ranges.

Wolf Drop-In Cooktop

What is a Drop-in Range?

A drop-in range is a range that fits into customized cabinetry. Commonly seen on islands, drop in ranges are flanked by cabinets and sit above matching woodwork or cabinetry. Drop in ranges give a streamlined, built in look. The control panel is often found on the front of the range, which can be safety concern if you have small children. Drop in ranges are typically the most expensive range option and require expensive custom cabinetry and installation.

In addition to drop in ranges, there are drop in cooktops. Cooktops have burners but no oven, so your kitchen must have room for a built-in oven (or two).

If you are just looking to replace an old range, a freestanding range gives you ease of installation. If you are contemplating a kitchen remodel, this might be the time to craft a custom, built in cooktop. With so many options available, you are sure to find the range that suits your needs.