A Range of Options: Choosing Between a Range, a Cooktop, or a Wall Oven for Your Maryland or DC Kitchen

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If you’re cooking up plans for a kitchen renovation, you may find yourself pondering the choice between a range and a cooktop or even a wall oven combo. While they all do the same job, there are some pros and cons that may skew your preference one or the other.

There are a lot of factors to consider. You need to think about the dimensions and functionality of your kitchen, and what you want from your appliances. All three options come in a wide array of styles, colors, shapes, and sizes. Depending on your preference, there’s sure to be something out there that speaks to you. 

The Basics

A range is the kitchen’s jack of all trades. It encompasses both the cooktop and the oven, stacked on top of each other to form one streamlined appliance. Ranges are compact, practical, and familiar to most homeowners. 

Conversely, a wall oven and cooktop combo are two detached appliances. As its name would imply, a wall oven is an oven that’s installed directly into the wall. Combined with an independent cooktop, this duo gives your kitchen a sleek, modern look. They offer more layout flexibility and are often more physically accessible than a conventional range configuration.

differences between a range and wall ovenKitchen Size

Expert opinion seems to be that a range works best for kitchens with limited square footage or wall space. They’re consistently sized, with typical widths of 24, 30, 36, and 48 inches. Because of their standardized dimensions, ranges can easily slot between existing cabinet spaces. 

Meanwhile, cooktops and single wall ovens take up a comparable amount of space to the range but offer a lot more kitchen flexibility. For example, a detached cooktop on the counter gives you plenty of room for storage down below. However, if you’re after the enviable double wall oven, this appliance can take up a hefty chunk of real estate. 

Ultimately, it’s about creating a good workflow using your kitchen’s square footage. One choice isn’t inherently better than the other. It all comes down to the available space and your preferences

differences between a range and wall ovenWhat’s the Function?

When making your range decision, consider how you use your kitchen. Do you cook a lot, whether for enjoyment or necessity? Do you have a large family or regularly host big dinner parties? Do you plan to have more than one cook in the kitchen at a time? These factors might dictate your choice.

Also, think about where you spend most of your time while cooking. Are you standing over the burners, or is baking more your thing? If you like the convenience of two ovens but think you’d only use it occasionally, it might not be entirely practical.


Cooktops and wall ovens work well in an elegant, streamlined, and minimal kitchen design. Ranges are more traditional or industrial looking and can be made into the focal point of your kitchen with the addition of an eye-catching range hood. It all comes down to personal preference, of course, and both can be versatile, depending on your other style choices.

differences between a range and wall ovenEase of Use

Wall ovens are usually right within arm’s reach to your kitchen work zones and are accessible without having to bend or crouch, making them an ideal choice for universal design. They are also significantly easier to clean than a traditional range. Wall ovens are also usually electrically-powered and have intuitive LED display faces. 

Cost Factors

Ranges are generally less expensive than the cooktop/wall oven combo. Plus, they are much easier to install. However, a range on the pricier end of the spectrum can still ring up a higher total than the alternative, so it all comes down to brand, features, and selection. On the other hand, if something breaks, it’s much less costly to individually replace the separate parts on a range rather than buying a whole new unit.

If you’re not doing an extensive remodel, simply replacing your existing range can save you some money. Installing a wall oven where there wasn’t one before can be costly, as you’ll have to install electrical or gas lines and replace and reconfigure existing cabinetry.

Ultimately, any of these options would make an excellent choice for your kitchen. If you still have questions, the design-build team at Winthorpe is happy to help. Let us help you design and build the kitchen of your dreams! Reach out today to get started.

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