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June 6, 2023 | Ranges

Slide In vs Freestanding Range: Which Should You Get?

slide in vs freestanding range

As an adult, it is perfectly normal to get totally stoked about buying a new range. With new advances and better technology, upgrading to a new range means you get a chance to have the best of the best. 

You do your research to uncover all the cool new features that are available today, like Luxglide telescopic racks that won’t tip when you pull them out, a commercial convection fan for even cooking, and a beautiful stainless steel finish that just screams elegance. 

There is just one problem. You see that some ranges are freestanding and others are slide in. What does that even mean? What is the difference? And which one should you get? 

Come on – let’s find out. 

What is a Freestanding Range?

A freestanding range is one that doesn’t require any support on either side. Rather, it can be used as a stand-alone range in one area of your kitchen while your cabinets, countertops, and other appliances are in another area. Or, it may be up against a counter on one side and nothing else on the other. Then again, it could be placed in between countertops. 

A freestanding range can come in different heating models, including gas, electric, or dual fuel which offers both types. It will have a stovetop built in above an oven (or two). You will have controls, often on a back guard, that will control the oven and the stove so you can enjoy precision cooking at all times. 

Think of a freestanding range as a flexible choice. Let’s say that when you invest in a range today, you may have it installed between two countertops. But if you decide to move next year or you decide to remodel your kitchen, how do you know the next space will allow for the unit to be sandwiched? 

Something to think about.

What is a Slide In Range?

A slide-in range is a little different. While it will give you the same traits as a freestanding range, such as the stovetop over the oven, it can’t just be installed anywhere as it is not designed with finished sides. 

Slide-in ranges are made to be installed in between two cabinets for a clean, seamless look. They are becoming more and more popular due to their contemporary style – and are seen as an upgrade from traditional freestyle ranges.

The side panels on a slide-in range do not have the finish that you would place out in the open in your kitchen. Plus, these ranges are designed a little differently. While they may have controls on a back guard, this isn’t customary for this type. Instead, they are often located on the top or on the front of the unit. 

Slide-in ranges often fit nicely within the countertops and have sides that prevent food from falling or spilling between the unit and its respective cabinet. 

The major difference between the two ranges is the manner in which it is installed. 

So, Which Range is Better?

Both the freestanding and the slide-in range bring the ability to cook a feast into your kitchen. And, generally speaking, they are quite similar. A lot of their differences come down to how they are designed for installation and the layout of your space. 

To find out which one reigns supreme, we need to take a closer look. 

Functionality

These ranges function about the same. Each manufacturer, of course, will design the range how they believe it to be best. For instance, one may have a wider range in BTU for burners, another may offer the addition of a griddle on the stove top, and so on. 

Either range can function well and have different features. It all comes down to who designs it – not because it is either freestanding or slide-in. 

Installation

One of the biggest differences between these two range options is how it is installed. Remember, a freestanding range can go anywhere in your kitchen whereas a slide-in range will need to be between two countertops. 

The sides of a freestanding range are finished which gives you a lot more options. 

Layout

The layout of your kitchen is going to greatly impact which type of range is the best for you. You want to make sure that your kitchen flows. That way, when you are cooking, you can move easily from the refrigerator to the sink to the prep area and to the range. Depending on your kitchen, this may mean having a range between the countertops or on the end. 

If you are replacing your current range, you may have to use the space you already have available – especially if the range was in between the counter. But, if you are remodeling your kitchen, then you get to choose where you want your range to go – and ultimately choose whether you want a freestanding or a slide-in range. 

It is important to remember that both types of ranges can be installed between two countertops – or a wall and a countertop. 

Features

There are many different features available on ranges today – and some may be more important to you than others. You should be looking for those that enhance your experience, making cooking and cleanup easy. 

Both slide-in and freestyle ranges offer these features so know before you shop so you get just what you are looking for. 

It’s a Draw

Both a freestanding and a slide-in range can give you great features and functionality. Choosing the best option will come down to flexibility in installation and layout. It is pretty safe to say that both ranges take (err… bake) the cake when it comes to their competition. 

A freestyle range can blend in or it can stand out. It can look beautifully flush between two countertops or a freestyle range can hold its own without anything around it. Yet, a slide-in range looks sleek and stylish built into the cabinetry. 

It doesn’t matter whether you are remodeling your kitchen, starting from scratch, or simply replacing your range – it is always good to choose the one that will work well for you for years to come. 

Thor Kitchen has both options.