Off white kitchen with cooktop in island

Kitchen islands with cooktops vs. ranges

If your kitchen has an island, or you’re looking to add one when updating your kitchen, you may want to also consider installing a cooktop or range for a convenient, centralized cooking station that keeps you at the center of activity while preparing family meals.

Person removing lasagna from an oven Person removing lasagna from an oven

Is a cooktop or range the right fit for your kitchen island?

A range or cooktop installed along a wall can take up counter and/or cabinet space, as well as make it difficult to interact with family while cooking with your back turned. Installing a kitchen island with a stove or cooktop frees up space and gives you a centralized place to cook while helping with homework, catching up with your family or entertaining guests. For maximum space in your kitchen, consider 2-burner, 4-burner or 5-burner gas and electric cooktops from Whirlpool brand. If your island has seating, it also makes it that much easier to serve food as soon as it’s done.

Kitchen island range benefits

A kitchen range houses a cooktop and oven in one convenient appliance. By installing a range in your kitchen island, you can create a centralized location for cooking, baking, roasting or otherwise preparing meals for your family. If you’re replacing an old kitchen island stove or installing one in a new island, you can also take this opportunity to find ranges with features that can help make cooking and baking even easier. For example, select Whirlpool® Smart Ranges can allow you to browse for recipes, use voice controls with a compatible voice enabled device or select cooking modes using a mobile app.1 For islands with gas hookups, a dual fuel range can offer an all-in-one solution with the flexibility of a gas cooktop and electric oven. Other benefits of kitchen islands with ranges include:

Space efficiency

Most kitchen counters and cabinets are arranged along the perimeter of the room. Installing a range in your island gives you more counter and cabinet space along this perimeter, which can be useful for food preparation and storage.

All-in-one cooking

Unlike a separate cooktop/wall oven configuration, kitchen islands with stoves allow you to complete multiple cooking tasks in a single space. This not only offers convenience, but is also an optimal set-up for solo cooking. If cooking in your household is generally a one-person affair, having a kitchen island with an oven and cooktop in one place eliminates the need to travel back and forth between a cooktop and a wall oven. This also allows you to optimize your working triangle by maintaining just three main work stations.

Ideal for socializing

Having a stove along the perimeter of your kitchen forces you to face away from family and friends while preparing a meal. If you enjoy entertaining or just want to catch up with your family while cooking, a kitchen island with a range lets you converse while whipping up family favorites. This configuration can be especially useful if your island has seating.

More affordable

While appliance price points vary, ranges are generally less expensive than separate cooktop/wall oven configurations. Because ranges combine a cooktop and oven into a single unit, you won’t have the added expense of buying and installing two separate appliances.

Person touching door of oven Person touching door of oven

What kind of stove do you need for a kitchen island?

If you are going to have a range in your kitchen island, a slide-in model will likely be the best fit. Slide-in ranges offer a built-in look but keep the oven and cooktop in one location. They do not have a backguard that sticks up like free-standing ranges so you’ll maintain a flat cooking surface that integrates into your island countertop.

Do you need a hood for an island range?

A range hood over your island stove or cooktop can help ventilate smoke and odors to help keep kitchen air smelling fresh. It is beneficial to install a hood over your island range. Some local building codes may require a range hood so be sure to check the regulations and requirements in your area.

How does a ductless island range hood work?

With a ductless island range hood, the air is passed through a filter and recirculated back into the home. With a ducted range hood, the air is exhausted to the exterior of the home.

Is a kitchen island with a range the right choice for your family?

Every family has different cooking needs, so it’s important to consider your lifestyle, space constraints and cooking preferences before making a decision. Based on the advantages listed above, a kitchen island with a stove may be a good choice for families that:

  • Need to maximize their kitchen layout, floor space and working triangle.
  • Desire more countertop space and cabinet storage along the perimeter of the room.
  • Enjoy socializing in or near the kitchen.
  • Need a budget-conscious solution for their cooking appliance needs.

Slide-in range options for your kitchen island

If you’re ready to start shopping for a new slide-in range for your kitchen island, Whirlpool brand offers numerous options that are a great fit for any kitchen. Offering a sleek integration into kitchen islands, Whirlpool® Slide-In Ranges feature programs and options to help you get dinner on the table in no time. The Whirlpool brand selection of smart ranges can even help you choose recipes and can be controlled via a mobile device or your voice with a compatible voice enabled device.1 Choose from gas or electric ranges with a variety of burner configurations, oven capacities and finishes to fit your needs.

Gas cooktop built into an island Gas cooktop built into an island

Kitchen island cooktop benefits

While some families leave cooking up to one or two people, others make dinner prep a family event. Islands with cooktops offer the same centralized stovetop station as a kitchen island with a range, but also let you split up food preparation into two distinct stations: one for simmering, sauteing and boiling, and another for baking and roasting. If your home already features a range along the perimeter, the installation of an island cooktop can also help create “overflow” space for preparing large or elaborate meals. In addition to these factors, kitchen island cooktops also offer other advantages, including:

More storage configurations

Kitchen islands with cooktops allow you to take advantage of the space below that would normally be occupied by an oven. This extra storage below your cooktop adds room to store your favorite pots, pans and cooking utensils nearby for even more convenience.

Increased prep and serving space

Depending on the size and configuration of your kitchen island, a cooktop set-up may give you more room to prep and serve food right at the island. This can also free up even more countertop space along the edge of your kitchen to tuck away countertop appliances and utensils.

Multiple kitchen working triangles

A kitchen large enough to accommodate an island cooktop and a single or double wall oven can create two distinct zones. This allows some members of the family to handle stovetop cooking while others tend to items that need to be baked, roasted or broiled.

More flexibility

The addition of a cooktop may offer a wider range of configurations when compared to a range. Purchasing a separate cooktop allows you to choose from gas, radiant electric or these induction heating options from Whirlpool brand, as well as specific burner configurations that fit your cooking style. Cooktops can feature as few as two burners or as many as five. Cooktop widths are also more variable than those on ranges, allowing them to fit into numerous island sizes. Check out the full selection of cooktops from Whirlpool brand today.

More counter space

When your cooktop is combined with your kitchen island, it leaves more usable counter space elsewhere in the kitchen for meal preparation. If you already have a smaller space or are just hoping to make the most of the space you have, incorporating your cooktop into your kitchen island is a great option.

Adult and child serving pie at a kitchen island Adult and child serving pie at a kitchen island

Opens to the room

With a cooktop built into your kitchen island, you can get the whole family involved in meal prep. Gathered around the kitchen island, kids can work on homework while you get dinner ready or chat about their schedule while you prepare breakfast. Combining a cooktop with the island also allows you to be able to face your guests while preparing food on the cooktop. With guests seated in stools or gathered around the island, you can continue to host and socialize, rather than feeling tied to your range.

Better lighting while cooking

The lighting over your island may be better than elsewhere in your kitchen. You may even have lights hanging over the island, providing a well-lit area for cooking and preparation. When your range or cooktop is under the cabinets, it may have lighting that is dimmer.

Whirlpool® electric cooktop Whirlpool® electric cooktop

How big should an island with a cooktop be?

It is typically recommended to have about 12 to 18 inches of clearance on one side of a cooking area and 15 to 24 inches on the other side. Consider these clearance recommendations when deciding if you will install a cooktop on your island. A standard cooktop is between 30 to 36 inches wide and can even feature an additional fifth burner, so you have more room to make everyone’s favorite. The size of your cooktop will depend on the size of your island and its configurations, as well as the size of your kitchen space as a whole.

Do island cooktops have to be vented?

A vent may be required in your local building codes. Vents are recommended to exhaust odors and smoke from your kitchen and to help maintain fresh air in your home. A downdraft hood, such as these options from Whirlpool brand, may be a good option for a cooktop that is incorporated into an island.

Is a kitchen island with a cooktop the right fit for your lifestyle?

Before you purchase a cooktop for your kitchen island, take some time to consider if or how it will enhance your cooking experience. You can choose from different cooktop configurations, fuel types and overall kitchen layouts for a kitchen that fits your lifestyle. In general, island cooktops may be a good choice for your home if:

  • You want to take advantage of more storage space near your cooking surface.

  • Your kitchen is large enough for an expanded working triangle or separate triangles for cooking and baking.

  • You and your family want to enjoy more room for creating and serving meals together, or if you frequently need cooking overflow space for large family meals.

  • You are interested in an expanded range of heating options or burner configurations.

Cooktop options for your kitchen island

If a cooktop is best suited for your kitchen and your cooking needs, you’ll find a wide range of options from Whirlpool brand. 30-inch models let you fit an island into smaller spaces, or choose from a number of 36-inch options with up to 5 burners—perfect for preparing a full family dinner. With both gas and electric models available, you’ll find a cooktop that’s the perfect fit for your favorite way to cook.

Whirlpool® slide-in gas range Whirlpool® slide-in gas range

Find the right kitchen island cooktop or slide-in range for your home

Whether you’re renovating your kitchen or looking for an option that fits your existing kitchen island, you want a cooktop or range that fits your home and family. That’s why Whirlpool offers a wide range of options for every kitchen. Explore the Whirlpool® selection of slide-in ranges and cooktops to find the best appliance for your needs. Can’t decide which is best? Our Appliance Finder can help steer you in the right direction.

Learn more about Whirlpool® Cooktops and Ranges

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