Learn the difference between freestanding and slide-in ranges and choose the right one for you

If you’re moving into a new home or need to upgrade your kitchen appliances, you may find yourself looking for a new range. Freestanding ranges are found everywhere, but more and more people are either considering or opting for slide-in range options. Which appliance is right for your kitchen and your family? Learn more about slide-in ranges vs freestanding ranges so you can make the right decision.

1) What is a freestanding range?

When you think of a typical range, you probably envision a freestanding range. With a cooktop surface and one or two ovens below, freestanding ranges can be found in most kitchens. These ranges can come in gas, electric or dual fuel, with a control panel for both the cooktop and oven.

In addition to housing the controls, backguards on freestanding ranges also help protect the wall behind the range from spills and splashes.

Freestanding ranges feature finished sides that allow them to be installed between cabinets or on their own, making them a flexible choice for most kitchens. However, freestanding ranges may not be the best fit for kitchen islands.

Models shown: WFE505W0HZ & WMH32519HZ

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2) What is a slide-in range?

The main difference between freestanding and slide-in ranges is installation. While freestanding ranges can stand alone or be installed between cabinets, slide-in ranges are specifically designed to sit between cabinets for a seamless look. Because of this, slide-in ranges have unfinished sides that makes them ill-suited for standalone installation.

The configuration is also different – controls for slide-in ranges are usually located on the top or front of the appliance. Slide-in ranges also lack a backguard, which is why many homeowners install tile behind the range if they are placing it against a wall.

The sleek look of slide-in ranges has made them popular choices for kitchen remodels and installation in kitchen islands. Best of all, the range’s overhanging sides keep food and liquids from spilling into gaps between the cooktop and counter, making kitchen clean-up easy.

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3) Are these ranges interchangeable?

While both freestanding and slide-in ranges offer similar options and performance, the two designs are not completely interchangeable. Once again, it comes down to installation.

Slide-in ranges are not installed directly against a wall, sitting a few inches away from it. Because of this, there is usually a few inches of countertop space that wraps around the back of the cooktop. If you swap out your slide-in range for a freestanding model, you will need to update your countertop configuration to accommodate it.

Likewise, you’ll need to prepare to fill in a two-inch gap (or larger) if you’re trading in a freestanding range for a slide-in model. You’ll also need to update the wall behind your range so it’s immune to steam, water and stains.

Before purchasing a freestanding or slide-in range, be sure to speak with a qualified appliance retailer and/or a remodeling expert to make sure your new range will fit properly in your kitchen.

4) Slide-in range vs freestanding range – which should I choose?

When trying to decide between a slide-in vs. freestanding range, it’s important to consider kitchen layout, fuel source, aesthetics and your family’s needs. Where will the new range go? Will it need gas or electric hook-ups? Do you want your range to blend in or stand out? Will the new range be able to accommodate your family’s favorite dishes? Before you make your purchase, be sure that your new range is the right fit in every way.

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