I think we would all agree the oven or oven(s) are a vital part to a fully functional kitchen. Whether you cook on a daily basis or only a few times a year during the holidays, the oven is generally a big part of that activity. As you plan for your new kitchen, be it a new construction project or a remodel of your existing space, there is one appliance question that will need to be answered at the beginning of the process as the space is being designed...
"Do you want a wall oven(s) or a range?
Like a lot of kitchen decisions there is not necessarily a right or wrong answer here and there are certainly pros and cons to each option, it all comes down to you preferences, your space and your budget. Let's dig into the specific pros and cons of each choice...
Wall Oven Pros:
- Cooking Capacity - The cooking capacity will be the same if you are considering one single wall oven vs. a 36" range which also comes with a single oven. Where a wall oven can offer more cooking space is in the double oven category. The double wall oven will come with two equal, full sized wall ovens. While a 30", 36" or 48" range units will not. The 48" range does have two ovens, but one is much smaller than the other and gives you more of an oven and a half situation. The only range that will give you two full sized ovens is the 60" and a lot of kitchens just do not have the space for a unit this big.
- Easy Access - Wall ovens are just easier to get to. Because most are installed around eye-level, utilizing the oven does not require any bending, kneeling or crouching. Many view this has a huge "pro" especially when transporting hot foods. The ease of access of this oven will also allow cooks of all ages to use the appliance making it the best choice for an aging in place kitchen.
Wall Oven Cons:
- Space - A kitchen with a wall oven or oven(s) must also have a cooktop surface of some kind. Now, two areas of your kitchen are dedicated to cooking, thus taking up more valuable space in your kitchen. For some kitchens, this is no big deal as the space is plenty big enough to accommodate both. But, for others, having so much space dedicated to cooking appliances can be limiting.
- Money - On the same note, this option is more expensive because it requires two appliance purchases - a wall oven or double oven plus a cooktop.
- Space - The range combines the oven and cooktop surface in to one appliance which takes up less space. In one 30", 36", 48" or 60" swoop you have covered your oven and cooktop basis in the kitchen which is a major pro for those with a smaller space like mine.
- Aesthetic - The range can offer a bit more industrial glamour and style than a traditional wall oven/cooktop scenario. In general the range has a more beefy, industrial vibe because of the front facing knobs. The knobs can be an important selling factor in and of themselves especially if you are looking at a Wolf range with the famous red knobs. Other brands like La Cornue and AGA have range offerings that do so much more than cooking. They bring an instant decorative focal point to the kitchen with their unique style and color options.
- Money - Monetarily speaking the range is the best value. You get your oven and cooking surface in one purchase and this can save you thousands of dollars.
- Accessibility: Because the oven feature is located underneath the cooktop, accessing this area will require bending, crouching and kneeling.
- Cooking Capacity: The range can be limiting when it comes to cooking capacity because unless you go with a 60" range you are looking at one to one and a half ovens versus the two full sized ovens that come with a double oven stack. Most people do not use two full sized ovens on a regular basis, however, those that have two full sized double ovens often struggle with the concept of giving up this feature due to the convenience they offer when events arise that require that much cooking space.
As you can see there is no cut and dry answer to which appliance or appliance combination to go with. Let the space you have and your specific cooking needs guide your way to making the best decision for you and your kitchen.