We would probably all agree the oven or oven(s) are a vital part of a fully functional kitchen. Whether you cook daily or only a few times a year during the holidays, the oven is a big part of that activity. As you plan for your new kitchen, whether it's 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 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 your cooking habits, your space, and your budget. You may not need much oven space. or, you may be an avid cook or baker who entertains weekly. Whichever the case, let's dig into the specific pros and cons of each choice.
Wall Oven vs Range: Major Differences
Wall ovens are just easier to get to than ovens in ranges. Because most are installed around eye-level, utilizing the wall oven does not require any bending, kneeling, or crouching. Many view this as a huge "pro," especially when transporting hot foods. The ease of access of a wall oven will also allow cooks of all ages to use the appliance making it the best choice for an aging, in-place kitchen. Because the oven feature on a range is located underneath the cooktop, accessing this area will require bending, crouching, and kneeling.
|Wall Oven vs Range Comparison|
|Appearance||Streamlined||Focal point of kitchen|
|Cost||Expensive, plus separate cooktop||Less expensive, depending on brand|
|Lifespan||About 13 years||About 15 years|
Most wall ovens are electric, and they also have electric displays so you can easily see the settings. Another feature of what makes a wall oven attractive is that it's easier to handle hot cooked food, especially heavy food, because of the oven's height.
Ranges have as many features as wall ovens. However, you can easily find a gas range versus a gas wall oven. You'll also find dual-fuel ranges that take advantage of electric and gas. Ranges can also have double ovens and warming drawers which makes a range a kitchen workhorse in a compact appliance.
You may prefer the sleek look of a wall oven. Door styles now vary in wall oven models. The most common style door on a wall oven is the pull-down. There are now side-opening swing doors and double side-opening swing doors to make it easier to access the oven. In addition to the streamlined look of a wall oven, having a separate cooktop on a counter offers a sleek and linear look.
A range can offer a bit more aesthetic value, 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. If you love the look and feel of a gourmet kitchen, the knobs can be an important selling factor in and of themselves. Or, you may prefer the look of a copper hood over a range that can also serve as a focal point in the kitchen. However, there are sleek versions of ranges, as well.
Best for Appearance: Tie
It's enticing to have a kitchen with appliances that seem to effortlessly melt into the wall, as it would with a wall oven and separate cooktop. However, you may prefer the stately, hefty look of a beefy range in your kitchen. If you have the room for either option, it all comes down to preference.
The cooking capacity will be the same if you are considering one single wall oven vs a 36-inch 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 30-, 36-, or 48-inch range units will not.
Ranges come in standard widths of 24-, 30-, 36-, 48-, and up to 60-inches and are typically counter height so they can slide right into its allocated space in a kitchen's configuration. There are a few differences within the standard sizes to take into consideration.
The 48-inch 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-inch, and a lot of kitchens just do not have the space for a unit this big. The range combines the oven and cooktop surface into one appliance which takes up less space. In one swoop you have covered your oven and cooktop needs in your kitchen, which is a major advantage for those with a smaller space.
Best for Sizes: Tie
Depending on the size and configuration of your kitchen, you'll be able to find the perfect fit whether you opt for a wall oven or a range. Even if you want the luxury of having a double oven, you can have it in a wall oven or a range if you have the space.
Repair and Maintenance
A wall oven is not always easy to repair. It's not as easily accessible to a professional servicing the appliance since it's built into the wall. In addition, if you have to replace a wall oven, it may be an issue to retrofit a similar unit into the same space.
A range is often easy to repair and maintain. The back of the appliance is easily accessible for a professional servicing the appliance.
Best for Repair and Maintenance: Range
As with any appliance, the more you care for your range, the less repair and maintenance you'll need. It also pays to know that even the high-quality, high-end ranges tend to need more repair and maintenance because of their more complex components.
Installation of a wall oven should be done by a professional. An electric or gas wall oven requires hard-wring. However, on the bright side, wall ovens don't need to be vented to the outside (they have internal vents).
In addition, 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 you will double your installation costs.
A range just slips into place between two base cabinets. Or, it can also stand alone without surrounding cabinetry. There's no need for any cabinet customization and it preserves counterspace that a separate cooktop (and wall oven) does not offer.
Best for Installation: Range
A range is one of the easiest appliances to install in a kitchen. More likely than not, you'll opt for a slide-in electric or gas cooking range (as opposed to the rare drop-in model) that simply needs to be plugged in with the appropriate power cord for your outlet and hooked up to the gas line if gas-powered.
Having so much space dedicated to cooking appliances can be limiting, and costly. Having a wall oven can become more expensive because it requires two appliance purchases—a wall oven or double oven plus a cooktop. The combination of wall oven and separate cooktop can often cost thousands of dollars.
The cost of a range greatly varies depending on style and performance. You can find a reliable range for under $1,000, but some of the highest-end brands can cost thousands of dollars.
Best for Cost: Range
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, of course, depending on the brand you choose.
Whether you have a wall oven or a range, the life expectancy is virtually the same. A gas range (or cooktop), however, has the longest longevity. It will last longer than an electric range. A gas range lasts about 15 years, electric ranges and wall ovens will last slightly less at about 13 years. Electric ranges and cooktops have components that may wear down and crack over time. Gas ranges, cooktops, and the rare gas wall oven all have ignitions that tend to weather better over the years.
In spite of the pros and cons for a wall oven or a range, your choice comes down to whether or not you have the space and budget for a wall oven and separate cooktop. It also comes down to your style preferences and your cooking habits.
The range can be limiting when it comes to cooking capacity because unless you go with a 60-inch 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.
- Wolf ranges are high-end appliances and famous for their handsome red knobs.
- La Cornue and AGA, also super high-end brands for ranges, 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.
- Samsung offers sleek, powerful, and quiet gas ranges.
- GE offers ranges and some of the best wall ovens that offer flawless baking and cooking.
By the Numbers: How Long Will Your Appliances Last? Consumer Reports.