They say that if you can organize your kitchen, you can organize your life, and that’s why you should make up your mind right now: freestanding vs slide in range. Which one to choose? So, you’ve decided whether you want an induction, electric, or gas flame, you’ve even chosen the knob colors and that tile backsplash.
Now all that’s left is to answer the question: Slide-in or freestanding, which comes up on top? Is there much difference? Let me walk you through it all and then maybe it will help you make up your mind and decorate the kitchen of your heart.
What Is the Difference Between Freestanding and Slide in Range?
I’ll start by pointing out the main differences, in case you’re not sure. The first difference anyone can point their finger at is the bulky backguard with controls that you’ll find mounted at the rear in any freestanding range. Freestanding stoves are called this way because they are not attached to any cabinetry or walls in any way.
As a result, their sides are finished, and you can install them almost anywhere in the kitchen, as long as you’ve got a gas or electrical hookup. They usually plug and play, quite versatile. By the way, that bulky back guard can save your kitchen wall from many nasty stains in the long-term. So, what is a freestanding range in terms of features?
- It features a back guard with oven and burner controls
- It features finished sides
- Installation is quite easy
- It can be placed almost anywhere in your kitchen; it can stand alone
- It’s usually available at much lower prices than the slide in range
Compared to her “older sister”, a slide in range looks more stylish, more modern if you wish. The bulky back guard is gone, and the controls are nicely placed on the front, for easier access. Nevertheless, a slide in range has unfinished sides, so it cannot stand alone. It needs to be installed between the kitchen cabinets. You will also find the slide-ins to have wider lips on the top.
This way they can overlap the countertop to create that modern, aesthetic effect of a built-in cooktop. Nevertheless, you will find the installation process a little more complicated to achieve that modern, seamless look. Now, since you’ve got no back guard, you should consider installing some tiles behind the range so you won’t stain the kitchen wall.
You know, cooking can get messy at times. The slide-in range is very famous for modern, kitchen islands. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I think you will agree with me when I say they slide in range and look better than freestanding. Anyways, to answer your question of what is a slide in range, let’s lay down the most important features:
- Sleek design that allows for a seamless more modern-looking kitchen
- No back guard; you need to install tiles behind it to avoid any splashes and stains
- The controls are usually on the front
- It requires a more complicated installation process
- It is usually custom-made
- Works well with kitchen islands
When to Choose a Slide in Range
Now, to make this comparison of freestanding and slide in range more accurate, let’s talk about when to choose one over another and why. Obviously, there’s no such thing as the perfect, universal stove for your kitchen. There are countless options and scenarios. Let’s focus on when it’s best to choose a slide in range. If you’re rebuilding your kitchen from scratch or just moved to a new place, then slide-ins are the better solution.
Slide-ins are better for new constructions because you can plan the whole overall design of the kitchen from scratch and better fit the stove in between the cabinets for a smooth, seamless look. More than that, slide-ins are easier to clean. So, if you’re building a kitchen where you do not plan to spend much time, then choose a slide in range. It will help keep things tidy and neat.
When to Choose a Freestanding Range
If you cannot make any kitchen cabinet modifications and don’t want any extra fuss, then a freestanding range is better for you. It has finished sides and it can very well be placed at the end of a counter, or really just wherever you want to place it.
So, if you have some limitations in terms of space, or how the cabinets are arranged in your kitchen and don’t want to work any extra modifications to fit a slide in range in there, then you should go for the freestanding option.
Freestanding vs Slide in Range: Which One Is Best for Me?
It depends on your budget, the desired style of the kitchen, and the installation process. Usually, for a slide in range, all these variables are higher. They cost more, can offer a better look, but would also require a more complicated installation process. To make this easier, let’s go through some of what I think are the most frequently asked questions on the subject and let me answer them for you.
1. Freestanding vs Slide in Gas Range: Which One Is Easier to Clean?
After installation, slide ins are easier to clean and maintain. This is because you no longer have any gap between the kitchen cabinets and the stove. There is no chance of crumbs, food, and other remains to fall through there.
In the case of a freestanding range, yes, you’ll also have to worry about that gap. Not to mention, you’ll have to clean the finished sides from any kind of grease and stains. The slide in might be harder to install, but afterward, it will be easier to maintain.
2. Freestanding and Slide in Range Price and Features: What About Them?
A freestanding range usually comes with more features and buying options, like convection, number of burners, different outputs. There are usually more alternatives to choose from and also the price is lower. A slide in range is considered more high-end and the price is sent accordingly.
3. Can I Change My Current Freestanding Range With a Slide-in?
You can. However, consider purchasing a piece of countertop together with the slide in. If you try to install it without that filler stripe, you will have some sort of a space behind your range where it can get dirty, and very hard to clean. Some slide ins come with back filers. Others don’t. Also, mind the backsplash before making this switch. I advise you to replace the old tile behind it.
4. Can I Replace My Slide in Range With a Freestanding Range?
When making this opposite switch, you will have to remove the countertop behind your range. So it’s the other way around. You will also have to mind the large gap behind the backguard of the range. The new unit will be a little more pushed inside, than the older one. It might not align as seamlessly as before.
Freestanding vs Slide in Range Features
The freestanding ranges’ most important characteristics are:
- Controls behind the burners
- Knobs in front of the burners
- Extra storage or warming space on the bottom
- Large oven capacity
- Large reversible grill/ griddle
Some freestanding range models also feature:
- Convection oven with a self-cleaning mode
- Viewing window on the oven
- True convection cooking
- Indoor electric grill
- Simmering function
- SpeedHeat Burner
- Center Oval Burner
The price for freestanding range models starts somewhere at $700 and goes up to $1500, depending on the number of features you want.
Slide in Range
The slide in ranges have some similar features to the freestanding one, but also some important differences:
- All controls in front of the burners
- The storage/warming drawers are also on the bottom of the range
- The top is wider, overlapping the countertop
- Custom built-in look design
Some slide in range models also feature:
- Quiet close doors
- Touch screen controls
- Voice control compatible with Google Assistant or Alexa
- Hinged cast-iron grates
- True convection cooking
- Triple radiant element – you have three elements in one (a 6’’’, 9’’ and 12’’ ring)
The price for a standard slide in range model starts somewhere at $1000 and can go up to $2000 and so, depending on your budget and the features you want. If you want smart connectivity like voice control and touch screen, yes, you will need to pay more.
The Bottom Line on Freestanding and Slide in Range
The freestanding vs slide in range is a question that implies many variables, from price to features, characteristics, design, and, in the end, your own opinion. You’re the first and only person who should like it in the first place to purchase it, right? So, after you’ve taken into account all the features and characteristics we’ve discussed above, it is only up to you to make the final buying decision.
If you have the luxury of remaking your kitchen from scratch, then I think it is easier to choose the slide in range. It might be a little more expensive, but it will offer you a more seamless design, easier maintenance, and usually more functions. If you’re just thinking of purchasing a new range then go for the freestanding one.
I think it is quite difficult to make the transition from a slide into a freestanding, as it is the other way around. You’ll have to make some modifications to your kitchen to do that. Nevertheless, always bear in mind that the final product counts just as much. Whether it is freestanding or slide in, it needs to fulfill your cooking needs, has all the desired features, and makes your life easier, and your dinner juicier.