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What’s The Difference Between Freestanding And Slide-In Ranges?

Steve Sheinkopf  |  October 07, 2020  |  6 Min. Read

Slide-In Ranges  |  Freestanding Ranges  |  Cooking

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You bought a slide-in range for your new kitchen.

It has a nice look and the features you want. You will also see that beautiful tile backsplash without seeing the range controls on the backguard.

Unfortunately, you found out the range will not fit in your existing cabinetry upon delivery.

Now you have to start all over again. This scenario happens daily across the country.

In this article, you will learn about the differences between freestanding and the two kinds of slide-in ranges, regular and front control.

That's the problem. There are two slide-in types with two different types of installation.

Installation, as well as features, will be the central part of this article.

First, let's take a look at the freestanding ranges.

What Is A Freestanding Range?

electric-freestanding-ranges-at-yale-appliance-in-hanover

Freestanding ranges have a backguard with the oven and burner controls.

The sides of a freestanding range are finished making it a little more flexible for installation and placed anywhere in your kitchen.

Freestanding ranges are available at much lower prices, starting at $499-599 versus $1,000 or more for slide-ins.

There is a more overall selection for freestanding ranges.

Prices are also less expensive for freestanding ranges compared to slide-ins with similar features.

Best Freestanding Range Brands include:

  • Samsung
  • GE Appliances
  • LG
  • Whirlpool
  • Maytag
Short on time? Get our free Gas Cooking Buying GuideLearn More

What Is A Slide-in Range?

slide-in-and-front-control-range-display

Slide-in ranges feature the burner and oven controls upfront.

They are a little wider on top to overlap the countertop and eliminate the seam between the counter and range.

Smaller food particles and liquids of all types can dribble down into that seam.

It's near impossible to clean. You have to pull out the range. I can't remember anyone in my house ever doing that.

There are two main benefits of slide-in ranges: Style and Cleanability.

However, while freestanding and slide-ins both require a 30-inch cabinet opening, slide-in models have unfinished sides.

They are genuinely designed to be built-in between two cabinets and are about 2 inches wider on top to overlap the countertop.

When you push a slide-in range back, there is about a 2-inch space behind the range. You fill this with your countertop.

This allows a built-in look and the capability to showcase your backsplash since there isn't a backguard blocking it like a freestanding unit.

Once again, there is no seam between the counter and the back of the range.

Best Slide-In Range Brands include:

  • Samsung
  • Bosch
  • JennAir
  • Ge Appliances
  • GE Profile

What Is A Front Control Range?

samsung-gas-slide-in-range

Front control ranges are a mix of freestanding and slide-in.

It does not have the backguard like a freestanding range, but the controls are on the front, unlike a normal slide-in range.

The first scenario of a range not fitting into an existing space could have been avoided with a front control range.

Front control and slide-ins are terms used interchangeably, and that is a big mistake. They both may be similar in price, but their installations are very different.

Unlike a slide-in, it can replace an existing freestanding stove and requires the same opening.

However, it is harder to clean with the seams on either side like a freestanding range.

You can place a front control at the end of your kitchen like a freestanding range because it does have finished sides. Remember: Slide-ins are unfinished.

What About Professional Ranges?

professional-gas-ranges-at-yale-appliance-in-hanover-1

Look at these professional (pro) ranges priced from $4,500 to $20,000. They are all slide-ins.

Wrong. Every professional range is a front control, not slide-in.

Now that we understand these ranges, let's go over their significant differences and why you would pick one over the other.

Read More: Pro Cooking Buying Guide

Best Front Control Brands include:

  • KitchenAid
  • JennAir
  • LG
  • GE Appliance
  • Café Appliances
  • Beko
  • Wolf
  • Thermador
  • Gaggenau
  • BlueStar
  • Bosch
  • Miele

What's The Difference Between Slide-in And Freestanding Ranges?

 

The main differences between slide-in, front control, and freestanding ranges are their installation, control location, and cleanability.

Below is an example of a freestanding range also from Samsung, an electric slide-in range from Café Appliances, and a front control range from Samsung.

samsung-freestanding-rangeSamsung Freestanding Gas Range at Yale Appliance in Hanover

 

ge-electric-slide-in-rangeCafé Appliances Electric Slide-In Range at Yale Appliance in Hanover

 

Samsung-front-control-gas-rangeSamsung Front Control Gas Range at Yale Appliance in Hanover

 

Front control and regular slide-ins look similar but have different installations due to the overlap in the cooktop.

Read More: Gas Cooking Buying Guide

When Should You Buy A Front Control Range Or A Regular Slide-in Range?

First, you do have more brand choices with a front control versus a regular slide-in range.

Slide-ins are a better choice for new construction. They are much easier to keep clean than a freestanding or front control range.

Front controls are better for replacing a freestanding range because it's a direct replacement without modifying counters or cabinets.

If you like the cleanability of a slide-in and have an existing freestanding range, you will have to plan for some cabinet modification for the range to fit.

Front controls and freestanding ranges have finished sides, so they are better at the end of a counter as well rather than an unfinished slide-in.

Should You Buy A Freestanding Range, Front Control, Or A Slide-in Range?

samsung-flex-duo-slide-in-range-at-yale-appliance-in-hanoverSamsung Front Control Range at Yale Appliance in Hanover

 

The choice depends on price, style, and ease of installation.

If you have designed a new kitchen with a custom backsplash, then a slide-in or front control range becomes a better option.

Cleanability with a built-in appearance is best with a slide-in range.

Better selection and prices are best for a freestanding range. A freestanding range with better features like convection, five burners, and two high output burners is $800-1200.

The higher-end slide-in or front control is probably $2,000-$2,400.

If you're a builder, first-time homeowner, or on a budget, then a freestanding range is a good choice.

At $1,000, you can buy a full-featured range from Samsung or a less featured front control range from Whirlpool.

If you have just renovated your space, slide-in and freestanding ranges are a reasonable consideration for a cleaner look in your kitchen.

Slide-ins and front control ranges accentuate your tile backsplashes by not blocking them like a freestanding.

Remember, the difference between slide-in and front control ranges, especially if you replacing your existing freestanding range, is the installation.

You do not want to find that out on delivery.

Read More: Best Freestanding And Slide-In Gas Ranges

Frequently Asked Questions

1. I currently have a freestanding range, but I want a slide-in. Will a slide-in fit into my cabinet opening?

When switching to a slide-in range, there is about a 2" space behind the range. You must either find a way to install a piece of countertop behind your range or purchase a metal filler strip that will fill this gap.

If you try to install a slide-in range without this filler strip, you will see a hole behind your range.

A Samsung slide-in range comes with a back filler.

You may have to notch the countertop so the range can "slide-in" Each one is different.

Pro design tip: When replacing an old freestanding with a slide-in or front control, look behind the backsplash. You may have to also replace the old tile behind it.

2. I currently have a slide-in range, but can I replace it with a freestanding range?

When switching from a slide-in range to a freestanding range, chances are you have a piece of countertop behind your range. You must have this piece of countertop removed before you install your freestanding range.

If you install a freestanding range ins a slide-in installation, chances are you will see a large gap behind the backguard of the range.

The unit will be pushed into the kitchen by a couple of inches as well.

Read More: Can You Replace A Slide-in Range With A Freestanding Range In The Same Location?

3. Are slide-in ranges more expensive?

Slide-in and front control ranges are usually 30-40% more expensive than a freestanding with similar features.

Additional Resources

Want to learn more about the latest gas ranges and technology? Read the Yale Gas Range Buying Guide with features, specs and detailed profiles of every major brand. Well over 800,000 people have downloaded a Yale Guide.

View our gas cooking buying guide

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A few review sites have placed this at the bottom of their articles. So here is our take: Our mission is to find reliable products for you to buy. Other review sites may say this as well.

However, we don’t love every product. Quite frankly, it costs us way too much money in repair costs to support less reliable brands.

In fact, we sell fewer brands than most appliance stores. Here is why:

We feel it is our responsibility to repair your appliances after you buy them.

We now have 30 service technicians, each averaging 8-10 calls a day Monday through Friday, plus another 110 on Saturday. That's over 30,000 service calls logged in one year.

The labor rates of fixing an appliance do not come close to the true cost in any product’s warranty period.

That is why no major retailer has a service department. It costs too much labor, money and time.

Our Blog is a bit different than most others you will read. We cannot write glowing reviews of unreliable products.

Hopefully, the bloggers and organizations who write such glowing product reviews for every brand consider servicing these products first. Only then they will understand the consequences of their marketing.

Steve Sheinkopf

My goal has always been simple: I want Yale to be the best retail experience anywhere. I have tried to create a compelling environment for customers and employees alike.

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