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What’s the Difference Between Freestanding, Front Control, and Slide-In Ranges?

March 29th, 2024 | 7 min. read

By Steve Sheinkopf

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What’s the Difference Between Freestanding and Slide-In Ranges?

In this article, we will unpack the distinctions between slide-in ranges and their freestanding counterparts, freestanding and front control.

A common issue many face – and a guaranteed delivery challenge: The Reality of Front Control vs. Slide-In Ranges

So, you've taken the plunge and selected a slide-in range for your revamped kitchen. It's got all the features.

Plus, it offers an unobstructed view of that tile backsplash, thanks to the absence of range controls on the backguard.

But there's a catch.

Upon its arrival, you discover that the range won't fit.

Your options?

Return to the drawing board or bring in a cabinet/countertop guru for custom modifications.

This scenario is a daily reality for many nationwide because there are two distinct types of slide-in ranges, each with its own installation requirements.

These ranges look identical, so there is no way of knowing.

In this article, we will show you the differences so you can buy the right stove.

Let’s get started.

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What's the Difference Between Freestanding, Front Control, and Slide-In Ranges?

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

Below is an example of a gas slide-in range from Bosch, a front control range from GE, and a freestanding range from LG.


Although different, a front control and slide-in range have the same look.

However, only a front control and freestanding range can be placed anywhere in your kitchen because they have finished sides.

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

Let's break this down.

What Is a Freestanding Range?


A freestanding range has its burner and oven controls located on the backguard.

A freestanding range's sides are finished, making it a little more flexible for installation.


You can place it anywhere in your kitchen, including at the end of your cabinets.

Freestanding ranges are available at much lower prices, starting at $549 compared to $999 or more for front controls with similar features.

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

You have a larger overall selection for freestanding ranges.

Freestanding Range Manufacturers include:

  • Samsung
  • GE Appliances
  • LG
  • Whirlpool
  • Maytag
  • Frigidaire
  • KitchenAid

What Is a Slide-in Range?


Slide-in ranges feature the burner and oven controls up front like a front control range.

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

Smaller food particles and liquids can dribble down into that seam. It's nearly impossible to clean without pulling out the range.


I can't remember anyone in my house, including myself, ever cleaning that seam.

Style and cleanability are the reasons to buy a slide-in.

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


Slide-in ranges are 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 two-inch space behind the range.

You fill this with your countertop. The counter will eliminate the seam in the back (which I haven't cleaned, either).

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. It's great for cleanability, but it is tricky to replace.

Although slide-ins were once extremely popular, there are only a few manufacturers still producing a slide-in range.

I wouldn't be surprised if the last two stopped manufacturing the slide-in range.

Slide-In Range Manufacturers include:

  • Samsung
  • Bosch

What Is a Front Control Range?


Front control ranges are a mix of freestanding and slide-in ranges and are the most popular range on the market.

It does not have a backguard like a freestanding range, but the controls are on the front, like 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 mistakenly used interchangeably.

They both look the same, but their installations are very different.

Unlike a slide-in, it can replace an existing freestanding range because it requires the same 30-inch 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 due to the finished sides.

Remember: A slide-in range's sides are unfinished.

What About Professional Ranges?


Look at the professional ranges above, priced from $4,500 to $20,000. They are all slide-ins, right?


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

Front Control Manufacturers include:

  • KitchenAid
  • Maytag
  • Jenn-Air
  • Whirlpool
  • LG
  • GE Appliance
  • Electrolux
  • All professional range manufacturers such as Wolf, Miele, BlueStar, and Thermador
  • Samsung
  • Frigidaire
  • SKS
  • Bosch

Bonus: What is a Drop-In Range?


Well, that depends on who is asking. For most people, it means a cooktop.

However, drop-in ranges were popular in the 1950s with builders, especially Campanelli homes, with millions built.

They were designed to fit on a base cabinet. Think of a drop-in as a range without a drawer.

Typically, you should only consider a drop-in range as a direct replacement. GE is the only manufacturer still producing a drop-in range (shown above).

Then again, most people just remove the base and buy something a bit less dated.

Now that we understand these ranges let's go over why you would pick one over the other.

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When Should You Buy a Front Control Range or a Regular Slide-in Range?

Reason 1: Choice


With a front control range, you have more options for brands compared to a regular slide-in range.

Reason 2: Cleanability


Slide-in ranges are much easier to keep clean than a freestanding or front control range. Those overflowing liquids and food particles stay on the range.

Reason 3: Replacement


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

Meanwhile, a slide-in range is a better choice for new construction.

Reason 5: Location


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

Reason 6: Price

Front control and freestanding ranges are available at lower prices than the slide-in range.

How Do You Replace an Old Slide-In Range?

Let's take our first scenario and explain why it couldn't be installed.

Slide-ins have a lip over the countertop, and most often, the front of your granite countertops must be notched to accommodate it.

You also have the countertop in the back. It has to be removed to fit a front control or freestanding range.

You have to measure and cut carefully, especially with a granite surface.

How Do You Cut Granite?


You need some expertise and the right tools. Find a countertop specialist in your area.

Fortunately, we have four install teams cutting countertops every day. If you live out of town, check your appliance store.

Here is how to properly install a range while adjusting a granite countertop:


That plastic cocoon is a procedure for us and should be for anyone in your home. This plastic cocoon traps the dust.

We also use special vacuums to contain granite dust. If you do not contain granite dust, it will be everywhere in your house.

Should You Buy a Freestanding Range, Front Control, or a Slide-in Range?


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

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

Cleanability and built-in appearance are better 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-$1,200.

A higher-end slide-in or front control range is probably $1,500-$2,400.

If you are a builder, a first-time homeowner, or on a budget, then a freestanding or front-control range is the right choice.

If you have just renovated your kitchen, slide-in and front control ranges are a good consideration for a cleaner look in your kitchen.

Both will not obstruct the backsplash with the backguard.

You will have more selection with controls but more cleanability from a slide-in.

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

You do not want to find that out on delivery.


Freestanding v.s. Slide-In Ranges


Answers to the most commonly asked questions about changing from a freestanding range to a slide-in range and vice versa.

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

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

Are slide-in ranges more expensive?

Additional Resources

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

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Steve Sheinkopf

Steve Sheinkopf is the third-generation CEO of Yale Appliance and a lifelong Bostonian. He has over 38 years of experience in the appliance industry, and he is a trusted source of information for consumers on how to buy and repair appliances.

Steve has also been featured in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Consumer Reports, The Boston Globe, Bloomberg Radio, the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur, for his knowledge of how to buy appliances and appliance repair.

Steve is passionate about helping consumers find the best appliances for their needs, and he is always happy to answer questions and provide advice. He is a valuable resource for consumers who are looking for information on appliance buying, repair, and maintenance.

Despite being the worst goalie in history, Steve is a fan of the Bruins and college hockey, loves to read, and is a Peloton biker. The love of his life is his daughter, Sophie.

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