Pros and cons of a cooktop & wall oven vs. conventional kitchen stove

Separating the cooktop from the oven can add unique functional benefits and design features to your new kitchen. However there are some drawbacks to consider before committing to separate or an all in one appliance. The following list of pros and cons will help you to familiarize yourself with the key advantages and disadvantages of both.

Advantages of a wall oven:

  • The oven is positioned higher which means convenient access:
    • Not having to bend low to lift things in and out is easier and safer,
    • You can actually use the window to check on cooking progress,
  • Full size double ovens are possible without taking up more floor space or having to buy a super-wide stove,
  • Having a deeper cabinet for the wall oven makes a built-in microwave more practical, as well as:
    • Space below the wall oven creates an opportunity for a deep drawer to help make better use of the space required for the oven
    • The cabinet over the oven is an ideal place for vertical dividers for baking sheets, etc.
  • Two people can work at the same time without infringing on the each other’s space.

Advantages of a cooktop:

  • People often purchase a 36” wide or larger stove to get more burners or to add a griddle or grill without realizing that the large oven will take much longer to heat up and use a lot more power. Separate appliances allow you to select a size and functions most practical for the way you cook.
  • If you check consumer reports you will often find that not all appliances made by the same brand have the same quality or reliability rating. Separate appliances enable you to get exactly the features, functions and price you want.
  • Recessed into the counter, a cooktop presents a clean, modern, built-in look
  • The ability to have pot drawers below the cook top is convenient and helps to make good use of the space.

Disadvantages common to both:

  • The combination of appliances will typically cost considerably more than a stove with comparable features,
  • Both appliances take up vertical space and require cabinetry that is not needed with a freestanding stove. While the cooktop cabinet does not eliminate counter space the wall oven tower represents a net loss of counter space and also should have at least 15” of adjacent layoff space dedicated to oven use,
  • Both appliances require the use of an electrician, which will increase the cost of installation.
    • Having to run a dedicated line from the power panel to both appliances adds cost and complexity to your kitchen renovation project.
  • All appliances eventually need to be replaced:
    • Once you cut the hole in your new stone countertop you are committed to a specific size and shape of cooktop that may not exist when or if you need to replace it.
    • Similarly the wall the oven cabinet will be constructed to accommodate specifications unique to the appliance.

Whatever you do, you will probably be more satisfied in the long run if you base your decision primarily on the functional features of the appliance or combination that best meet your personal cooking needs.