How highly do you value an easy-to-reach oven?

lee676February 24, 2012

As an adjunct to my are 2 burners enough? thread, I'm wondering how much do people value having the oven at eye level (or actually at arm level) where it's easy to insert or remove food without leaning down or over, as opposed to an undercounter oven where you have to bend or reach down to use it.

I'm renovating a small kitchen and am weighing whether it's worth losing 24" to 30" of countertop space by adding a wall oven in a full-height countertop rather than placing the oven underneath the countertop (or using an all-in-one range/stove/cooker instead of a separate cooktop and oven).

I have back trouble so I definitely appreciate having the oven up higher. But if I use an undercounter oven, it will be one with a side-hinged door and/or glide-out racks so I don't need to awkwardly reach over or around the open drop-down door and reach in. Actually, I'd prefer such an oven even if do use a separate oven cabinet.

What do you think?

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desertsteph

I'd definitely rather have the higher up oven. i have back problems also and even tho I'm only 5' those under counter ovens are a bear if you use 'em much.

I seldom use the oven really so I'm gonna see how i do this next yr w/ the oven on a range. I certainly don't use it for anything heavy like the 'old' days of a big roast or turkey.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 6:46PM
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beekeeperswife

I have a 36" range now. I'm going with a rangetop in new house. I prefer the look of the range, a lot. But, I will have 2 wall ovens and I am looking forward to the practicality of them. Right now, I have trouble reaching over the open oven door, bending way down (because it's low) to get stuff out, especially heavy things. It's always a gymnastic move for me.

We are also adding in an under counter steamer and speed oven. I think those will be fine for us.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 6:52PM
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plllog

Very highly. Anchored the ovens before planning the rest of the kitchen. Waist level (elbow level) is ideal. Eye level is a bit too high (I have one of each so I know. :) )

Ideal isn't always ideal, however. Things have improved. The companies making the wall ovens have learned that it's not good having the door stick way out. Even so, some of the drop down doors nowadays are too big, and hip height is best for reaching over them. Above that, there's only the length of the arms, and that might not be enough, especially for cleaning (even with self clean you need to sponge out the back). It's no fun needing a stepstool to reach the back of the oven. As Bee pointed out, too low is also hard to get at. So for a drop down door, hip height is optimal, if not ideal. :)

And it's very important. The two burners and a grill can be remodeled to a normal cooktop. Changing the oven height means changing the outlet/gas bib too, and the entire cabinet, etc., etc.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 7:21PM
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MichelleDT

Love, LOVE, love wall ovens. Having said that, we are planning a Bluestar range but I am adding a single wall and steam oven. For small items, I can handle the range oven, for those turkeys and other big items, I would not give up my wall ovens.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 7:23PM
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taggie

We chose the full extension rack range as we didn't have good space for wall ovens. And I do love those full extension racks, they are fabulous.

But I don't have a bad back. If I did, I'd have found the room for wall ovens. Save your back, you can't put a price on mobility!

Get the wall oven.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 7:38PM
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Poohpup

I think it really depends on your personal preference. A lot of people really like the look of a range. I've never really cared for that look and I'd much rather have my ovens up higher as I use them a lot. A range would have been the easiest to work in as far as the floor plan goes, but I really wanted the wall ovens. A cooktop with two big pot draws underneath is ideal to me.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 7:53PM
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kaismom

Personally, I don't. I would rather have the counterspace. I am agile but not that young. I am 50. Another 10 years or so, I may change my mind.

It really depends on your mobility issues....

If you have back trouble, go with wall ovens.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 7:55PM
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quirk

I think it depends on how much counterspace you have.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 8:05PM
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a2gemini

We are putting oven one at 21 inches from the ground and the speed oven above it.
I really wanted it to be 25-30 but would have made the speed oven too high, so had to compromise.
I did go to stores and tried all of the different heights.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 8:51PM
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lavender_lass

Wall ovens are a must IMHO, but they do put a crimp in your floorplan, sometimes. It would be so much easier to design a kitchen without them...but I love to bake, I'm tall and I hate 'standing on my head' to get things out of the oven! :)

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 8:52PM
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macybaby

I like them way more than I expected to. I didn't want a wall oven but at the time there was no good range with induction so I went with a cooktop.

And I am so loving having double ovens - and at the height they are. Even the lower one is higher up than an oven in a range. I'd hate to go back. I had to get creative with my layout to accommodate the ovens, but in the end I didn't lose important counterspace. I built them in next to the fridge, so the also don't stick out like a sore thumb.

I'm 50 and I'm baking more than I ever did- mostly because my kitchen is so much more fun to work in.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 9:04PM
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katsmah

I had a wall oven for 18 years and really tried to fit one in the new kitchen. I'm 55 and though I don't have back issues, I liked the convenience of the wall oven. My kitchen is small and it finally came down to a wall oven or a pantry. A year later, I love my pantry. Reaching down into the oven isn't as big an issue as I thought it would be.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 9:40PM
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waterdamage

We had a wall oven before renovation, and got rid of it to gain counter space-- an entire second work station. I don't regret it at all. Maybe in twenty years we will. If we had more space, a wall oven would be preferable, sure.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 10:15PM
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buehl

We considered a wall oven mounted under-counter until our KD showed us just how low to the ground an under-counter oven really is. It is lower than the oven in a range. When we opened the oven door, the handle of the oven door almost touched the floor...so we knew it was a lot closer to the floor than a range oven.

We immediately decided - no way!

We have a double oven and are very happy with this configuration. I love having the ovens higher. If I can help it, I will never go back to a range nor will I ever install an under-counter oven.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 2:04AM
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motherof3sons

We are building our final home and want to "age in place". With this in mind, we chose a double oven that provides ease of use. DH has no arthritis, but I have it in my knees, hips, hands, and spine. The dishwasher is another issue, however, I plan to install a dishdrawer for every day use. DH raised his eyebrows on that one, but I shall prevail.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 4:23PM
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splitrock

We just installed a single wall oven at just below countertop height. The decision was based on arthritis issues. We really love the location. There is an unexpected, but rather important side benefit. With just the one oven, there are only two deep drawers underneath the oven. The one directly below the oven is extra deep and holds my food processor at an easy to reach level as well. I also keep a punch bowl in there!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 5:30PM
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pps7

My husband likes to cook meals that involves transfer from the cooktop to the oven so he insisted he wanted a range. We don't mind bending at all. I also like being able to take hot things out of the oven and putting them on my cooktop. My SIL has a wall double oven, so we have cooked with that set up as well and don't find one a lot better than the other. Personally, I much prefer the look of a range.

I would make the choice based on which layout works best overall.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 5:39PM
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melaska

Very highly here as well. We're even putting in a raised dishwasher. The micro will be above that with cabs above & a large drawer beneath. To the right of that will be the wall oven with cabs above & below to end the run. Plenty of counter space since I will also have an island.

I do have back problems so it's necessary for me. If you have back problems now, it could get worse the older you get. Better to plan ahead.

Let us know what you end up with & good luck!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 6:03PM
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