Why are slide in options so less common than freestanding?

palimpsestAugust 12, 2011

When looking at ranges on the AJ Madison site (since they have so many brands and the search engine is decent), I notice this.

Free standing ranges, all sizes: 712

Slide in ranges, all sizes: 71 (9%)

Free standing ranges, 30": 350

Slide in ranges, 30": 63 (15%)

So, the slide-in ratio increases slightly at the obvious residential 30" size, but why so low a percentage? Having a lip that covers the crevice between the countertop and the range top is a Good thing isn't it? Why isn't it more available? Nearly every range gets placed between cabinets/countertop in current kitchen design. Why do you have to deal with the open crack 85-91% of the time?

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Um...because an awful lot of ranges go in apartments and in builder kitchens? Slide in ranges have to be fitted correctly and trimmed out. Freestanding just have to fit in the hole. In a personal kitchen with details attended to, it'll also be fitted correctly and trimmed out. But in whatever apartment or 1000 house spec development on a tight schedule and tighter budget, it'll just be plugged in and plonked into place.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 10:01PM
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This is true when you are looking at the roughly 90%:10% ratio.

But lets factor out by price, not by size:

In the $5000 and up category: one slide in by Dacor

In the $4000-5000, add another by Dacor

In the $3000-4000, add Electrolux Wave Touch Induction

In the $2000-3000, there are 14---6 of these are Electrolux
3 are Bosch
2 are LG
1 each Kitchen Aid, Frigidaire and GE

So, in ranges between $2000 and 5000+
the percentage of slide in vs. freestanding drops to 4%

In the $300-$999 bracket it's 3%

So really the luxury market is almost as underserved as the rental market.

Don't people who spend $5000 on a range and $40,000 on cabinets care about spatter from their high BTU burners going down the crevice between their cabinets?

The greatest percentage of slide in ranges occurs in the $1000-2000 category --a relatively whopping 33%

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 10:31PM
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No, many of us don't care about the spatter going down the crevice! First of all, you can get a very tight fit if you have the range on site for templating - I barely have any crevice at all. Secondly, what you can't see can't hurt you :-) If and when I switch out the range I'll worry about cleaning in there. You should have seen the gunk that accumulated under my last range after 21 years of use. The advantages of a free standing range are a deeper oven and the ease of swapping in a new one.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 10:50PM
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Well see, when ours got pulled out recently, there was nothing accumulated. Before the rehab the greasy smell was not gone from the kitchen until the old range with its horrible greasy sides was gone.

I am just curious about this because SO (who is an ex chef) is balking at the idea of a freestanding range because of the crevice issue, and I may defer simply because I don't do the bulk of the kitchen cleaning, either. This really limits the options. This is down the road because the next kitchen will be a few years from now, but it seems like the slide in options become less rather than more.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 11:11PM
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You're right about the high end ranges. Some of it is looks. The "pro look" isn't going to be a slide in. The Euro look is a wall oven under counter, usually under a cooktop with similar trim to the slide in, but spiffier with the flush integrated oven. The classic look is an enamelled range (e.g., Lacanche, Cornue, Aga) and also is free standing. For the high end, though, it's also a matter of demand. I think a slide in range, from the snob point of view, is considered a "dated" look, and rather bourgeois. Add to that, high end ranges are low volume and therefore they reduce inventory costs by only having one version of each model.

Most people who are paying that much for a range will also pay for the finish carpenter to trim it out, so the crevice issue isn't a big deal. They have the cabinets and tops scribed around the freestanding range. You can also get gaskets that are meant to fill the crevices.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 11:45PM
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No, many of us don't care about the spatter going down the crevice! ... You should have seen the gunk that accumulated under my last range after 21 years of use.

Um. I just want to point out the obvious. No rational person on earth would consider this a compelling argument. In fact, it's a pretty good case for the opposite point of view.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 12:29AM
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Supply and demand. 85% of Americans are not overly concerned with their kitchen appliances. They want something basic that will not cost a lot and that's it. 5% of Americans care about brand recognition, 5% care about how pretty they are, and 5% care about their actual performance. You just don't have a lot of demand for slide ins except from about half of the pretty people and about 1% of the function people. The remaining picky people look to a pro style range either for aesthetics, brand recognition, or function.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 12:47AM
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People start with free-standing because it sounds easier to change out or upgrade. Then later in life, they stick with what they know. To me, slide-in meant it has to match the space better in some unknown way. I still don't understand it very well - if it's just a trim strip over a crevice, then why isn't that a simple add-on?

ps my DH would try caulk. lol!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 6:29AM
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It is even harder to find them at the lower-mid range, so I feel your pain. I think that the additional cost that comes with mounting the electronics on the front, rather than the back drives the price up, which makes it less interesting to some. But if you are already spending 5,000, you might not care as much if it costs more for slide in, so I don't understand it at that level either. I do know that I can wait to use my new Kenmore Elite Slide-In induction next week!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 7:52AM
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I had a slide in JennAir that I never liked! When I needed an $80.00 repair I decided it was 20 yrs old and I would rather replace. I discovered no other slide in would fit exactly not even new JA.
In my present kit I have a free standing DCS and actually wish it were not so tight fitting. It was difficult to get in place but nothing is falling between it and cabs.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 9:20AM
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I purchased a slide-in range this time after having a separate cooktop and wall oven for 18 years. The deciding factor for me was the thought of having to put my arm over hot pots on the stove to set the oven. While I know millions of people do that everyday, it just didn't work for me. My last freestanding range was built before the controls were added to the back panel.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 9:35AM
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I have a hard time finding a slide-in that has as big of an oven capacity as a free standing. My slide in at my last house had a small oven. Move to this house with a free-standing, and I have tons of room. I want the look of a slide-in top with the large free-standing oven.... can't find it.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 10:51AM
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With regards to comparisons WITHIN manufacturers.

Many of the companies who offer slide in and freestanding, there is very little to No difference between oven cubic footage in their slide in models or their freestanding models *in ovens that offer the same features* only when you get to the lower end of the price points and features do the oven cavities get more than about 3/10 of a cubic foot larger, and with some manufacturers there is virtually No difference. In Electrolux there is a Large difference between slide in and free standing similar ranges of a cubic foot. Their slide in is particularly flat.

With companies who offer pro-style ranges, as well as slide-ins and "non-pro" free standing ranges, there are a couple out of hundreds that are slide in And pro-style.

Most of the pro-styles, even though free-standing, have smaller oven cavities than their lowest price options and they are generally the Same if not Smaller than even their slide in options.

Some of the most expensive ranges have the smallest relative oven cavities at a given size.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 11:39AM
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When I bought a new range and refrigerator about a year and a half ago for my unremodeled kitchen, I decided to switch from a free standing to a slide in. I have a rather temporary black piece of metal behind the range to cover the gap, but it blends in perfectly with the black top. At the time I decided a smooth top electric was the best option for us since I was not ready to convert to gas without proper ventilation and a full remodel. I too was disappointed with the number of options for a lower-mid priced slide in range. I think as others have stated that most builder-grade and older homes have space for free standing ranges. The average homeowner seems mostly interested in gas vs electric and stainless vs black or white rather than free standing vs slide in. I think perhaps the average homeowner may not even know or care about the differences between a slide in and a free standing range.

I too liked the easy cleaning factor I assumed I would have with the slide in. To an extent I avoid the crumbs and grime between the countertop and range, but I do still have a slight gap under the lip of the slide in that I must clean. I also like the sleek look of the slide in range without the lip / backsplash on the back of the range. I wish there were more slide in options available, but I imagine manufacturers are targeting the majority of the market.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 12:15PM
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I found a similar situation in my previous kitchen when trying to replace a drop-in range. I liked the drop-in aspect as it had the same "no drip" as Palimpsest said about slide-ins and also had a toekick so no collection of dustbunnies underneath. I couldn't find anything other than a smooth-top rather than the existing coil-top and I wanted dual-fuel. I looked at slide-ins too which were more available than the drop-ins but again not much in the way of options. I ended up going with a free-standing which had the controls on the front and no "backsplash" so maybe sort of a hybrid?

This was in 2004/5 so even now the situation hasn't changed, from Palimpsest's research. Perhaps it's a reflection of the ever-larger kitchen trend, which is now starting to reverse (I think? along with house size and income size :/ )? Also perhaps the mfg economics which make it easier to have the same free-standing "chassis" with different levels of bells and whistles, rather than the quite different requirements of a slide-in or drop-in.


    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 12:25PM
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Fori is not pleased

I hate the range gunkcatching gap which is why when I've remodeled I've put in separate cooktops and ovens. My current kitchen (with a maybemaybenot total gut needed) has a slidein range and I gotta say, having used freestanding ranges and cooktops, this is as good as a cooktop for cleaning for me. (I mean it would be if it were a more recent model.)

I think they cost more because not many people use them.
Not many people use them because they require a custom cutout and are not interchangeable. And because they cost more.

I wanted to replace mine with an induction model (check the math and I bet a higher percentage of slideins are induction than freestandings $) but it's not really going to fit the old slidein hole. Someone had to sculpt the tile edge.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 12:41PM
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I don't understand why the countertop should need to be modified in order to fit the flange, as many of them require. My front edge needed to be beveled. My client's Kenmore did not require any counter modification. This is smart, and it would be easy for all manufacturers to do.

The 1-1/2" projection of countertop beyond the cabinets is essentially universal. All ranges, whether they are freestanding or slide-in are height adjustable and the top of the stove must be level or higher than the adjacent countertop according to code.

Given these parameters, every slide in should be able to have an essentially "universal" flange which allows it to slide over a countertop with a 1-1/2" projection.

The part by the instrument panel needn't even necessarily be flanged the Top of the counter is more important to close off than the very front edge out by the control panel.

A DW fits DW space. There is no reason why a range should fit a range space.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 12:59PM
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Some companies ( know for sure Viking, but I am sure others as well) offer side/rear trim for their free-standing range that fills the gap and overlaps onto the counter. Similarly, many offer "curb base" add ons that clip to the legs; some of these at least can have your own trim attached, to essentially mimic the appearance of a drop-in. I don't think they are generally a well known/understood/advertised option, but they are out there.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 1:20PM
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Fori is not pleased

yep. You'd think they'd be standard, wouldn't you?

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 2:00PM
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