Counter Install & Range

Samantha111December 9, 2011

How tight a fit can you put between the counter and a slide in range? I believe I was told they can be a tight fit so crumbs don't get down and between. Didn't like the gap with my last range. I do need to be able to slide it out for cleaning so am wondering if that still works ok.

Do I just measure so they abut or how much extra space is needed?

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A slide in range is designed to fit in a standard 30" opening and has little "wings" that overlap the counter. A freestanding range can also fit into a standard 30" opening, but you will have approximately 1/16" of gap on either side of the range. Both will be difficult but not impossible to get into the opening. The reason more space is usually present isn't because of the manufacturer's specs, it's for the convenience of the installer and homeowner.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 10:12AM
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LWO, so the difference between a freestanding and slide-in range is the "wings"? I've always assumed that my range is slide-in, but it certainly doesn't have any wings and there are indeed tiny tiny gaps on either side next to the counter.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 10:37AM
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Sorry, it's a free standing not technically a slide in.

I see the ranges are 29-7/8 (which mine is). So I should allow 30" when ordering the countertop, not try to make it perfect? If I were to do that, no dice getting it in and out?


    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 10:46AM
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btw, my contractor left a 30-1/4" opening, not 30". I was originally going to do 1/8" hangover at the sides but want it to fit tight to keep the junk out.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 10:48AM
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See the little "wings" sticking out? Those go on top of your counter. In addition, you'll note the absence of a backguard and the controls on the front of the range. (A "drop-in" range is a slide in with no storage drawer and no feet on the bottom. It rests on a cabinet base.")

A free standing range has a backguard and will have small gaps at the side when installed.

This is an excessive gap, but one probably left in order to get the range in and out easier.

They do make products designed to bridge that gap.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 11:28AM
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I've got a 30-1/4" opening and am fitting a formica counter. I don't know whether to order/place the counter to fit exactly to the 29-7/8" range or if I actually need to allow some wiggle room (unlike other ranges I see installed that are flush).

The one counter is fixed against a wall, the other is free to place however close but I am trying to keep the gaps even but don't want to install so tightly that it can't slide in and out.

Thanks, Lowes and my contractor are not much help with this stuff. I expect he'll install with a gap whether I want one or not.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 11:42AM
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LWO, awesomely illustrative photos! I'm learning things at this place!!!

I definitely have a free-standing range with its own built-in backsplash. I can see a little daylight between its sides and the existing counter/cabs, but nothing significant. I can live with this range in the new kitchen (she says now...). I assume if I keep the existing counter clearance, in the future I will be able to replace my free-standing with a slide-in and the wings/extensions will overlay the counter. I think where I might have regrets is in the back. If I don't already have a slide-in, there's nothing they can do with quartz at the back. If there are add-on extensions, all well and good. But won't that impact how it meets an existing tile backsplash? Since that's a focal point in a kitchen, I'd like to think things through a bit.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 11:59AM
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Apologizing for OT here, but what's with the links that get added to people's posts? In the one I wrote at 11:59, the words "the future" are hyperlinked to an ad I refuse to click on.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 12:09PM
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Linelle, get a good ad blocker and you won't be troubled by them anymore. There's a link at the bottom of each page here that says "Click here to learn more about in-text links on this page" that explains about how they're a source of ad revenue for the site owners.

I haven't seen them in ages, since I use an adblock (don't have to see the horrible big ads at the top of the page, either, as an added bonus).

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 12:12PM
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Thank you, Writersblock! I should have looked a little harder and I would have seen the link. All better!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 1:32PM
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Just a note...not all freestanding ranges have the controls on the rear. Some have front controls like a slide-in, even though they are freestanding. Many of the "professional" type ranges are like this, i.e., Viking, Wolf, Thermador, Bluestar, Capital, et al... You can get an island trim (so long as the backsplash is heat resistent) and avoid having any bit sticking up.

So don't assume that front controls means its a slide in. The key issue is whether the rangetop overlaps the counter or not.

My understanding is that in slide-in ranges some of the weight is actually resting on the counter, so they aren't really meant to be slid in and out with any frequency ...but I've never had one personally, so I could be wrong. On the other hand, you *can* move a free-standing in and out, if you are careful, but you don't have to. I have even seen some installers caulk the gap between the range and the counters to seal the gap.

The biggest problem with changing to a slide-in own the road is that the tolerances are going to be tighter for the opening than for a may find one that works, but you may not or you may need to cut into your counters a bit.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 1:35PM
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Linelle, the "Read Me" thread has a link to a thread that discusses how to get rid of the "in-text links". Scroll down to the topic "Eliminating Those Pesky Inline Links in Messages".

Here is a link that might be useful: New To Kitchens? Posting Pics? Read Me!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 1:53PM
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My free-standing GE profile does not have the backguard. The controls are on the front. My gap between the stove and the counter is about 1/16" and I will never be taking that thing out of it's little space.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 3:22PM
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KD at the big box says leave 30" which would be 1/16" open with the 29-7/8" range. Maybe this is unavoidable and the design plan that they have, using 29-7/8" ranges instead of 30".

Not sure how much crud gets in a 1/16" space but my old range was wider and it is not a fun place to get to or clean.

Anyone with them smack up and can you get the range back in? The other KD says his is smack up and it still gets crummy.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 9:11PM
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I've never had a free standing range before and while the range is fine I do hate that tiny little gap where everything ends up.
I measured and it's 1/16" but the original countertop (corian) is about that same amount above the stovetop.
When we replace the corian with granite I'm hoping to find a way to make the area better. Not sure how exactly :(
Maybe with a thing like LWO shows in her 5th picture.
When we replaced the range I was horrified at how much grease and gunk covered the sides of the stove. Obviously hadn't been taken out and cleaned in the 14 years since it was put in. After living with my new range for only 4 1/2 months I see stuff on the sides of mine that are disgusting and I don't even cook that much! Yuk
There must be a solution to this problem!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 12:34PM
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My old freestanding range had a very tight gap - I never measured, but it was tiny, and it would have been very difficult to slide out the range to clean. That being said, when demo started and they pulled the range out, I was mortified when I saw the sides! I doubt crumbs ever got down in there, but apparently liquids had spilled down the sides. Blech!

We're going with a cooktop/wall oven combo in the remodel, but if we'd stayed with a range, I would have done something to prevent that in the future.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 12:52PM
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The small clearance is required to get the range into the opening.

There would be NO WAY for it placing or removing without some clearance.

Yep, stuff can spill into the small gap, and unless you make the gap zero, stuff will still get into the gap.

I pull mine out about 2-3 times a year and clean the range sides and the cabinet sides.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 12:55PM
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