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Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

Posted by linelle (My Page) on
Thu, Jan 26, 12 at 12:32

Until coming to this board, I didn't even notice whether a range had a built-in backsplash (the thing that rises up at the back) or was level all the way to the wall.

My kitchen's currently getting a facelift and I've deferred getting new appliances until my budget recovers. When that happens, I'll get a 30" freestanding gas range.

I like the clean look of no built-in backsplash, but if I go that route, my choices are limited and the price increases. Uh oh, here it comes: Is this look trendy? Fixed to a certain decade that will look dated? That built-in riser looks a little dated right now, but I don't mind it.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

Go for the style that most appeals to you in the context of the rest of your kitchen & backsplash color/texture, as well as your preferred functionality. I find knobs on the front much more convenient (and safe) than on the backsplash extension of a range. Cooking splatters will definitely get on that rear area, whether wall or part of the range, so plan accordingly.

My freestanding range has a built-in backsplash and is definitely dated, but I wouldn't want anything else:


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

I personally prefer slide in because the edges lap over the countertop on the sides. This both limits my choices and often means the edge of the countertop needs to be altered slightly.

You will have many more options at many more price points with the built in backsplash, although the look is not quite as streamlined, perhaps. And--it will affect backsplash design.

I would look at a range for the features you want and then see if the company makes a slide in version that has the similar features, similar capacity, and a price that is not out of your budget.

I think for most people, the right assortment of features is primary, and the presence of the high back vs the low back is secondary. And like you, a lot of people probably don't notice.


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

You can get freestanding ranges from Bosch and GE Cafe without the backsplash or at a higher price point you can get a pro-style range such as Wolf, Capital, Bluestar or DCS.


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

circuspeanut, I love your range! I think most ranges have knobs on the front these days. I still have oven and timer settings on the back of mine, but it doesn't involve a lot of reaching back there.

I plan to get a tile backsplash before replacing my stove and I'm leaning towards not having any special design feature behind the stove that's dependent on what's in front of it. I kind of like the idea of heat venting out towards the front, away from the wall.


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

I have an antique range similar to Circuspeanut's, a 70-year-old Wedgewood with a fall fancy back, and I'm not letting go of it either.

These days, though, as you've noticed, having raised controls at the rear is out of style, in favor of a trimmer style that tends to allow the whole stove-backsplash-hood area be designed as a unit.

I'd also suggest you get whatever you want, finishing the wall behind in such a way that it would still be nice with a "flat" range. You never know just what'll be available in future if you need a new stove.


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

I think the switch away from knobs on the back was to prevent people from reaching over the burners to turn off and on, particularly with gas tops.

This is a trade-off because knobs on the front are accessible to little kids and can also be accidentally turned on.

A painter leaned on my stove and turned on the gas when the strike plate was off and nearly killed me. (Some people are probably saying "Aww...So close!)

I think my ideal would be knobs on the side like a cooktop.


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

pal: I discovered the difference between free-standing and slide-in ranges before the counters were templated and fabricated. My KD encouraged me to stick with free-standing. I didn't argue, since it's really all I know. I realize it may limit my options, but so be it.

weissman: I'd been considering the GE Cafe until I started reading about excessive fan noise and a lot of heat in the front. It's possible it was an earlier model. I have never used a convection oven in my life so don't know what I'm missing. I don't really care one way or another if I get it. The Cafe is approaching $3K which is my upper limit and I'd prefer to spend less if I can get away with it.

rosie: Like circuspeanut, you're lucky to have such a sweet antique range. I'd have one in a heartbeat in any color. I agree that no raised controls in the back is trimmer and more current looking, but I don't know if it matters all that much to me. I mean, where else am I gonna stick my ceramic cat heads and SF Giants mug? Not kidding.

I plan to have a simple tile backsplash that doesn't depend on the absence of a stove back to make it look good.

In other news: As I type this, my counter is being installed. Time to see what's going on.


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

One thing to note is a lack of a clock/timer in the slide in kinds.
We have a vintage stove with an even higher backsplash than circuspeanut's and I love it. It wipes down easy and looks sweet. We are doing our tile feature behind/above our sink which is on a tall wall and needs some decor added. I know the tall bs is not offered on new stoves, but it is one of the things I like about ours. The tall silver band flanking the timer is actually shelves. Here is a pic from when we bought her while still in the p.o.s house: Photobucket
I think the flat ones look a little funny to me and sometimes seem cold and impersonal. I like the ones that have a normal back to them with a clock and timer no matter how tall or short they are. I also like the knobs on the back because of children. Ours are now older and would know not to touch, but when guests visit with little ones, it wouldn't make me nervous. In twenty years when I am a grandma, I will be a little concerned because our vintage stove has them on the front.... They also snag my headphones for the ipod if I forget to thread them under my shirt and have them loose in the front.


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Range backs

Linelle I meant you will have more options with freestanding, sorry if I was not clear. There are also slide ins, if you go that route, that do not require the countertop to be altered, or its minimal. I would go with features first looks second in any case.

Most slide-ins do have a clock/timer on the front, integrated with the temperature readout for the oven.

I love these Chamber ranges being shown.

I saw a house on a tour several times and was very disappointed when they got rid of the Copper Chambers Rangetop when they remodeled the kitchen. The new kitchen was flashy and probably better to work in, but retained none of the charm or suitability to the house as the first kitchen I saw.


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Range backs

Linelle I meant you will have more options with freestanding, sorry if I was not clear. There are also slide ins, if you go that route, that do not require the countertop to be altered, or its minimal. I would go with features first looks second in any case.

Most slide-ins do have a clock/timer on the front, integrated with the temperature readout for the oven.

I love these Chamber ranges being shown.

I saw a house on a tour several times and was very disappointed when they got rid of the Copper Chambers Rangetop when they remodeled the kitchen. The new kitchen was flashy and probably better to work in, but retained none of the charm or suitability to the house as the first kitchen I saw.


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

Can I ask a really stupid question? What is the difference between a slide in and a freestanding range? Every time I think I get it, I read another comment that makes me think I'm wrong. You'd think I should know this as we just built a house last year and I picked out all the appliances...but I don't remember the KD asking me which I preferred. I just liked the one I got...it was dual fuel and fit the space, lol. Can someone tell me which it is? (sorry to hi-jack, this has been bugging me!)
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

LOL Nini, I'll trade you my knowledge for your kitchen. I would say you have a free-standing range. My understanding is the tip-off is little "wings" on the sides that overlay the counter. I realize there are other less obvious differences.

I had thought my stove was a slide-in because, you know, it slides in to the space.


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

Slide in ranges have raw sides and no back panels. Free standing have finished sides and can stand on their own or at the end of a counter run.


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

I have a backsplash type of range now (10 year old Kenmore) & it's a PITA because I can't fit two large pots on the burners, front to back, because the backsplash/ console is in the way. The best I can do is a large pot on the front burner (large pots won't fit on the back burners) and a much smaller pot on the front. This is a frequent irritation, day to day, and a huge problem during canning season. When I went shopping for a new cooker, I ruled out any that had a console on the back invading into rangetop real estate.


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

ci_lantro, that's a good point. It's rare that I have more than two large pots in use at once, but still.


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

We just purchased a GE Profile slide-in convection gas self clean range online for just under $1400. It's in the garage til remodel is done. We don't cook much so a fancy chef style range didn't make sense for us. Look wise I liked it the best and we had a 14 year old GE electric coil range and OTR MW which have never needed repairs so we went with GE again.


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

I am struggling with this same issue. The replacement cost for a new unit(slide-in) and possible countertop adjustment cost(pro when solid surface of any type) has definatly tilted me in the direction of freestanding ranges. When I leave , I can take my $$ one with me and replace with a cheaper more basic model for resale.


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

Thanks, Linelle! Freestanding seems right, I wasn't here the day they installed it, so not sure if the sides are finished! Pitiful! :)


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

Nini,
Small wonder you were confused, though. It looks like you have a pro-style with island trim. As mentioned by Weissman upthread, this is one of the few kinds of freestanding ranges to lack a large console/backsplash in the back (along with a few models from Bosch and GE Cafe).


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

Linelle -Your kitchen is gorgeous! Would you mind telling me what your countertop stone is?


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

Some of you have mentioned the countertop needs to be adjusted for a slide-in range...what do you mean? We are about to start a remodel and are getting granite and a GE electric slide-in convection range. I've never heard about issues with fitting it in to the counters. What should I be expecting?


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

Lollyei, I think your countertop question is meant for someone else. :) I haven't posted any pics of my (still unfinished) kitchen.


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

Rocketmom---I think for slide-ins they don't slide all the way back against the wall and there is a 1-2 inch gap. This can be filled in by a strip of granite or you can get a stainless steel strip from some manufacturers. Just make sure your granite fabricator knows the kind of range you are getting and they should know what to do.


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

Linelle, I have the GE Cafe range in duel fuel. I just wanted to say that I haven't experienced the heat in the front that you mention. It does have a fan that comes on automatically when the oven is in use. I wouldn't say that the noise is excessive though you can definitely hear it. I'm actually listening to it now, as I just made pizza for the kids who had a half day of school today. :) It usually shuts off w/in 5-10 minutes or so, depending on how high the temp setting was. It just shut off...in fact, I don't often notice the noise of the fan until it has shut off and it's suddenly quiet.

I got my range last May so it's not one of the older models (I haven't had problems with the knobs, as I read about in complaints from earlier models). I did notice though that there is a newer model that has the smaller oven on top but I prefer to have the larger oven on top as it is the one that gets regular use.

In terms of price, most of the appliance stores near me carry the duel fuel for around $2300. All gas is even cheaper. I got a discount with mine through a relative so I paid less than $2000 for the duel fuel.

Just thought I'd give you my personal thoughts if you haven't given up on the GE Cafe yet. I really like mine and have been very happy with it so far. I cook for a family of six 5-7 nights a week to give you an idea of how much we use it.


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

My slide in required that the front edge of the counter be beveled at a 45 degree angle on the top corner closest to where the side flange for the range fit over the countertop.


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

fourkids4us, thanks so much for your personal experience with the GE Cafe. It's a really nice looking range. A second oven isn't important to me. I'd just as soon stash my cookie sheets down below.

As far as sound goes, what you describe sounds very reasonable. Other reviews compared it to a jet taking off, but I think it was just hyperbole. I'd rather listen to a range fan or a DW than my neighbor's yappy dog.

What's the deal with dual fuel? Is the oven electric? Why? Has it to do with convection or self-cleaning? Can you choose to have just gas? If I could get this stove for under $2500, it would be much more attractive.


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

Based on 30 years in the business, for most people, the issue isn't about "datedness" or even "design suitability". It's an economic one, plain and simple. An inexpensive freestanding range will prepare your dinner just as well as the $900 more expensive "upgraded" slide-in version that the manufacturer offers. But, someone who chooses the slide-in can put in a fancier backsplash and brag about how their kitchen is "upgraded or up to date" when what they really mean is "nyah nyah na nyah I spent more money than you did just because I can". It's one insecure upsmanship at it's most basic. It's the same with having a pro grade range. 80% of the people who install them never use their full capacity at all. (This forum is more of an exception to that rule than the rule. Most people here actually cook.) It's all about the expense of the item, not it's functionality. It's conspicuous consumption, emphasis on conspicuous.


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

I have the GE Cafe all-electric (flat-top cooktop) and have absolutely no fan noise (except when I'm broiling because you broil with the door shut and so it has to vent) and no issues with the heat at the front. Mine is 2 years old and I think it might be the first year where they changed the knobs from plastic.


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

hollysprings, I suspect you're right. I used to cook more than I do now, but I can prepare anything I want on my 9-year old, low-end, high-back, free-standing, white Kenmore range (except I take my grilling outside). I've never ever used the self-clean function in any oven and the Health Dept. has yet to shut me down.

I do think the higher end ranges tend to have better styling and finishes, but nobody really to see it but me and the cats.

What I would like is at least one burner where I can control a simmer. I'm easy to please.


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

I disagree with you, hollysprings. I personally chose a slide-in based on the design alone. I am definitely on a budget for my kitchen, but my design with the range wall open the the dining room requires a slide-in range or the back of the range would show over the top of the 42" wall.People choose many things in their kitchens that some would consider splurges, some would consider neccesities.I don't think we're all just trying to one-up each other on kitchen design.


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

I have to disagree too, Hollysprings.

I bought a slide in simply because I wanted the gap covered between the countertop and the range. At some $1200 it was actually the budget choice vs. getting a cooktop inserted into the countertop and a separate oven below.

I usually specify slide ins for messy cooks too, so there are no drips down the sides, not as a status symbol.


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

I think it's important to note that not all slide in ranges have unfinished sides or need a strip of counter top behind them. Our previous slide in was finished on the sides and slid tightly up against the wall behind it. We did need to sand the edges of the Corian countertops slightly to make the existing opening (that previously had a free standing range) wide enough for our slide in.


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

I'm glad I got some info about fitting the slide in range on here. I plan on having it by the time the fabricators come to template for the granite, so hopefully it will fit like a glove!


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

We kept our previous free-standing all-gas range with the controls in the attached backsplash piece. We just couldn't see replacing it when it worked perfectly, never needed a repair, and we were minding our budget. Honestly, I have not once had an issue with reaching the controls while things are cooking, though that is always cited as a negative of controls on the back (and I am short with short arms). I thought it might look dated in the new kitchen, but actually it looks fine in our mid-century modest home.

One thing that is important to note is that our range does not have the fan that goes on automatically on ranges with controls in front. My understanding is the fan goes on to keep front controls cool, and can be really loud and annoying, and stay on for a long time. We are happy not to have a fan on our range with controls in the back.
Also, it is my understanding that if


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

Hey Linelle, you asked what was the deal with dual fuel...mine is dual fuel, so I know a little about it, although I have only been living with it 5 months and I am not much if a cook, so keep that in mind! The KD said some cooks prefer gas cooktops and electric ovens, and the DF has both together. Mine is a 36" KitchenAid, it was definitely less expensive than the Vikings, and had that beefy look I loved...that's why I chose it. (sad reason to choose an appliance, I know!) But, since living with it...I really do love it! The cooktop has one burner that is smaller, it can simmer things, and another that is really big and boils water fast! The other 2 are normal, and there is an electric griddle in the middle. The oven does have a convection option, but I haven't used it (need to read the manual!). The oven does have a built in fan, but it isn't particularly noisy. The only drawback is that it takes quite a while to pre-heat, but I think that is because the cavity is so big, not because it is dual fuel. Anyway, my experience with my KA DF, freestanding range!


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

alwaysfixin, I have a free-standing range with knobs on the front and there's no fan to keep them cool. The clock, timer and oven control are on the backsplash thingy, so maybe that's what heats up on the front.

nini804, so people prefer electric ovens? I had no idea. I thought if you loved gas, you loved it everywhere. So, it has nothing to do with convection? KitchenAid has some really nice looking ranges at GE prices (or less). Was that the brand with the exploding glass that launched an interesting thread? :p


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

I would have gladly gone with a free standing range, but never having had one with controls on the backsplash the idea of having to reach to the back for the oven controls didn't sit well with me. I have a Kenmore slide-in which has a cooling fan, but unless I'm standing in front of it I can barely hear it.


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

Yeah, I *think* the general consensus among real cooks ( i.e. Not me) is that they prefer the instant response of a gas cooktop and the even heating of an electric oven? Please correct me if I am wrong, anyone! :)

I also *think* the exploding glass oven was an Electolux, but I may be wrong. Yeah, for the features it has, my KA was a good value. I think it was a couple of thousand less than the similarly sized Viking.


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

I'm glad to hear the exploding glass oven wasn't a KA, because it's actually in my ballpark.


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

We chose to retain our old freestanding range (with knobs at back) for the duration of remodel. Since then we've replaced it with another. In this kitchen and in this house, modest and functional pieces are a good match.

I endorse our GE Profile (white) range with the lg oven at bottom and small one at top. Unused racks can be stored in the unused oven or in our upright storage cabinet with cookie trays. All the guff I read on GW about lifting turkeys from a bottom oven is just guff--just don't put the turkey rack on the lowest rack position!

We use top oven most of the time. Yesterday I had a party and needed lots of baking room so I used lower oven--two apple cakes, an egg bake, and wild rice casserole. Biggest problem with lower oven occurs when there's a hot rack in bottom position that you decide to move upward--that IS awkward for an older person to manage--knuckles are in way. Gotta position the racks while they are cool and can be safely moved.

There was room between range and hood for a modest niche. Wonderful thing--holds salt & pepper, soy & two oils, and the cleaning goo for the rangetop. Don't need no stinkin' backsplash mural at my place!


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

florantha, thank you, so good to know! The Profile is more budget friendly than the Cafe and I've decided that the riser at the back is all I've ever known and something I can continue to live with. I haven't cooked a turkey in the past two decades.

The plan is for me to hang onto my current white appliances (functioning just fine, thank you) and start replacing them in the next year or so. The domino effect is pulling at me really strongly, however. Since I've painted my cabinets Cloud White, the white-white appliances are functioning as large pieces of printer paper to show the undertones of the cabs. I will either get used to it or I won't.

My yet-to-be-decided backsplash won't have any stinkin' over the stove mural either. I'll settle for the right color and probably have a simple pattern throughout. A modest niche sounds good, but presents too many variables for me. I'm ready for this ride to be over. :)


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

florantha and linelle- I also have a GE Profile dual oven with the smaller oven on top. It was only 2 years old when we did our remodel and I couldn't justify getting a new one. I LOVE the smaller oven on top, but there are just 2 of us here and we are vegetarians so no huge roasts or turkeys are coming out of there but maybe every 3rd year when it's our turn to host (although right now I'd like to wack one of those wild turkeys we have foraging through our yard on the head and maybe stuff it into the oven) (not really) I especially like how quickly that smaller oven preheats.


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

leela4, thanks for another thumbs up for the GE Profile. I'm on my own and more often I'm not cooking big things aside from multiple pans of cookies.

The only reason I'm even considering getting new appliances is aethetics. Mine are all in good condition and do the job their designed to do. I'm really gonna force myself to wait 6+ months with the new kitchen and maybe they'll just blend in with the new.


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

My SIL has the double-oven Profile and she's very happy with it. The only negative I've noticed about it is that when you do have something big and heavy (turkey, big rib roast, say), it's almost down to floor level in the bottom oven. Takes a lot of leverage to raise that from so far down.


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

One more vote for the GE Cafe... got ours in July, dual-fuel and absolutely love it, no issues whatsoever and use both cooktop and oven several nights a week. We love the griddle insert that covers the center burner. And love that it has the professional look without the price!


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

dianalo, maybe I read your post wrong, I think you said slide in ranges don't have timers/clocks. We have a slide in and it does have timer/clock. Apologies if I misread.


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

I've been researching stoves/ranges and am heavily drawn to the slide-in options because they look built in and aren't that much more money. I just think getting rid of that backsplashy thing on the stove is a much nicer, cleaner look. And, I love the idea of eliminating spills between the sides of the stove and counter top.

Conversely, though, the other look I love (which is a heckuva lot more money) is the pro range with the over-sized stainless backsplash and high shelf, which is a really integrated look with the fan hood on top. It's just probably much more money than I can justify.

I've been thinking a lot about what matters to me most in a range and cleanability at very near the top of that list. I'm tired of cleaning grates, drip pans, burners, stovetops, etc, etc, etc. I find stoves a pain in the bum to clean. For that reason, I'm even considering switching away from gas to a smooth-top. The ones I am seeing don't have that backsplash built-in, either.


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

Steph-cleanability is exactly the reason I just chose to go from a gas cooktop to an electric. My black cooktop is so hard to keep clean! I do really love cooking with gas, but I'm willing to sacrifice that for ease of cleaning.As long as my oven is still electric for baking, I'll be fine.


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

I should clarify that the clock and timer set up on the backsplash part of a stove with that feature is what I prefer. There may be some that have clocks down in front, but I glance at the clock and timer regularly and like it visible from a ways and higher up. For now, we have that in our wall oven since our stove has a timer in its bs.

I am biased in that I like our appliances in view and not hidden. Even our garbage is in a can that can be identified from across the room. Our dw without front controls is the exception.


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

linelle - I'm so glad I saw your post. I just started looking for a new gas range today. I didn't realize there were two different types, but I just checked mine and sure enough it's a slide-in and I was looking at the freestanding ones.

If a slide in doesn't have sides or a back, why in the world is it more expensive?


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

msrose, I always thought my free-standing range was a slide in because, well, it slides in. Fortunately GW set me straight.

Maybe slide-ins are more expensive because they are currently hipper?


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

Maybe slide-ins are more expensive because they are currently hipper?

I suspect that is right. Why would panel-ready appliances, which look pretty unfinished as they come, be sooo much more expensive than a nicely finished appliance? (A: Because they can. You can fill in the question.)


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

Steph2000 & Rocketmomkd - if cleanability is really important, you might want to consider induction. I love mine and it cleans to new in about 30 seconds. It also cooks really well and better than regular electric smoothtops.


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RE: Freestanding ranges - built-in backsplash - a dated look?

Yes, there's a pretty impressive video of induction cleanup in this thread from appliances (the post by dodge59):

Here is a link that might be useful: induction cleanup


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