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Cooktops are an excellent alternative to the traditional all-in-one range if you have the space and the budget to install one. They come with a variety of benefits that you simply can’t get from the standard option.
First, they make your oven easier to use, as it’s closer to chest height than resting on the floor. Cooktops also allow the use of the cabinet space below them. You can store all of your heavy pots and pans right beneath your cooking space – no more lugging them across the kitchen.
However, there are hundreds if not thousands of options to choose from, making finding the best cooktop for you a challenge. That’s why we’ve compiled this guide!
To learn how to outfit your kitchen with the ideal cooktop for you and your home, just keep reading.
Measure Your Cooktop Space
If you’re purchasing a new cooktop stove for an existing kitchen and not building your kitchen from scratch, you’ll need to measure the space where you plan to put it. This will narrow down your options considerably and prevent you from hauling a heavy cooktop into your kitchen only to find that it doesn’t fit.
Most standard cooktops are around 35 inches wide with 4 to 5 burners, but you can find both smaller and larger options at most hardware and appliance stores.
Set Your Budget
Now that you know what size you’re looking for, it’s time to narrow your options down further by setting a budget. Cooktops come in a wide variety of price ranges, costing anywhere from $320 to $4,030.
There are exceptions to the rule, but gas and coil-top cooktops are generally the more affordable option. Induction and smooth top electric cooktops tend to be on the expensive side. However, the latter offers more special features.
Be sure to look into each appliance’s energy usage and factor that into your decision. Induction cooktops, for example, might cost more upfront but will be far easier on your electric bill than other options.
You should also be aware of the warranty offered with each option. Cooktops are an investment, it can be worth the extra cost for a more comprehensive warranty.
Take Ease of Cleaning Into Account
Cooking can get messy, even for the most experienced home chefs. And nothing is quite as prone to food messes as your cooktop.
Take this into account when you’re shopping. If you use your kitchen a lot, it might be a good idea to purchase one that’s easy to clean.
Induction and smooth top electric cooktops require the least effort to clean, as they have smooth surfaces. Gas and coil-top cooktops, on the other hand, are a bit trickier. They have parts that have to be removed for proper cleaning.
Consider Your Kitchen Aesthetic
What kind of look are you going for in your kitchen? Clean and classic? Retro? Eclectic?
You want to choose a cooktop that matches the aesthetic of the rest of your kitchen. For example, if you already have a stainless steel refrigerator and sink, choosing from stainless cooktops is probably your best bet.
If you’re going for a modern look, focus your attention on smooth top cooktops. For a traditional aesthetic, gas or coil-top cooktops are the ones for you.
The most common colors available are black, white, and stainless steel, but if you want a retro vibe, none of these will work. To find a wider variety of colors, you’ll need to look at specialty shops in person or online.
The Types of Cooktops
Let’s dive a little deeper into the different types of cooktops, so you can get an idea of the pros, cons, and features of each. As we’ve mentioned, there are four types of cooktops: gas, coil, smooth top, and induction. Here’s a brief overview of each.
The most important thing to remember with gas cooktops is that if you don’t already have the proper connections in your kitchen, you’re going to be looking at a very high installation bill.
That said, gas cooktops are the preferred choice for many chefs. They reach the correct temperature quickly and are the most precise option. You can even find a gas cooktop with downdraft, which will prevent smoke and steam from filling your kitchen during your cooking.
Coil cooktops are the least expensive option, but are durable and require no special pots and pans. Remember, though, that gas and coil cooktops are the most difficult to clean.
Additionally, coil cooktops aren’t as precise as gas and take a long time to reach the desired temperature.
Smooth Top Cooktops
Smooth top cooktops are an excellent choice for modern kitchens, as they’re smooth, sleek design will fit perfectly with the aesthetic. These come with additional features that add to their modern design, such as a digital screen, a warming setting, and the ability to join burners.
Now, keep in mind that these features come at a price. Smooth top cooktops are among the most expensive options. They’re also most easily damaged and stained.
Induction cooktops are for those serious about outfitting their kitchen with the very best. They’re quite expensive but are the most advanced on the market.
Induction cooktop elements don’t heat up on the surface, so you don’t have to worry about burns. They also heat up instantly and can be set to precise temperatures. As they don’t release heat into the room, they’re great for those working with a small space.
Use This Guide to Find the Best Cooktop for You
Choosing the best cooktop for you and your home is a big decision, try not to feel rushed. It’s better to take your time than to rush into a decision and regret your choice later.
Remember, start by determining your immovables first: your budget and space. Once you’ve narrowed down your options to suit these two factors, you can begin to look into aesthetics and features. Then all you have to do is make your purchase and start cooking!
For more home design tips and tricks, take a look at our blog!