Commercial-style range in a big kitchen

Slide-in vs. Freestanding Ranges: Which is Better for Your Kitchen?

Poached pears, steamed mussels, and broiled flounder find their way to your table via one important kitchen appliance—the range. With an oven and cooktop combined into one versatile appliance, a kitchen range is often at the center of your culinary explorations. But what kind of range is best for your kitchen setup? Read on to learn more about the difference between a slide-in range and a freestanding range, and get help choosing the best type of range or stove for you.

What’s the Difference Between a Slide-In vs. Freestanding Range?

The primary differences between freestanding and slide-in ranges are the installation and the location of the controls. Freestanding ranges can be installed between cabinets for a built in look or can act as a stand-alone appliance, while slide-in ranges are designed to fit within your kitchen cabinets. Freestanding ranges feature a backguard that doubles as a control panel, with gas burner controls located on the front. Slide-in ranges do not have a backguard and all controls are located on the front. You can find both types of stoves in gas, electric and dual-fuel options with a wide selection of features and functions.

Man pouring red wine into a stew in the oven

What is a Slide-In Range?

Slide-in ranges are designed to slide between cabinets or other appliances to provide seamless integration with custom cabinetry, much like these ranges from KitchenAid brand that come in both electricgas and dual-fuel options. Since slide-in ranges do not have backsplash panels, they are ideal for installation in kitchen islands or against a wall that features a continuous backsplash. However, since many of today’s slide-in ranges feature finished sides, you can now install one virtually anywhere in your kitchen.

Advantages of Slide-In Ranges

Here are some advantages to choosing a slide-in range:

  • Integrated installation: The lack of backguard on slide-in stoves helps you achieve a built-in look when installed between cabinets or other appliances. If you have a decorative backsplash on the wall behind your installation location, there is no backguard to block this design feature.

  • Helps maintain an open layout: Slide-in ranges are ideal for kitchen islands because there is no backguard to protrude above your countertop surface. All controls are on the front of the appliance to keep settings at your fingertips and create a seamless flow from countertop to cooking surface.

  • Downdraft ventilation: If a traditional range hood will get in the way of your creative flow, opt for a slide-in range with a downdraft ventilation system built right into the cooktop. A downdraft range eliminates the need for an additional ventilation appliance. If you want a streamlined look, this style range helps you cook, bake, and vent all at once.

  • FIT System Limited Guarantee: Some brands offer products featuring the FIT System to ensure your products will fit your space. For example, on select KitchenAid® slide-in ranges featuring the FIT System Limited Guarantee, KitchenAid promises to flawlessly fit your new slide-in model designed for an existing cutout of 30" width, countertop depth of 24"-25", cabinet depth of 23"-24" and countertop height of 36".
Close up of a gas cooktop Close up of a gas cooktop

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Explore KitchenAid®Slide-In Ranges

Find a slide-in range that enables your culinary explorations. Achieve your ideal cooking results with features on select models like Even-Heat™ True Convection, a steam rack or a baking drawer that lets you do even more with a single appliance.

Food cooking on a gas range

What is a Freestanding Range?

Freestanding ranges also come in both gas and electric options and feature a built-in backsplash, like these gas and electric freestanding ranges from KitchenAid®. The backsplash makes these ranges versatile and easy to incorporate into a new or pre-existing kitchen layout. With this integrated backguard and finished sides, they can be installed standing alone, between cabinets, or at the edge of the counter with one side exposed.

Advantages of Freestanding Ranges

Here are some advantages to choosing a freestanding range:

  • Integrated Backguard: If you need a built-in way to protect the wall behind the range from grease, smoke and splatters, many freestanding models are designed with a backguard that also houses the controls.

  • Flexible Installation: If your range will stand alone, or if you anticipate changing your kitchen layout over the lifetime of the range, a freestanding model can provide extra flexibility to make sure you always have a cohesive kitchen design. While you can also install a slide-in range standing on its own, a freestanding range eliminates the need for a separate backsplash. Note that while freestanding ranges have finished sides, the color may vary from the rest of the appliance. For example some stainless steel freestanding ranges feature sides with a black finish. 

  • Lower entry price-point: While the price of stoves varies widely based on features, materials, size and other considerations, freestanding ranges tend to offer a lower entry price-point for consumers on a budget. 

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Explore KitchenAid®Freestanding Ranges

Find the flexibility you need with a premium lineup of gas, electric, or dual-fuel freestanding ranges from KitchenAid. Choose from select models featuring convection cooking for even heating, SatinGlide™ racks to easily remove dishes and 5 cooking elements or burners to do more on your range. Whatever your favorite dishes to cook or bake, KitchenAid® Freestanding Ranges help you prepare them with precision while experimenting with new recipes along the way.

Pastries being assembled next to a commercial-style range

Can You Use a Freestanding Range in Place of a Slide-In?

Freestanding and slide-in range designs are not entirely interchangeable due to their difference in installation. Because slide-in ranges are not installed directly against a wall, a few inches of countertop space are typically added to fill the gap between the back of the appliance and the wall. If you swap out your slide-in range for a freestanding option, you will need to update your kitchen layout to install the range properly.

Woman basting a turkey in the oven

Find a Range that Sparks Creativity

From the sleek and contemporary look of a slide-in downdraft range, to the premium, feature-rich commercial-style lineup, KitchenAid has ranges to fuel endless exploration. Create a kitchen that inspires discovery every time you step into it with ranges that express your style and capture your tastes.


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