Kitchen island with a range built in

Kitchen Island Cooktop or Range: Which One is Right for You?

Whether your kitchen already has an island or you’re considering adding one as part of your next renovation, installing an island range or an island cooktop can expand your space's possibilities and enhance the creative process.

When considering a kitchen island range or cooktop, think about how you move throughout the kitchen. The positioning of the sink, refrigerator and stove is known as the “working triangle” and the theory goes that they should be equal distances from each other while being close but not too close. A kitchen island with a range or a cooktop can dramatically improve the flow and appearance of your kitchen, but which one is right for you?

Salmon searing on a gas island cooktop

What’s the Difference Between Kitchen Islands with Cooktops vs. Ranges?

Standard ranges and cooktops installed in-line with kitchen counters take up valuable counter and cabinet space while forcing you to turn your back to company while you work. A kitchen island with a range or cooktop can help free up space around the perimeter of your kitchen for countertop appliances and prep work. Read on to compare the benefits of a kitchen island range vs a kitchen island cooktop.

Closeup of gas range Closeup of gas range

Kitchen Island Range Benefits

Replacing an old kitchen island stove or installing one in a new island provides an opportunity to explore the benefits of today’s ranges. The latest KitchenAid® ranges, for instance, let you preheat from your phone with smart features or add extra moisture to the oven with steaming capabilities. Before making a decision, consider the way you like to create and move around your kitchen, the size of your kitchen, and the traffic flow. Keep in mind that a slide-in range is necessary for a smooth island top. A kitchen island with a range helps you:

1. Streamline Your Kitchen

Your kitchen can flow as smoothly as your creativity when you streamline your cooking area with a range. You won’t need to rely on multiple appliances to bake and cook. Your island range makes it easy to switch between cooking, baking and prepping on the countertop.

2. Create a Central Cooking Location

Let your kitchen layout cater to your needs when you use your range and island to create a centralized cooking location. You can keep your most frequently used ingredients in the neighboring cabinets of the island, so you never have to stray too far as you make.

3. Optimize Your Kitchen Space

Enjoy more room to create when you add a range to your kitchen island, since you’ll also have more counter and cabinet space to work with.

Kitchen with gas cooktop in kitchen island Kitchen with gas cooktop in kitchen island

Can You Have a Gas Stove in an Island?

While gas ranges can technically be installed in a kitchen island, you may need to take some extra steps such as installing a gas line in the island.  


Woman using stand mixer on kitchen island with gas cooktop Woman using stand mixer on kitchen island with gas cooktop

Kitchen Island Cooktop Benefits

If you opt for a cooktop plus wall oven setup, islands with cooktops divide prep work into two stations: one at the cooktop for simmering, sauteing and boiling, and another at the wall oven for baking and roasting. Kitchen islands with a cooktop plus a separate wall oven are good for:

1. Small or Oddly Shaped Kitchen Islands

Consolidating your cooking space by adding a cooktop to your island allows for better flow of your small or unconventional kitchen layout. 

2. More Storage Space Near the Cooking Surface

You can reap the benefits of having a cooktop in your kitchen island with the additional storage space that you’ll have at your disposal. Keep your favorite spices and most commonly used ingredients handy within the island cabinets. 

3. Large Kitchens with an Expanded Working Triangle

If you have a large kitchen, you can make your space more efficient by having a designated cooking space, where all your prepping and ingredients can all be done with ease, without having to constantly move throughout your entire kitchen. 

4. A Wider Variety of Burner Configurations

Whether you choose a cooktop or range, you can find options that have up to five different burners, so no matter how ambitious your creativity, you can make every aspect of your meal with ease.

5. More Cooking Oven Space

By choosing a cooktop plus wall oven setup, you have the option to add more baking and roasting space with a double wall oven.

6. Avoiding Bending Over to Use the Oven

If mobility is an issue for you, then installing a wall oven to accompany your island cooktop means that you’ll be able to bake or roast without having to bend down like you would with a range. 

Berries cooking on a glass island cooktop Berries cooking on a glass island cooktop

How Deep Should an Island be with a Cooktop?

While most standard islands tend to be about 24 inches, you’ll want to add about 8 additional inches if you’re adding a cooktop to your island. In general, an island with a cooktop should be about 36 to 42 inches in depth.

Learn about the difference between counter height vs. bar height.

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Closeup of canopy island range hood over gas cooktop Closeup of canopy island range hood over gas cooktop

Ventilation for Kitchen Island Ranges or Cooktops

Island cooktops and ranges often sit at the center of your kitchen, so it's important to keep the air clear. This can be tricky on a kitchen island since there are no walls in which to install ventilation. Thankfully, you can find kitchen hoods designed for canopy installation over a kitchen island. Overhead island range hoods help capture smoke, steam, and grease produced by the kitchen island cooktop, provide an additional light source, and can add a bold statement to your kitchen design. If you'd like to maintain a more open feel in your kitchen, you can avoid adding overhead venting with a downdraft vent hood. These retractable systems are installed directly into the kitchen island, behind the cooktop or range. When not in use, downdraft hoods slide down until flush with countertops for a more subtle ventilation option.

Shop KitchenAid®Island Hoods and Downdraft Hoods

Downdraft Ranges and Cooktops for Kitchen Islands 

If you're looking for a minimalist approach, a downdraft cooktop or range may be the perfect option for your kitchen island. These appliances include a downdraft ventilation system integrated directly into the cooking surface, eliminating the need for a separate vent. This integrated ventilation system is always ready to use and doesn't require the space or cost of installing a second venting appliance such as an overhead hood or retractable downdraft vent. Consider a downdraft range or cooktop if you want to save the expense of two separate appliances and installations, or if you prefer more open sight lines in your home.

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Ready to Browse KitchenAid®  Ranges and Cooktops for Your Kitchen Island?

If you'd like the savings and centralization of a range for your kitchen island, choose from gas, electric, induction, and downdraft options depending on how you create. If you're looking for the design flexibility and burner options of a cooktop plus wall oven, you should still be able to choose from gas, electric, induction, downdraft and electric downdraft options. Finish taking your kitchen to the next level with cordless appliances for even more freedom to create as you please. Start browsing kitchen island ranges or cooktops and get inspired by the possibilities.

Shop Popular KitchenAid® Ranges and Cooktops for Kitchen Islands


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