By Diana Murphy
Whether you cook frequently or just once in a while, every kitchen needs a range; it's a necessity and a focal point in the heart of every home. But with so many types and models to choose from, how do you know which range to select? It all boils down to a few simple rules of thumb, so consider the following questions when buying a new kitchen range:
Should I choose an electric or gas range?
Whether replacing an old range or installing one in new construction, remember that a gas or hybrid range that features both gas and electric cooktops will require access to natural gas. Given that this utility is available, it then comes down to your cooking preference. Many cooks prefer gas cooktops for the precise control over heating and no waiting for the element to heat up.
What types of cooktops are available?
There are several types of cooktops to choose from, and even if you have access to gas, you may want to consider one of the other types to suit your preferred cooking style and décor.
What style range should I buy?
There are three styles of ranges available, and the type you choose depends on the design of your kitchen.
What size range should I buy?
First consider the space that's available for your range. If you are replacing an old range, the new one will need to fit in the old space unless you're considering reconstructing the cabinetry. With new construction you have more flexibility, so it's best to decide what size range you want before designing the layout of the kitchen.
Then consider your cooking style. For singles or couples, who don't typically cook large quantities of food, a range with a smaller-capacity oven of 2 to 4 cubic feet is probably sufficient. For big families or people who typically cook large items such as turkeys or many dishes at once, opt for an oven with 4 or more cubic feet.
What other features should I look for?
When buying a range, there are several features to look for to suit your needs and cooking style. Here are a few:
To help your selection process when buying a range, visit the manufacturers' websites to learn more about the sizes and features available on their models. Then you can make an educated decision when it's time to make your purchase.
Diana Murphy Diana Murphy is the managing editor of Home Sweet Solutions. The former editor of Kitchen and Bath Portfolio and Country Living Special Interest Publications, she recently helped her sister-in-law waterproof her deck.
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