When a Wall Oven is Not the Answer
In magazines, advertisements, and the sleek kitchens you see on television, the wall oven (or double wall oven, or wall oven-microwave combo) seems to be a standard kitchen appliance. But is it the best solution for every kitchen? Definitely not. Here are some factors to consider:
Counter space. A wall oven will be housed in a tall cabinet or stack of cabinets nearly three feet wide. That means you give up six square feet of countertop. If you are designing for a small space, you may not be able to afford that loss. In addition to a food preparation zone, you need to include a certain amount of countertop on either side of a sink or cooktop and next to or across from a refrigerator or oven. Those “landing zones” are necessary for safety and efficiency. (You don’t want to carry a turkey roaster or soup pot across the room before setting it down.)
This professional range, backed by a custom geometric tiled wall, makes a strong, proud statement as the centerpiece in this transitional kitchen.
Cost. Generally speaking, a wall oven or ovens and cooktop will be more expensive than a range with the same features. The difference may not be enough to drive your decision, but should be considered.
The alternative: About 200 years ago, a heated horizontal surface was plopped atop an oven, combining cooking and baking functions in the first range. Still the kitchen classic, ranges are available with one or two ovens, oven and warming drawer combinations, convection baking, induction cooktops and other options.
In the kitchen above, combining cooktop and oven in a range keeps the wall above open for a clean, uncluttered look.
Many homeowners assume a single or double wall oven is a must-have appliance in a dream kitchen. Many kitchens, however, can’t afford to sacrifice nearly three feet of countertop to the tall cabinet needed to house a wall oven or oven/microwave combo. In those cases a better solution is consolidating appliances into a double-oven range, creating countertop space for unloading hot dishes and food preparation.