If you're planning a new kitchen or kitchen renovation, many of your design decisions revolve around the size of your appliances. Arguably the biggest variable is the kitchen stove's dimensions. While the depth and height are fairly consistent to match the depth and height of your counters, there isn't a single standard stove width.
Compact, Space-Saving Ranges
For cottages, tiny houses and small urban spaces, sometimes a space-efficient stove makes the most sense. Like most ranges, they're approximately 24 to 25 inches deep to match your counters. The cooktop sits 36 inches from the floor to match your countertop height, though the listed height for a given range might be greater to allow for the back panel.
The most common width for these models is 24 inches, though some manufacturers offer 18- or 20-inch versions as well. Reduced oven and cooktop space is the primary drawback of these models. Compact ranges are often low-end appliances, but some upscale manufacturers make down-sized models that are both sleek and high-tech.
Standard Stove Size: 30-Inch Domestic Ranges
This is the closest thing to a standard stove size, and it's the one you'll see in most domestic kitchens. The depth of the stove and height of its cooking surface will coincide with your counters for ease of design. The width of 30 inches, or 2 1/2 feet, allows for a reasonably large oven and cooking surface.
Ranges of this size are available in gas, electric ring and ceramic cooktop versions, and the ceramic models may have conventional elements or convection hobs. Older and lower-end versions typically offered four burners, but new models often add a fifth in the center of the cooking surface. Some also offer the option of stacked dual ovens.
Large 36-Inch Domestic Ranges
For serious home cooks, or at least serious kitchen designers, moving up to a larger 36-inch wide range offers more functionality and an impressive appearance. The cooking surface can easily accommodate six burners or five burners partnered with a flat griddle or grilling surface. The extra width also allows for two to four ovens, depending on the design.
Some 36-inch models are simply standard domestic ranges that are stretched to accommodate extra cooking space. Others emulate the look and features of professional restaurant ranges, a hybrid of professional and consumer styles that's often referred to as prosumer for short. While these ranges are impressive if they fit your budget, sources such as Consumer Reports are often scathing about their value for the dollar.
Oversized and Specialty Ranges
For those who entertain frequently, have large families or just wish to make a statement about their budget, there are even larger sizes. Many brands offer restaurant-style ranges in 48- to 60-inch widths. Specialty ranges, such as the always-on AGA cooker, can be even larger: The AGA offers base sizes up to 58 inches in width with extra modules available for even more ovens and cooking area. These models still observe the standard depth and height so they can be integrated with kitchen cabinetry.
Old-fashioned wood- or coal-burning ranges are sometimes refurbished with modern components, and a few manufacturers offer modern reproductions that mimic their appearance and design. These are much more variable in size and may not integrate smoothly with your cabinetry. If you like the look and style of these stoves, choose your stove first and then design the rest of your kitchen around it.
Fred Decker is a trained chef and prolific freelance writer. He was educated at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. His articles have appeared on numerous home and garden sites, including OurEverydayLife, GoneOutdoots, The Nest and eHow, as well as the San Francisco Chronicle's SFGate.com.