Why do cooktops cost more than ranges?
August 27, 2018 10:55 AM   Subscribe

Is this a case of product differentiation -- or is there some technical reason I'm missing? A cooktop seems to be a kitchen appliance that allows you to cook with pots and pans on a tabletop surface. A range seems to be a kitchen appliance that combines a cooktop with an oven below it. So.. why does it look like the combo appliance is generally cheaper than just a cooktop?
posted by mhh5 to Shopping (11 answers total)
 
Based on prior experiences shopping for appliances, I'm not sure that I buy your premise.

That said, if you're seeing higher prices on cooktops, I suspect it's because they tend to cater to the higher end (hence more spendy) segment of the market in terms of kitchen appliances. Cooktop(s) + wall oven(s) are much more common configuration in 'high end' kitchen designs than they are in economy or middle-of-the-line kitchen designs.
posted by BrandonW at 11:03 AM on August 27, 2018 [8 favorites]


Consumer willingness to pay more.
posted by GuyZero at 11:04 AM on August 27, 2018


Combination of economies of scale and market demand?
posted by sammyo at 11:11 AM on August 27, 2018 [4 favorites]


Combination of economies of scale and market demand?

And I would add that, since this is a newer technology, you're also seeing more of the up-front development costs reflected in the final product.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:14 AM on August 27, 2018


I think there's a bit of a missing middle in standalone cooktops. You can get a really basic four-burner cooktop if that's what you need, but from there you jump more or less directly to fancy designer models. With ranges there's a broader, uh, range, no, array of products, because there's more of a market in the middle (e.g. better than builder grade, but not as fancy as a Wolf or Bluestar). Once you get into specifying that you want a standalone cooktop at all you're more or less self-selecting into the group that's willing to pay more. It's a smaller market, identified as a more discerning one at that, so indeed you have the combination of reduced economy of scale and segmentation into a more expensive part of the market.
posted by fedward at 11:14 AM on August 27, 2018 [10 favorites]


>Combination of economies of scale and market demand?

And also in that range oven combination has been the default for a long time, it's much cheaper installation-and-delivery-wise to buy a new range oven and slot it into an existing cutout in an existing kitchen; if you have a kitchen that was built for a range, you're going to spending money on renovations to make space for the wall oven and new cabinetry and new counters and so on -- so the market has somewhat self-selected for 'people who are either buying new houses or doing major renovations (or buying newly-renovated houses).' A separate range + cooktop may also imply a large kitchen (though not necessarily), which also might reflect some self-selection on the buyer's part.
posted by cjelli at 11:30 AM on August 27, 2018 [2 favorites]


If you compare apples to apples, the cooktop is cheaper than a comparable range with the same or equivalent cooktop. For example a Bosch 30" induction cooktop (800 series) costs $1,754. A Bosch 30" 800 series induction range costs $3,059. A Frigidaire 4-element cooktop is $393; the Frigidaire range with a similar top is $989. And you can buy a really basic electric or gas range for between $300 and $400, a comparable cooktop can be had for $169.
posted by beagle at 11:37 AM on August 27, 2018 [7 favorites]


If you compare apples to apples, the cooktop is cheaper than a comparable range with the same or equivalent cooktop. For example a Bosch 30" induction cooktop (800 series) costs $1,754. A Bosch 30" 800 series induction range costs $3,059.

I had read the question as comparing 'cooktop + wall oven to range oven,' since that's the normal apples-to-apples comparison, which on re-reading maybe isn't the case; it's true that a cooktop alone may be cheaper than a range oven alone, but if you factor in the wall oven as well, say a comparable a Bosch (series 800) wall oven, at $2,249, then you're looking at paying about a thousand dollars more in total to buy the elements separately that the combination range.
posted by cjelli at 11:44 AM on August 27, 2018


Part of this will be delivery and installation costs which in most cases are (at least partly) built into the price, a single unit only ever needs one delivery and one installation. for an extreme example this range costs as much as a car, and probably weighs as much, but it has free delivery.
posted by Lanark at 1:30 PM on August 27, 2018


In case it's of interest, in the culinary world the definition of "range" is a piece of cooking equipment that combines more than one method of cooking together. The most common example being the stovetop + oven.
posted by Miko at 7:37 PM on August 27, 2018


I recently got a "front control" range and there is a definite price difference of around a factor of 2 between a "standalone" range and either a "slide in" or a "front control" range, even though the slide-in is cheaper to make (no side panels required). I do not think it is based on demand or cost, I think it is based on some kind of price-point marketing based on what they think people will pay. Based on that, I suspect the same thing is true for cooktop vs. range prices.

As an aside, based on the crap-o-roni design of the Fridgidaire "Professional" range we selected after some research, I don't think design cost is much of an issue either. Oh well, it probably won't last that long, so we got that going for us.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 5:26 PM on August 29, 2018


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