For quite a while, we’ve had 3 stainless steel appliances — the fridge, dishwasher, and microwave — and 1 bisque (the range) that came with the house.
All of the first three stainless appliances were bought out of necessity, when what came with the house died. Initially I had a hard time with the idea of prematurely replacing the bisque range. I wanted a stainless steel dual fuel range, but the existing range had a gas cooktop and it (mostly) worked, so it was hard to pull the trigger. Eventually, this Christmas convinced me.
On Christmas Eve we were hosting the annual 7 fish gathering, and were trying to cook on 3+ burners of the stove and in the oven at the same time. I was trying to get pasta out of pots on the back burners while sautéing on the front burners, and needed to reach the oven controls at the same time. With how low the microwave is, and with how much depth is eaten up by the rear dash (where the oven controls are) there just wasn’t space.
I came away with a few little oil burns and a new resolve that it was time to hit an appliance sale in the new year.
I’ve known for a while exactly which range I was pretty sure I wanted, and we spent only a little time shopping to confirm before buying. We needed a freestanding range, since that’s what we’re replacing, but I wanted the look of a slide-in, and the controls on the front. I also liked not having the big dash in the back, because it leaves more space for pots to not be so close together. The GE Cafe range was the only one we found that fit all those wants, came in the right size, and was available in a dual fuel model.
In order to switch to dual fuel, we had to have a 220v line installed, because our previous range was all gas, and only needed 110v to run the clock, etc. We had an electrician do it, partly because electrical work isn’t my bag, and partly because we also wanted a separate circuit run for the microwave so we could stop periodically overloading the circuit that previously had the microwave, range, and the basement lights on it. Once that was done we ordered the range, and had it delivered.
DIY install was ok in the end, but didn’t go as smoothly as it could have. We needed a dolly to move it from the garage into the kitchen, but at least it fit through the necessary doorways. When we finally got it unpackaged, we discovered that it fit between the cabinets, but the opening in the countertops was about 1/16″ too small.
We ended up removing the small countertop from the cabinet and re-screwing it to the cabinet after fitting the range in. No big deal, but there was certainly a little panic involved for a brief while.
This is the hole in the cabinets that the range goes into. Please admire the awesome stock cabinetry in the corner, that never got painted.
Sealing the natural gas line threads went pretty smoothly. We used this stuff to seal:
and when we tested for leaks
we were good to go.
When it came time to push the range in, we arrived at the first problem that we couldn’t readily solve. We’re not 100% sure, but we think it’s the gas line that’s in the way:
but we can’t push the range the last 2 inches or so, all the way back to the wall. It’s a problem we’ll have to figure out how to fix in the future, because we have a gap near the backsplash, and we can’t open the drawer under the drain board without opening the oven door too (the drawer hits the oven door handle). There has to be a solution, we’ll just have to figure it out. In the meantime, not bad:
I love how much less cramped it looks above the range. The white tile backsplash is nothing to write home about, but it’s so nice and clean looking to be able to see it! The bisque appliances/white tile never did much for me either.
We have not baked anything yet to report on the electric oven, but I do really like the gas cooktop so far. Now we just need to throw a party to take it for a test run! Marcy and Guinness insist.
The old range, which does still work, is out in the garage. I plan to call Habitat for Humanity to donate it. Hopefully it will be useful to someone.