Today, we will review how to measure cooktop size and the electric stove dimensions. If you’d like to purchase a new cooktop, it’s very important to be precise when determining the space you have available. Be sure to measure at least twice to ensure accuracy. Remove your current cooktop before you begin and then take the following stove top measurements:
Stove top measurements
- Cutout width: Hold the tape measure tight and measure from the left to right side of the opening.
- Cutout depth: Measure from the back to the front of the opening. Your cooktop may be a bit deeper than the cutout.
- Countertop thickness: Make sure your countertop is thick enough to secure the cooktop into place. If it’s too thin, the cooktop could collapse when placing heavy cookware on top.
Cooktops are usually designed to fit standard-depth counters with several extra inches at the front and back. Standard cooktop sizes are 30, 36 and 45 to 48 inches wide. When selecting your size, make sure to allow for countertop space on either side. If you’re fitting a new cooktop into an existing space, many manufacturers make it easy by maintaining the same dimensions for years.
Types of Cooktops
There are three types of cooktops available. Each has its pros and cons, including ability to manage temperature, difficulty to clean and safety.
- Gas cooktop: Traditionally, most people chose this option. It allows the user to have more accurate and immediate control of the temperature. Gas also heats quickly.
- Electric cooktop: These cooktops heat by using electricity and are sold as either a coil element or smooth surface. Coil options are less expensive, but smooth tops, which are made of glass or ceramic, are easier to clean.
- Induction cooktop: This type of cooktop heats through electromagnetic energy. While it heats quickly and is very responsive to changes in temperature, it only works with certain cookware, such as stainless steel or cast iron. The biggest benefit of an induction cooktop is that the surface doesn’t get hot.
Exhaust Hoods and Other Options
An exhaust hood pulls airborne grease, moisture and cooking odors up and out of the house and is useful for most cooking. If you’re looking to add or replace one, the size of the hood isn’t as important as the number of cubic feet per minute (CFM). To determine this, begin with the size of your cooktop.
You’ll need at least 100 CFM for every 12 inches of stove width. So, a 30-inch stove would need at least 250 CFM. Next, consider the size of your room — if it’s very large, you’ll need more CFMs to clear the cooking odors away. Finally, if you have a gas cooktop, it will create a lot more heat, so you’ll need additional CFMs.
If you prefer not to have an exhaust hood hanging overhead, especially if your cooktop is on an island and a hood would block the view, there are other options. One possibility is to run a duct under the floor to the outside. If that’s not possible, look for a cooktop that has built-in vents. Or, consider telescopic vents that rise several inches above the cooktop when needed and disappear when done.
This article series explains the steps in installing & testing gas appliances and includes a detailed procedure for converting from LP gas or “bottled gas” to natural gas or “piped in gas” at a building.
We also provide a MASTER INDEX to this topic, or you can try the page top or bottom SEARCH BOX as a quick way to find information you need.
Measure Twice & Cut Once Before Ordering & Installing a Gas Cooktop
You will need a measuring tape and should have already used it to make triple sure that the new gas cook top will fit into the countertop opening. Measure the countertop opening length and width and the depth between the countertop surface and any obstructions below such as a built-in ovenb or other piping or cabinet components.
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Preliminary or Old Cook Top Measurements for Ordering the New Cooktop
You may have made preliminary measurements of the exterior dimensions of an existing or already-installed cook top if you are replacing an old unit like the one shown here.
We measured the countertop opening width and depth and the depth of the insert portion of the existing cooktop (photo above left).
Watch out: when measuring for any countertop cooktop installation, you want to be sure not only that the new cooktop will fit into the countertop opening (and clear any obstructions) but also that its supporting lip that rests on the countertop surface will be adequate for support and to permit sealing against spills that might otherwise leak into the space below.
You may have made preliminary measurements of the countertop cutout opening by carefully lifting the existing cook-top up a bit without having fully disconnected it. This procedure is likely to be followed if you are making measurements to permit ordering a new gas cook top and thus want to keep using the old one until the new cook top arrives.
At above left we have lifted the old gas cooktop, a Jennair unit, partly out of its countertop to measure its depth. A question was whether the new countertop would be deeper and whether it might or might not have adequate vertical clearance space above a built-in oven installed below this countertop.
Watch out: you may find as I did that the preliminary measurements may have been good for ordering the new gas cooktop, but on removing the old one there may be some surprises such as intrusions into the below-counter space that make installation of the new cook top or its piping difficult.
At the left side of our photo of the existing Jennair gas cooktop above take a close look at that bit of plywood cabinetry extending into the cooktop cutout space. I didn’t notice that little intrusion until – ick – making a test-fit of the new cooktop.
Despite all of our earlier measurements, it did not fit! Some adjustments were needed as are illustrated at GAS COOKTOP INSTALLATION DETAILS.
Pre-Installation Cooktop Installation Measurements
To be sure that the new cook top will fit into the existing countertop opening and space measure at least the following:
- Countertop cutout dimensions vs. cooktop exposed surface dimensions:
The countertop opening dimensions, length and width to be sure that the cooktop’s finish surface will cover the edges of the opening and will have room for any manufacturer-recommended sealing gaskets between the underside of the cooktop lip and the countertop surface.
- Countertop opening vertical and horizontal clearances within the cutout space:
The cooktop body dimensions below its exposed surface (silver rectangle in our photo below) must fit within the countertop opening and must clear any obstructions or intrusions into the cutout space. We got into some serious trouble with this dimension as we will explain below.
- Cooktop body vertical clearance to an oven installed below:
If you are installing a gas cooktop into a countertop below which is open cabinet space, the installation is pretty easy: there will be plenty of room below the cooktop for gas piping, regulator, and clearances.
But if as in our example you are installing a gas cooktop into a countertop above a built-in oven you may find that the vertical clearance between the bottom of the cook top’s enclosure and the top surface of the oven below becomes important.
- Cooktop insert body width & depth –
this is the portion of the cooktop that has to fit into the opening and to clear not only the opening sides but the presence of anything installed below such as a built-in oven.
- Cooktop gas piping and electrical wiring routing clearances:
particularly if there is an oven installed or to be installed below the cooktop you will need to pay close attention to the piping decisions and routing for gas piping connections, placement of the regulator, and routing of the electrical power connection that will power the igniters for the cooktop.
The manufacturer may simply say use a street ell to provide a horizontal connection for a gas regulator and piping connections when the piping has to pass above an oven installed below, or to use vertical piping straight down from the cooktop if there is no oven below.
But we got into trouble with this recommendation as despite careful measurements we found that the gas cooktop piping connection plus street ell would not clear the top of the oven installed below.
The solution we found is described at REMOVE OBSTRUCTIONS – make it fit
Find cut out dimensions for Samsung 30″ gas cook top
Terry, the cutout dimensions for the Samsung 30″ gas cooktop might vary among specific sub-models but in general you will need
a rectangular opening 28″ x 19 5/8″
and the back of the cutout needs at least 2 7/8″ clearance from the rear wall or splashboard.
The cooktop also needs at least 12″ free clearance on either side of the opening,
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and you need at least 30″ above the cooktop to any overhead cabinet over the cooktop and 18″ vertical clearance from those left and right 12″ free clearance side areas too.
Watch out to be sure you have adequate clearance space under the countertop too – you need at least 3 9/16″ total clearance under the counter
or put another way, you need at least 7/16″ clearance to combustible surfaces below .
That rear clearance is important – without it you won’t be able to connect the gas piping to the cooktop.
You’ll also need access to an electrical receptacle below the countertop and plumbing space for the gas piping.
Power options for stoves and ovens
The heat output from electric cooktops is measured in watts. Output varies from stove to stove and burner to burner, but the output generally falls somewhere between 1,200 watts for low heat on a small burner and 3,800 BTUs for high heat on a large burner, though we’ve seen outliers at both ends of the spectrum. There are different types of electric cooktops from which you can select:
Smoothtop (glass-ceramic cooktop)
These cooktops are made of smooth glass-ceramic with heating units under the surface. A built-in sensor lets you know when a burner is still hot. This is important with smooth electric cooking surfaces, because the burner doesn’t always turn red if the heat is low.
Keep in mind that this type of cooktop is prone to scratches, and not all cookware is safe to use on the surface (the appliance’s manual will give you those specifics).
These burners convert the electricity that runs into the coil into heat. These cooktops contain thermostat sensors that notify you when a burner is on, but not necessarily whether it is still hot. Electric coil stoves are notorious for uneven cooking because of uneven distribution of the coil.
In short, it is hard to keep the coil perfectly level, which can make all of the food in the pan slide to one side. In addition, electric coil stoves are slow to heat and slow to cool. But ranges with this type of cooktop are cheaper than comparable models.
Induction burners use the heat created from electromagnetic energy to cook your food. An element just below the surface of an induction cooktop creates a magnetic field. When you put a piece of cookware containing iron on top of that magnetic element, it causes a vibration of sorts that converts to heat through a series of magnetic interactions with iron (you can read more about the science behind induction here).
These cooktops are safer than gas or electric burners because they don’t use flames or direct heat — induction burners won’t start to heat if you put something on them that doesn’t contain magnetic material. Induction cooktops are also more efficient and heat things quicker than other types of burners (the ones we’ve tested have boiled a large pot of water in an average of 6 minutes).
There are a few downsides to induction cooktops. You have to make sure you have cookware that will work with the cooking surface, and ranges with induction burners tend to cost more money than comparable electric or gas ranges.
Electric ovens: This type of oven uses a heating element that is either visible on the top or bottom of the oven, or hidden. Our baking tests show that they often cook more evenly than their gas counterparts.
Both home and professional cooks have valued gas stovetops because of the how uniform the heat output is. An open flame surrounds the bottom of your cookware, which evenly distributes the heat around it. This heat output is measured in BTUs (British thermal units). Like electric models, the power range varies from model to model, but the output generally falls somewhere between 5,000 BTUs for low heat on a small burner and 18,000 BTUs for high heat on a large burner. We’ve seen burners on high-end ranges get as low as 800 BTUs and as high as 20,000 BTUs. If you’re a speedy cook, be aware that our cooking tests show gas cooktops tend to take longer to boil large pots of water than electric or induction cooktops.
When it comes to gas ovens, we’ve seen in our cook tests that they have a harder time producing even baking results than electric ovens.
Some ranges use two types of power: gas for the cooktop, and electric in the oven. These dual-fuel ranges are a good compromise for folks who want the direct heat of a gas burner but the even cooking of an electric oven. However, these hybrids cost more than traditional one-power-source ranges.
Freestanding ranges are designed to fit anywhere in a kitchen. Oven controls are often located on a back panel that raises up above the cooktop. These are less expensive than slide-in models.
These ranges don’t have a back panel and are meant to fit in flush with the surrounding countertops. Slide-in ranges are often more expensive than freestanding models because of the mechanics that go into putting all the controls up front.
Drop-in ranges are similar to slide-in models — they sit flush with the surrounding countertops and all the controls are located at the front of the unit. But this type of range looks like you dropped it between two cabinets because of a strip of cabinetry you place beneath the appliance.
The search for an oven or range can resemble a visit to a car dealership — there are always opportunities to upgrade. Assess your needs and decide if these bonus features are worth throwing down more money for an appliance.
Companies have become more proactive in including wireless capabilities such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and near-field communication (NFC) in their ovens and stoves so you can control your appliance from your smartphone. For example, you could begin to preheat your Wi-Fi-enabled oven on your way home from the grocery store, so it’s ready for your frozen pizza by the time you get home.
Manufacturers have also started to connect appliances with smart-home products to add some automation and voice control in the kitchen. For example, GE’s Wi-Fi-connected ranges work with Alex and Google Assistant, so you can give voice commands to control your appliance. And Jenn-Air wall ovens work with Nest Learning Thermostats ($269 at Amazon) so you can automatically lower your home’s temperature when the ovens get hot.
Convection fans are built into the back of oven walls. They circulate the heat in the oven so hot air is more evenly dispersed, which means your food will bake more evenly. You’d want convection fans if you’re baking food like cookies on more than one oven rack at the same time. Midprice ovens will have at least one convection fan. Some ovens have what’s called “true” or “European” convection, which means there’s a heating element that surrounds the fan that warms the air as the fan blows. Read more about the science of convection here.
Special cooking modes
Your basic oven can bake and broil. But as the price for ovens increases, you’ll see that there are more cooking options. For example, ovens with convection fans will have modes for convection baking and convection roasting, which will enable the fans and heating elements. Some ovens also come with cook settings for specific foods, such as pizza or turkey, or food preparation methods, like dehydration or bread proofing.
Bottom drawers (baking/warming/broiling)
Some ranges come with a bottom drawer that can serve one of many purposes depending on the model. Some range ovens offer a baking drawer, which enables a person to use the main oven to roast or broil, and the baking drawer for smaller dishes, so you can cook more than one thing at the same time using different temperatures. A warming drawer will keep food warm, but it won’t cook the food. Some ovens have a broiler drawer, which functions like a traditional broiler and must be watched just as closely to ensure that food does not burn.
Temperature probes plug into the wall of your oven, and you use them to monitor the internal temperature of meat as it cooks. The temperature displays on the control panel of your oven, so you don’t have to open the door to see if your dish is done.
Double ovens in conventional space
The ovens on some ranges have dual baking chambers, which give you the flexibility of double wall ovens without the need for more space. These ovens allow the convenience of simultaneous cooking at different temperatures. Some ovens come with a divider that allows you to split your single oven into two unique temperature zones that will remain separate as long as the divider is in place.