Choosing the size of your cooktop depends on how much clearance you have. You can choose to place your cooktop either over an oven range or on an empty counter. You can most of the time manage a good 30 to 36 inches of clearance (measured from left to right). However, in rare cases, you may be able to manage only 24 inches of clearance.
Go even lower and you get the 12-inch stove. At this point, you’re compromising a lot on size, and you shouldn’t go for this stove unless you the heavier oneneed to.
Also, consider the depth of the stove and how long it is. The depth (from top to bottom) can be anywhere from 3 inches to 36 inches (for a combined stove plus oven range). The length (front to back) can be between 15 and 20 inches. It is best to measure the length of your counter beforehand.
Consider the way burners are laid out. A common layout is two burners on either side with the largest and most powerful one in the middle. For 4-burner layouts, it’s just four burners uniformly distributed on the cooking surface.
However, some burners, especially in induction cooktops, can be asymmetrically placed. This is usually to save space by getting rid of the white space between the burners. It also allows for a more dynamic range of burner sizes.
Additionally, consider how many burners you need. You can’t comfortably fit 4 burners in a 30″ layout. But below that, you’re mostly confined to just two burners. Most people don’t even need 4 burners, but you never know when you may need to cook a lot of food.
A special type of burner found on induction cooktops is the bridge burner. This is the vertical burner in which there is no demarcation. It can behave as two separate burners, or as one larger burned for griddles and fish kettles. Do not forget to clean your cooktop.
Consider the Add-Ons:
There isn’t a lot you can add on to your cooktop. But you surely have a few options. You can look for hooks and bars to hang your essential tools from. Also consider adding an oven underneath the stove, or buying an oven plus stove cooking range combined.
In gas cooking ranges, particularly look for an LP conversion kit. This allows you to use your cooktop on LP fuel, as they normally work on natural gas.
Finally, consider the power output of each burner. Depending on the type of fuel you’re using and the cooktop size, the heat output can range from 12,000 BTUs to 4,000 BTUs. This roughly translates to the power usage of 1000 watts to up to 3000 watts. The power consumption directly impacts your electric or gas bill. The cost-savings found is one of the main benefits of the induction vs gas battle.