Slide-in ranges have been a staple of the kitchen industry and my remodeling projects for over 4 decades. On a very recently completed job, it came to light that the Whirlpool corporation, without notice or apparent care for long-established industry norms, is now actively advertising what are effectively freestanding ranges as slide-in ranges! They have morphed slide-in ranges and free standing ranges into one range by simply waving their hands and saying a lot of nonsense and advertising gibberish about how much more convenient and easy to install their new slide in range is. To make it a slide-in you simply apply their peal and stick slide in accessory to the countertop to make it look like a slide-in. Really? Peel and Stick? What trash. How stupid do they think the public and Kitchen Professionals are?
Despite their advertising that this accessory is readily available, I challenge you to find that accessory. It is in their catalog, but good luck getting one. I tried to buy one just to see how bad it really looked and include a picture in this article, but none of my appliance suppliers said they could order it. I then went to the KitchenAid website to order this accessory direct from them. The part is there on the site, but when you click ADD to Cart, nothing happens. So you can’t even buy this part directly from the manufacture. Without this trim kit accessory, this “Slide in Range” is nothing more than a “free-standing range”, with a deceptively misleading name.
This move affects the entire Whirlpool product line, KitchenAid, JennAir, and all the others. For decades, KitchenAid was my top choices for high quality good value appliances, but no more.
What is a Slide-in Range?
A slide-in range is a range designed to slide in between cabinets and provide a built-in look, whereas freestanding ranges can be installed independently of cabinetry. Key characteristics of a slide-in range’s design are:
- Unfinished sides (as they will never be seen, unlike a freestanding model whose sides can be visible)
- Controls on the front and no backguard
- A flange (or a lip) that overlaps the countertop. The lip has a gasket under it so the gasket seals the joint between the range and the countertop.
There is one other less significant factor that typifies a slide-in range. When fully installed, the front of the range only sticks out past the countertop face a few inches while many—not all—freestanding ranges protrude further.
Of the above characteristics, the primary factor that distinguishes a slide-in range from a freestanding range is the flange around the sides and back of the top surface.
What is the purpose of that lip or flange?
A slide-in range is meant to be installed by raising the legs on the range to a height that puts the lip above the top of the countertop, sliding it all the way into place, then lowering the legs until the flange touches the countertop. This results in a firm seal between the countertop and the flange, which prevents crumbs, liquids, and other small items from run down the sides of the range and cabinets to the floor and collect in places you can’t get to or clean.
The pictures above are of a Bosch slide-in range. If you look at the close up, you can see it was designed such that no notches were needed in the countertop and this model does not need a piece of stone behind the range because it was designed to go right up against the wall.
As shown in the two pictures below of an older model KitchenAid real slide-in range, note in the close up that there were no notches or special cuts needed in the countertop to install this range. The depth of this old KitchenAid did require a small piece of countertop behind the range between the range and the wall. The only calculation needed was to take the depth of the countertop and subtract the depth of the range to the front counter stop, to find the size of the countertop needed behind the range, (normally 1 to 2″). If your installers can not do that simple math, do you really have the right installer for your project?
On very occasions where the countertop edge was thicker than normal or a very ornate edge used, a notch could be used at the front of the counter to make the transition from the counter edge to the range look better. Determining the need or location of that notch was not rocket science, and it was not needed for the majority of applications with that model KitchenAid range. Many other manufacturers who make slide-in ranges have modified their flanges so that notching of the front edge is not necessary at all.
The two pictures below are close-ups of our featured picture at the top of this article, a new range that KitchenAid calls a slide-in. These close ups show clearly this range does not have a flange that sits on the countertop as you can see me sliding a business card down the space between the range and the counter and cabinet. That is the biggest difference between a slide-in and a free standing range! How can Whirlpool (and all of its subsidiary brands) have the arrogance and disrespect of industry history and definition to claim differently? They only do it because they are so big they think they can. They use the BIG LIE concept in their advertising, distort reality stating, a lie that most people can not understand, that all old slide-in ranges were too difficult to install, then wrap it with another lie that they made this change to make this new model easier to install. This is all a big lie, because THE OLD MODEL WAS NOT DIFFICULT TO INSTALL.
Why Would They Do This?
Ownership that actually cares about quality, customer service, and reputation is almost non-existent in the appliance industry today. All of the old companies like KitchenAid (now a Whirlpool owned brand) that once took pride in and marketed their business on the reputation and quality of their product offerings and customer service have been purchased by larger corporations that are run by what I call “Bean Counters”. These Bean Counters range from top level corporate CFO’s and CEO’s to production facility managers, who all get their bonuses by making more money for the company, by increasing profit margins wherever they can.
All “Bean Counters” care about is MONEY. Their only concern is to maximize profits by cutting any possible costs while raising prices as high as they can. “Bean Counters” by nature are short-term thinkers.
The range that called my attention to this false advertising practice was a KitchenAid KSGB900ESS, a product that features Whirlpool’s Flex Install (FIT) System technology, which boasts simple and cost effective installations without any required measuring or cutting for builders and remodelers. But if you take a close look at their marketing case study, which they put a tremendous amount of money into produce because the prettier they wrap the package the more likely you will not question if they are lying, you’ll note:
“Installation of our previous slide-in ranges required extra steps, which we aimed to remove, such as bull nosing countertops. By removing the overlapping cooktop and extending the depth of the new slide-in ranges, builders and remodelers are no longer required to carry out those additional installation steps.”
That statement by Whirlpool is categorically not true as evidenced by the pictures above of the old KitchenAid real slide in and the new Bosch Slide in pictures. There was no extra milling of the front edge or notching of the front, in any of those pictures, and in most installations I have done in the last 15 years, the only added item needed was a small 2″ piece of countertop behind the old KitchenAid range for the flange to rest on. Like Bosch model in the pictures above and many other manufacturers their new model does go all the way to the wall now allowing for a large oven and cooktop surface, which are good improvements. But without a viable flange to truly make this oven a Slide-In they are just removing a needed product from the market but trying to keep us buying it by deception on their part.
In other words, they removed the characteristics of a slide-in range (the flange) and gave it those of a freestanding range (extended depth) in order to create a product line that offers a dumbed down one-size-fits-all approach to installation. While this reads well on paper, let’s take a moment to unpack this:
- FIT System installations make Whirlpool’s products more appealing to commercial builders whom also subscribe to the bean counter mentality of cutting all possible costs even if it sacrifices the quality or function of the final product.
- The FIT System also encourages the lack of knowledge of proper installation techniques. Imagine working with a remodeler who can’t install your range because it doesn’t use Whirlpool’s simplified installation system — five years down the line, this may very well become the norm.
- It also allows the manufacturer to sell additional accessories/installation kits to provide the functionality of the flange a proper slide-in range would have had out of the box. If you can find them. I tried and could not.
At face value, Whirlpool’s FIT System reads like an innovation and a natural progression of technology. In reality, they’re changing established industry conventions in order to benefit themselves while pitching it as a benefit to builders, remodelers, and homeowners. They have in essence taken a needed product off the market.
As a homeowner do you really want a peel and stick accessory attached to your countertop? How long before the adhesive wears down from water and spills or cleaning of your countertop and range? This accessory is most likely TRASH, plain and simple. And I have to ask, “Why is this accessory not even available!”
Why should homeowners who want built-in appliances be denied those appliances because Whirlpool has unilaterally decided all installers are not smart enough to install them? There absolutely are installers who don’t have a clue about installing and planning for built-in appliances, but there also are many installers who are very capable of planning and executing for built-in customized appliance installations.
That is why we need both built in appliances and free standing, so consumers and professionals have a choice.
You also have a choice of who to install them. If you want built-in customized appliances make, sure you higher a smarter installer, If you want free-standing, install it yourself or hire any installer.
Whirlpool needs to be held accountable for its shameful indifference for historical industry definition and deceptive advertising of this product as a slide-in. It is necessary for industry professionals and the general public to start sending the message that enough is enough! Whirlpool has crossed a line with this choice of direction in its products. Tell them you don’t like it. Tell them you will buy other brands if they don’t offer products you need and want. There are other companies to buy from. KitchenAid is no longer a go to brand for me, the value is no longer there.
If you are an industry professional who cares about your profession or a consumer who wants more choices and options available, not less, I urge you to contact Whirlpool to let them know what you think. We can make a big difference one complaint at a time.
Post Followup: Meeting with Whirlpool management
Here are some links where you can tell them how you feel:
i would like to buy whirlpool appliances for my new construction kitchen, but i want an electric stainless slide in range with overlapping flanges to cover gaps. i am dissapointed that whirlpool does not offer this. i have been shopping for appliances today and it is very aggravating to see changes that have been made on some. Women who have had much experience using these and know what features are good ones need to be designing these. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is well worth remembering.
I have a 22 year old Amana slide in gas range that bit the dust recently. Our kitchen has 30 deep base cabs and a Corian top.
The appliance sales rep knew what he was talking about and warned us up front that the new slide ins were not the same and we would likely need to modify our counter top.
I guess we’re old school because all of our appliances are white, which I find much cleaner looking that stainless.
I looked and looked and the only manufacturer out there who currently offers a gas, slide in range in white is Kenmore. And this model looks very low end.
So I have a GE slide in gas range on order and I’m going to have to cut my counter and get creative about the gap on the sides.
OBTW… the trim pieces…. they are only available in stainless steel. They make nothing for their black or white models.
I agree that this really stinks and was probably a way to standardize the components between slide ins and free standing ovens. But short of replacing every other appliance in my kitchen with SS, what can I do? Even our Kitchen aid is white.
I just bought a Samsung slide in gas range for this very reason. The trim kits on the Whirlpool and other models look terrible and unfinished.
I also wish that the manufactures would have more adjustment/longer legs to allow for more adjustment of varying heights of counter tops.
I am putting my new stove on a piece of 1/2″ wood to get the height I need but still prefer the Samsung because of the trim included and made a part of the range
I completely agree! I need a slide-in replacement and kept running into this. Even had a gentleman at a Home Depot tell me there are “gap fillers” that fix this although they have none in the store and he was unable to find what was needed on their website. It would be one thing if they truly had those trim pieces and they were custom made to cover and actually look good. I’ve looked at the silicone gap fillers that simply lay over the gap and they look awful. Who wants to spend between $1000 to $2000 (or more) and it look like that?
This information is magnificent. I understand and respect your clear-cut points. I am impressed with your writing style and how well you express your thoughts.
I really like your article. It’s evident that you have a lot knowledge on this topic. Your points are well made and relatable. Thanks for writing engaging and interesting material.
Found this on MSN and I’m happy I did. Well written article.
Thank you. I am looking for a slide in and can only find Samsung models with the overhang. It has been a long hard journey, but now I know I’m not going insane. I will check out the ranges manufactured by Bosch. Thank you agian.
Gｒeat article, just what I needed.
I love what you guys tend to be up too. This sort of clever work
and coverage! Keep up the very good works guys I’ve you guys to our
Thank you for this informative and candid report. Of interest, is my experience with a a Miele freestanding range. Fortunately, the installer did a pre-check and stated a required cut back to sides of existing Corian counter top for subject range to fit. This put my thinking into motion and I realized for the first time, that a smooth transition between range and counter top with a free standing range, or any range without a flange, is simply not possible. Oh my, the games people play for the dollar. Your article says it all and thank you so much.
Thanks for this. It explains a lot.
I totally agree with you. I just got back from an appliances store and was surprised to find out that Samsung is the only one that offers slide-in with seamless glass lips. I’m quite torn because Samsung appliances seem to have really bad reviews and they’re known for not fixing their products.
I agree I do not like Samsung ranges, look for a new post coming soon.
I have had great success with Bosch ranges and bosch appliances in general, they also still make the best dishwasher, period.
Their slide in works well and is easy to install. I have also heard that GE may still make slide ins so you may want to chech them out as well.
Hello, I enjoy reading all of your article
post. I wanted to write a little comment to support you.
This is the most frustrating thing in new appliances. I have the older slide in kitchen aid and now looking for a replacement. I do not want it right up against the wall either as it will hit my backsplash in the wrong place. I still want to keep that 1 to 2 inch strip between the back of the wall and stove. I need suggestions.
What brands of slide in have you looked at?
I do not recommend Samsung though they do make one the last time I looked.
Bosch is what I have had the most use with and success. I have heard that GE also still make some. And I also believe thermador does too.
In general that 2″ counter in back was always an item that contractors complained about because it made them have to think and to more detail work, so most manufacterers redesigned their ranges so they could be installed up agains a wall. Most put a 1 to 2 in vent grill between the wall and the cooking surface.
Their installation instructions do specify that they be installe up to the wall, but that should not necessarily stop you from installing it up to your current 2″ counter strip, which is easy to remove if you choose. The only issue you will need to calculate how far that would place the front of the range in front of your cabinets and if it will reveal anything on the side of the range you would not want to look at.
Thermador is a much more expensive option, but they may have more options for you, GE may also.
Good luck and if you find a solution please let me know.
Thanks for the reply! At this point Bosch appears to be the best solution. I can only purchase electric (gas not available in my area) so that also limits me on ranges. I just can’t believe how difficult this has made my search for a new suite of appliances. Bosch does have some side overhang, yet disappointed that they all go back to the wall – I personally feel that makes the ranges appear more freestanding vs. the “true” slide in. I have to do something soon, so at this moment it looks like a suite of Bosch – looking at their black stainless new options as well.
I understand the look you like. There is another option that could achieve that look and more, but you would need some matching countertop material to add to your counters.
This option is to have two appliances instead of one and stack them on top of one another. A cooktop and oven that are specifically made to be placed above one another. The cooktop should be able to utilize your existing rear counter ledge, but would need a new front edge of the counter to tie in to your existing counter edge on both sides. You would also need to add a toe kick and platform below the oven to hold it up off the floor and depending on the size of the oven a filler pc to match your cabs on the top and possibly bottom of the oven.
It is a more costly solution and is a bit of work, but it will get the look you like.
If you browse thru my site you can see photos of that type of installation.
Sorry I could not be more helpful. Good luck on whatever you choose to do.
I was suggested this blog by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my trouble. You’re incredible! Thanks!
I am buying a slide in range at this time and looks like it will be a Samsung, I wanted a GE or Whirlpool but they lost this sale.
I would like to thank you for all the info on this site, I just got a shock when going to the appliance store to replace our GE JSP38 that I have been happy with for 15 YRS. that was installed in a remodel of the kitchen in a 3 bedroom rambler that was built in 1969. Just what you stated the “slide-in model’ is not on the showroom!, it’s the same as the ‘Free Standing ‘ once more the dimensions will not fit into a small Kitchen floor plan of a 1969 rambler. Any range that is offered will protrude 4 1/2 inches from the wall from the current counter top space. So what do the manufactures think… everyone lives in a mansion, or can afford knocking out walls to make their product fit? I just wanted to get a new GE product to fit my existing space, is that too much to ask for?
Great article! Do you have any advice going from an electric drop in to a slide in? Or would it be better to go to a cooktop and install the oven under the cooktop?
going to a slide in would require modifing the counter top and possibly cabs also. using a combo of a CT and Oven could reuse your existing counter, but would require some mods to the cabinet if there is not an oven there already.
Was all set to purchase a gas $1900.00 KithenAid stove until my husband pointed out edge of quartz counter tops would be exposed.
Cannot believe companies change slide in design. Obsurd!! Still looking for the old design.
to my knowledge, Bosch still makes true slide ins
Hi…we emailed back in September about the slide in challenge. I just saw the latest post and decided to circle back as I did go with one of your suggestions which was Bosch. I purchased a full suite and love them! The Bosch range does have the glass overhang and after popping out the 1-2 inch counter backslash. piece from my previous true slide in, the Bosch worked great! I did not need to redo the backsplash….thanks!
thanks for keeping us informed
I’m facing the same dilemma replacing a 25 year old JennAire. While not the same or as good as the old standard, I did find microtrim.com which appears to increase possible choices.
Thanks for your input about Micro Trim. They are a great company that I am very familiar with. I did not know they made a slide in range kit. I Started working with them decades ago before built in microwaves were readily available. They made really high quality custom made micro trim kits to build in any free standing microwave, and still do. More recently I have used them for other odd custom trims needed for numerous other appliances or applications.
That said, I am glad they are now serving the vacuum created by the phony or fake slide in range mfgs failure to make their own trim kits readily available for purchase at the time of actually selling their fake slide in. And because they will make their trims custom fit, It means you now do not even need to be limited to the small selections of ranges that are called slide ins. They will make that kit to fit any range and any counter top configuration. So they have completely increased all your shopping options when it comes to selecting a new range.
Plus, think about this: If the fake slide in mfgs can not even make their trims easy to get, do you actually think they want to support that trim down the road? Their support personnel have no technical knowledge, they are the least expensive agents they can find, they only need to know how to read the script they were given and speak English, kind of! In a few years, when the peel and stick tape needs to be replaced with new. Do you believe that question and solution will make it on to that script? I think not. And would never want to wait on the phone for an hour to have the person I am asking for help not even understand my question because it is not on their script. Don’t misunderstand, it is not that operators fault , it is the simple greed and arrogance of the monopoly of a company we are force to buy our appliances from.
So bottom line: If you can not use a Bosch true slide in range or find another real one, you are not limited and can now use any range with a Micro Trim range kit. And, I know you will get an infinitely better customer support experience from them, including the replacement tape you will need in a few years.
Thanks again Mike, this post and comment should help a lot of people.