Built-in Hob or Traditional Cooktop

Built-in Hob or Traditional Cooktop? What to buy?


Updated on 2021-04-08

In Kitchen


A stove is the most essential element in a kitchen. A lot of planning goes around the placement of the stove. The type of stove that you choose for your kitchen can impact the look of your kitchen, determine the way of working and also the planning of under the counter space, etc. While the built-in hobs attract us all with their sleek finish and their modularity, as against the traditional cooktops, the confusion keeps stirring in our heads to choose between the two types. In addition to the ongoing trends and the cost, one should look for factors such as installation, materials and finishes, efficiency, maintenance and ease of usability. To help you in your decision, the article discusses both a built-in hob and a traditional cooktop in detail. Try our 7-factor evaluation to lead your way to choose the best option for your kitchen –

Built-in Hob  

Built-in hobs are the ones that are flushed with the counter. These are designed to give a seamless finish to the counter. With the modular kitchens into play, built-in hobs have carved out their space in the urban users’ vocabulary and thereby their kitchens. The hob can be chosen based on the number of burners and the type of burner (gas or electric) one requires. To know if a built-in hob is the one better suited for your kitchen, go through the features of a built-in hob as follows –

Kitchen with buit-in hob

Photo by Universal Appliance and Kitchen Center - Search kitchen design ideas

1. Cost

The built-in hobs are a little heavier on the pocket when compared with the traditional counterparts. In case of any damage, the replacement or repair can also be a costly affair.

2. Installation

Choosing a built-in hob should be one of the first few items in your kitchen checklist. This is for the simple reason that the entire kitchen and thereby the construction planning would be done accordingly. The installation is a little tedious and complex as a cavity has to be cut out from the counter to accommodate the hob.

3. Aesthetics

The advantage with the built-in hobs is that it imparts a seamless finish to the kitchen as the hob is flushed with the counter. The sleek hobs go very well with the modular concept. The gas pipes are concealed in built-in hobs giving an overall neat look. If you are looking for a clean finish in your kitchen, go for it!

4. Materials and Finishes

The base material of the built-in hob is usually stainless steel with a finish of tinted glass on top. This gives an elegant look to the kitchen space.

Kitchen with buit-in hob

5. Maintenance

These demand proper care and maintenance for their long life. One important thing to keep in mind, is to avoid any kind of water spilling and seepage in and around the burners, as water seepage can damage the hob. The surface has to be cleaned properly routinely to avoid any grime from settling in the hob. This can be done by wiping the surface with the help of alternation of wet and dry wipes. At times a professional maintenance service might also be required.

6. Ease of Usability

Since these are at the same level as the counter, it becomes easy to handle the utensils around the hob. The burners can be operated with the use of knobs. Some models have innovations in the manner that the user can manipulate the flame for the outer and inner ring of the burner according to the use and desired heat requirements.

7. Efficiency and Safety

The intensity of the flame is low when compared with the traditional cooktops, as the built-in hobs are manufactured in line with European standards. This leads to increased cooking time when compared with freestanding cooktops. The flame failure feature in the built-in hobs turns the gas supply off automatically, thus preventing any mishaps.

Tip – If one is comfortable with electrical or induction systems for cooking, then one can counter the cooking time by choosing a built-in hob that supports these systems.

10 Best Kitchen Hobs (Expert Reviews and Buying Guide) to consider when looking to buy hobs. 

Traditional Cooktop 

The traditional cooktops are freestanding stoves that are placed on the counter that have been around for decades now. With the basic concept intact, the traditional cooktops have also seen a tremendous change in form and style to suit contemporary kitchens. The model of the cooktop can be chosen based on the number of burners required by the users. To know if a traditional cooktop suits your kitchen or if you want to ease the decision of retaining a cooktop or not, go through the features of a traditional cooktop as follows –

Kitchen with traditional cooktop

Photo by krutam design studio - More kitchen photos

1. Cost

These cooktops, when compared with built-in hobs are reasonable. The advantage with the traditional cooktops is that, in case of any damage, one can easily find replacements and spare parts (irrespective of the model).

2. Installation

The traditional cooktops, with their freestanding feature, are easy to install. These do not require a lot of technical prowess to be installed. There has to be a provision for gas connection and voila! You are all set to use it. The best part is that it is portable and can be replaced or shifted without any hassle.

3. Aesthetics

Most of the models for a traditional cooktop are bulky to look at, but with innovations, there are models which are remarkably less bulky and come with a new-age look to complement the contemporary interiors. Another eyesore that comes to the picture is the gas pipe that is visible on the countertop at the point of connection in the stove.

4. Materials and Finishes

Most of the cooktops available are made of stainless steel. However, some brands have come up with a tinted glass finish for traditional stoves. This finish helps in beating the blues of missing out on an elegant finish for a contemporary kitchen.

5. Maintenance

The traditional cooktops are very easy to maintain. These can be cleaned to the extent that, the entire stove can be dismantled and cleaned. Any spillage can also be cleaned easily as the stove can be easily lifted, hereafter the counter can be cleaned too.

Kitchen with traditional cooktop

(If you are a cleanliness freak and are not keen on adding a load to your cleaning routine, go for the traditional cooktop! As cleaning and maintenance are a major factor of consideration for any equipment)

6. Ease of usability

The cooktops are easy to use and the burners can be operated using knobs. There are a lot of innovations that help in providing an enhanced range for flame settings. The only con with this is that the 4” height of the stove, increases the overall height and might be a little troublesome for some people to load and unload heavy utensils.

7. Efficiency and safety

The traditional cooktops are more efficient when compared to the built-in hobs, as they have better flame capacity thereby reducing the cooking time. The cooktops lack flame failure features thus making it a little unsafe (here, it is best to be agile and cautious than be sorry).

10 Best Gas Stoves, You Would Love For Your Dream Kitchen to consider while looking to buy traditional cooktops.

With the above points, the article holistically approaches the discussion of the two types of stoves in question. The 7-factor evaluation will definitely help you in choosing the best-suited option for your kitchen and set of requirements. I would recommend that you should not just flow with the trends but also look into the kind of factors you have in mind.

There is still a tip that I would leave you with –

Try to gauge the space of your kitchen before choosing the stove for your kitchen. Here you will have to see the space that is apt for a stove with respect to your kitchen space, the number of burners that could be accommodated (don’t be over-ambitious), your cleaning habits, type of cooking and utensils thereby in your kitchen and the ergonomics of the person who is going to use it the most.

To know about the standard dimensions to keep in mind while installing a hob, read 8 Standard Kitchen Measurements, You Must Know

I hope you will make your decision of whether to buy a built-in hob or a traditional cooktop in a wink after going through the above article. Feel free to share your experiences or suggestions in the comments below!

Also, check out 10 Best Kitchen Auto-Clean Chimney (Expert Reviews and Buying Guide)

And an example of one such video uploaded on our Youtube channel



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Built-in Hob or Cooktop Difference between hob and Cooktop Best Kitchen Hobs in India Gas Stove Buying Guide Best Kitchen Hobs Buying Guide

Article Category Kitchen

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Aditi Garg

written on Thu, 04/01/2021 - 07:42

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