Posted: Jan 05, 2010
One of the biggest home kitchen trends is a "professional" style appliances made from stainless steel. On the surface, it seems that you can achieve this look by purchasing a commercial restaurant range as they generally cost 50% to 75% less than "professional style" ranges designed specifically for residential use. In reality, the money you save on the range will probably be spent upgrading your kitchen to comply with local building code requirements.
Check your homeowner's insurance policy before considering a purchase of any type of commercial appliance for home use. You may require additional coverage or be expected to meet specific installation requirements, otherwise you may completely invalidate the policy with the installation of commercial equipment.
In a commercial kitchen, the sidewall, rear and oven door temperatures of the range are not a concern because they are installed in a completely stainless steel environment, such the surrounding cabinets and backsplash. Residential ranges are tested and certified (usually by American Gas Association (AGA) or International Approval Services (AIS) for safe installation against wood cabinets, sheetrock walls, resin or plastic countertops. The knobs, porcelain parts, glass windows etc. also get tested for similar heat levels.
It is also highly likely you will require a commercial range hood, possibly with fire suppression, and a ventilation system to ounteract the upgraded BTUs of the commercial gas range. Restaurant ranges generally have 25-35k BTU burners, whereas residential "pro-style" ranges top out at 15-22k BTUs. Regular "normal" home gas ranges typically have 9-12k BTU burners.
Be prepared for increased air conditioning bills, even with a ventilation system. The continuously burning pilots on a commercial range use gas 24/7 and increases the general kitchen temperature. Once you start cooking, the air temperature quickly gets hotter.
Most commercial ranges are more than 24in deep, so they will not be flush with standard kitchen cabinets.
Even if your home insurance policy will accept a commercial range installation, and you have met all local code requirements, with most brands the manufacturer's warranty is rendered void upon residential installation.
Want commercial performance in a residential range without all the hassle? ACityDiscount recommends BlueStar, Imperial Range, and DeLonghi for gas ranges, and Fratelli Onofri and Smeg for dual fuel ranges. Several of these companies also manufacture range hoods to counterbalance the heat produced by the ranges.
If you would like to pursue your creation of a "commercial" home kitchen, American Range, Imperial Range and the Commercial Range Company manufacture quality restaurant ranges.