A freestanding oven comes with advantages over the built-in kind, but it also has some downsides. One is the unsightly gap between the oven and the counter. Not only can this gap have a poor impact on your kitchen’s aesthetic appeal. Food bits and crumbs will also fall into this space, helping germs thrive and attracting pests. So, are there any ways to fill it?
You can fill the gap between your oven and countertop with silicone, plastic tubing, gap caps, filler strips, or worktop trims. The best method depends on the size of the gap. Silicone generally works best for small openings. Pre-made gap covers or filler strips are better choices if you have a large gap between the cooker and the worktop.
How To Fix Gap Between Oven and Countertop
Here are five quick and easy ways to fix the gap between your freestanding oven and the countertop.
Gaps between the oven and worktop are inevitable if you have a range cooker. However, if you’ve measured the kitchen furniture right, the cooker should fit tightly, and you can fill the gap between the oven and countertop with a silicone strip.
This solution is simple and inexpensive. Silicone is available in many colours, or you can use the transparent kind to match the style of your kitchen.
Put on a pair of latex gloves and apply a bead of silicone along the counter and oven edges. Smooth it with your finger and let it cure for a few minutes. Once hardened, the silicone creates a watertight seal, preventing crumbs and liquid spills from getting into the gap.
2. Gap Caps
As the name suggests, gap caps (or pre-made gap covers) are purpose-made covers designed to fill the gap between worktops and cookers. They are an ideal choice for instances when you need an extra wide stove gap filler, creating a bridge between the counter and the range.
You can choose from PVC or stainless steel oven gap fillers. The former come in more colour options and generally match the most common worktop finishes. The latter are sturdier and more durable, but the finish options are limited.
No matter your choice, these gap caps are very easy to install. Simply measure the length and cut the T-shaped strip to size. Place it in the gap, and that’s it. While you don’t have to glue gap caps down (for easier removal when you want to clean or replace them), you can add a bead of silicone underneath for a more permanent installation. Alternatively, you could opt for a magnetic stove gap filler.
3. Rubber Gap Filler Strips
Rubber gap filler strips aren’t specifically designed to fill the gap between a countertop and oven, but they are a good replacement for a gap cap if you can’t find one in the size you need.
The main advantage of rubber gap filler strips is that they are available in a wide range of sizes. The main downside is the appearance, which isn’t as stylish as that of a purpose-made gap cover.
If you still want to use a rubber strip rather than a gap cap, it is a good idea to get a strip slightly wider than the gap. Squeeze it into the opening for a watertight seal.
4. Worktop Jointing Strips
Jointing strips come in handy when you have to make a transition between two sides of a worktop, but you can also use them to fill a smaller gap between the oven and countertop.
Jointing strips are generally made of aluminium or plastic; we recommend aluminium for its resistance, although the plastic ones come in a wider choice of finishes. Design-wise, they look similar to the T-shaped gap caps, and you can use them in the same way – cut them to size and place them over the gap.
In addition to jointing strips, you could also repurpose worktop trims or edging strips. Edging tape also works for narrow gaps.
5. Plastic Tubing
Plastic tubing isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when looking for ways to fill the gap between the oven and countertop. However, you can use it as an alternative to gap caps if you have to cover a wide opening, have no gap cover, and don’t want to pop to the shops.
Bridging the gap with plastic tubing only works if the gap is the exact width or slightly larger than the tube. You also have to seal its edges with silicone to create a spill-proof barrier.
To fill the gap, make sure the end of the tube is butting the wall. Run the tube along the gap and push it into the opening with your finger. Don’t push too much – the tube should be flush with the counter. Cut the excess tubing and apply a bead of silicone on both edges (between the tube and worktop and tube and oven).
Why Fill The Gap Between Your Oven and Countertop?
As you noticed, there are several ways to fill the gap between a worktop and your oven. Here are a few reasons why closing it is important.
When you’re preparing food or cooking, spills, splashes, crumbs, and food scraps can end in the gap between a freestanding cooker and the worktop. In most cases, this gap is too tight for a broom or vacuum cleaner nozzle to fit in.
Thus, you’d have to pull out the range every time you want to clean. This is not only tedious, but it can also be dangerous if you pull too much and the gas hose becomes loose.
When filling the gap, you’re creating a flush surface with the worktop that makes cleaning a cinch.
Filling the gap doesn’t only make it easier to keep your kitchen clean; it also reduces hazards.
As you can imagine, all the food bits ending up in the gap will go bad. Rotten food creates the perfect environment for germs to thrive, including mould and bacteria. At the same time, food scraps and crumbs attract a number of pests, from creepy bugs to rodents.
Wet spills mixed with solid chunks of food, as well as rotting ingredients, can also put off an unpleasant smell. More than enough reasons to fill that gap and avoid these issues.
Lastly, you should fill the gap for finishing purposes, especially if the gap is on the wider side.
While freestanding cookers are never flush with the worktop, a gap cap can add that missing finishing touch and give your kitchen a streamlined appearance.
Choosing the best gap filler depends on your circumstances. Tenants are better off with gap caps and other non-permanent solutions that don’t require adhesives. Silicone generally leaves behind stubborn residues that are nearly impossible to clean.
However, if you’re looking for a more permanent solution for your own house, sealing the gap cap or filling the gap with silicone is your best option.
A gap between the oven and countertop isn’t flattering, but there are ways to fill it without compromising your kitchen’s aesthetic appeal. We hope this guide can help you find the right solution for you.