Tips on choosing the best cooktop for your kitchen

We don’t recommend cooktop installation as a DIY project! It’s not as easy as it may seem and requires specialised tools for correct and safe installation. With Fallon Services you can be assured your cooktop installation is done professionally, allowing enough room for ventilation and bench space, along with that, we perform a test to ensure the appliance is functioning correctly. Cooktop installation is best left to a licenced electrician or gas fitter.

The first step is deciding which type of cooktop you want:

  • Gas flame burners – these work by burning gas that applies heat directly to your cookware. A gas cooktop installation allows for instant heat and is cheap to operate.
  • Electric induction cooktop – work by using an alternating current to create heat in the required cookware. Induction cooktop installation is energy efficient, safe to the touch, heats instantly and is easy to clean.
  • Electric ceramic radiant cooktops – made up of metal elements or halogen lamps that radiate heat from below a tempered, ceramic glass surface.
  • Electric coil or Solid hotplate cooktops – work by running electricity through a solid hotplate to heat the cookware, these are normally the least expensive option.

Most styles are available in various sizes with either 2, 4, or 6 hot plates and use only one type of cooktop, or a combination, for example, radiant/induction or gas/induction.

Induction cooktop installation

To understand why induction cooktops are considered safer, we’ll explain how they create heat. The cooktop contains metallic elements under the surface, an alternating current passes through these elements when the cooktop is switched on, which then oscillates back and forth through the elements. The current creates an electromagnetic field on the cooking surface; this current doesn’t have any effect on most materials, including human hands. When the required cookware is used, this field creates an electrical element in the base of the pan, thus creating ‘resistive heating’, the pan is heated, but the cooktop is not.

The required cookware needs to be ‘ferromagnetic’; stainless steel and iron pans work well, but aluminium doesn’t. An easy way to tell if your current cookware will work on an induction cooktop is to see if they’ll stick to a magnet. If they do stick, they should work on your induction cooker.

Advantages & disadvantages to consider with cooktop installation

Induction Cooktops


  • safe to touch, popular for people with young families
  • very energy efficient in comparison to other electric cooktops
  • heats instantly
  • has a stylish appearance easy to clean, flat surface


  • usually more expensive
  • requires the correct cookware
  • can be complicated to repair

Electric coil or hot plate cooktop


  • cheap to buy and repair
  • can use any cookware
  • allows for simmering or keeping at low temperatures


  • slow to heat up
  • slow to change the temperature up or down
  • relatively inefficient

Electric ceramic radiant cooktop


  • looks stylish
  • easy to clean
  • responds relatively well to temperature changes
  • can use any cookware


  • more expensive than coil or hotplate cooktops
  • can be complicated to repair

Gas burner cooktop


  • instant heat and instant response to temperature changes
  • cheap to operate
  • allows for cooking with a wok


  • requires a gas supply
  • harder to clean
  • risk of fire or burning due to an open flame

How to choose the best cooktop for you

You should also consider these points:

  1. Would you prefer a combination of gas, radiant, coil or induction cookers or a single style?
  2. The size and age of your family?
  3. If you’re getting a gas cooktop, will you need or use a wok burner?
  4. Are warranties available?
  5. Is the brand/model well established in Australia? If not, you may have difficulty with warranty claims and support (this goes as much for expensive European brands as any other).
  6. Will you need new cookware to go with a new induction cooktop?
  7. Will the style of your cooktop suit the style of your kitchen?

For more information on Cooktop Installation.