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Reconfiguring system - which approach?

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Currently have an AI Mesh system - AC86U is primary and AC68U is mesh node. Long story short, AC68U has bit the dust. I have ordered an AX86U as my new system. Regardless of following alternatives (which I will explain), I presume my first step is from the Web interface of the AC86U, remove the AC68U from the mesh. Then physically remove the device.

I am considering two alternatives setups. Have a medium large house (3100 sq feet), but out of necessity, the primary router is in the front left corner of the house and my wife and her computer, the wifi tv and the kitchen table (where we hang out in the morning is the back right corner of the house. The AC86U can sort of reach those areas, but they are not great - especially considering we depend on WiFi calling on our phones. So my three plans are:
1) Just go with the AX86U - supposed to be better range - it may be good enough. If that is the case, no challenges at all
2) Basically replicate what I currently have, with the AC86U going the back of the house as a mesh node
3) Install the AX86U as an AP node. Different SSID's. That will also take care of the fixed placed devices in the rear which don't need to roam, and hopefully phones (only true roaming device) will always be able to do WiFi on AX86U
4) Or could potentially install AX86U as AP device but with same SSID's - but seems like if I want to go that route, mesh system would be better.

BTW, all phones, laptops and tablets support WiFi 6.

Install new AiMesh router in front, wired to old AiMesh node in back. New network... commission from scratch. Plan to upgrade the AC86U node sooner than later to be rid of it and for WiFi6.

Next gen ASUS firmware may release soon for Pro-branded models... probably not for the AX86U/S.

If all your devices support wifi 6, you should have a wifi 6 network if your ISP package speeds warrant it (and you're willing to pay for it)
It's difficult to offer configuration advice for posts like this without more information:
what are the building materials/construction/design?
how many devices wired and wireless?
is your current backhaul wired or wireless?
I would not consider the hardware-handicapped RT-AX86U today. The GT-AX6000 or the RT-AX88U Pro are far better choices (and usually cheaper, when on sale).

Use a single AX class router and take time to experiment with placement/orientation and z-height when implementing it into your home. Mere inches in any direction (and appropriate antennae placement) can have a very big difference to range, throughput, and latency.

And, that is not even considering the advantage AX class equipment brings over AC class equipment either. Regardless of the WiFi clients you may be using today.

The AX86U is still a good router. However, you may be able to get an AX86U Pro for the same money or less. Black Friday sales are coming so it may pay to wait a bit before buying.
The RT-AX86U was a good router. Now, with no level firmware update for it (ever}, it is not worth considering at even $100 or less.

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