BS or CC range installation requirements

elyashFebruary 26, 2012

I haven't yet decided on a CC or BS range, but I was looking at installation requirements and became concerned and confused. I am planning on putting the range in a peninsula. This is a minimal remodel, not new construction. I will be changing the counter tops to granite, but the panel behind the range is formica. There is no wall.

The BS installation manual states:

All ranges require a backguard. Most models

have the option of using: an island trim; 7

inch standard; 17 inch hi-back; 24 inch high


If you are using an island trim, a six inch

clearance between the back of the range and a

combustible surface is required. If an island

trim is to be used without this six inch clearance, the back wall must be non-combustible

and heat resistant material that extends below

the top surface of the range a minimum of six inches.

My question is - Is formica a combustible material? Do I need to change the back panel to granite - a very costly proposition.

The manual also states:

This appliance has been designed to be

installed directly against rear walls and

side base cabinets. It cannot be installed

directly against tall side cabinets, side

walls, tall appliances or base cabinets extending beyond 24 inches [610 mm].

Does this mean I can't put the range in an peninsula?

I haven't yet checked the CC manual, but I assume the same kind of precautions apply. Owners, please tell me if you have installed your ranges

in a place without a back wall. What material is behind your range?


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"Installation instructions" are usually just the basic points mandated by generic building codes. You might want to discuss your concerns with your local office in charge of building code enforcement which would have the final say on what is acceptable to them.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 1:28AM
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I realize those details are not that clear, but all they mean is that if you have the short island trim (and that's what you'd want in your case) you don't want a wall going directly behind it unless it's fire proof because the flames on a back burner could reach over the 1 inch high "island trim" and ignite the wall. So you need 6 inches of clearance- and although they say 'surface' I don't think they mean the counter top. Just as they don't care if the counter top to either side of the range is Formica or granite.

Also, they don't want a wall or cabinet directly running up from the sides of the range for the same reason, a burner flame could catch it on fire.

In other words, no walls directly surrounding the range top unless they are completely fire proof. If it's going on an island or peninsula, you should be able to place a 6inch pot anywhere along the side or behind the island trim.

Usually Bluestar has a diagram showing the clearances that makes it easier to understand. But they can certainly be used in an island or peninsula.

And you can have upper side cabinets, they just can't go down to the counter top...usually they want the bottom of upper cabs 18" above the counter top, and sometimes they want them 3-6" off from the left or right side of the range as well.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 2:08AM
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Our Bluestar is installed in a peninsula in our kitchen. The range has the "Island Trim" and we have around 1/4" horizontal clearance to the sides and back. The range is adjusted so that it is slightly taller than the surrounding counter surface. The island trim in the back protrudes about an inch above the countertop.

The vast majority of the heat you get with the oven running for long periods comes from the top of the island trim, which is a stainless grate. Although the trim itself gets hot, the countertop directly behind the range (we have a breakfast bar on the other side of the peninsula) merely gets warm, never hot enough to discolor.

The reason you do not want cabinets directly adjacent to either side, or a flammable surface directly running up the back without some kind of backsplash is that when you put the big RNB burners into HIGH and place a large pan on them you might get flame pushing around past the perimeter. If the pan is large enough to extend over the sides or back of the range (very possible with large pots and skillets) you could see flame ducted up around the sides of the pan into the wall/cabinet. In an island or peninsula there are no adjoining walls going above the surface of the range and thus no reason to worry.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 12:40PM
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Alexr is on target. All it is really saying it is to have something non combustible like tile or, in the case of an island, nothing directly above the island trim vent. Alexr is right, not because anything that hot is coming out of the exhaust but to make sure those big flames don't brown your wall paper.

In my case the tile backsplash satisfies this. We did glass tile until about 2" below the island trim then another 8" of the cheapest crappiest white tile we could find just to be extra sure.

Does that help avidchef? Perhaps post a picture of your intended location and we can better guide you. Either way it's a pretty simple requirement to satisfy.


    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 1:08PM
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Nobody has yet answered his actual question. It sounds like he has a low wall behind the range made of formica and he's asking is formica a combustible surface or not. I don't know the answer to that but I suspect it's ok.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 1:18PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Formica will scorch and melt. The surface needs to be non combustible. Tile, metal, or stone needs to cover the wall.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 2:05PM
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Yes, Weissman, you are correct. I guess I didn't describe the kitchen set up clearly and unfortunately my kids have taken every digital camera in the house so I cannot post pictures as Stoxie wisely suggested. So, I will try to describe my set up a little better and pose my questions more clearly.

The section of the kitchen I am concerned with is an L shaped peninsula. There are no upper cabinets. The back of the 80 inch side of the peninsula has a breakfast bar and the room it opens into is a playroom. There are no concerns for this portion. The other part of the L is 89 inches long. The cabinets face into the heart of the kitchen. The backside of this part of the L is a walkway from the playroom into the kitchen. Currently there is a 30 inch down draft range installed in this section. I will be removing the old range, putting a 36 inch open burner range in its place and extending the countertop 6 inches. New countertops will be granite. THE BACK OF THE CABINETS ARE COVERED BY A FORMICA PANEL. THIS IS WHERE THE NEW RANGE WILL BE PLACED. IT WILL BE BETWEEN 2 CABINETS AND COVERED BY THE SAME FORMICA PANEL. If I have to put granite on the back of the cabinets, I would have to do it on both sections of the L and the breakfast bar. The cost would be prohibitive. I cannot put the back of the range 6 inches away from the back of the cabinets as that would look ridiculous. The lower cabinets that are next to the range are 25 years old and are made of MDF and covered with formica. At the time of installation, they were considered top of the line - but they are really poorly made - but that is another issue.
My questions:
1. Can the back of the open burner range be covered by a formica panel? I assume wood is under the formica.
2. Should their be some sort of insulation material placed between the sides and back of the range and the cabinets and back panel? If so, what would work?
3. Mojavean, how high above your counter is your range? Could you please post a picture.
Thank you all for your advice. My husband sends a special thank you to all of you for your help and advice. He is so tired of discussing kitchen issues with me!! The input from all of you on garden web is truly appreciated.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 10:35PM
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Sophie Wheeler

It need not be covered with granite. Tile, or metal would suffice for the non-combustible requirements. It MUST be covered though.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 10:40PM
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The sides of the range don't pose a problem - ranges are made to be placed between cabinets but the back panel behind the range could be a problem - how high above the top of the range does it extend? As hollysprings said, formica isn't non-flammable - so if the formica extends above the top of the cooktop, you'll need to put something else on top of it - a stainless steel panel, tiles, etc. and it should extend about 6 inches below the top of the range. The issue isn't the heat from the sides and back of the oven, it's the flames coming from the cooktop.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 10:45PM
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It need not be covered with granite. Tile, or metal would suffice for the non-combustible requirements. It MUST be covered though.

This. Might look pretty cool, too, with the right kind of material.


    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 8:43AM
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This is very good information. Would it be a good idea to just tile the entire area behind the range to be safe? Like Stooxie said...a cheap tile behind and then the decorative above? Our range will be on an inside wall, not an island.

Thanks for this post.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 10:32AM
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Hi avidchef,
You can see my range as it is installed in a couple of youtube videos I have put up explaining my "hotrod" procedure.

The wall surface warnings are for walls that go above the level of the cooking surface. If you are truly installing in a counter-height peninsula just like I did, then you need not worry about the formica. The range is zero clearance to the sides and back up to the level of the countertop, and assuming the range is adjusted so the side trims are 11/16" above the surface of your granite as specified in the installation guide, and that there are NO adjacent walls going above the surface of the cooktop, then ISLAND TRIM is what you want and do not worry about tiling where no one can see. The range is designed to be placed with zero clearance to the back and sides, like all UL approved residential ranges.

The 6" clearance is talking about adjacent walls or cabinetry that go ABOVE the level of the range and countertop. For instance, Stooxie has his range against a wall. So for the back I would either want a taller backsplash or a non-combustible wall surface for anything projecting above the level of the range. But for your install, in which the range will not be adjacent to any wall projecting above the cooking surface, the granite countertop will be fine, use island trim, realize that the island trim itself will get pretty hot when the oven is on or if you have a big burner in the rear with a large overhanging pot running right up to the trim and the burner on high.

Note, below the surface of my countertop to either side of the range is a combustible base cabinet. The back "wall" is a one piece sheet of cherry veneered plywood that forms the back wall of our counter bar.

NONE of the adjacent countertops or cabinets ever get hot enough to discolor, much less combust.

If I can be of further help, please do not hesitate to message me via email and I will go over any details I may have left out.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 5:51PM
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Once again, I fear, I am not making myself clear. The space above the range top on all four sides is completely open. (Oh to have a they say a picture is worth 1,000 words...)
The current range slides in between two cabinets. The range is about 1/2 inch above the countertop. The back panel is 36 inches high, so my current range is again 1/2 inch above the top of the back panel. I plan to buy a BS or CC and my concern from reading the installation instructions is that the back panel which is simply a "cover" for the rear of the range and cabinets will become too hot. The back panel only touches the open back of the range.
Tile needs to attach to something, just as the formica does - so what would go under the tile that would not get hot? This is the crux of my confusion. Thats why I was wondering about insulating between the range and the back panel. Or perhaps, I misunderstood the installation instructions and "back wall" referenced in the instructions means a wall that extends higher then the flames. Since my back panel is below flame height - perhaps I have nothing to be concerned about. Could the latter be the case?
Again, thanks everyone for your patience and advice.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 6:22PM
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The latter is the case. If your back wall doesn't extend above the top of the range, you should have nothing to worry about.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 8:02PM
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Weissman is right. Your install is fine as is. You will, of course, have to make room for the wider range, but the back wall, so long as it is not taller than the range, can remain in place and does not need any tiling or other monkey business.

Good rule of thumb: if the wall or side surface is not as tall as the range, then you do not need to worry about clearance. Period. All of the requirements have to do with wall or side cabinets that extend ABOVE the cooking surface of the range.

So I would not worry about this anymore.

If you STILL feel the need to worry about it, please watch this video.

It will take your mind off things.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 3:16AM
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I talked to BS about an installation in a island and sides are a non issue. If cabinets or wood panel covers the rear of your range you must provide 6" of non-combustible from the counter down. I was told that a piece of SS attached to the back of the cabinet would be fine. All the oven heat exhaust out the rear and up. My understanding that is why they want the 6" clearance below the top. That was what would apply for an island or any counter with no upper cabinets. Obviously you will need a ceiling mount vent hood for either of these 2 brands.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 2:17PM
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