cbusmomof3February 3, 2012

This is definitely a one step forward, two steps back kind of process! Everything has been going along pretty smoothly for the last couple weeks after we got the kitchen window moved and the stairs rebuilt, until yesterday.

I got a call from my KD that there was a problem with the cooktop I ordered. It's a KA prostyle 36" 6 burner range top. The KD said that he discovered the mantel style hood we designed won't work with this range top because the minimum distance between the cooktop and any combustible material is 48", much higher than any other cooktop they've installed.

He told me I had two options, either get a new cooktop, or use a SS hood. I was bummed but it was fine because I thought a chimney style hood would look good too so I told him I'd pick one out. Well, then he said I couldn't use a chimney style because the vent is off center so the chimney would be off center. My only choice would be to do an under cabinet hood or one of those huge custom hoods that are as wide at the top as they are at the base and are crazy expensive.

So, since I really didn't want an under cabinet hood we went to look at more cooktops. Of course we ended up buying one much more expensive than the KA. This is one area that we had done a really good job getting exactly what we wanted and did not go over the allowance at all. We had been so proud of ourselves and now we're both annoyed.

Sorry for the vent. Thanks for listening.

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If this is a 36" Kitchen Aid Pro Line cooktop, the clearance should be 42" to cabinetwork. That dimension can be reduced to 35" if the lower 6" of the cabinetwork is covered with 1/4" flame retardant millboard covered with sheet stainless steel, aluminum, or copper.

If this is the case, it seems more like a design problem than an equipment problem.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 12:01PM
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Thanks Renovator. I think it most definitely is a design problem, which is what has me so annoyed. All of this was designed around this particular cooktop so long ago and now he's just putting it into the system and finding out there's an issue.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 12:47PM
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Frankly, when a piece of equipment gets this dominant in a design I feel the cabinets above it should not try to look like the same cabinets that are on either side of it. Let the range be the serious piece of professional quality cooking equipment that it obviously is and let the cabinets above it be treated differently or at least the bottom portion of them.

For me the most important thing about a hood is that the owners and their guests can't hit their heads on it and that usually means 36" above the cooktop and 42" is even better. I don't care what the other considerations are; there is no excuse for hitting your head in your own kitchen.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 1:36PM
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Before you go out & change everything and end up spending more $$$$, have you called KitchenAid? I just did & was told that with a pro insert style hood (which is what you would be using in that mantel style) the minimum distance between rangetop surface & the hood is 30" with a maximum recommended distance of 36". They said you need to follow the clearance dimensions specced in the HOOD manual in this instance. The cabinet clearance specced in the rangetop manual is for if you were using one of those regular vent hoods you can get at Lowe's for around $100 that sit below a set of short cabinets. I've attached the manual for the KitchenAid hood insert--see pg 4 for clearance specs as this was what the KitchenAid people referenced for me. (Didn't know what brand of hood insert you were going with, so definitely check the manual for the brand of hood you have specced to see if it says anything different.)

We had a similar issue with our KD at the last minute of course. We have GE Monogram 6 burner pro rangetop with a mantel style hood. I called GE & the applaince dealer we were using before I made any changes. We were told by GE to default to the hood manual as it is designed to be matched to that style of cooktop vs. just a generic hood. Sounds like KitchenAid has the same story to tell. You would think that the KDs would know these things, especially ones that show all the primo kitchens they've done, but evidently not.

Additionally, if you think about it, the top of the rangetop is 36" from the floor, another 30-36" of clearnace to the bottom of the mantel style hood puts the hood controls up about 5'7" - 6'1" off the floor. I'm 5'4" and my controls sit at 6' from the floor--I have no problem with reaching them. We also have a mantel style hood with an arched front under the mantel piece. The sides sit at about 5'7" from the floor with the highest point of the arch at about 5'11.5" from the floor.

I would call your KD and get everything changed back the way it was and keep that extra $$$ he would have you spend in your pocket. No sense spending more because he didn't do all his homework. This is his error, not yours, so you shouldn't have to pay for it.

Hope this helps!

Here is a link that might be useful: KitchenAid Vent Hood Insert Manual

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 2:01PM
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You are both awesome! Thank you for all your advice. And, I agree, hitting one's head in their own kitchen is not acceptable.

mydreamhome-I am overwhelmed by your kindness in taking the time to call on our behalf. Thank you, thank you.

It's funny because I logged on to update that my husband (he's the smart one) called KitchenAid and was told the same thing you just shared. He is beyond irritated that we've been doing the KD's homework for him. For me, it's not a big deal since I stay at home (although my 3 year old has watched an obscene amount of television today) but my husband, who owns a small business, has lost about 6 hours of productivity because of this.

Again, thanks for the help.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 3:16PM
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Sophie Wheeler

The insert will need to be 27" deep and 42" wide for this to work. You can't have one of those 22" deep 36" wide inserts above this. The whole bottom above the active burners has to be metal.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 3:42PM
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We may be discussing different issues.

The MAXIMUM height of an exhaust hood above a cooktop is determined by the manufacturer of the hood so that the hood will perform properly. In this case it appears to be 36".

The MINIMUM height of combustible cabinets above the cooktop is determined by the manufacturer of the cooktop so that the heat will not ignite the cabinets. In this case it appears to be 42" (although the designer says 48"so you need to check it yourself).

The two requirements are related only when a "hood insert" is completely enclosed with cabinetry and because the bottom of the cabinetry and the bottom of the hood are at the same point both requirements cannot be met.

The solutions are 1) make the material in the 6" (or 12") zone between the two heights out of metal or 2) ignore the hood maximum height dimension and raise the entire unit to the higher dimension and not worry about hood performance.

The cause of this dilemma is the high BTU output of the cooktop when all 6 burners are being used at their maximum capacity, a highly unlikely occurrence but required in the test procedure the manufacturer must use.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 4:11PM
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I called KitchenAid and Viking myself and what they are both telling me is it only has to be 36 inches from the cooktop. The 42" minimum distance is referring to an under cabinet hood attached to a solid wood cabinet. Using a custom hood insert surrounded by wood is fine at 36 inches and we just need to follow the specs listed on the hood installation guide. Maybe I can get a KA rep to be at my house when the inspector comes!

hollysprings-I see what you're saying though. I will have to double check what we have.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 5:12PM
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cbusmomof3--What hood insert are you planning to use? We opted for a 42" hood over a 36" rangetop. We figured when it came to ventilation, bigger was better & I'm glad we did go bigger. The only thing I would have changed about mine is I would have had them cut the back edge of the hood in an arch so you didn't see the SS behind the arch in front--the flash really reflected off it in this photo. I worried that the mantel hood would be noticeably larger than the rangetop, but that is not the case.
Here's a visual of my hood & rangetop for you...

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 11:58PM
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