Miele 36" induction cooktop over Elux wall oven?

JBGBMarch 6, 2013

In the seemingly never-ending throes of kitchen remodel planning, have read (and re-read!) many threads on induction cooktops and electric wall ovens, but still trying to come up with a solution to our situation. Ideally, I'd like a 36" induction RANGE, but apparently no residential models in the USA - so we're hoping to install a 36" induction cooktop over a 30" electric wall oven. We'll have a second wall oven in another area of the kitchen, but for several reasons don't want to do a double oven or stack 2 singles. I'm strongly leaning toward the Miele KM5773BL cooktop (I know about cabinet width issues; we're doing custom cabs, so we can make sure the width will fit) and either the Electrolux Wave-Touch EW30EW55GS or ICON E30EW75GPS wall oven. The problem I just can't seem to find an answer to is whether the Miele cooktop can successfully be installed over either of those Elux ovens. I've read the specs & installation instructions; Miele just gives clearance required (4.5") between countertop & oven below - I haven't seen a list of "Miele-approved" ovens that can go below. But Electrolux DOES have a list of cooktops that can go above their ovens, and (as others have noted) they're all Elux appliances!

So my questions are:

1) Does anyone out there have this combo installed? Would love to hear your comments/experience/issues, and (of course!) see photos.

2) In general, it would seem that this sort of installation would require a higher-than-normal countertop - 4.5" from floor for minimum oven height + cabinet to accomodate 27.25" minimum cutout + 4.5" clearance to top of counter for cooktop = at least 37", I think? I'm tall, so OK for me - but am I figuring this correctly?

3) Am I correct in believing that there could be warranty issues w/ an Elux oven if it was installed per their instructions but under a non-Elux cooktop? Has anyone had this happen?

I really wish that either the Elux induction cooktops or the Miele wall ovens appealed to me as much as the others do! But the features of the Miele induction (timers for each hob, "stop and go" temporary power reduction, hob and control layout) look really good to me, and the Elux ovens seem to have so many satisfied users - at a more economical price than a Miele oven.

Please help if you can - Thanks!

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If you are doing another separate wall oven elsewhere, then there is no reason not to make that a double oven. Ergonomically, a wall oven under a cooktop is a poor choice as it's actually closer to the ground than a range oven. And no manufacturer will ever tell you that another maker's product will be compatible in installations like that. You take all of the risk.

As far as raising the counter, that's a really bad idea, even if you are tall. The ideal cooking height is actually lower than standard counter height, not taller. Standardized heights were developed to make it easy for manufacturers to create products like cabinets and appliances that worked together. It wasn't designed for maximum ergonomics, but average ergonomics. For maximum utility, the cooking surface is better at about 32" high for most people, while the cleanup area is better at around 38". That got averaged to 36" and it's what is done to this day unless a custom install creates something different.

You will never regret the separate wall oven at waist height. Never. It's SO much easier to deal with than one sitting on the floor, which is what you basically get with a wall oven under an induction cooktop.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 7:40AM
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I appreciate your comments, live_wire_oak, and certainly agree that in a "perfect layout" situation we wouldn't plan to put an oven under the cooktop. But there IS a reason we're not doing a double oven: I want one oven conveniently close to the cooktop, and the other oven will be located in a tall cabinet on the opposite wall with an island (yes, a barrier island!) between. The cabinet run with the cooktop isn't long enough to put the cooktop at one end and the oven under the other (there would be no landing space on one side of the cooktop). We've arranged, rearranged, and re-rearranged this layout over many months (and with lots of GW input), and with all of the non-perfect-world tradeoffs considered, this (so far!) strikes us as the best plan for our space issues & cooking/living modes. I'll try to post the plan here: From Kitchen Interior Elevations

The cooktop/oven combo would be on Wall "A" at the bottom of the plan.

Your advice not to raise the countertop is well-taken - but in real life, I know that people have done similar installations (however ill-advised) & wonder how they handled this issue? In any event, I'm still open to a better all-around plan solution, but can tell you that we've considered many alternatives and this is the "least worst"! Just another note - I like the idea of having the oven I'll be using most often below (or at least near) the vent hood, since we bake & broil fish very often. Proximity of ovens to vents doesn't seem to get discussed here much, but seems like it would help?

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 10:27AM
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Have you considered putting a Miele Speed Oven under the cooktop instead of the full size wall oven? (Miele has specs showing a speed oven under cooktop installation.) While it's a smaller oven, it would solve the fish issue without the need to raise the cabinet. Then you could just do a regular double oven set where your microwave and oven are now.

Hopefully some of the more informed members could chime in on this.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 2:18PM
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Have you thought of switching the ovens and the fridge so the fridge is more available to the breakfast and family room areas, and the ovens are more avialable to the cooking zone. As it is right now, the traffic to the fridge runs right through your hot zone, and that's a BIG safety hazard that I would avoid if at all possible. The traffic flow in this kitchen is really dangerous. As someone who suffered severe childhood burns, I want to impress that on you.

One alternative would also be to locate the oven in the island across from the cooking zone, but again, if the fridge moves.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 2:26PM
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> If you are doing another separate wall oven elsewhere, then
> there is no reason not to make that a double oven.

Agree 100% - IMO, the only reason for putting an oven under a counter is because you don't have room for it at a better height elsewhere.

> As far as raising the counter, that's a really bad idea, even if you are tall.

Our counters are at 37"; we are quite comfortable with them. I am 6'2"; my wife is 5'10", but the people who owned the house before us were much shorter and had no issues. Our new kitchen will keep the counters at 37" - that gives us lots of extra volume in our base cabinets.

While there are good arguments in favor of lowering the cooktop about 4" - 6" relative to the counters; that is rarely practical - it puts the hood too low for tall people, and you get into issues with distance to adjacent flammable surfaces, etc. Plus it is a killer for resale, because people will think it is weird.

An induction cooktop is a help here, because it does not stand up above the counter. Our present gas cooktop adds about 1.5" to the 37" counter height - the grates are about 38.5" above the floor and it's still really no big deal.

Bottom line: reality says that the sky will not fall if your counters are at 37"; don't let that stand in your way.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 3:33PM
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I don't know much and in fact I was thinking of posting a message to ask if this sounds right (always assuming GW knows more than "professionals!"), but I was at the appliance store yesterday & the employee who originally told me you should have the same brand cooktop going over a wall oven, told me yesterday that that is not an issue if you are doing a 36" cooktop, apparently the first time he thought I was doing 30". I forget the reason, whatever the part is that is supposed to have clearance from the oven is apparently far enough away on the sides (obviously I know nothing technical about this). But, point is I was thrilled, he seemed pretty confidant that that was true and I was happy because I can now hopefully mix my brands. Of course I didn't think to ask him if it voids the warranties or anything.

Now on to find a wall oven. I thought I wanted an Electrolux too, after everything I read here, but the guy yesterday said he has a horrible repair rate with all Electrolux ovens he's installed. He recommended a Kitchen aid oven and I LOVE it, and its affordable, and of course I come home and read horrible reviews about it. Back to drawing board!

Sorry I'm not much help but just at a similar point, hope you get more responses!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 8:39AM
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I'm very thankful for these inputs. Skitdel, I had not considered the speed oven, but it's an interesting idea - I've never used one. Am I correct in thinking that it would replace the microwave also? We had been trying to keep the MW near the eating area (lots of coffee zapping - apologies to purists), but I'll certainly look into it.

Live_wire_oak, our placement of the fridge is an attempt to have it closer at hand to me when prepping (at smaller sink) and cooking (at cooktop). We really want to have prep, cooktop, at least one oven, and fridge in some proximity. I take your traffic warning seriously, but we have no kids, grandkids, or other little ones visiting, and there is the aisle on the other side of the island for traffic from the eating area. I had considered putting the oven under counter to the right of the prep sink (planned as a 30" wide drawer stack), but that's going to be my main prep area - planned that way so that I can see the new corner fireplace & TV in the eating area, and especially my DH as he serenades me from the table with his electric blues guitar playing! Prepping while standing right in front of an oven doesn't sound like a good idea either. And the long drawer stacks to the left of the prep sink are only 16" deep, because the whole island is just 40" deep (plus overhangs) to enable 42" aisles. We're already moving a load-bearing wall (Wall "C") back toward the bathroom to make more kitchen room, but don't think the bathroom should get any smaller.

Caliente63, I agree that higher would be better for the oven also - but my gut tells me that having one oven close to the cooktop is more important. And if it drives me crazy, maybe I'd just use the other, higher-up oven opposite the island more often? Thanks so much for your words on the cooktop counter height. I just measured our crummy, nasty old Caloric gas range, and realize that the distance from the floor to the top of the burner grates is 37"! It hasn't been any issue (only thing about the range that hasn't).

And homebuyer23, welcome to kitchen confusion!! But I certainly hadn't heard that cooktop width might make a difference, and will see what I can find out. Maybe just another (of many) less-than-perfectly informed salespeople, but maybe a really helpful item! May I ask what cooktop brand(s) you're considering? It's discouraging to hear the negative comments about Electrolux ovens, but I'd encourage you to do some reading about them here on GardenWeb - there are many happy owners & lots of detailed discussions. Of course, no appliance (or anything else) gets universal praise!

Anyway, late last night I returned to the futile task of searching for a 36" induction range - no luck. Also looked again at the Elux 30" slide-in, and the snazzy-looking Ilve 30" stand-alone (didn't see any reviews on that one) - but I really want a 36" induction surface.

Again, anyone who's done an installation like this - please share!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 11:42AM
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This probably doesn't help you, but one option could be a 30" range -- either the Elux or the Viking -- and a domino elsewhere? This is a scenario that might work in a 2-person kitchen. And it does spread your hot zone around. Anyway, FWIW.

It is a shame induction range availability is so limited in the US.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 6:08AM
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I don't have input as to your configuration, but I've had my E'lux ovens for two years, no trouble at all. The reviews on this site are generally good, too.

Did you ask the salesman what kinds of repairs were being done on these ovens? Sometimes it's worth it to have them find out. When I was shopping for dryers, the saleswoman said that the E'lux dryers had a high repair rate. I asked her what was going wrong on them, and she looked it up. It turned out that there was a problem with the way the techs were installing the gas dryers. So the problem wasn't with the dryer, it was with the installation, and only on the gas ones. The point being, one salesman's opinion might or might not be valid as a tool in your decision making arsenal. I heard tell that several years ago there were some issues with the 'Lux ovens, but it seems that it was resolved pretty quickly. The Kitchenaid ovens were having troubles when I was shopping, 3-4 years ago, but I haven't heard any complaints recently on those, either.

Best of luck to you,

This post was edited by cj47 on Sat, Mar 9, 13 at 10:42

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 10:40AM
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Sorry, homebuyer123 - I see in rereading your post that you have indeed read Elux oven reviews here on GW. I'm afraid that my brain is just in overload at this point!

MizLizzie, your idea of a separate smaller induction unit is one I had not thought of at all, but will certainly add to the mix of possibilities - Thank you. First question that comes to mind: would a domino need its own vent unit above?!

Cj47, thanks for chiming in with your Elux oven experience (wall ovens?) and for the very relevant comments on repairs - shows how valuable it can be to dig deeper!

My husband just came up with yet another possible configuration: making each pantry unit on Wall "B" in the layout above 27" wide rather than 30", therefore increasing the counter run under the window to 60", and installing an (Elux?) wall oven below the counter next to the fridge - leaving a 30" 3-drawer stack between the oven and the other (upper on plan) pantry unit. Oven would still be low (Elux says no higher than 5" above floor for standard undercounter; maybe 6" if counter was 37" high?) - but no warranty issues w/ over/under installation of different brands. Any thoughts?

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 3:41PM
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>>>First question that comes to mind: would a domino need its own vent unit above?!

IMHO, not necessarily. Not unless you used the area for things giving off a lot of oil. My appliance guy says induction units barely need a vent hood at all since there is no significant amount of heat to be carried away. Grease is the issue. I know it seems crazy, but I rarely use my range hood. I hate the racket.

Your husband may have resolved the issue for you, however? Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 9:12PM
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My appliance guy says induction units barely need a vent hood at all since there is no significant amount of heat to be carried away. Grease is the issue.

Barely need a hood at all?! Oh, I'm sorry, but I need to take issue with that statement. The cooktop itself generates less heat than gas or radiant, but the food you're cooking gets just as hot and emits just as much steam and grease and odor! I have a 42 inch hood over my 36 inch induction cooktop over which I installed a 600 CFM vent hood. (900 if you buy the Vent a Hood Marketing). I cook a lot, and I almost always turn on the vent, and have trained my family members to do so as well. I don't want that steam and grease all over my cabinets. If I've fried fish for dinner, or bacon for breakfast, I want those odors exhausted and not hanging around the house for the remainder of the day. It's also nice when someone drips cheese from their pizza onto the floor of the oven, and the kitchen fills with smoke. I don't often bump it up to the very highest level, but when I need it, I'm glad I have it.

/rant. :-)


This post was edited by cj47 on Sat, Mar 9, 13 at 22:44

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 10:08PM
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Electrolux makes an induction range -- my friend has one.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 10:02AM
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MizLizzie and cj47, I must confess that I rarely turn on our vent hood either, but that's because it works primarily as a noise machine - it's a (broken) MW OTR vent with, as far as I can tell, absolutely NO venting capacity! Works great to drown out all conversation, however. But I'm eagerly looking forward to having a functioning hood that can vent out cooking "fragrances" (I guess they become odors after you've consumed the meal!) - I don't do much grease-generating stovetop stuff, but lots of aromas that I'm hoping will be captured & removed, at a less-than-overpowering decibel level.

Rococogurl, I hope that your friend likes her Elux induction range - we may end up with that one, but it's 30" wide, not 36", and that's one of my basic issues. The only 36" induction ranges I've seen available in the USA are $10,000+ commercial units - out of the running for us, even if they were (don't know) feasible for residential installation.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 1:40PM
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She does like her range. Likely it's a 30" -- went to see it with her but don't recall the size. If you go with it, check the download carefully as it has an odd front config that must be rectified with the cabinets.

I agree with live_wire_oak's comments. Given what we know about the issues around heat and electronics components, an induction top over a wall oven is a bad idea IMO. Today's ovens have fans. If the fan vents at the top, you've got hot air blowing on your pelvis; on the bottom on your feet. Then there's the bending.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 8:23AM
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Thanks for your further input, rococogurl. I must admit that I've been surprised by warnings re: heat when standing in front of an under-counter wall oven - just assumed it wouldn't be much different than standing in front of a range, which I've done all of my cooking life. The bending issue gets more obviously problematic with each passing not-getting-any-younger day!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 1:48PM
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Actually I had a similar issue to the one you mention with our DD's 48" Wolf DF range. I had both ovens going and I was using the griddle. Thought my feet would fry.

I have electric top with scooped out utensil drawer plus 2 big pot drawers below. Must say, I prefer the top + drawers set up to a range. So convenient for equip access and no heat. I cook a lot.

Was thinking of switching out to induction and will likely do so when there are other things that need a facelift in the kitchen since the utensil drawer would need to be altered for the airflow and clearance. Wondering how that would be accommodated with an oven behind and below as the clearance behind and below is pretty specific.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 3:01PM
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Just wondering if you have decided on your induction cooktop & oven yet?
I am getting closer to needing to order them, I am starting to think I might just do Bosch cooktop and Bosch oven underneath, but even still the appliance guy did say we'd need 37" counters. That concerns me as I'm only 5'3"!

Just wondering what you ended up deciding on, because as I go back and read this thread, I am in the exact same boat now as you are/were...thanks!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 11:13PM
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My wife looked at an oven installed under a cooktop in a showroom, and it was just too low for her (somewhat bad back). Ovens under cooktops are even lower than ovens that are part of ranges. Maybe not an issue for you.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 3:00AM
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Homebuyer23, I wish I could tell you that we found the perfect solution - but we're still not decided! Of course, in the back of my mind is the nagging thought that as soon as we install whatever compromise we settle on, some manufacturer will, with great fanfare, introduce their fabulous new 36" induction range to the U.S. market! Right now we're still strongly leaning toward the 36" Miele cooktop over the Elux oven, in a 38" tall counter. We decided against moving the oven to the fridge wall, as described in my 03/09 post above - narrowing of pantries and disruption of under-counter cabinetry there didn't seem worth it.

Attofarad, I keep opening under-counter ovens in every showroom we visit! Right now the height (or lack thereof) wouldn't be a big issue for me, but I'm very aware that things can (and do) change.

We also haven't ruled out skitdel's speed oven idea, although I'm inclined to want a full-sized oven right there for most frequent use.

Please do post your decision, homebuyer23; sounds like you'll get there before we do! BTW, what is the clearance required below the Bosch cooktop?

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 8:49AM
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The biggest reason you don't see larger induction ranges is that the 30" ones are already at the limit of most American electrical systems as they exist. 40-50 amp circuits are all that exist currently in most homes in a range location and most American homes only have 200 amp services. If a larger range with larger needs for power were introduced, it would for sure require rewiring as a condition of it's use. And in the typical home, 200 amps of service is already pushing the limit on usage with all of the TVs, computers, and other eletronic gadgetry that are in a modern home. (It's the same reason why you seldom see a retrofit for an electric tankless water heater.) Commercial installations that use large induction hobs typically have access to 3 phase power and MUCH larger service runs. You only have to look at the different electrical requirements between a typical 1970 home and a 2010 home to see how many more circuits are now needed. Start adding in a power hungry range that needs a 70 amp circuit, and you start talking a LOT of money to rewire the run from the pole, a new panel, and the new run for the range. It's just not economically feasable for any maker to introduce something like that at this time. Youd need a paradigm shift in new home construction to make it happen.

This post was edited by GreenDesigns on Fri, May 24, 13 at 9:49

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 9:46AM
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Hi, GreenDesigns - just saw your post; thanks for your explanation. While I'm definitely not well-versed in matters electrical, I have ogled many "induction range cookers" on UK brand sites - quite a few are available in 90 cm (35+ in.) & 110 cm (43+ in.) widths - and usually with at least 2 ovens, sometimes 3. (Plus many great color choices!) Would this mean that British homes generally have more robust electric service available? Or, at least, enough British homes to make it feasible for several manufacturers to offer several models each?

But as gorgeous as these UK models look, we are NOT going to further complicate our already-way-too-complicated project by seriously contemplating the idea of importing an appliance. But, in my dreams...

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 12:29PM
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