fitting pop up and cooktop in 24' deep cabinet

fourquinnJuly 10, 2012

We have to replace our cooktop in our island. Our plan was a cooktop with pop-up ventilation behind it. The island cabinets are standard, 24" deep and apparently not deep enough to accomadate the ventilation unit. Has anyone modified their cabinetry? I'm trying to figure out a solution that won't be too costly or unsightly. The counter extends for seating beyond the cabinetry by 12 1/2 inches. As an fyi, a hood iso not an option. I'd like to continue to have seating at the island. Any advice, photos or feedback is much appreciated!!

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Sophie Wheeler

You've got to choose your poison.

You can have overhead venting, which is probably an expensive option, hence you are eliminating it. Get some actual quotes first before eliminating it, because at least overhead ventilation WORKS. You'd need to increase the overhang for your seating for safety's sake here though. 12" isn't enough for either comfort or safety. And you need 48" behind those seated guests for anyone to pass behind them as well.

You can do no ventilation. Not an option these days as more and more homes are tighter and keeping all of that yuck in your home is not a recipe for a clean mold free home or healthy air. It will also bite big time for any resale value. And you'd still need more overhang.

You can give up seating and put in a pop up vent by claiming the overhang for the needed cabinetry to house it. This is probably your best solution from a cost perspective, especially if all the room you have behind the cooktop is 12", which is much too close for someone to be sitting to a cooktop.

You could bump the cooktop cabinet forward in order to create space behind it to house the downdraft unit. That would need the cabinet back to be remade, as well as an access door from the back of the island. It'll be more difficult to work on the transitions, and you'll have to figure out a method for finishing off the sides of the cabinet you bump out as they'd be unfinished, but this could work to give you the downdraft and your seating. Of course, this means replacing the island top entirely, but so does every other method that has a chance of working.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 4:41PM
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Sophie Wheeler

PS> Just saw that this isn't for a "regular" electric range but a pro gas cooktop. That changes things some as only an overhead vent will work with a pro gas cooktop. And it's even more important to have safe clearances for both seating and walking around something with that much BTU or it's a burn unit accident waiting to happen.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 6:02PM
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Thanks for your input hollysprings. It would be a gas drop in cooktop with the buttons on top, not front. I was leaning towards a Viking although with so many negative reviews about Viking I may go towards something else. I really want Blue Star, but I've ruled that out as open burners and a downdraft don't seem to work well together. I will have 29" on either side of the 36" cooktop, but only 15 1/2 from the seating area to cooktop (my prior measurement was the actual overhang, not counter space). We have a kitchen table and dining room with plenty of seating. The counter area is mostly used when I have friends over for wine or something....not while I'm cooking. I was hoping if the pop up was up during cooking and entertaining, that that would be enough of a barrier. The floor plan is quite open and with the cooktop I currently have, I haven't had issues with grime. We're thinking of selling within the next 5 years and basically updating our existing layout. The kitchen is 12 years old. I've contemplated completely renovating it, but I'm not sure I'll get my money back when it's time to sell. I actually posted here a year ago about remodeling it.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 6:34PM
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fourquinn - have you considered induction? It would fit within your space, and you have less stringent requirements on drafting.

We ended up with induction after a long, long debate about how to ventilate from a 36" Bluestar cooktop/rangetop. We have the cooktop on a wall under cabinets, but limited amount of space for the actual vent and/or blower.

Downdraft is pretty useless if your gas cooktop has any power. We took out a GE Monogram cooktop and downdraft. The amount of accumulated grease under, around and above the cabinets was disgusting. The Monogram cooktop has nowhere near the power of BS, so I wouldn't even consider this option.

If you search on "induction" on this forum you'll find a lot of strong opinion, almost unanimously positive. It was a wrench for me, giving up the BS cooktop I've always wanted, but I'm very happy with the induction cooktop we installed.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 6:46PM
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jadeite thanks, I will look into induction as I am completely ignorant about them. It's great to hear that you went from a Blue Star to induction and you're happy with it. This is such a great forum for people like me! Thank you!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 7:25PM
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Fourquinn, hi. We did just what you are talking about, first with a radiant cooktop 14 years ago and then with an induction cooktop this fall -- though in a peninsula set-up. The first time around the pop-up vent was only 8" high; now the down-draft vents are 14" high and pull much better. While we have that set up and like it, it certainly is very true that an overhead vent is superior.

I agree 100% with the above posters that if you are going with gas, you do not want a pop-up vent. If, however, you decide to go with induction, post again and I can provide information about what modifications we made to install a cooktop + pop-up downdraft.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 10:02AM
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With gas, your proposal is a no go. There are just too many issues, and it becomes a kitchen redo rather than just replacing the appliances.

If you change to induction, the setup will just about work, although there still isn't enough safe clearance between the back of the cooktop and those seated.

However, for resale, you may want to plan to include a set of induction ready pans to go along with the cooktop as a selling feature in case the buyers haven't heard of induction or are scared that they'll have to add that to their expenses when buying.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 11:40AM
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@Kashmi Thank you, I am realizing an induction cooktop may be the way to go. As you pointed out, there's the advantage of it working better with a downdraft than gas and I think it will be less obtrusive on the island as well. I was wondering if the height of the raised downdraft made much of a difference so I'm happy that you included that you've experienced a difference. Do you know if your cabinets that house the cooktop and downdraft are only 24" deep? If I can fit them in this depth, I think this is my best option
@GreenDesigns I love your idea to include a set of induction ready pans when we sell.
Once I know I can fit everything into our standard depth cabinets I'll delve further into what manuf may be best....I looked on the appliance forum yesterday and it seems most get good reviews.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 3:27PM
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fourquinn post your layout in the kitchens forum. A layout of the peninsula at least. It's all about details now.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 7:30AM
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Here are two pictures to illustrate what we did. I'm not suggesting that this is the only -- or even best -- approach. It's just what worked for us.

To make room for the cooktop and downdraft vent in the 24" deep cabinet, the contractor removed the cabinet back and then built a 2x4-width wall behind the cooktop cabinet and the 18" cabinets on either side of it. Removing the back provided the extra needed room. He also had to shave the sides of the cabinet just a bit to fit the cooktop in, since the cabinet itself was 36". The picture below shows the cabinet with the narrow back wall. We then installed a laminate countertop over the cabinets. Adding the narrow wall behind meant that we had a 30" deep counter in that area (24" deep cabinet + 3.5" wall + counter overhang). Those extra inches were nice to have for landing space on either side of the cooktop.
From GardenWeb Photos

Fast forward 14 years to this fall's kitchen update. I wanted to maximize space and decided to reclaim those 3.5" (thereby giving us almost 36" between island and cooktop peninsula instead of the 32" we had). So, after removing the countertop, we removed the wall behind the cabinets and pushed the cabinets back those extra inches. Then we nailed a section of 3/4" maple-faced plywood to the back of the cabinets, added tile in front of the cabinets, reinstalled a countertop (granite this time) and the induction cooktop (also 36") and the new pop-up vent. You can see the cabinets with the plywood behind them in this picture.
From GardenWeb Photos

Since you are putting yours in an island, if you will have other cabinets behind the cooktop cabinet, the back of one of them might provide the stability for the cooktop cabinet and you might not need something like either our initial wall or current 3/4" plywood backing.

Hope this all makes sense. Please ask questions and if you want more pix, let me know.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 1:41AM
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look up zoneless induction cooktop from AEG. It is 36" wide and only 16 1/4" deep that might allow you to install the pop-up downdraft.
AEG is being distributed in Canada, not US, but they will still warranty their product in the States. AEG is a German manufacturer of appliances.
This cooktop is pricey but still much less than kitchen re-do?

Here is a link that might be useful: AEG

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 12:35AM
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Kashme, thanks for your post but I'm still not sure how you fitted an induction cooktop and the pop up vent in that 24 inch deep cabinet. Do you have more installation pictures? How much of the cabinet do you lose in the back?

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 8:09PM
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Kristin Pingree

I really all depends on what brand of appliance you've chosen. I have 24" deep cabinets and am about to install a GE Profile gas cooktop w/a downdraft behind it. It's tight. (It requires 21" and we only have 22 1/2" of interior depth.) However, my contractor says it's doable, and the front of the cooktop will sit about 1" in from the interior of the front cabinet face. When you figure that a countertop has a little overhang on all sides of the island, we will have the minimum 2 1/2" distance from the front of the cut-out to the edge of the countertop. The guy at the appliance store said that 9 out of 10 times it fits, but that it's always tight.

The specs on the GE website did give a creative idea for modifying your island w/sort of a "bay window" feel to it in front of the cooktop. They angled the front of the cabinetry outward w/filler pieces on either side of the cooktop, so then the front of the island jutted out in a trapezoidal shape, kind of like a bay window. That wouldn't work so well in my kitchen b/c directly opposite the cooktop is my dishwasher, and I don't want to open it and have it nearly knocking the front of a modified island.

Good luck to you!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 2:06AM
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It does seem that induction might be the way to go in this situation.

But if for some reason you still want a gas cooktop a downdraft is still an option. I'm tired of hearing that downdrafts and gas don't go together. Yes overhead is more efficient but it's not the only possibility.

27 years ago we installed a Thermador gas cooktop and downdraft on our island. We also have an open floor plan and didn't want an overhead vent that would impose on our spectacular views out the custom bay window in the kitchen.

5 years ago we remodeled and installed a Dacor coooktop (17,000 BTU) and downdraft. In 27 years we had that set up we cooked full dinners nearly every night. We stir fried occasionally, seared steaks in a preheated cast iron skillet and prepared fish.

Our smoke alarms didn't go off, our ceiling didn't discolor from grease, our house didn't have lingering odors and the downdraft didn't pull the flames away from the burner. We've been completely satisfied. At our vacation home we installed a GE Profile gas cooktop and downdraft.

If we had burners with super high BTU's then we'd have to rethink the application.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 7:24AM
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Scrappy25: By removing the back panel, which was inset in the sides of the cabinet, we gained that extra 1/2". Then we had to stabilize the cabinet, which is why we created a new back, but outside of the cabinet walls.

I'm attaching a link to the Bosch downdraft installation manual. On Page 9 the instructions say, "All illustrations and dimensions are based on standard 24" deep by 36" high American style base cabinets with 25" countertops." I'm not certain we needed to remove the back; that's just what the contractor did (it may be that the older downdraft required more space). See below for how much space within the cabinet you'd need.

Here's how the spacing for the cutouts breaks down.
0.25" (minimum) behind the downdraft
2.25" cutout for the downdraft
20.0" for the Bosch induction cooktop (36" variety)
2.25" in front of the cooktop (beginning at the front edge of the countertop).
24.75" total
NOTE: The total is slightly less than the assumed 25" countertop depth. The cooktop and downdraft just take up 22.25" inside the cabinet.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bosch Downdraft Installation Manual

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 11:08PM
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fourquinn... not sure where you are at in your renovation but I am in the midst of designing a new kitchen and have looked at enough appliances that it would boggle the minds of the best designers. Not sure what your budget is but if you were to go with an induction (I have been a gas lover my whole life but am switching to induction) There are many options available at a price. One set up that comes to mind for your dimensions is an induction cooktop and an "Elica" Seagull downdraft (very interesting). Cost rating $$$$, but might be an option. The only thing with that "Seagull" is I think it only comes in 36" wide and should only be used with electric or elec. induction. Don't quote me on that but something worth investigating if you have a larger budget to work with.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 2:23AM
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