window behind range?

swimmer58January 22, 2011

Does anyone have a window located behind their range? Our KD is suggesting that we do that to take advantage of the ocean view we have on that side. I am not a neat-freak, but I think the issue of grease spatters would drive me crazy. Please share any experience you have with a set up like that -- Thanks!

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It would have to be fixed, non-operable and there may be some limitations to sill height. My backsplash is glass and it is really easy to keep clean with a quick wipe. I guess it depends on how much you fry or saute, etc.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 11:15PM
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palimpsest -- I saute a LOT (my kids joke that it isn't a meal if it doesn't start with onions, garlic and olive oil....). How much frying/sauteing do you do and how often do you clean that window? I'm 5'4" tall and have trouble reaching the small window I have over the sink where we are now. Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 11:25PM
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Interesting - I would love to be staring at the Ocean, even when stir frying :) Slightly different, but related, we put a window above our range hood in order to get light in from that side and we really like it. I would imagine if you had a any length in the room you could see the ocean if standing at a little distance. Just another idea, but certainly not as good of a view as right behind the stove.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 11:37PM
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We are buiding right now and the archetiect had a window on either side of a cook top. I decided instead, to but an 8ft window and my sink in front of it. I spend alot more time at the sink and like to look out while doing dishes. That's just me. I think I'm doing a pro style range on the side wall.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2011 at 12:56AM
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I'm assuming that you/KD has checked code. Code in our area would not allow that.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2011 at 1:31AM
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Thanks for a reminder to check on building code. I assumed the KD would know about that, but I'd better check it out. I'm going to buy a squeegee (sp?) today to see if I can do the window behind my sink with it.

Janet941 -- my sink will be where I spend most of my time with that view too. Won't mind clean up much at all with that to look at!

Sparklekitty--I've never had a range hood and am thinking about whether or not I want one in the new kitchen. Do they really help with dusty grease building up on everything?

Thanks to everyone. This is the biggest project we'll ever do. It's fun and scary all at the same time. This forum is such a help.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2011 at 7:21AM
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I would confirm the code as this can be dangerous, however
it can be done and quite beautiful too.
Here are some fantatic images to get you thinking about

This has a view behind it but not up to the glass

    Bookmark   January 23, 2011 at 7:31AM
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Boxerpups -- those images are amazing -- I'm headed out right now to get the squeegee and see if it could work for me. Will definitely check on the code. I have a tiny gas range at our camp. It is beside a big awning style window. I don't know how many times I've had the gas flames blow out while I'm cooking. I learned early on to shut the gas off behind the stove whenever I'm done cooking and never, ever leave the stove while it's in use. Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2011 at 8:25AM
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"Local" code in most areas has been replaced by the International Building Code which had a predecessor in BOCA.There are still probably some turf wars regarding code.

The range near an operable window restriction was based upon ranges with pilot lights, which have been replaced by ignition in ranges of American manufacture.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2011 at 9:15AM
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I have a cooktop in front of a window. Code allows it in our area and the window can open and be fully functional. The only restrictions are that the cooktop cannot be gas and there cannot be anything combustible within 8".

My window sill is 9" from countertop height. My KD had the sill built from quartz (same as countertop) so it is non-compbustible. The window does not go to the countertop because we needed to be able to put outlets under it and for a switch to run my exhaust fan in the ceiling above my cooktop.

I would definitely put in some type of hood or fan to evacuate air. Not only will it help with grease and odors but any sort of boiling will steam up you windows. Trust me on this. I'm attaching a link to a ceiling hood designed to maximize the view for a kitchen island but it might be able to be used over a window. I used an inline fan with just a grill in the ceiling. That's an unorthodox solution but it works great for us.

I am 5'4" also and don't have a problem cleaning my window. It does not need to be cleaned as often as my window in front of my sink so I wouldn't let that deter you. I use a squeegee and plain dishwater to clean the window and a quick wipe with a microfiber towel to dry. The squeegee keeps it from streaking.

Your kitchen sounds like its going to be really great with all those ocean views! I hope you can get this to work out for you.

Here is a link that might be useful: sirius island hood

    Bookmark   January 23, 2011 at 9:31AM
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Skyedog -- please tell me more about your exhaust fan -- sounds like something that would work for us. I tried a squeegee on the window behind the sink where we live now and it worked great -- wish I had been using it for the last 23 years. Would have made cleaning that window much less of a chore!

PalimpsestI will definitely be learning about what building codes require --

thanks for all the wonderful advice!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2011 at 10:45AM
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Swimmer - I put in a Fantech FG6XL Inline centrifugal fan that I ordered from I also put in the Fantech PBV6 premium grill for 6" duct. Essentially, it is installed like a bathroom inline fan and is vented through the roof outside. I have a variable switch in the wall by my cooktop. I took a filter for a regular hood and cut it down to work inside the grill. It take it apart and clean it once a month.

If I had to do it again I would have gotten a different grill housing. When I turn my fan on it's highest speed, I can hear the air move through the vent. From what I've read, there should be at least a two foot run before an elbow to reduce this noise. Plus the hvac guy damaged the damper during install which doesn't help but we didn't find out until after the drywall went in. If we run it at the other speeds it is completely silent. I did not put in a silencer on the advice of a manager I spoke with at IAQSource because he said if your ductwork is insulated, it is the same effect. From what I can tell this is true. My fan doesn't make any noise, it's only when the air is forced thru too small a space at too high a speed that I hear anything.

I usually only run it at the lower speeds and it works great. I run it at the higher noisy speed when my son cooks up a griddle full of bacon or certain foods I stir fry. Hope this helps

    Bookmark   January 23, 2011 at 8:58PM
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One more cooktop in front of windows. The hood was sized to fit the new windows. The hood is the upper trim, there is no lower trim and the side trim with brackets is designed to look somewhat like a hutch look. It is the only window in the kitchen proper.

There was no code issue with the induction cooktop and casement windows. Grease is not a problem, although I am careful to cover when immersing food in grease to contain splatters. I saute onions and garlic for most dinners.

I love the window placement. I spend as much or more time at the cooktop as I do prepping. The clean up sink is on a wall with no windows. Good luck! HTH

At night, easier to see the windows:

View out the windows is the street that fronts the house:

What it looks like with the lights on:

Clean up sink with no windows (and no backsplash yet!)

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 10:16AM
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I love this and also the way the cooktop is so flush with the countertop.

I might feel a bit exposed cooking there when it was dark out, but my sisters made me afraid of the dark 45 years ago, and old habits die hard. 8-/

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 10:53PM
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Here's one boxerpup posted on another recent thread:

    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 7:17AM
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I did not read through the entire thread so pardon if this is redundant.

Since more time in the kitchen is spent prepping than cooking I would prefer a window at the prep/sink area than the range. Additionally venting will be an issue & I would hate either improper venting or a honking hood that would totally diminish any view

Out of the idea pics Boxer has posted (she is the BEST finder!) They all seem like a magazine worthy type that missed function - Many are installed WAAAAAAAY too high to offer any proper venting - See the yellow LaCanche - hmmm
or are a honking obstruction

Posting pics of your existing space & floor plans may yield some great ideas from some pretty creative GW folks

Good luck

    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 8:21AM
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I thought I mentioned this above but didn't

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Cotehele's - obviously she took time and energy in the design phase - which has paid dividends - just noticed a pot filler to boot! great achievement & I'm sure took many passes before getting there

    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 11:08AM
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I have one question....why do you need to put it under a window? Is it just to have a "view" while cooking? If so, consider the following statistics found based on kitchen work studies...

  • 70% of the work done and time spent in the kitchen is spent prepping

  • 20% is spent cleaning up

  • 10% is spent cooking

So, if you're looking for a "view" while working, it makes a lot more sense to put the Prep Zone (possibly a sink) in front of the window than it does the Cooking Zone.

I sometimes think KDs get carried away with their "ideas" w/o really thinking them through. They see an opportunity to try something new, knowing they don't have to work with it doesn't bother them if it doesn't work out. After all it's not their money they're spending and if it doesn't really work in your kitchen, well they won't recommend it next time (or they'll try to refine it and the next person will be another guinea that person's expense, of course, just like at yours!)

If you hardly ever use your range or do simple/non-messy cooking, the window would probably be OK. However, you saute a lot. In your case, I would think a window would definitely be an issue. A glass backslash (BS) is different than a window. A BS is mounted against a solid wall with no sunlight streaming through during the day; the light reflection from a window at night is also very different. You would not see nearly as much w/a BS that you would w/a window.

If you go ahead w/the range in front of the window, be sure you have very, very good overhead venting...a hood at least 6" wider than the cooktop/range, at least 24" deep, and with powerful cfms [i.e., no downdraft and no mounting the hood higher than recommended unless you increase the cfms & hood size significantly from the previously mentioned recommendations.]

Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 11:35AM
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Palimpsest-Thanks! Yes, I was a little worried about the view into the kitchen at night. It is not much of a problem because of the angle. The street has very little vehicular traffic, and in this town, few people walk. :-( The dimmable lights help with privacy, for instance when I can't sleep and make a cup of tea in the middle of the night.

jejvetr-Thank you!! We had so many stops and starts with the kitchen project there was a lot of time to work on design. LOL I never settled for ''good enough'', but waited until there were no little inklings of something not being right.

Buehl, I agree the time spent cooking is s distortionately small compared to other cooking tasks. It is one of those little inklings I worked so hard to resolve. The other was efficiency. All the work areas except clean up have a view out the cooktop windows. And nothing is more than six steps apart. The majority of the time it is three steps to the next task. Grease splash is less of a problem with a deeper countertop. Mine is 30'' and the cooktop is as far forward as possible.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 12:30PM
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I don't know where I've been lately (actually, yes I do -- shoveling. Maine is finally getting the storm!). Missed a few responses -- so nice to see them today! Before the storm got really bad, we took a ride down to see the progress on the new kitchen. The wall between kitchen and DR is GONE! The floor and subfloor are GONE! Looks like we're finally getting started. Scary and fun all at the same time. We ordered 3 windows, one of which will go behind the slide in gas range. The 3rd window is partly for the view and partly to just bring in light. The only people who can see that side of the house are the fishermen and clam diggers down on the shore below.

buehl -- thanks for the dimension recommendations. Now I have something to start working with. The KDs had quite a few ideas that we had to decline, all of which involved more $$ than we wanted to spend. Perhaps with unlimited resources it have been fun, but....

cotehele --I love your kitchen! What is the distance between cooktop and hood? We'll have at least 44" and I'm worried about venting...

skyedog -- thank you for the specifics (sorry I missed your post)

jejvtr -- I'm still trying to learn how to post photos....

    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 1:29PM
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What about window dressings, like curtains or blinds? My guess is that this window would not be covered by anything, except maybe a cornice or valance at the top. Just food for thought.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 1:40PM
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swimmer58, Thank you. I hesitate to post pictures. Most people have already seen it although it is not quite finished. It has not been submitted to the FKB.

The vent is 72'' from the floor. It a 600CFM modernaire insert. The cooktop is 34'' from the floor because I am short. 36'' is too high to flip and shake pans/food. So there are 38 inches between the cooktop and the vent. Manufacturers suggest a maximum distance, which is usually not beyond 36''. That is why I got a vent that was a little overpowered for the kind of cooking I do. 44 inches seems too high to me.

I've had two ideas for window coverings behind the cooktop, but have not found the need to try them. Both would be used ONLY when the cooktop is NOT in use. Curtains could be hung on a spring tension rod and put up when needed. The other idea is a bit strange, but we have a piece of 1/4'' plywood that just fits a high half-round window in the bedroom. We use it mainly in the summer when the sun shines in the west window. Someone artistic could paint a stunning picture for a backsplash. Sounds cool to me, but I am not artistic. lol

    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 2:03PM
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Where in Maine are you? We have a place in Biddeford Pool

you noted "We'll have at least 44" and I'm worried about venting... " -

Going the distance to get proper venting in a kitchen is first about function, 2nd about aesthetics, otherwise you will end up with a nice looking (or not) piece of venting equipment that is really doing very little.

Optimal install is against an exterior wall with a direct duct to exterior - The range or cook top should drive the decision about CFM's - you can contact the manufacturer & see what they recommend - which will also depend on how you cook - if you have a grill etc...

44" is at least 8" too high (using 36" as max height from cooktop) and up to 14" too high (using 30") - again manufacturer will offer range for install height for proper venting

Link below may help

Here is a link that might be useful: height of range hood old GW thread

    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 2:36PM
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Came in from shoveling (again!)-- checking in here is a swiftly developing addiction....

Cotehele -- don't need window coverings here. The window faces east, so by 10:00 or so in the morning, the sun has moved past that side of the house. I have a little rocking chair that came with the house (husband's grandmother's house). The KDs kept trying to do something with the corner where that chair is going. I budged on a few issues, but not that one! My morning coffee is going to be so wonderful next summer! Thanks for the dimensions.

Back out to shoveling, but I'll be thinking of summer and my wonderful new kitchen!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 2:39PM
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I have a window behind my gas cooktop. From experience:

- You definitely don't want double-hung even if code allows. It's too far to reach to open, and even cracking the window a tiny bit on top creates a breeze that blows out a glass flame
- Grease is not a problem, and I don't understand why people say that. Do their tile backsplashes magically repel grease while glass attracts it?
- If your cooktop is gas I would recess the window away from the burners. The glass gets disturbingly warm at times. Actually, it can do that even from boiling pasta, so the cooktop fuel may not matter. Even a few inches would help.
- You can tile-in the window rather than using wood casing--a beautiful look.
- Window treatments are a problem. It's nice to say you don't need them, just make sure you'll never be tempted when you discover the postman looking at you in your morning bathrobe. If I keep a cooktop under a window, I may do leaded glass just for light.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 5:20PM
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jejvtr -- we live in Machias (about 4 hrs. east of Biddeford Pool). Thanks for the info -- this is such a wonderful place to learn!

Marcolo -- we really don't need to worry about anyone looking in the windows. Very secluded spot in a very, very rural corner of Maine! Thanks for the info about windows behind a gas cooktop. Do you have a hood? I'd love to think that with routine cleaning (which would be a change of attitude for me!), I could keep grease to a minimum and not even bother with a hood. Husband and I have laughed about it. Right now using a squeegee will help with keeping the window clean. By the time we're too old to use the squeegee our eyesight will be so bad that we won't see the grease at all!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 8:17PM
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No hood--kitchen still in planning stages, until the next Ice Age starts. Oh, wait. Maybe until later than that.

Still, no grease problems. And I brown a lot of meat and such for winter dishes. This week was braised lamb shank and rabbit with mustard sauce. Still no grease or splatters to complain of. There are some legitimate issues with a window behind a cooktop, but collecting whale blubber just isn't one of them.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 10:12PM
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Marcolo -- Woke DH up this morning with laughter over whale blubber! They're ripping and tearing and hammering away like crazy in the kitchen. I want to go there to see what's going on, but I have to work and earn some of the $$ to pay for all this. I'll look for pictures of tiled in windows--sounds like it would look nice with a tiled backsplash (windows close to counters--3" I think). I'd be able to scrape whale blubber off tile much better than painted wood! Hope you get to start your kitchen sooner than you think

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 9:03AM
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