over the range shelf -- practical issues?

michoumonsterMarch 6, 2012

Hi all, I am thinking of doing a shelf over the range, or perhaps having a recessed niche in the wall behind the range. I was wondering for those that have this setup, how deep is your shelf? Does it get in the way of your taller pots? would it affect the performance of your hood? would it make your seasonings get damp or dry out, etc.? is cleaning a pain?

thanks for any advice!

Here are some pics of the range shelf I was thinking of:

Or like this one here:

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We're doing this. We plan to keep a couple of regularly used things back there - our sea salt, olive oil bottles, the moka pot, a bunch of utensils in a jar, etc. Because the stove is near the end of a run/near a hall - we'll be able to reach from the side to get things if we've got all the burners going.

To allow for this we bumped out both the stove and the hood.

It's still incomplete, so I don't have a finished picture for you... But that's our plan.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 5:39PM
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ucgal, if you bump out your range, how deep will your shelf be? what do you plan to do about the bump with respect to the rest of your counters?
i was thinking of either hding it by using a hood with mantle "legs" or maybe doing upper cabinets that go to the counter.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 5:50PM
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I have a setup similar to the top photo (although not nearly as elegant) created because my stand-alone range had to be bumped out; I don't have 'sides' so it's more of a shelf than a niche. Except for a jar of salt, I don't keep spices or oils on the shelf - only utensils & pot lids. It's not harder to keep clean than any other kitchen surface but I suspect if you kept bottles of oil etc, it would be more prone to spills & rings.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 9:49AM
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The only thing I would say is not to do this if you are getting a cooktop that has ceramic or glass on top. My friend dropped something on hers, cracked it, and had to replace it for $700. My guess is that you probably have a gas one with grates, but I just wanted to put that out there.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 10:14AM
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antiquesilver, thanks for the pic! how deep is your shelf? it seems like the perfect depth to contain all of the necessary items. i was thinking 3 inches, but am worried it would be too narrow to be useful.
you have such a charming setup btw. i love all of your pots. i think i would add a rail across the top of my shelf like you did to hang pot holders and lids too. what is your range? i have never seen a range with grates. sort of like a chargrill.

senator13, thanks for the tip! i do plan on doing a gas range with the iron grates. i guess the shelf would be a no no if i go the induction route.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 2:38PM
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Michoumonster, my shelf is 5-6", I think (I'll check it tonight); it's just barely wide enough to be useful. The stove back is about 2" & the bump out is 3-4". 3", IMO, would only be useful for 'cutesy' things.

The range is one of the older DCS models before they switched to closed burners or sold to F&P. I bought it in 2002 & it's been great - visitors still think it's new!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 3:03PM
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michoumonster - we're doing it similar to what antiquesilver did - no sides (so not really a niche). Just a shelve above the vent on the berta hood.

It's going to be about 8" deep - but part of that will be a vent space (similar to what you'd do on an island with a berta stove).

Ours will be the same height as the vent thing in the back of the stove... so up a few inches from the main cooktop of the stove.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 3:03PM
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michoumonster - I had planned to do something similar to this:
From 2012-03-01

The KD had bumped out my cooktop anyway (to give some visual interest) so I do have more room between it and the wall. But the biggest issue was because our cooktop is on an outside wall, there has to be insulation behind it. So, my choices were either to bump out the entire wall (not worth losing that much space), do some sort of columns on each side (didn't really work with my kitchen) or do a narrower shelf that extends a little bit, similar to the one in the picture. I chose that. Of course, I can't show you because we haven't started the drywall yet - and now I'm having second thoughts because I do have an induction cooktop and am now worried about breaking it - I wanted it more for looks than functionality, though. Just really like little niches in the house.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 4:03PM
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I'm doing a shelf this time, it's on a 24" high heat guard. The shelf has slats in it already so that should help with not trapping too much heat under it. I also wanted to be able to take advantage of the heat lamps in the hood.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 4:18PM
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I have this currently and would suggest being careful what you put on it. The bottles tend to get quite hot. I was reaching for the garlic salt grinder last week and when I went to grind with it, the lid fell off. Looking at it the plastic had deformed from the heat of the rangetop. My shelf is 6" up, and 3" deep and sits about 3" back from the rangetop.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 4:25PM
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Things get hot and dirty from cooking splatter.

I had a fold down metal shelf.

It was left behind and will not be replaced in new house (though it looked cool).

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 4:27PM
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I measured & my shelf is about 7-1/2" wide. It doesn't really show in the photo but there's a bottom rail that the pot lid handles rest on that keeps the larger items from fitting closer to the back. If you're able to raise or eliminate that, you could get away with a narrower ledge.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 9:39PM
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kammererk, that is a really pretty wall niche. i love the arch of it. can't wait for your reveal pics!

beekeeperswife, i think a metal shelf will be really nice if you have warming light on your hood. i was contemplating this too but my hood only will have halogens, though maybe they would get hot enough to keep food warm.

amyktexas and brickeeye, thanks for the feedback on the shelf items getting hot and dirty. it definitely is something i will need to think about, to weigh the prod and cons of having a shelf. it certainly is not a hassle-free decision as i would need to figure out if i can spare the extra space for the range bumpout. so knowing the bad is always helpful..

ucgal and antiquesilver, thanks for letting me know how deep your shelves are. i am not sure i have the space to go that deep. i might be able to get 4 inches, plus do some kind of ledge to get 5 inches. will have to think about that.

thanks so much everyone!!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 1:32PM
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