Moving the cooktop from island to wall and installing a wall hood

Teju123July 31, 2013

This is a house we have contract on and if all goes well, closing by August end.

Here is the deal. I do not like the island downdraft cooktop for safety with little kids, splatters etc. How big of a deal in terms of labor and cost would it be to move the cooktop to the perimeter countertop and take off the cabinet above and replace it with a hood that vents to the outside?

There is the question of filling the hole on the island, would it look ok if I out in a butcher's block in that island to fill it? Will it look odd/ok or any other cons? I thought it would be economical rather than replace the whole countertop there.

BTW, any other suggestions are most welcome. This is our first house, and we have zero experience of any house project. Should I just drop the idea and wait a bit and see what I feel? Should I change something else instead? Also, pardon my ignorance, but what material is that countertop?

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I have remodeled many kitchens for myself and for clients. I understand your thinking for moving the cook top, however this is a very big job & I suspect the builder placed the cooktop in the island to maximize the amount or cabinet space for the homeowner.

The cooktop is either 30 or 36" wide. I suspect you might not have a cabinet, on the wall to the right, that will exactly accommodate the cooktop and a new hood. Depending on the depth of the cooktop, you might lose use of the drawers beneath the new location.

If there is a base cabinet that matches the dimension needed, you have to run gas to the location, run a vent through walls or attic to vent the hood to the exterior. I see that you have a vaulted ceiling in the kitchen. How are you going to hide the venting for the hood if you go up? With your downdraft in the island, your venting runs under your floor either in the basement or through the slab to the exterior.

The quartz counter top has to be cut to receive the cooktop. The electric starter on the burners will require an electrical hook up as will the hood. A stainless hood will be $500+. If you try to use a standard off the shelf stainless hood that fits under a cabinet, your cabinets are too low to accommodate the hood and will need to be replaced with a shorter cabinet that will never match your existing cabinets.

Additionally you will now be losing some upper cabinets to accommodate the hood, and without seeing the rest of the room, that might not help a kitchen that appears to only have 4 upper cabinets to begin with. Will you want to add a tile backsplash to protect the wall behind the cooktop from grease?

So you'll need a plumber for the gas relocation, an electrician for the electrical location & hood installation, a carpenter to cut away the cabinet, a tile guy to install the backsplash & a quartz guy to cut the hole for the cooktop, that's if it's something that can be done on site. I don't know where you live, but if you're not married to a someone handy with power tools this job will be $$$.

The hole in the quartz that currently holds your cooktop might not be cut perfectly square or have a polished edge like the hole for a sink. Remember when the hole was cut, the quartz guy knew the edge would be covered by the cook top. There maybe no way to drop in a piece of butcher block and have it be level. Sorry to disappoint, but it's better to know what you're getting into in advance than finding out after you're started demo.

1 Like    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 12:18AM
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Okay some more pics for you to see exactly how big the kitchen and countertop is

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 3:07PM
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one more...

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 3:08PM
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Sophie Wheeler

The thing that would be possible right now as a place holder would be to do an overhead vent from where the island is currently located, and replace the island counter with one with a deeper overhang, for more safety. That alone would be 5K or more.

And it wouldn't fix the other layout issues that you have here.

So, if you're buying this house, offer 50K less than they're asking so you can do a complete remodel. Or, ban the kids from the kitchen until you can do a complete remodel. Or, don't buy the house. Because there's not a lot you can do there that won't be a lot of money. If you're going to address the issues the kitchen has, it wouldn't take that much more money to do a gut and replace with a more functional layout. It's a 30 year old kitchen after all, and the cooktop isn't it's only functional issue.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 4:01PM
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If it were my kitchen, I'd move it too - unless you want to engage in a full kitchen remodel quite soon. If that is a possibility, I'd wait a year before doing anything.

I have considered moving a cooktop from one wall to another for a different reason. It is not cheap but not that expensive either if you have an attic above the kitchen. Do you?

The way I see it, the cheapest way would be to move the cooktop to that stand-alone cabinet near the patio door where the microwave is right now. The ceiling is right above it plus that is a back wall and you may be able to vent either through the roof or the wall. Plus, you probably can remove that countertop and send it out for cutting. If it gets damaged during the removal, it wouldn't be that expensive to replace it by a remnant.

Also, you can get under-cabinet hood - they are not expensive at all.

Plumbers use flexible tubing to extend gas lines. So, depending where the gas line is right now, it may be doable. However, I'd forget about gas all together in that situation and put an induction cooktop as it is much cheaper to add an electrical line - and safer with small kids.

If you are sure you want to keep that island in the future, you can replace the entire countertop as it does not have to match the other ones. You can make the two new countertops from the same material. Otherwise, a butcher block is a possibility, especially a walnut one.

I seriously doubt that you'll be using that built-in desk because of its location. I'd rip it out and convert the entire recessed area into a pantry. That would give you more storage than you can possibly lose by moving the cooktop.

However, it is possible that you might want to remodel or give a face-lift to your kitchen in not so distant future. If I were you and I couldn't remodel in a 1-3 years, I'd move the cooktop now but with a future remodel in mind.

Also, if you want to move the cooktop to the long wall, I have seen hoods with 11'-12' chimneys on Houzz. They didn't look bad at all but they had appropriate kitchen styles. Check them out.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 4:25PM
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You can also consider a induction cooktop. Works great and you don't need gas.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 4:37PM
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After putting in 20% down payment for the house, we are not going to be able to cough up liquid cash for a complete remodel in the near future. That is why I just wanted to move the cooktop to the perimeter and install a wall mounted hood that vents to the outside.

Luckily the kitchen has attic above it and then the roof(no bedrooms on top) and unfinished portion of the basement below. So venting to the outside and moving the gas line should be much easier right?

I am willing to forgo the drawers below the cooktop and cabinet above the cooktop to make space for the hood.

hollysprings, what other layout issues do you see?

This post was edited by Teju123 on Fri, Aug 2, 13 at 16:56

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 4:43PM
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I didn't see hollysprings' response before typing mine or I wouldn't have posted because ITA with that assessment. :-)

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 4:58PM
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A complete remodel would be great...but for now, if you can put a vent up through the attic, I'd move the cooktop to the side counter, right under those 'center' double uppers.

Butcher block would look great on the island...and it would give you more space for prep and baking. There may be space for an overhang on the table end for a stool or two, but difficult to tell in the pictures.

I'd move the cooktop, then think about what else you'd change, when you get to the 'dream kitchen' remodel...but safety is too important to live with it, as is. At least that's my two cents ;)

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 5:02PM
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Well, hollysprings, for a little background, we have an accepted contract on this house. We have been looking since last year and rejected tons of updated houses because the kitchens were tiny. This is atleast a spacious kitchen(compared to what we were getting in our budget), granted its not updated. So I want to make it work for me.

lavender_lass, thanks for your two cents, they were very helpful. I am leaning towards doing exactly what you said.

This post was edited by Teju123 on Fri, Aug 2, 13 at 17:11

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 5:10PM
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Sophie Wheeler

To move the cooktop to the perimeter location involves:

Removing the perimeter countertop, which may break. The reason you have to remove it is because the cooktop will not fit into the cabinets below where you want it to be. You have 2 cabinets there, not a single cooktop cabinet. So you will need to move the cooktop cabinet there and one of those cabinets to the island. However, that won't work for your already installed flooring unless it runs under the cabinets. Of course, you could have an expert cabinet maker demolish the interior of the two side supports of those cabinets and rebuild them with additional support and then just cut a hole in the granite in place. Not cheap, either way.

You will have to have an expert cabinet person modify the upper cabinet above to be shorter, or build an entirely new one to be shorter. Yes, you could just move it up, but then it would look really strange. If you can live with that, that would be the cheapest solution for the upper cabinet. It will still need to have a hole cut into it for the vent pipe.

You will also have to run either gas or 220 electric to that location. Gas has to be in rigid black iron pipe. Only the last few feet can be in flexible stainless. THe plumber will have to calculate if you can T off of the gas supply that (I hope) is running through the attic and not just through the slab foundation. That black iron has to be run down through that outside wall from the attic and into the cabinet below the cooktop location. If you did induction, you'd have a similar herculean run all the way from the electrical box. That means tearing up the drywall surface to run those things, and then repairing it. That's best case scenario and they can actually manage to get the pipe to run through the stud cavity and not down the outside of the house.

Then you'd have to deal with running the electrical for the vent, and cutting the hole in your house for the vent. That involves patching the exterior siding and installing a damper. And that is even if your jurisdiction would allow a vent straight out the wall in that location. In most locations, it's too close to an operable window to allow termination there and would have to go through the roof. Taking it through the roof involves a big old pipe sticking up quite a ways. It has to, because of code requirements and it's location there on the eaves. And it involves a roof penetration, which needs someone who knows the heck what they're doing for you not to have a leak. Not rocket surgery, but you'd be surprised at how often a "handyman" will screw it up. It's something you need an HVAC trade for, and possibly a roofer. More expensive, but you tend to rule out the "and master of none" jacks.

Then, you'd have to replace the island counter. THe suggested butcher block would be a good budget friendly surface that would work. If the Brazillian Brown Silestone on the perimeter cracks, you'd need to be OK with them glueing it back together, or replacing it. Replacing it would be 5-7K, and I didn't count that in the total here at the end.

All in all, you'd be spending a minimum of 10K to move the cooktop off of the island. Probably more, because it's an older house, and once you start touching stuff like electrical, you've got to bring some things up to current codes.

And you'd still be left with a barrier island with the critical to access fridge on the wrong side of it, and the ovens in an inconvenient spot. You'd be left with the dumping ground of the desk area. You'd be left prepping on top of your cleanup area in about 30" of space. Meaning you will have a one person kitchen.

"Spacious" isn't spacious when all of the zones are overlapping and everyone needs to use the same exact square footage that you do, or you have to put on rollerskates to get from one side of the space to the other. It doesn't matter if the kitchen is 20x20 if all of the zones overlap at the sink and you have to always walk around an obstacle to perform even the simplest sandwich prep.

As I said, the cheapest option at this point would be to do an overhead vent through the roof and then replace the island counter with one with more overhang. That would only cost you 4-5K or so. It would still leave the other issues that the kitchen has, and it would reduce your aisle way in front of the fridge, but it would get you through until you could address the rest of the issues in a more complete redo.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 5:50PM
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It seems a bit ironic to me, as we are doing the opposite, moving our cooktop from the wall to the island.

If you have the space behind the island, I'd consider replacing that counter with one that overhangs out the back. To move the cooktop to the wall will be costly, as you must move the gas line, electrical (for the igniters), add in the venting, cut the counter to fit the cooktop and somehow fill in the hole in the island. That assumes that you have a cabinet sufficiently wide enough to accommodate the cooktop.

You could replace the cooktop with induction and leave it in the island. That will likely require you to run a new electrical line from your main electrical panel. You still may have a supposed safety issue unless you overhang the countertop. Induction is supposedly safer, but you can still get splatter while cooking.

I'd say to live with the kitchen for awhile before you do anything. You may later want to a larger remodel and you can take care of moving stuff around at that time.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 6:01PM
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This might be another idea. If it's too expensive to move the cooktop, what about raised storage behind it? If there's not enough room for this, maybe shallower storage with raised back, behind cooktop?

If you replace the island counter top (or add on to the back) maybe you could extend a bit out towards the table for a few stools? Just an idea :) From Farmhouse plans

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 11:09PM
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Well the forum has certainly taken your very simple idea for your first kitchen and provided you with absolutely the bare unvarnished truth of how much this is going to cost you, and all the problems you will encounter.

My recommendation as a designer would be that you move into your new home, live there, and see what works for you. It's always been my experience that things you might think you can't live with, turn out to often be non-issues. Wait a year and see how you feel then. Sometimes you plan to stay in a place for a long time and fate intervenes and you end up moving.

The house looks lovely, and I hope you will be very happy in your first home.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 12:24PM
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Thanks all for the informative and honest answers. Appreciate it. I have decided to indeed wait, as per the collective wisdom here! My DH thanks you all too!! Hopefully 6 months or a year down the line we'll know more about the house after living there and be able to make better decisions.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 2:48PM
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