Wall Oven won't fit Underneath Cooktop

happsAugust 3, 2013

I just had new cabinets and countertops installed and right after I installed the cooktop, I tried to slide in the wall oven, but it started bumping up against the cooktop, raising it. Can the cabinet platform be altered for the wall oven to fit underneath the cooktop? What can be done short of buying new appliances? I gave the cooktop and wall oven specifications to the kitchen designer twice and I didn't get a response indicating they wouldn't work. Pictures below.


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Just because you picked out two appliances from the internet won't mean they will always work together.:) Did you double check the clearances for each that they would work together before you purchased them? It's a critical step during appliance shopping, and shouldn't be done as a fait accompli that you hand to the KD because you may pick something that won't work! And if you do, the KD should tell you that you have to pick something else, or else modify your design to not have the cooktop over the oven.

No manufacturer will certify that another brand's product will work over or under it, only that their two brands will work together, and only under certain install conditions. Very often connections will be in the wrong spot to line up without dropping the wall oven lower.

You can probably modify the platform just fine, but it's an "it depends" situation (and your oven will end up even lower to the ground). Call the installer and call the KD. Even on a Saturday they should answer the phone. Also double check the appliance model specs yourself again. Which brand and models are they?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 8:05AM
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If your cabinets and cooktop are in, there is a big problem.

Most wall ovens cannot be installed below a cooktop. Only certain brands and there are precise specifications.

This is on the KD for sure.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 8:36AM
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Did the specs for the wall oven state that it can be installed below a cooktop?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 11:18AM
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We almost made the same mistake on Bosch appliances, but discovered the incompatibility in time to buy a slide-in instead. We were told, however, that the base cabinet could be custom-modified to make it fit but the oven would be low to the floor. Hope you find a solution.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 11:23AM
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I chose the appliances before I bought the cabinets and I had no idea there would be compatibility issues. The kitchen designer asked me for the specs (dimensions) of the wall oven and cooktop before the cabinets were ordered. I'm not sure if that was to make sure the wall oven would fit underneath the cooktop or to make sure both would fit in the cabinet company's box. At this point, financially, it would make the most sense to find a fix to make them both work. Would a carpenter or cabinet installer be better at modifying the existing cabinets?

The owners manual of the wall oven indicates that it can be installed below a cooktop and they list compatible cooktops of the same manufacturer that will work space wise.

This post was edited by happs on Sat, Aug 3, 13 at 13:58

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 1:57PM
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That oven is already much lower than an oven would be in a range. If you have to lower it even more, I think you're going to find the oven almost unusable.

I question whether it's really feasible to lower it. First, will there be the required clearance on the bottom? Second, will you be able to open the oven door fully? If the handle sticks out too far (and it looks pretty far to me, but it could the angle of the pic), you might not be able to open the door w/o the handle hitting the floor first...

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 4:25PM
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Our wall oven had feet that could be positioned differently to adjust the height up or down some. Maybe there is some way to adjust the oven height without modifying the cabinet. It is worth checking the install manual.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 4:28PM
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KD is at fault, we are resposible to see appliances fit before ordering cabinets.
It is doable. May have to shorten toe space, may not.
You will need some extra solid stock or fillers.
-Bottom (subbase) of cabinet gets removed.
-New subbase built at correct height.
-Face is trimmed out to correct opening.
-Since the subbase is supporting the oven you can get away making the bottom rail narrower and may manage to keep the toe height consistant.

Any competant installer can do it, will take almost a day, at least more than a half.

I should add for anyone dealing with this on their own- some brands appear to fit but don't. Check the toe height the appliance mfg uses, and the rail size. The only way to tell is to lay it ALL out vertically with clearances. A 4-1/2" toe when mfg uses 4 will get you in trouble.

This post was edited by jakuvall on Sat, Aug 3, 13 at 18:58

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 6:50PM
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I hope you can work it out, OP! It does seem like there should be an easy way to fix it.

This may show my ignorance, but I am curious as to the benefit of purchasing a cook top and wall oven rather than a range if the oven is to go beneath?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 7:02PM
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How should I approach this with my kitchen designer? What's a win-win situation for both of us? Even though I had no idea about compatibility dimension wise, especially relating to height, I would have appreciated knowing that it wouldn't have worked out with the cabinet company's boxes. Then I could have gone out and bought a new cooktop or oven.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 8:38PM
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You've got to ID what the specs say about compatibility, and where the issue lies. Is it a gas valve that's interfering, or is it a control panel on the oven. What exactly is the problem. Only once you know that will you know what can be done to fix it or if you will have to buy a different appliance to be compatible with one or the other. Focus on figuring out the problem, and then, by Monday when the shop opens, you'll know what can and can't work.

Questions to be answered are:

How tall is your toekick? They differ by manufacturer.

What is the height of the top of the platform?

What is the height from the bottom of the bottom rail to the top of the top rail for the face frame of your cabinets? (Measure the adjacent cabinet.)

What are the exact cutout dimensions for the oven?

What are the recommended clearances for the oven?

What are the recommended clearances for the cooktop?

What are the required locations for the power supply for the cooktop and the oven?

Gas supply? (If applicable)

If it's something like the cooktop needs a 7" clearance below it, then no oven will work there. If the platform needs to be rebuilt 1/4" lower with some trim pieces, that should be maybe a couple of hours fix.

But the fix depends on what the problem IS.

This post was edited by GreenDesigns on Sat, Aug 3, 13 at 23:22

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 11:07PM
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This may show my ignorance, but I am curious as to the benefit of purchasing a cook top and wall oven rather than a range if the oven is to go beneath?

For me, it would be the desirability of being able to cherry-pick my ideal cooktop and oven, and fit them into the same space as a range. I'd love an induction cooktop and a Wolf wall oven, but due to space considerations, the best layout for my kitchen space dictates a range. Were I to want induction and that Wolf oven enough, and were they compatible/able to be installed without jeopardizing function/warranty for either, I'd attempt to fit them in as the OP is trying to do.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 11:29PM
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We just had the identical problem in our kitchen and I think that I can help you. When we purchased the wall oven, the retailer told us that it might not fit with our existing cooktop and that we might have to buy one of the cooktops that the manufacturer (General Electric) deemed compatible with the new oven. The oven was installed and it did not fit so we purchased the GE compatible cooktop, but the installer had the same problem with the GE cooktop. GE insisted that it was an installation error, and the installer insisted that GE's calculations were wrong. After about a year, GE looked at pictures and said that our oven had been installed 1/2 inch too high, and that the measurements were so precise that the specs had to be followed exactly with no room for any margin of error. After the oven was lowered slightly, it fit with both the new and the old cooktop. The bottom of my oven is now slightly lower than the bottom of the adjacent cabinet but it really isn't noticable at all. It did not require major cabinet renovations; we filled in the gap and put a wood veneer on top. Your pictures look exactly like mine did before we lowered the oven...the bottom of your oven appears to be ever so slightly higher than the bottom of the cabinet next to it. I'm going to try to post before and after pictures tomorrow.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 2:24AM
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A possible- looked over photos- cooktop appears closer to front edge of counter than I'd expect.
If it is too far forward, then the power cord is in wrong place and oven hits it.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 7:15AM
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How great to be able to get info from pros, and experience from those who've been there.

Nini, in addition to what Zeebee offered, other advantages to separate stovetop and oven are

1. Can set both in standard-depth counter to save inches for other needs.

2. Sleeker, simpler design, with unbroken counter line.

3. MUCH, much faster, easier cleanup. NO moving appliance, cleaning back, both sides, bottom, and floor beneath. Ever.

4. And for Happs, too: Ability to set the oven wherever you want it. In my case doing that accomplished
A. Massaging placements to enable a wider drawer stack on that run. (36" stovetop, but 30" oven, gained 6" (six!) by separating).
B. Never having to work in front of hot oven.
C. Replacing view of oven from doorway with view of unbroken counter and drawers.
D. Gaining place-of-use storage for implements and cookware, plus dishes, right at the stove.
E. Gaining empty counter directly over the oven and out of my busy space to set hot things down and leave them to cool.

My oven's only a bit farther down the same counter, to my left as I work at the stove, but with so much gained it's one of my better decisions.

Cons: All I can think of are
1. Oven sits lower than in a range.
2. You lose the massive, protruding range "look." Fine with me (my focal hood defines this area), but it's important to some. This one's not a function issue, though.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 11:36AM
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Curious how much you are paying the KD, for you to be doing all the work. Is this a big box store?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 11:53AM
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Sophie Wheeler

If you buy the appliances before the design, it's up to you to trouble shoot this particular interference issue before you buy those appliances. Otherwise, you may have to sell one on Craigslist and have to buy something else.

Not letting the KD off the hook either. You can't assume that a customer will do the research to have the knowledge to buy something that works together. You, as the KD, HAVE to double check your figures. And even then, it can sometimes go wonky because manufacturers have been known to change specs and not publicize it until several people have posted issues with the new specs.

When that happens, you have to rely on a good relationship with your installer so you can all put your heads together to solve whatever might be sticking up in the wrong place. An installer isn't going to want to make a trip out to the customer's house without getting paid, but they also want a good recommendation from you, so you can usually get them to do it for a reduced rate. That you and the customer then share in halves. That way, it bites everyone equally.

If it involves electrical in the wrong spot though, all bets are off because an electrician isn't going to reduce his rate to come in and move an outlet. If it's the electrical, then that falls under the GC's responsibility, not the KD's. The KD is responsible for cabinet clearances, and the GC is responsible for coordinating the overall job between the trades and making sure the electrical is in the right spot, or that the granite fabricators don't position the cutout too far forward so as to create a problem.

Get your GC involved! It's ultimately his problem, even if the KD is at fault, because he should double check every measurement before the order is placed. Personally, I require that the general on site, or the cabinet installer one take the design and measure it out in the actual space in order to consider it a finalized design. They may discover an out of plumb wall that eats up a 1/2" or that the ceiling isn't level enough for the crown molding design, or that there is a clearance issue with the appliances. It's an important step, and one that doesn't happen enough.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 12:18PM
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Burner boxes on the cooktops generally need to be 3" or less. Many cooktops are deeper than that and cause the problem.

Factor that with a thinner quartz or granite countertop (3cm vs 1 1/2") and you have problems.

Look for a cooktop with a shallower burner box.

Who's fault is it? Do you have a KD or a cabinet salesperson. If KD wanted the specs and checked them over, then it's their fault and they need to help you find a solution and eat some if not all of the costs. She could buy the cooktop from you and try to sell it at her store to another client. Or maybe appliance store will take it back with a restocking fee.

If you bought your cabinets and appliances at different places, maybe the KD thought you had it all covered? Did you two discuss the issue of fitting? If he/she's been designing for any length of time, they should know this problem. Then again, cooktops and undercounter ovens are not as popular as they once were in the 80s and 90s....so if he/she is young...maybe they never dealt with this before and just ASSUMED they would fit fine and didn't check a thing.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 1:44PM
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I bought the kitchen cabinets from a kitchen designer/dealer that carried the brand of cabinets I bought. She asked for the model numbers/dimensions of the cooktop and wall oven, but I don't know exactly why. I as a consumer had no idea the wall oven wouldn't fit underneath the cooktop.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 3:47PM
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Have you asked the KD how she intends to resolve the problem? Can the appliances be exchanged?

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 4:41PM
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The appliances can't be exchanged. I haven't approached the KD yet. I am still trying to compile notes to present the best case. When I was shopping around for cabinets and had different designers come over to give me a bid, several asked for the model numbers and dimensions of my cooktop and wall oven. Is this to make sure they would fit height, depth, and width wise in their respective company's cabinets?

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 8:17PM
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Sorry you're having difficulties, happs. I know you mentioned that you haven't discussed w/ the KD yet, but one thing you might want to keep in mind is whether you have a specified amount of time to note any issues. Assuming you posted your dilemma immediately, it's been at least 10 days now. Hope you can come to a satisfying resolution quickly.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 9:34PM
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