Kitchen renovation in atlanta, lots of questions

A2T2September 13, 2012

We recently bought a home from an elderly couple that needs renovating in every room. The house was originally built in 1987 and most of it looks to be in original condition. This will be a long post and I will add to it as we go. I am looking for suggestions for this project from this great forum.

We want to start in the kitchen and the 1st thing will be countertops, cooktop, and hood. I have attached a picture of what we are working with.

The cabinets are Kraftsmaid and seem to be decent. There is some trim issues and the stain isn�t great but I think we can work with this. The floor is new tile and wouldn�t be my 1st choice, but is actually nice and durable, so I think we�ll leave it as well. We want lighter granite (like Giallo Rio) and we were thinking about staining them either darker or painting white. Havent thought about wall color yet, perhaps butternut squash (kinda darker yellow).

The 1st challenge is the hood. As you can see, there isn�t 1. It�s a downdraft and the reason for that is because its about 40� in any direction to an exterior wall. The wall immediately behind the cooktop is the garage and as luck would have it, they have run a stud almost centered exactly behind the cooktop. The downdraft goes out of the basement with via 6" duct.

I do not want a downdraft or a recirc hood. So we are thinking about a 42" under cabinet style hood. We could remove the short cabinets above the cooktop and install a chimney style hood, but if we can get the under cabinet hood to work, I�d rather save the short cabinets (and added cost). The cooktop is going to be a 36" 5 or 6 burner gas, similar to this one :

We are not grilling indoors but we still fry bacon and what not on Saturday mornings so some smoke. More on the Viking brand later, I was somewhat horrified to read the reviews for such a high end brand but I love how it looks.

This hood is the look what we�re after :

This is a 9" height hood, which would put the top of the hood at 27" above cooktop. Is that too low? I feel like I would be hitting my head on this constantly, and having to crane my neck sideways to cook eggs. Broan and Kobe also make shorter hoods (5" and 6") , but I don�t want this to look too "budget" with an extremely shallow hood. I love the pro look of the ventahood model but I just don�t know if I have room for it with my existing short cabinets.

Here are my ducting options, please let me know what you think :

1. Duct sideways, out through garage. Would require 370" duct with 5 90 degree bends. Would also need to drywall in the duct and paint drywall. Figure about $2K for this option (not including price of hood and additional blowers if needed).

2. Duct back down thru the wall and connect to existing 6" downdraft ducting. Could upgrade existing ducting to 8". Issue here (aside from not being best practice) is the stud centered in wall behind cooktop would need to be moved. Would also need to transition to 3-1/4x10 . May be able to find a hood with rear exit so just 1 90 degree bend at top and 1 again at bottom. A local kitchen "expert" came by and took a look and suggested this option. He said he has installed similar before and it actually works very well. Probably $1K for this option (not including price of hood and blowers). I don�t know if I would have enough room to transition down though, especially with a upward duct exit. Since the cabinets are only 12" deep, it would leave only 6" to transition down. Perhaps rear exit 3-1/4x10 is only option if we go this way.

Option 1 is obviously smarter way to do it, but more expensive. If we can get away with option 2, it would save some $ for the acre of bright white carpeting that needs to be ripped out in other rooms.

Please give me your feedback on the hood � how to duct it, the best height over the cooktop, and any suggestions you have on brands for us to consider. Once I figure this out, I will get to the rest of this project, including appliances and the bar build out.

Thanks for any and all suggestions!

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Kitchen Picture, not sure how to include in the 1st post.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 9:33AM
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The simplest path to any vent is straight up through the roof. It's easy enough to do a chase to hide the duct if you want, or do a chimney style hood with the duct encased in the pretty stainless. Viking wouldn't be my first choice for a hood or pretty much anything else. Look at Ventahood or ModernAire.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 11:17AM
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i would need to get a contractor out here if we go up with vent. it would go right thru master bathroom, pipes, wiring, ect... that would be a much more involved ordeal than options 1 or 2.

if it must be done, it must. But i was sorta hoping for more feedback on options 1, 2 before something that serious.

ditto on you viking thoughts. i will have to get some good cooktop suggestions then. i want to get the hood resolved 1st tho.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 3:05PM
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let me just start with this question since i think i overloaded everyone with questions all at once :

- How high above the cooktop should my hood be ? The counters are 36" off the floor and Im 5'10" tall.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 8:42AM
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There might be an industry standard but our hood gave us a range 28 to 30".

Sorry but I think options 1 and 2 are both bad. 5 bends?
I can't imagine it would even be effective at that point. If you have to spend more for powerful blowers why not just do it right to begin with.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 9:31AM
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ok thanks for input. Let me bust out the tape measure again and figure out how to run the duct up. the last contractor who took a look at it said it would be very involved due to all the stuff above the kitchen. i guess anything is possible though, we landed on the moon..allegedly ;)

let me do some more checking and I will get back on here.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 6:07PM
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I cant go up with the duct vent. i know we landed on the moon an all, but this would be more complicated. the duct center line would come out into the master bath toilet. even if i could somehow figure that out, in the attic it would come up into the furnace unit. its not practical to go up.

here is picture of the kitchen showing left side, which exits to the deck. the next post will show the garage option.

the kitchen duct option would entail 20' of duct and 2 90 deg bends. i think the studs run the right direction but no real way to tell until i break out the saw and start making a mess. i could bump out the kitchen ceiling from the cooktop over to the left outer kitchen wall, 10"x10" (to get an 8" duct).

i am still trying to figure out if this would look silly ...

check out the pic and let me know thoughts.

this option would mean removing the short cabinets above the cooktop, as i dont think we would want to install under the cabinet hood, run a duct thru cabinets, then out to a bump out or chimney. Or is that possible?

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 10:26PM
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ok here is garage option. 30' duct, 5 90 deg bends (1 is coming into back wall from the kitchen).

i like how everything is in the garage so cosmetically not a concern. also might be better to stick an inline fantech blower out by the exterior wall so we dont hear it.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 10:32PM
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PS what does everyone think of the cabinets? These are Kraftsmaid, but they are a little rough in spots. like they didnt do a very good job installing. and the center island stain is a bit spotty.

i really want white cabinets with stainless hardware but we think it might clash against the offwhite travertine tile floors. i am half tempted to rip all this out and start from scratch, but everyone who has come over says the cabinets are good.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 10:40PM
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Get a pro in to look at the routes and offer an opinion. When you go up, you don't have to go straight up anymore than you have to go straight out. You can do a few bends to not have to go straight through your furnace etc.

That garage route is way too convoluted and will be ineffective. Not to mention that it will need to be encased in drywall to comply with code.

The easiest thing might end up moving the cooktop, as in putting the kitchen into a room that's closer to the exterior!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 11:02PM
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as to"starting from scratch"...the kitchen has nothing particular going for it. With the considerations regarding venting,it might be smart to look at options in terms of location change and getting a better kitchen at the same time.Decent cabinets can be passed along on Craigs List or Habitat-don't worry about that part.I'd be unhappy to redo the kitchen and end up with basically what's shown there.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 11:17PM
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thanks for continued input.

i have several contractors coming next week to offer their opinions and quotes. i will report back on what they say.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 11:17PM
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Can I ask why you would be unhappy with the layout if we could make it work as is? What specifically would you change? It seems like a pretty standard L shaped layout with kraftmaid cherry cabinets. i will get dimensions of kitchen and eating area and post them up. i am not opposed to starting from scratch, just wondering what is so bad about the current flow. redesigning the entire kitchen due to the hood duct seems crazy, im sure we can make it work somehow.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 10:07AM
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The refrigerator and wall ovens need to swap places for instance. All of the snacking traffic runs right through your prep zone. I can't tell where the DW is on the island, but when it's serves dual zones, the separation of the zones is important, as is the adjacency of the dish storage zone to the eating zone and clean up zone. Where is the trash located here? There's no natural light in this kitchen, with dark cabinets, and that would bug me a great deal!

None of the cabinets go to the ceiling and there is a lot of wasted space to dust there. Yes, they are KM cherry, but that's the cheapest cherry doorstyle that they offer in an arched partial overlay. That's not bad necessarily, it was just the most economical choice, not the most functional or current in style. The cooktop is a coil top, which barely exists anymore, and I'd bet the other appliances are similar in vintage and may not be that long for this world.

If this were my kitchen, I'd look at the layout of the entire home to see if there weren't a more functional spot for the kitchen to exist in.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 11:03AM
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I will post the 2D layout of 1st and 2nd floors here when i get a sec. There is natural light, I just dont think I have done a good job showing you the floor plan. Here are a few more pictures while I get the 2d floor plan drawn up.

Thanks for continued input, and dont get hung up on the appliances, those are all going to be replaced in this remodel...although that 1980's GE oven is far better than many i've cooked with. I hope whatever we replace with is as good!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 8:23AM
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view looking away from windows towards dining room wall

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 8:24AM
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view looking at center island. pantry is the closed door off to the right. windows behind.

i cant wait to get rid of that light green paint!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 8:27AM
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I agree with one of your options. If it will work, I would remove the cabs over the range, install a killer ModernAire (pricey, but my choice) or Ventahood in that space (no cabs or anything except the hood and encased upward pipe to the ceiling), and vent out to the left through the ceiling if at all possible. Use the biggest possible duct, the fewest possible turns, and a powerful outside blower. This will be expensive, but probably the best bet for good ventilation required for a powerful range and extensive cooking. And a beautiful backsplash above the cooktop or range to accent the whole thing. I am assuming you like to cook and will NEED a good exhaust. Then it is worth it.

One caution: I was able to vent a 1200 cfm ModernAire hood straight out an exterior wall that borders our deck. Some have warned that a powerful exterior motor venting into an area used for outdoor living is a problem. We have no problems with ours since our outside dining area is slightly to one side, but I can see the shrubbery ten feet from the exhaust blowing about when the motor is running on high. Wouldn't be pleasant if we ate in that path.

I agree that I would be careful about deciding to remove the existing cabinets. I gather you planning a significant remodel--perhaps new countertops as well as the new appliances and perhaps a new floor ? And a new backsplash. This will make a tremendous difference.

Do let us know what you find out from the professionals who come to look at the situation. I certainly agree with those who do not think the multiple turns required to go out through the garage will work. And, as you know, you REALLY do not want a down vent.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 9:57AM
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I believe I have read that if you go with a large hood and a powerful blower, the hood can function well up to 36'' above the rangetop. The hood should be at LEAST 6'' wider than your cooktop and as deep. Deeper (27'') is recommended if you stir fry or broil and will have a powerful (Capital Culinarian or Blue Star) rangetop.

Since you are tall, I think you would want that extra clearance. But it all depends on the hood/blower you choose, the rangetop you choose, and the kind of cooking you do.

You might want to go to the Appliance Forum here on GW and search for hood height above a range.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 10:15AM
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Yeah, the overall layout isn't optimal, and if you';re looking at putting a bunch of money into ventilation and appliances, and counters, well, that's about 40-50% of an entire kitchen remodel right there. I'd really examine the functionality of what exists before locking it in place. It definitely can be improved, and if it were mine, that would have to be explored before I could commit to spending 15K on it. If it were my kitchen, I'd look at moving it to that external wall right there with the big windows. It would be much nicer to be able to have windows in the kitchen and look out and be closer to the family room. Look at the big picture before you lock everything in stone and then change your mind 5 years down the road and decide that it maybe doesn't work as great as you thought it did and you'd really like it to be more open to the family room.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 11:27AM
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OK I think I may have a plan here, let me know what you think :

Leave kitchen in same location, but look into removing wall between the formal dining room and the kitchen, similar to picture below. This will allow light from the bay windows in dining room to come in 1 side while the big windows in the kitchen eating area allow lots of light from other direction.

As for hood duct, I can run up to ceiling, make a 90 degree turn left toward eating area, and we'll put 20' of rectangular wall duct in the ceiling. It will then exit straight up a few feet, there is a open space above eating area of kitchen to hide a blower.

Im trying to figure out the floor situation though. The PO just had this 14" tile put in, but if we remove wall between kitchen and dining room, there will be 2 different floor types (hardwood and tile). I dont think it would look very good to have it just change from 1 to the other.

I guess hardwoods would win.

Anyways, take a look at the pic from the Kraftmaid site, let me know what you think. Our wall wont be quite that long, but we can utilize the wall on opposite side for small bar with more cabinets.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 5:30PM
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There is a show house in the Atlanta area that has white painted cabinets that they just finished for the show. They were dark but were not really of the calibre representative of a 1.2 million dollar home. They called in a company that specializes in painting kitchen/bathroom cabinets. They did a fabulous job. I have used the company for my bathroom vanities and they did a very good job.

I will link to their site, there is a photo of the kitchen it is the one with the huge French hammered hood in a dark finish. The cabinets are what looks like a linen white to me with a mushroom glaze. But CCFF could tell you for sure. The show goes on until the 29th of this month.

Here is a link that might be of some help, keep in mind there are several kitchens in these photos but it's the one with the big french hood and the two pale blue/green leather barstools. The granite is delicatus. No one could believe the cabinets were painted and thought they were factory finished and came that way. They put a super hard finish protectant on them and spray the cabs inside and out. They added furniture feet, end panels, fridge and DW panels. They can build a wood hood like in your example photo. The reason there are so many accessories in the photo is because they were for sale from the design house that did the design work. Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: French Hood/White cabinet photo

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 6:58PM
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That's a beautiful kitchen photo you shared A2T2 and looks so much like your kitchen layout already. I think you could do that easily especially using a company something like what gr8 posted.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 10:18AM
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Thanks I will contact them and see if they can help. I do love that picture you mentioned!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 10:22AM
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What does everyone think of the flooring situation ?

Tiles in kitchen, hardwood in dining room. If we blow out that wall separating the 2, how would I address the change fro m tile to hardwood?

Is there a creative way, other then tearing up all that new tile? I kinda like tile in kitchen, I didnt at 1st but its way more durable than hardwood. We constantly spill and leave water on it, in our old house it ended up looking terrible after 10 yrs.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 5:49PM
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I don't think there's any problem having two different floors. The key is the transition... see link below. Also I'm posting some other links (which you'll have to copy-paste):
"A doorway that has no door is one of the easiest types of transitions to do because where the transition is placed does not matter as long as it is straight. You can place the transition even with one side or the other of the doorway or place it in the middle, whichever is most convenient to do."
(there are a few example photos there)

You can google "flooring transitions" to see what comes up. That's how I found these links.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 8:34PM
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