How to protect cabs on either side of hood vent?

Texasgal47December 27, 2012

My small kitchen just has the finishing touches left from a recent complete remodel. An OTR micro/vent was planned to go above a 30" induction cooktop but now want to do a proper hood vent. My concern is protecting the cabinets on either side of the hood. They are Kraftmaid, cream with a glaze, 42" high, spaced 30" apart on either side of the cooktop. I would have about 14" height exposed on each cabinet side below the hood. The backsplash is glass tile. This will be my retirement home so this is a long-term kitchen for me. I do cook a great deal, braise meats, soups, lots of blackened fish, no grilling or deep frying. Someone recently posted on one of these forums that her cabinet sides were ruined on either side over time, with the same set-up, due to moisture damage. I've read discussions regarding this issue but the responses seemed to offer no good solution once cabinets are in place. The following seems to be my options:
1. Cook mostly on the center hob on the cooktop. On my Bosch, it is 11" in diameter which limits my cooking to mostly large pans.
2. Have the installer cut matching veneer, for future use, to be glued over the exposed sides once they no longer look attractive from being cleaned so frequently over time.
3. Have stainless or aged copper cut to fit the sides in the future to cover the exposed cabinet sides. Then I would be concerned about moisture being trapped between the two surfaces and cabinet sides rotting. Surely many others have faced this problem. What has been your experience? Any recommendations?

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There is no good solution once everything has been planned and ordered. The best solution is to have the cabinets cut down to be smaller so to increase the side wall's distance from the burner. Or, laminate the stainless to the sides and use a stainless hood so that it looks more seamless. That's probably the easiest best retrofit solution. If it's done with contact cement, there won't be any space between the stainless and the cabinet side. You may have some damage to the cabinet bottom adjacent to the burners over time, but by the time that becomes a factor, you'll probably no longer be in the home.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 11:23AM
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I have a 36 inch range with 36 inch hood, and 42 inch cabinets on both sides. We have had installed about 10 years and I cook like you do, and we have not had any issues with the adjacent cabinetry.

If you run your range hood and turn on whenever you use the burners, you should have enough draft created that most everything will be pulled into the hood. I do use the center front burner when wok cooking, but other than that use the most convenient burner for the task.

Will your hood have a large capture area and properly sized fan and ductwork?

I do think that I heard once that someone when doing something particularly greasy or with high splatter potential would simply tape up some aluminum foil to the backsplash and cabinet sides during the cooking, and then remove when finished.

If you have the right hood, I don't think you will have problems.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 11:32AM
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Many thanks to you both for your thoughtful suggestions. Julie, thank you for your reassurance, I feel better now. The taped aluminum foil sounds like a good option for messy cooking sessions. I wonder if the lady with the cab problem had mdf rather than plywood boxes. Since my kitchen is open to the familyroom, and almost to the front door, I have minimized the kitchen look as much as possible. Therefore, I'm hoping the installers can mount the 24" x 24" doors from the cabinet above the cooktop and angle them outward, add 5" below for the hood insert so that I have a hood about 22" deep. I would prefer a furniture look to help the visual flow of my small kitchen. I would do the stainless hood with the stainless on the cab. sides if I need to in the future. Even though 24" depth would be better, it seems out of proportion to me for wall cabinets only 12" deep. The cooktop faces an inner wall and the center of it is only 5 ft. from an outer wall to the left. There is an open, vaulted ceiling above with lighting. My plans are to run a 6" duct to a master bedroom closet on the opposite side of the wall behind the cooktop, immediately have a silencer attached as the duct turns upward, then add the vent fan before the roof cap is reached. There is barely enough height for this configuration. An 8" diameter duct would be better but there is not the room for the larger silencer inside my closet. I eliminated a roof mounted fan option due to the outside noise. My patio home is right by my next door neighbor's patio so noise is an issue.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 12:46PM
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I have a roof mounted blower right at the edge of my house and above our driveway. The dryer vent makes as much noise, so I wouldn't let that be a reason not to use the roof mounted blower.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 1:41PM
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Lastacx, can you provide the name of the manufacturer, even the model number, if possible. I'm definately interested. That would be infinately better than adding part of a silencer and a new attic access door in a master bedroom closet.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 2:45PM
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Any recommendations for a fairly quiet roof mounted blower?

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 10:06PM
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I'll echo what juliekcmo said. I've lived in 4 different homes over 25 years, including 19 years in one with a 30" range and a standard builder-grade 30" hood, and this has never been an issue. And I've seared (and burned) more than my fair share of stuff on the stove.

Nineteen years later the cabinets in my first home were just fine, as are the cabs in my current home where I use a rangetop grill regularly. I don't think you need to worry over every-day use; you should be fine.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 11:26PM
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