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steam from coffee maker under cabinets?

Posted by mary6283 (My Page) on
Tue, Oct 27, 09 at 13:09

Does anyone else have the problem of steam rising from their counter top coffee maker and possibly damaging the cabinet above it? My new coffee center has cabinets over the whole counter, so I've been pulling my machine out from under the cabinets every day when I brew coffee. That seems nuts, so I need to know how others have solved this problem. Am I using the wrong machine, or is the steam not as damaging as I worry it might be?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: steam from coffee maker under cabinets?

When we had a coffee maker (now only use the espresso machine), we always pulled it out when brewing the coffee, once it was brewed, back under it went.


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RE: steam from coffee maker under cabinets?

I don't know. I've always pulled out my coffee pot to brew too because of the steam. I only make coffee once a day so it's not an issue for me (and I have to pull it out to fill it anyway).

Are your upper cabinets standard height? (Just trying to picture a coffee maker that one can fill under the cabinets--it's easier to picture higher cabinets!) Maybe you could glue up a sheet of laminate to the underside of the cabinet.


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RE: steam from coffee maker under cabinets?

Timely thread, Mary! I'm hashing out ideas for our kitchen layout and trying to accommodate DH's coffee/tea area, with a (countertop) coffee machine and one of those electric plug-in kettles for tea that throws off tons of steam. I was thinking either of doing an open shelf above, or tiling the alcove in which it would sit...would be curious what others did/do.


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RE: steam from coffee maker under cabinets?

We have our coffee pot under our 30+ y/o laminate cabinets. No probs at all. And we have 2 coffee pots that get run a total of 3-4 x/day. And if it makes any difference, when my husband makes coffee, it's so strong that it pours itself in the morning. That's what growing up in Miami does to you . . .


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RE: steam from coffee maker under cabinets?

We use a Keurig coffee machine that brews a cup at a time using K-cups. It offers plenty of choices for guests, there's no leftover coffee to burn or throw away, and the little steam it produces does not go up to the cabinet. It can deliver hot water only for tea or hot chocolate, eliminating another appliance or hot water dispenser. We bought our first one for our master suite because I didn't want coffee ground mess there & we typically each brew just one cup early in the morning; we liked it so well that we replaced our kitchen coffee maker with another Keurig. There are several models (and prices); the more expensive ones add buttons for brewing & dispensing larger or smaller cup sizes.


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RE: steam from coffee maker under cabinets?

I love my Keurig and so does my husband! They also make K-cups in tea and hot cocoa. It barely makes any steam at all.


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RE: steam from coffee maker under cabinets?

I pull mine out only because I need to do it to fill it with water. I doubt the little bit of steam would ruin the cabinets but I don't know for sure.


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RE: steam from coffee maker under cabinets?

Prior to the remodel, our old cabinets were damaged by the coffee maker. The steam cause white discoloration on the oak face frame and back of the oak door over the coffee maker. The upper was 18" above the counter. With new cabinets, I always pull it out to brew, which I have to do anyway to fill it with water. I just don't put it back until it stops steaming.


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RE: steam from coffee maker under cabinets?

I don't know for sure that it would cause any problem, but I pull ours out toward the front of the counter when we make coffee, also. I could see that being a pain with a larger machine, though.


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RE: steam from coffee maker under cabinets?

Ours(a Delonghi) can be filled without pulling it out, so it stays put when it's brewing. I haven't noticed the steam being a problem. We drink more tea in our house than coffee.


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RE: steam from coffee maker under cabinets?

We do the same thing as beekeperswife--pull the coffee maker out for filling and brewwing, push it back after brewing is complete.


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RE: steam from coffee maker under cabinets?

"our cabinets were damaged by the coffee maker. The steam cause white discoloration on the oak face frame and back of the oak door over the coffee maker. The upper was 18" above the counter. "

i remember that same discoloration from my upper cab door back in the 70-80's! don't want to have that happen again.

i've been wondering about putting it on the cooktop - if i get a ceramic top one - so the steam will go up the fan.

since i seldom cook, it'll give me an additional use of the cooktop and hood / vent.


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RE: steam from coffee maker under cabinets?

We pull it out to fill the water and filter basket, and for brewing, and then push it back in later.


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RE: steam from coffee maker under cabinets?

I put my electric kettle on the cooktop since I don't want it pulled out (I don't trust my toddler). I haven't used the vent for it but I should--it really is a steamy thing. My coffee maker doesn't produce as much steam because it doesn't boil, but I prefer it to not be under a cabinet anyway.


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RE: steam from coffee maker under cabinets?

We asked our kitchen designer about this same issue when we were in the planning stage for our remodel. She said she could have a piece of stainless steel attached to the underside of the upper cabinet so that neither heat nor moisture would damage the wood. We have a light rail so anything attached to the underside of the cabinet would not be visible.

We haven't yet sealed our backsplash so I haven't let my husband move all his coffee equipment into the kitchen. As a result, I don't know if this will even be a problem. I'm hoping it will not, but we have the fallback of installation of the stainless, just in case.


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RE: steam from coffee maker under cabinets?

Even a piece of scrubbable wallpaper would be adequate protection from steam I think. The problem is if steam goes up the front of the cabinets--that's where we get those noticeable discolorations...


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RE: steam from coffee maker under cabinets?

Great thread. I am just setting up my coffee center in the kitchenette area that is a built in desk. I keep cups in the cabinets above and supplies in the desk drawers. I had a rolling cart built to go in the knee space of the desk area but the guy did such a terrible job that I am thinking I will just put what was built in my craft area and revert back to the desk style. :-(

I wondered about steam ruining the cabinets, so good to know that the best thing is to pull the maker out from under the cabinets...sounds easy enough.


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RE: steam from coffee maker under cabinets?

We have always pulled our coffe maker out when we use it. It wasn't under the cabnet but next to the sink, right next to the cabnets and it still ruined the finish. It's been 25 years and I just started to notice it this last year.


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RE: steam from coffee maker under cabinets?

We had an electric kettle under 15 yr old Ikea cabs and yep, it not only discoloured them, but got under the white laminate layer and swelled the core (pressed fine sawdust). Then the laminate came off on the lower edge.

And that was the kettle with an automatic shut-off. I used to try to get it even before it automatically shut off, but it still caused problems.

Now we have a new kettle. It boils even longer before shutting itself off. We are careful to keep it away from the cabs, but we are re-doing the kitchen and it will be nowhere near upper cabs.

I understand that Ikea doesn't use that crappy core anymore.


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