You’ll give your kitchen extra functionality and a touch of personal style when you add a range hood.
When it comes to a top-of-the-line range hood, a custom metal model is hard to beat, offering style, durability, and lots of panache. Custom fabricators usually offer a variety of metals, including copper, bronze, stainless steel, pewter, and zinc. But make sure you have a healthy budget: Top-quality metal hoods run $5,000-$35,000 including fan, filter, and lights.
If you don’t want your metal range hood to be a fashion statement, conceal it with a cover that mimics your kitchen cabinetry. Here, a wall-mounted range hood has been concealed by an MDF (medium-density fiberboard) cover that’s been painted to match the surrounding scheme. A strip of molding is the ideal display shelf for decorative plates.
This discreet range hood ($1,799) is designed to fit flush with your ceiling, giving unobstructed views around your kitchen and out the window — ideal for open floor plans. It also has six LED bulbs to provide task lighting right where you need it — directly on your cooktop. To work effectively, a flush-mount hood should be no more than 4-6 feet away from the cooktop.
Ideas for Retrofitting a Range HoodThe Great Outdoors
Range hoods for outdoor use help control the heavy smoke and odors of outdoor grilling, and they should be made of corrosion-resistant stainless steel to fend off the elements. Size your outdoor hood at least 6 inches wider than the cooking surface in order to capture drifting smoke, and make sure it’s vented well away from dining and entertaining areas.
Image: Dee David CKD, CBD / Greg Hadley Photography
Ideas for Retrofitting a Range HoodMultiple Choice
Increasing fan speed in order to make a vent hood draw more air also increases the noise level. One way to mitigate noise is to look for hoods featuring two or more smaller-capacity fans. Turning on multiple small fans raises air-flow capacity without dramatically increasing decibels. This unit has two 300 CFM fans and four lights so you can vent cooking smoke and odors — and put illumination — right over the burners you’re using.
This cooking area used to feature a microwave oven in the space between the upper cabinets. Rangetop micros usually have fans and filters, but aren’t vented to the outside. The homeowners removed the unvented microwave and installed a vented system concealed by a decorative mantle. Although they had to sacrifice cabinet space to house the vent system, they improved venting capacity dramatically. A new range, pot filler, and backsplash complete the transformation.
The power of a range hood’s fan should be sized to the cooking surface. Wall-mounted hoods should have fans that move air at a minimum rate of 100 cubic feet per minute (CFM) per linear foot of cooking surface. For a 48-inch-wide range, your hood fan should be rated at least 400 CFM (4 feet times 100). For island hoods, you’ll need at least 150 CFM per linear foot. The International Residential Code (IRC) says the absolute minimum for any kitchen vent is 100 CFM.
Although they aren’t as effective as conventional range hoods, pop-up vents raise when you need them and drop down when you don’t. They’re ideal when a regular hood is impractical — such as an island cooktop located under a tall vaulted ceiling. Some cooktops include them, or they can be purchased independently ($500-$1,200). To vent to the outside, ducts must be routed through floor joists. Have an HVAC pro help calculate the proper fan size for your situation.
Ideas for Retrofitting a Range HoodThe Artful Hood
Range hoods can be more than functional — some are works of sculptural art and focal points of kitchen design. This elegant hood ($2,795) features a curved, tempered-glass shade with an eye-catching zebra stripe pattern, and four 20-watt halogen lights with dimmers.