A custom oven hood—also known as a custom range hood cover—can play multiple important roles at the center of your kitchen. Not only can it be a beautiful focal point, but you’ll figure out how vital its functionality is when you host a fish dinner and forget to turn it on during prep…
As you consider a custom oven hood in your kitchen, review these important things to know about oven hoods, plus everything you should look for in a custom oven hood for you.
What You Should Know About Oven Hoods
As we said, a custom oven hood can be the magnificent pièce de résistance of kitchen cabinetry, but it plays an important role in your home’s air quality as well. So while the form is absolutely imperative when it comes to designing a custom oven hood in your kitchen, here are a few basics you’ll need to know about the utility of an oven hood before you head out shopping.
The Purpose Of An Oven Hood
The purpose of an oven hood is to take air from your space and either remove it entirely or bring it back better than it was before. So when you think of this in terms of cooking, it’ll mean your oven hood is doing its job if your kitchen feels cooler when you’re cooking up something hot, smells better when you’re cooking something with an associated smell, and even has reduced oily or smoky residue after any of the above.
Types Of Prefabricated Oven Hoods
There are a few types of oven hoods that are typical if you buy straight from the store with no customization.
A wall mount oven hood is the most common oven hood. It is mounted on the wall above your cooking surface. They may even be mounted “under” a set of cabinets but they’re still attached to the wall and likely ducted out the same way (more on exhaust below).
An island range hood, also called a ceiling mount chimney, is for a cooktop located on a kitchen island and will have to be either ducted out the ceiling or completely ductless. They may be less effective based on CFM (again, more on that later).
Downdraft range hoods are located behind the cooking surface and aren’t as effective since they aren’t directly above the cooking surface.
Microwave oven hoods are ductless, or recirculating, oven hoods and are often found in homes where the range is not located on an exterior wall. These are usually used because they’re the cheapest option, and they’re also the least effective. But you don’t have to settle for ductless vents—trust us, where there’s a will, there’s a way. We’ve gone through attics and out through seemingly impenetrable walls before.
Now let’s look into the types of exhaust systems a little bit more.
Types Of Exhaust Systems For Oven Hoods
There are two options when it comes to oven hood exhaust. You can either go with a ducted or duct-free system.
A ducted exhaust system is typically run to an exterior wall to efficiently remove the air from the room and out of the house, but can also be taken through the ceiling—with some added complication and expense. The nice thing about a ducted system is that they are hands-down the best at extracting contaminated air, but that also means your AC and furnace will need to work a little harder to make up for that extraction. The ducted system may even cause a minor draft or a slightly lower pressure in the house.
A duct-free exhaust system actually attempts to filter and clean the air before returning it to your kitchen. These systems don’t quite have the effect of a ducted system and also require more maintenance with regular cleaning and changing of filters, which still won’t return perfectly clean air back to your kitchen. However, one pro of the ductless system is that they don’t suck the climate-controlled air out of your home, like a ducted system will. A ductless system is also less expensive and less complicated because you don’t have to run any ducting.
These are important considerations as you’re designing your kitchen because it can help you orient your range and coordinate a custom range hood against an exterior wall for ease of installation and overall efficiency.
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What CFM Means In Terms Of Oven Hoods
Cubic feet per minute, or CFM, is how you’re going to measure your oven hood’s energy or power.
Now, here is where experts diverge in their opinions. Some professionals say you must calculate your CFM needs based on the width (100 CFM for every linear foot of cooking surface) or the power of your cooking range (100 CFM per 10,000 BTUs put out by your appliance), while others suggest you simply measure the cubic feet of your kitchen (height x width x length).
Whichever calculation you choose to go with, make sure to buy an oven hood that meets the requirements of your kitchen size, range power, and cooking habits. My personal opinion? Get a bigger fan with fan speed control that will truly allow you to remove the odors from your home before they spread to the rest of the rooms in the house.
How High To Install Your Oven Hood
Another factor that may play a part in calculating how many CFM you’ll need is how high you’re going to be installing your custom oven hood. Between 30” and 42” above your cooktop is typical but varies depending on a few factors. For instance, having a gas range will mean your range hood needs to sit at least 30” above the cooktop. And any higher may require an even wider range hood and increased CFM. I typically install my custom hood ranges at about 36” above the stovetop, which also accommodates plenty of head clearance. Just keep in mind that the higher you go, the more powerful the fan you’ll need.
The Noise Of An Oven Hood
The noise is something you’ll absolutely need to consider when picking out a new oven hood. Noise coming from the fan of your oven hood is typically measured in sones (1 sone equals approximately 28 decibels) and can range from 1 sone to 10, depending on the machine itself and the setting it is on at any given time. The goal is to stay somewhere under 6 sones to make it not sound like there is a small aircraft in your kitchen when using your oven hood. This is where brands try to stand apart and differentiate, and it will likely impact your brand choice when purchasing your oven hood.
The Benefits Of A Custom Oven Hood
While all the other “need-to-knows” have to do with the technical side of oven hoods, it’s important to note that there are a variety of benefits that come with designing or creating your own custom oven hood.
A custom oven hood can provide completely unique customization to your home. Whether that is purely aesthetic by coordinating materials and paint colors or whether it has added utility, custom hood vents for the kitchen can increase not only your kitchen’s functionality and ease of use but your overall home value as well.
Different Types Of Custom Oven Hoods
Before getting into the different types of custom oven hoods, we have to cover the difference between a pre-fabricated oven hood and one that has been made to order for your home. First off, the obvious: the oven hoods you can purchase at many home improvement and interior design stores will simply not offer the tailor-made customization many homeowners are looking for in their kitchens. Measurements and materials may look or feel awkward when combined with the bespoke look you’ve already designed, and you won’t be able to add the little details that could make working in your kitchen something to truly look forward to if you go with something prefabricated.
On the other hand, there are a variety of custom oven hoods that you’ll want to consider having created for your kitchen. And while a custom vent hood cover will still require the purchase of a range hood insert to accomplish the task of an oven hood, you’ll likely be much happier with the overall look and feel of a custom-built piece.
Decorative metal range hoods can come in a variety of shapes, styles, and materials—think everything from cottage chic to industrial modern and brushed gold to powder-coated steel.
Custom wood range hoods have even more versatility when it comes to added function and seamlessly coordinated design. Whether your house reflects a farmhouse, coastal, traditional, modern, bohemian, Parisian, retro, or any other aesthetic, working with the right designer and builder can render you the perfect custom range hood for your home. It could be minimalistic or ornate, free of additions, or loaded with extras like hidden storage and decorative shelves. Either way, you’ll want something that works specifically for you.
Top 3 Things To Look For In A Custom Oven Hood
When you’re looking to have your own custom oven hood designed, it’s likely because you have a problem—and I mean that with zero offense intended! We’ve all got them, but those problems are usually unique to each kitchen and family, so it’s important to first get down to the root of your problems and how your unique range hood can solve yours.
1. Does your custom oven hood solve your specific problems? Do you cook a lot? How about baking? Did you know a custom canopy range hood could double as vertical storage for baking sheets and muffin tins, keeping the rest of your kitchen more organized and mess-free? What about adding inverted or underhung shelves for frequently-used spices and oils to your built-in range hood?
Whatever the problem, your custom oven hood should add to the solution.
2. Does it blend seamlessly with your kitchen cabinets and interiors in general? Once solving your kitchen problems is planned for, you can look to designing a custom range hood that melds beautifully with the rest of your kitchen. Whether it’s made to blend in perfectly or stand out as a statement piece, your custom oven hood can add luxurious, built-in character completely unique to something created just for you.
- Is your custom oven hood meticulously designed and built? Let’s be honest, if your custom wood range hood cover isn’t built with high-quality materials and designed by a talented professional dedicated to perfection, it may just be better to go with a store-bought oven hood. But if you want to add interest, beauty, quality, and value to your kitchen, we’re more than happy to help.