Explaining kitchen trends: what you should know about disappearing range hoods

A concealed or built-in range hood is one that is seamlessly integrated into the kitchen and is hidden away from sight.
kitchen design with downdraft hood

It's not surprising to see a lot of homeowners switching to disappearing range hoods. The majority of homeowners in Australia prefer streamlined kitchen design. Everyone likes to see clean lines and an unobstructed line of kitchen cabinets. If that means hiding the range hoods or extraction systems, so be it.

But before you decide on concealing or integrating your range hoods with the cabinetry, here are some things you should know:

Why is the disappearing range hood a thing for kitchen design?

What we admire about a concealed or built-in range hood is its ability to make a kitchen look less cluttered. Hiding these stainless steel range hoods similarly to how you conceal microwave ovens and dishwashers helps shift the attention to the cabinetry. When you hide the range hoods, you're not disturbing the line of upper cabinets, giving your cabinets a sleek appearance. This will be beneficial to tiny kitchen spaces. A streamlined kitchen tends to look roomy.

Does it abide by a particular design style?

No. A concealed or disappearing range hood works in whichever kitchen design you prefer whether it's traditional, country-style, Scandinavian, contemporary, or modern.

Today, we see a lot of traditional-styled kitchen designs with hidden range hoods in ornate and customised cabinets like the one featured below. The massive case of the range hood makes the stove area the focal point of the kitchen.

Kitchen design

Some kitchen designers also integrate the range hoods with the rest of the cabinets, like the one below. The cabinets completely sealed the range hood from sight. As you can see, nothing disturbs the line of upper cabinets. The kitchen looks clean and somehow bigger than it is.

Kitchen designs

How can you integrate your range hoods smoothly in your kitchen design?

There are a lot of ways you can hide your range hoods in the kitchen. But first, you have to buy a range hood that's meant to be hidden. The best thing to do is to check the availability of these range hoods with your appliance centre or talk to your kitchen designer about it. It's the only way to make sure that your range hoods will be integrated seamlessly.

Types of hidden range hoods

Here are the types of range hoods you may want to explore:

Under-mount Range Hoods

This is one of the most popular. Here, only the bottom part of the range hood will be seen on the underside of the cabinet.

Pros: It's completely unobtrusive so maintain a clean, sleek kitchen

Cons: It may not cover the entire cook area so extracting the steam from all the cooking might be an issue. Talk to your kitchen designer about matching the size of your stove and the under-mount range hood.

Wall Mounted Range Hoods

Side-out Wall Mounted Range Hoods

This range hood is designed to be hidden within the cabinetry as well. Only the front end of the slide-out shows at the bottom of the cabinet. Here, the underside of the cabinets has a stainless steel finish in order to protect the cabinet material from grease and moisture. Others have panels that have the same colour as the kitchen cabinets.

Pros: It's the best option for people living in apartment buildings because it's often available with a recirculation option. Remember, range hoods in apartments are positioned in an internal wall and not in the exterior of the house.

Cons: Similar to the under-mount range hoods.

kitchen design with hidden rangehood

READ: 6 Reminders When Designing Small Kitchens and Bathrooms

Canopy Range Hoods

This is most commonly known as the range hoods above a stovetop (stove in a kitchen island).

Pros: Your family and friends can gather around you when you're cooking the food for them. It creates an intimate kitchen space.

Cons: The range hood in the middle of the kitchen might look like an eyesore especially when your kitchen isn't symmetrical in the beginning. You can talk to your designer about concealing it in a custom cabinet that matches the rest of the kitchen interior. With that, canopy range hoods become more expensive.

kitchen design hidden rangehood island

Ceiling Exhaust System

This is another good option if your stove is on the kitchen island. This makes use of a specialised range hood which you can flush with the ceiling. These range hoods are extremely powerful in sucking up the steam, greasy air, and food odour in the kitchen.

Pros: Unlike the canopy range hood, this won't obstruct any view in the kitchen.

Cons: It's expensive. Some homeowners find it hard to clean some of the greases that remain on the surface of the range hood.

Downdraft Exhaust Systems

Another modern way of installing extracting ranges is through installing them on the island bench. The downdraft extractor is built into the cabinetry below the benchtop. With the touch of the button, the extractor will rise from the benchtop and suck all the greasy air and stream from your cooking area. Then, it'll sit flush with the bench when not in use. Designers prefer to install the downdraft exhaust systems behind or beside the stovetop.

Pros: You can hide it away when not in use

Cons: It's costly.

kitchen design with downdraft hood

If you decide to install a downdraft range in your kitchen, you need to prepare yourself for longer and more careful planning with your designer. There are numerous factors to consider such as how you're going to incorporate it in your current benchtop and how you're going to duct the extracted air out of the house. Luckily, there are top-of-the-line stovetops with built-in exhaust systems. if you go with these stovetops, you're also cutting the work of your designer. All they need to worry about is how they can duct the air outside, or clean it before it's recirculated back inside the house.

No range hood, just adequate ventilation

Australia established local building codes which building designers and builders must follow when creating or renovating a kitchen. Some building codes won't require the range hood if there's adequate ventilation in the space.

However, a lot of Australians like to have range hoods to immediately suck all the oleaginous kitchen air to prevent it from circulating inside the house.

Thoughts about the concealed, disappearing range hoods

If the range hood is smaller than the stove, it needs to work harder to suck all the steam and greasy air while cooking. If not, some of it will still circulate around the house and affect the indoor air quality. It's best if you can somehow extend the reach of your range hood, similar to the slide-out range hood, which you can pull out to cover more of the stovetop.

Moreover, enclosing your range in a cabinet might make it hard for a repairman to fix the range when it breaks down. It's also hard to find a replacement which will fit in the cabinet (unless you're buying a new version of your old range).

What do you think? Is this the type of range hood that you’d like to have in your next kitchen renovation?

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