Kitchen Range Hoods

Range hoods are an important element in every kitchen. The styles and materials available are staggering. If you want a one of a kind hood, or a simple one to simply do the venting, and not cost an arm and a leg, you can have it. 

There are building codes in some areas that require specific types of venting. Some require venting the exterior while some do not. It's a good idea to check with your local building code enforcement office to be absolutely positive before buying an exhaust hood

Let's go over the types of range hoods first:

  • Custom range hoods are becoming very popular. If you want an exhaust hood made of copper or stainless steel to become part of the design of your kitchen, handcrafted is the way to go.

  • Ductless hoods are the easiest to install and often cost much less than the ducted types. This type of hood has filters for cleaning smoke but they do have some drawbacks.

  • Chimney type hoods have an exposed "chimney" to draw the smoke and moisture to the outside.

    These take up more space than the under-cabinet mounted types due to the fact that a cabinet cannot be installed over the range. This type of hood is great for installing over an island.

  • Speaking of island hoods, an island can pose some problems. The biggest problem encountered in most applications is the need for duct work to go around obstacles, like floor joists.

    If planned for in the beginning stages of your design this can be avoided; or at least the proper steps can be taken to streamline the process. Island range hoods can be truly amazing and greatly increase the appeal of your kitchen.

  • Exterior vented hoods exhaust the smoke to the outside. These can be used in under-cabinet mounted, chimney, and range downdraft styles. There are also three methods of exterior venting; updraft, downdraft, and direct vent.

    Updraft funnels the air up and out of the building. Downdraft forces the air down and out of the building. Direct vent forces the air and smoke directly out of the wall with no ducting, up or down.

  • The ever so popular microwave/hood combination can help you save space in your kitchen; by having one appliance doing two jobs. The only problem with this type of hood is the fact that most cannot vent to the outside. But on the upside, the microwave is not taking up space in a cabinet or on the countertop.

  • Built in hoods are hidden from view by being installed inside of the cabinet over the range. The biggest downside to this type is the fact that you lose storage in a cabinet. But if you desire to have a range hood but not see it then this is the style for you.

The different materials used in the construction of range hoods.

  • Enameled steel is the most cost effective material used, and some hoods can cost as little as $50. Don't let the cost fool you there are many great things about this hood. The biggest advantage of this material is that there are many colors to choose from.

  • A stainless steel range hood is a great choice for the transitional and contemporary kitchen styles. There are many designs available too. If you want the most outrageous design to go with your futuristic kitchen you can find it. On the flip side if you want an ordinary, or plain, hood to simply complement your larger appliances you can have that too!

  • Copper hoods of hammered, stamped, or sheet metal are absolutely amazing. Some of these are handmade and "one off" designs. The complexity of joining and installing this type of hood is usually left to the experts but can be done by the serious DIYer. The best copper hood I ever saw was over an island, in a rustic kitchen, with the duct work exposed to add to the rustic look of the kitchen.

  • Wooden hoods are a perfect compliment to the traditional kitchen. This style hood does not draw to much attention to itself and can be made from the same materials as the cabinets themselves. If on the other hand you want to highlight the hood you can have wood of a different tone to have it stand out from the rest of the design.

  • Stone hoods Are often made from cast concrete or natural limestone. This type of hood is well placed in the Old World Kitchen. A stone hood can be very expensive but the amazing artistry that goes into each and every hood more than makes up for it.

Some popular manufacturers of these hoods are Kobe, Viking, Whirlpool, Faber, Sakura, Futuro Futuro, Five Star, and Broan. Just to name a few.

There are so many styles and materials for range hoods it will not be easy to find the one for you, but hopefully I could help you find some ideas for your kitchen.

If you need some additional help in choosing an exhaust hood (opens in a new window) here is a good link.

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