A Handy Guide to Cooker Hoods for Solid Wood Kitchens
There is nothing so inviting as solid wood kitchens filled with the scent of wholesome home cooking. On some occasions – for instance if you have an open-plan kitchen and dining area – you will want to eliminate the steam and smells of cooking food. Cooker hoods are the perfect solution and, whilst the concept used to conjure up ideas of clunky, industrial units, they are now available in a variety of styles, shapes and sizes to combine elegant form with practical function.
To help you find the right style for your kitchen, explore our handy cooker hood guide:
What type of cooker Hood
One of the most popular styles, chimney hood are positioned above your hob, and incorporate a chimney that travels up to the ceiling, allowing cooking smells, hot air and grease to be extracted via the ducting pipe.
The cost of chimney hoods ranges between £50 for a basic unit and £900 for a higher-quality hood with extraction of the greatest efficiency.
CANOPY COOKER HOODS
Canopy cooker hoods are favoured for their minimalist design, and can be neatly installed to the underside of your wall cabinets. This simple installation makes them extremely unobtrusive. Canopy hoods are compatible with both extraction and recirculation systems, so we suggest deciding which features you would like before you start shopping.
This discreet style of cooker hood can be purchased for as little as £45, ranging up to £1,800 for a canopy cooker hood with an intense level of power and luxurious additional features.
Just like canopy-style cooker hoods, integrated hoods fit can be assimilated into your kitchen design, though – unlike canopy hoods – they will need to occupy a certain amount of space inside your oak cabinets. Once the extraction or recirculation unit is installed, the cupboard door can be fitted to the front and will open upwards when in use. The standard price for an integrated cooker hood will range between £50 and £300.
KITCHEN ISLAND HOODS
If you have decided to install your hob as part of a kitchen island unit, specialist hoods are available, which can be mounted to your ceiling. Typically, kitchen island hoods are fairly large, and often come with integrated lighting that is ideal for enhancing kitchen ambience. As it would be difficult to add a duct in a way that is aesthetically pleasing, these hanging extractor hoods usually adopt the recirculation method. Prices for kitchen island hoods start from around £150 for a basic style and increase up to as much as £2,500 for a designer model.
The final, most elegant option is the downdraft extractor. If there is no space in your kitchen to accommodate a traditional cooker hood, the downdraft extractor is a stylish pop-up alternative, which can be built into your worktop or island unit.
This ultra-modern extraction solution is – unsurprisingly – also the most expensive, with prices starting at £400 and ranging up to figures well beyond the £3,000 mark.
IMPORTANT FUNCTIONALITIES EXPLAINED
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AIR EXTRACTION AND RECIRCULATION?
Cooker hoods can operate in one of two ways: air extraction and air circulation. There is usually a function to choose between either of these modes on the hood, although some cheaper options may only offer the (preferable) extraction mode.
Air extraction uses a ducting system, which draws in air and traps grease in a filter. Fumes, odours and condensation and then removed through the ducting pipe. A shorter ducting pipe with fewer bends will extract more air and work more efficiently. Recirculation systems do not use ducts; instead the air is drawn in, the grease and odours are extracted, and then the recycled air is dispelled back into the kitchen. Unlike extractor hoods, recirculation hoods will only remove odours but not steam.
The sound made by some cooker hoods can be a little loud when used on higher settings. Unless you opt for a specialist low-noise hood, we recommend switching on the hood a few minutes before beginning to cook, to start air circulating earlier. Once you are ready to eat, the hood can be turned down to the lowest setting, or switched off completely.
It’s best to do your research before heading out to buy your cooker hood, and this includes calculating the ideal rate of extraction. To work this out, calculate the volume of your kitchen in cubic metres, and multiply it by 12 (this number will allow for the recommended rate of 12 changes of air per hour).
Once you have selected the ideal cooker hood for your kitchen, there are a few considerations to take into account regarding installation.
The cooker hood should be situated at least 65cm above a gas hob or 50cm above an electric hob, and customers should always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines to check for any additional stipulations.
If you have opted for a ducting system, it’s sensible to situate the hood as close to an external wall as possible, to limit disruption when installing, and to minimise the length of the duct pipe.
To see a selection of cooker hoods in situ, please pay a visit to our Gloucester showroom. We have a variety of hoods on show in our beautiful kitchen display sets, from respected brands including Falcon and Franke, as well as a complementary selection of glass and stainless steel kitchen splashbacks.
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Please note: this guide was originally published on October 7th 2016 and has most recently been updated on 6th June 2018.