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A Guide to Kitchen Cooker Hoods

With the rise in popularity of open-plan living, most modern kitchens follow an open plan layout combining the kitchen, dining and/or living areas into one large space. This has made the role of a cooker hood even more important to ensure that odours and vapours don’t overwhelm the entire room. Choosing the right cooker hood requires specialist knowledge to determine which models will work with the design in terms of mounting points, any restrictions to services and how it will impact the look and feel of the final room. However, our design team would like to share some helpful tips and advice to get you started.

What is a cooker hood?

A cooker hood – also referred to as an ‘extractor’ – is an appliance that hangs above your kitchen hob and removes odours, moisture and grease produced when cooking. There are two types of extraction: ducted and recirculation.

Ducted cooker hoods extract air from the room and release it outside of the building through a vent in the external wall of a house. This has been the type of extraction used in most kitchen designs and performs well at removing smoke and odours.

A recirculation extractor, on the other hand, removes air from the room and passes it through a filter before releasing the air back into the room. This is a less effective method of extraction and filters have to be changed every few months. However, the benefit is that there is no requirement for ducting which can be beneficial when ducting is not possible.

Extractors also have built-in task lighting to ensure you have plenty of visibility when cooking. 

What to look for when choosing a cooker hood

Determining the right cooker hood for your kitchen is based around four main factors: sound, capacity, budget and of course, style.

  • Sound: All cooker hoods will have a decibel (dB) rating to confirm the level of noise that will be generated by the appliance. Generally speaking, the lower the decibel rating the more expensive the appliance.
  • Capacity: The capacity of a cooker hood outlines at what rate the air in your kitchen will be extracted and filtered. Larger rooms will require a higher extraction rate. Filtering the air in your kitchen at least 10 times per hour is often recommended. Your designer will calculate the volume of your kitchen to establish the right capacity for your space, as well as taking into account factors such as the type of cooking that you will be doing. Certain cooking techniques, such as indoor barbecuing and frying, require greater extraction.
  • Budget: There are many cooker hoods available from different manufacturers to suit all budget levels. Your designer will be able to recommend how much you should spend on your cooker hood based on your overall kitchen budget and the functionality that you require.
  • Style
    Along with all of the practical considerations, choosing the right cooker hood must also be based on the style of your kitchen design. Cooker hoods can be made into a feature, or discreetly hidden out of sight. They are available in a range of different finishes to suit your kitchen design scheme. 

Read on to learn about the different styles of cooker hood available, with photography of KCA kitchens from real homes.

Chimney Cooker Hoods

Chimney hoods are designed to be mounted to a wall and are the perfect choice for hobs positioned facing a wall. Chimney hoods can be made into a design feature by choosing a bold design and experimenting with the different finishes and colours available. An angled cooker hood is perfect for more compact kitchens, such as this one.

Island Cooker Hoods

Island cooker hoods fix to the ceiling above a kitchen island or peninsular and are embraced as a feature within your kitchen’s design.

If like many of our clients you are carrying out a comprehensive extension or renovation, it should be possible to incorporate these ducting requirements into the plans to install a ducted extractor. This will need to be done at the early stage of your project, so it pays to appoint your kitchen design company early in order to advise your builder of the services required.

If ducting is not possible, a recirculation cooker hood can be a great alternative.

Multi-Functional Island Cooker Hoods

An island cooker hood can also offer a place to store recipe books or herb plants without cluttering your kitchen surfaces.

Some cooker hoods, such as the Spazio by Falmec, take this concept to a new level by turning the cooker hood into a multi-functional design feature. The Spazio overhead cooker hood features shelving and accessories such as a ladle hanger, spices shelf, tablet holder, and plants growing kit.

Canopy Cooker Hoods

For hobs positioned against a wall, the overhead cooker hood can be concealed within cabinetry. A telescopic element allows the extractor to be concealed and pulled out when ready to be used, giving you the ideal coverage with the sleek and clean look. These cooker hoods have an added benefit of maximising the area with additional storage which would have otherwise been unused. Some of the space inside the cabinets will be used by the appliance, however, there is often enough available space to make this worthwhile. 

Downdraft Extractors

Downdraft extractors such as those by MieleSiemens and Neff fit into the kitchen worktop near to the hob and draw air down through vents in the kitchen island. The appliance sits within the kitchen island flush with the worktop and rises up with the push of a button when in use. These cooker hoods can be configured alongside induction hobs, as well as teppanyaki and other cooktops to suit your culinary needs.

This type of cooker hood is particularly popular for kitchens with a hob located on the island as venting a cooker hood out of the ceiling isn’t always possible. Relocating the cooker hood to the island worktop can also be a personal design preference to create a cleaner and uninterrupted aesthetic.

Vented Hobs

Hobs with integrated extractors, also known as ‘vented hobs’, are the latest innovation in cooker hoods. Vented hobs feature an extractor built into the hob itself and can be an ideal choice for kitchens with high or sloped ceilings.

Manufacturers such as BoraMieleSiemensand Neff all offer this cutting-edge technology.

Stylish Pendant Extractors

These cooker hoods suspend from the ceiling above a kitchen island or peninsula similar to an island cooker hood. However, they are designed to have the appearance of a light fitting. 

These models tend to work by recirculation rather than extraction, which is important to consider for your needs. However, the newest models by leading brands such as Falmec, adopt the latest innovations in recirculation and filtering to offer superior performance. Falmec’s patented air purification technology treats and purifies the air to create a healthier environment.

Discreet Ceiling Extractor Cooker Hoods

This type of cooker hood is built into the ceiling of your kitchen. Often your kitchen designer will also design a bulkhead to lower the height of the ceiling and house your extractor.

These cooker hoods offer an uninterrupted view around the space, which can be ideal for open-plan kitchens.

To design your very own kitchen and receive expert guidance on the right appliances for you, contact KCA to speak with a friendly Design Consultant. Call us on 01344 883777 or book an appointment online.


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