In Today's Kitchen Design, Concealed Range Hoods Are Popular

 Image courtesy of  Dacor

Image courtesy of Dacor

Using Concealed Range Hoods When Remodeling 

For years the trend in kitchen design was a large stainless steel range hood that served as a functional visual focal point. Trends change, and today there's a move underway towards using a concealed hood. It makes perfect sense as design trends are moving towards homeowner's increasing desire for a more modern streamlined kitchen.

Ventilation is an important functional element of every kitchen. Range hoods work to remove grease and cooking odors from the air and are often required by local building codes. But just because you're required to have one, doesn't mean that it has to be a focal point in your kitchen. Today, if you choose to hide the hood, you have options like retractable downdraft ventilation and other methods of concealment.

Why Hide Your Ventilation Hood?

The concept of a concealed or built-in range hood is much the same as using cabinet panels to integrate other appliances like the refrigerator or dishwasher into your kitchen design. It helps focus attention on other design elements rather than on the appliance itself.

Concealed hoods are beneficial in a smaller kitchen, which may have a tendency to get visually cluttered when all of the appliances are exposed in the design. A concealed hood is at home in any style kitchen but is especially effective when designing a contemporary streamlined kitchen. It's a way to maintain clean lines and a continuous flow with the upper cabinets to create a sleek look.

In traditional style kitchens, range hoods have been integrated into the design for years. Often built into intricate custom cabinets, this can create a feature in the cooking area while leaving the stove as the visual focal point in the design. With the trend in open shelving becoming a popular choice for homeowners, integrating a concealed range hood into your design can provide the functionality you need without detracting from the visual focus of your open shelving.

Your Choices in Concealed Range Hoods

There are different ways to integrate a range hood into your cabinetry and other designs that are concealable. First, you need to make sure any hood you choose is designed to be concealed. Your designer or builder can help you to select the proper type.

Depending upon your design, you'll have several options for integrating your hood:

Range Hoods Inside an Upper Cabinet

These are designed to be built into an upper cabinet. The bottom of the cabinet is removed and the unit is housed in the cabinet with just the bottom of the hood exposed underneath the box.

Slide Out Range Hoods

Another option is a slide out hood. This is very similar to a downdraft unit. It is built into an upper cabinet and slides out when in use. Typically the edge is finished in stainless steel, but some models have the option of swapping out the stainless for a panel to match your cabinet color.

Slide out hoods are a cost-effective alternative to completely concealing a hood. They are also available as a recirculating model making them perfect for homes where exterior venting is impossible.

In the Ceiling Ventilation

This is a great option for an island cooktop. Above the island, exhaust systems can be built flush with the ceiling. It's an expensive option because they need to be extremely powerful in order to be effective at removing grease and odors from a distance. Because it is flush with the ceiling it is completely concealed.

Downdraft Systems

A downdraft system is a great option for an island. It's completely invisible unless it's in use. A downdraft system is built into the cabinetry below the countertop and is placed either behind or to the side of the cooktop, and it sits flush with the countertop when not in use. When needed, push a button and the unit rises from the countertop and draws grease and odors down and out of the kitchen.

Downdraft ventilation is powerful and as a result can be costly. When planning your kitchen, it;'s important to make sure you incorporate proper ventilation into your design as the air needs to be routed to the exterior of the home through the floor. This is not always possible, but there are recirculating models available.

Today, design trends that are popular with both homeowners and designers feature extremely clean lines and modern minimalist style. Ventilation is an important element in any kitchen and a concealed vent hood provides you with the functionality you need and the aesthetic look you want. Work with your kitchen designer during the planning phase if you'd like to integrate a built-in hood. They can show you all of the options available to you and recommend the best unit to meet your needs.


Forward Design Build is a residential design-build firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan that is known for its commitment to craftsmanship and communication. We are committed to improving our neighbors quality of life with inspired design and creative remodeling. Our homes are highly functional, exquisitely beautiful, and remarkably comfortable. Contact us to speak with an expert about your new home or remodeling project.