Asked on Dec 02, 2011

I am planning to re-do my kitchen a little at a time for budget reasons.

Teresa D
by Teresa D
My appliances are at least 20 yrs old. I have a 36" Modern Maid gas cooktop with downdraft and a 27" electric wall oven microwave combo. My choices are kind of limited with the downdraft cooktop because of the downdraft and limited with the wall oven combo because of the width. *frustrating
Anyway, my question is .. how difficult would it be to install a hood and replace the downdraft cooktop with a regular gas cooktop or slide-in without the downdraft? I'm thinking it should be just a matter of re-routing some ductwork? I would lose my upper cabinet and shelf space and gain the lower. As back-up information, my kitchen sits on the main level, above a full basement, adjacent to the garage wall. The cooktop is on the cabinets facing the wall while the sink is in an island in the middle of the floor. (hope that helps)
Modern Maid downdraft cooktop with grill insert
  12 answers
  • Converting from a down draft to a hood system can be done, but not wise to do so if you plan on using the same exhaust pipe. This would require you to open up the wall and bring the pipe that feeds the down draft up in it and then turn it 180 degrees to connect to the top of the fan. The issue is that all those turns will limit the fans ability to push the odors and smells out of the duct system, unless its really short run to the outside. If your stove is on outside wall, then its just a matter of going out the wall into the garage and turn it to the garage exterior wall. Be sure to insulate the pipe if its exposed in the garage. Check around on stoves and cook tops. you may find one that offers a down draft system that has a downdraft hood built in. There are all sorts of appliances available these days. A few examples are on this site.
  • LandlightS LandlightS on Dec 02, 2011
    You might want to look into a vent-free range hood. Here's a link for the Broan/Nutone model no. 4130. I guess you just have to not use too much garlic......but the ductless vents do work well Have a great Holiday season.
  • Designs by BSB Designs by BSB on Dec 02, 2011
    Goodness.. Woodbridge is always the first to give a reply in nearly every topic I see.. y'all must have dedicated staff to HomeTalk! I think moving to an up vent is a better choice - they are more efficient across the board. Not knowing the direction of your ceiling joists makes giving a recommendation hard. So based on assumptions... I believe you would be very happy with a hood overhead. A) base cabinet space is larger - more room for pots and pans! B) wall cabinets are shallow and hard to reach anyway C) sounds like the venting could go into the garage? and either turn to the closest exterior wall (view and activity at that location outside will play a huge part) .. or maybe go out thru the garage roof. The shorter the distance, the better efficiency you will have. It would not be wise to go out and down into the old venting as WE stated. I attend appliance installation and product seminars several times throughout the year .. every manufacturer sells a downdraft, but few of the reps stand behind them. Most professionals agree, if you can go up - do so. Lower cost and better efficiency. Vent free is an option, using a charcoal filter.. but again, efficiency will be lower. Getting OUT of the house is best.. hope this helps.
  • Designs by BSB Designs by BSB on Dec 02, 2011
    Sorry I missed the option of slide-in .. certainly that is a great option with an overhead vent. Then you could use the tall cabinet for a microwave only and gain storage space there as well. Then no more 27" oven! smart. Promise me you will not do a microwave vent over the stove tho! They are horrendous, so unsafe and unpractical (if you have the space for it in another location)
  • No I just happen to have a very active home and get very little sleep. Besides I enjoy helping people out.
  • Most times when there is a downdrafter, it is because the range is placed in a location where it is impossible, or nearly so, to vent with a hood
  • Teresa D Teresa D on Dec 04, 2011
    Great feedback, guys! Unfortunately, I'm no closer to making a decision. I don't want to knock out any walls. I had looked at the cool downdrafts that pop up and down but I'm not sure I have the required width in my counter for the cooktop and the downdraft unit and it's more expensive than the jenn-air and whirlpool units with the downdraft built in (like what I currently have). Downdrafts are really cool but not really practical for the way I cook (lots of smoke - lol). Who would I consult for a professional opinion and quote? A remodeling contractor? An electrician? A plumber (for the ducts)?
  • Patsy W Patsy W on Dec 04, 2011
    Reminds me of the old Jenn Air I removed when I got Granite [1972 model]]. I just closed up the ductwork under the cabinet & did not replace the Jenn Air grill. I have a smooth surface electric cooktop [drop-in] with microwave over it that has a fan. Also replaced old size [24inch wide] double oven with Maytag from Home Depot...options are certainly more limited when replacing odd sizes, but they are out there. Would a microwave over the stove top work for you and then you could get a double oven for that space. Consider buying the stove top & counters at the same time so the counter opening can be cut to the correct size [and sink too]. Happy Remodeling!
  • Designs by BSB Designs by BSB on Dec 05, 2011
    Here is a name of a Contractor Ive done a lot of work with that lives in Snellville, Kurt Wichman 404.610.0481 .. let him know BeckySue told you to call. He can help you figure it all out.. he is licensed.
    • Roni Roni on Feb 10, 2015
      @Designs by BSB Is Kurt Wichman still in business? I live in Roswell and need to replace a gas downdraft cooktop, a built in 27" oven and microwave and a dish washer to get out home ready for resale.
  • Chr234100 Chr234100 on Sep 23, 2013
    RU selling the stove? I need the double gas insert. Call me if u want to sell it at 530 798-6263.
  • Nancy Nancy on Sep 24, 2013
    I just replaced my 1979 Jenn-Aire electric cooktop (electric vampire) with a freestanding range. I cut out the bottom cabinet and I'm in the process of sealing the downdraft vent. I am going to go with a charcoal filter vent hood. In the process of looking for a replacement downdraft in gas, I noticed there were several models of larger gas cooktops that might be a direct replacement for yours. I would have room to run a vent up through the cabinet and the soffit for a regular exhaust vent and then out the side wall. I've been told by people that have the filter vents that they don't work well, but as long as it cuts down on grease in the air... I went with a free standing range because I bake a lot and that would give me an extra oven. I got a $1200 range at the Labor Day sale @ sears, (half price) Yay!