We're in the middle of a kitchen remodel and we have replaced our old 48" Viking slide-in gas rangetop with a new Miele rangetop. The rangetop came with an "island trim" behind the unit which is only a couple of inches high. The installation instructions say that the range needs to be located 10" from any combustible surface, and if you install it flush against a back wall you need to purchase a 12" high backguard at a cost of around $400. One of the reasons we purchased this unit is because my wife really liked the low profile back trim, and Miele's own brochure shows the rangetop up against a tile wall with just the island trim.
So I called Miele customer support. They told me that a tile backsplash behind the unit would be just fine, that the 10" requirement was to ensure that people didn't put something easily flammable directly behind the rangetop. Still, I was concerned so I cranked up the back burners and ran the unit for ten minutes or so and checked the wall temp behind the rangetop. The drywall behind the unit (the tile is not yet installed) measured around 160F. That said, we'll probably only use the back burners once or twice a year since we have three front burners, so it's not like the wall is going to be subjected to constant heat.
So now I don't know what to do. Should I accept the opinion of the customer support guy? Do I have to bite the bullet and buy the expensive backguard that my wife hates? Is there any way I can add protection to the wall by replacing the drywall underlayment with something else on which I can mount the tile?
Thanks, and sorry for the long post.