As a part of kitchen renovation I have to decide between replacing our down draft with another or to replace it with a cooktop and a hood. I am trying to get some perspective on what is involved and how to proceed if we want to replace with a cooktop plus a hood.

The range is on an interior wall with a single piece of cabinets that extends on both sides.
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It looks like the wall has to be cut to access the vent and cabinetry has to be cut to make room for a hood.

Is this feasible/advisable? Is it easy to hook a hood to the existing vent?

The problems with downdraft are 1) high cost 2) accumulation of grease in the well.

Cooktop is cheaper by itself, but of course renovation cost + hood is likely to be the more expensive option.

With a hood I won't see the grease but I wonder if it accumulates in the vent just in the same way a chimney accumulates soot. So perhaps a well is better?

  • 2
    Your title question is different from the questions in the body of your text. This may well get closed for being opinion based (or not enough detail). Is it feasible? Sure, tear enough of the house apart and you can get the old system out and install a new one. Is it advisable? That depends on how much demolition/rebuilding is necessary and how much you want the old one gone. Is it easy to hook up to the existing vent? Depends - where is the existing vent in relation to where the new one needs it to be?
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 14:09
  • You would get better answers with pictures or a sketch of the layout. How close to an exterior wall are you? What is the construction of the exterior walls? Do you have soffits above the cabinets?
    – Huesmann
    Commented Jul 4, 2020 at 18:28
  • @Huesmann it is an interior wall.
    – Maesumi
    Commented Jul 5, 2020 at 3:02

1 Answer 1


Without a photo of your existing setup we can do a little guessing. It sounds like you are on a wall not an island with cabinets over the counter.

The main part of installing a hood (or possibly a over the stove microwave/ hood combination) are the same removing cabinets if on a wall and the exit location , through the wall or into the attic and thru the roof.

You have identified the cabinet modification will be needed , how close are we to a window? With exterior wall stoves going out the wall is the easiest/ cheapest way to go, interior wall through the roof. I mentioned the microwave/hood option because modifying the cabinets will be the most expensive part so I basically eliminate the cabinet and have the microwave there, as far as modification this ends up being a plus for selling if you do not already have a built in microwave.

Modifications all depends on the spacing above or how the cabinets are built 1 piece built in place can be modified but will be the most expensive option. If your cabinets are segmented (most common) and the segments are split on each side of the stove all options are open. Installing a low profile hood not that hard moving the bottom of the cabinet up a foot adding some brushed stainless , copper or brass cladding on the cabinet sides and behind the stove top a lady catcher when selling. Similar with the microwave option but less cabinet repair (shorten the doors etc) These are the things I have done on flip and my own homes currently moving from downdraft island to wall overhead hood. The homes I added the overhead microwave where there was not one really helped them were not high end homes but this really helped the sale. On one home we installed a low profile vent hood and modified the cabinet then used hammered copper cladding on the cabinets and behind the stove, I thought it looked nice but we ended up with multiple families bidding on that 1950’s cracker box house and it sold above our asking and the realtor said it was the kitchen. New matching appliances sink and that cladding were all we really did.

There are lots of options and a couple of us that have done remodels could be more helpful with a photo.

  • Thanks. Yes, this is an interior wall, with a single piece cabinet above the counter. The short cabinet is 24 inches above the counter. There are longer cabinets on both sides. All in a single piece.
    – Maesumi
    Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 18:31
  • So you will need to modify the cabinet, this is a good case for microwave and decorative cladding , exhaust up through the roof then a small trim piece above the microwave.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 18:43
  • Is there another storey above the kitchen, or the attic and roof? Do you have any space between the top of the cabinet and the ceiling? And again, do you have pictures of the whole wall?
    – Huesmann
    Commented Jul 6, 2020 at 10:12
  • Also, are you planning to DIY?
    – Huesmann
    Commented Jul 6, 2020 at 10:13

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