I would really like to center a new 30” rangetop on our kitchen wall. The original cooktop was off-center to the right. After removing the cabinet doors over the cooktop I discovered that the range vent duct goes up and to the right.

I’m trying to figure out how I can get the venting over the center of the wall for a rangetop while allowing things to be symmetrical when I’m all done. You can see from the first photo there are two larger upper cabinets on the left and then two small ones on the right. This is the original setup and my goal is to have the same size cabinets on the left and right of the range.

The kitchen ceiling has a soffit made of 2x4s. There is about 4” or 5” from the top of the 2x4s to the bottom of the floor joist. The bay to the left of the vent duct has the gas line but I think that it could be moved if needed. At the ceiling, the current range duct goes 90° into some type of box, picture 3, and then upstairs behind a wall in a bedroom closet to the roof.

Any suggestions on getting the vent duct over to the left so that the range could be centered on the wall?

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I was thinking more about this last night and was thinking if I could move one of the 2x4s, which make up the drop ceiling, then maybe I could run the vent at a 90 and then have it drop down. I’ve tried to sketch this up to better illustrate what I’m referring to.

Current Setup Current Setup

2x4 cut to make room for duct enter image description here

Based on this my two questions are:

  1. Can I cut the 2x4 used for the drop ceiling and support it with a cross brace? This would give me the room to run the duct over to the left.
  2. Can I have two 90 bends in the duct?
  • 1
    Are you going to reconfigure the base cabinets to match as well? Seems like this should have been discussed much much sooner. It might be able done but you'd likely want to pull the bank of upper cabinets down, open the ceiling and move the ducting. Use one skinny and one wide cabinet from each side and make it symmetrical. It is hard to tell but you might be locked into the current duct location.
    – matt.
    Jan 31 at 0:45
  • 1
    "My goal is to have the same size cabinets on the left and right of the range." Does this mean the same sizes as existing (two big on left, two small on right), or one cabinet of each size (one small one big on left, one small one big on right)?
    – Huesmann
    Jan 31 at 13:15
  • 1
    Personal preference and all, but if moving the cooktop (I presume from what you say there will be all new cabinets) I'd center it under the vent and not sweat symmetry. Moving the vent under the described constraints is going to be a pain and will probably negatively affect the vent's performance.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jan 31 at 14:21
  • 1
    If you're moving the range you must be getting a new counter and new cabinets. A fairly extensive renovation. And as you said you have some extra space in the ceiling. So it's hard to tell why there's a question. Rip it all out, rip open the ceiling, and you can do anything you want. You already know that duct goes somewhere useful so you're all good.
    – jay613
    Jan 31 at 21:08
  • Thanks for the comments and suggestions. I've added an update to my original post with a new idea that I have.
    – slock
    Jan 31 at 21:50

2 Answers 2


You have two options, each with considerations (but you already knew that).

  1. Move the duct. This may involve opening the ceiling more and completely repositioning the rectangular outlet duct. I assume that would also involve siding and exterior sheathing work. Whether there's clearance in an alternative joist cavity is a potential showstopper. The lowered kitchen ceiling may afford more flexibility than a conventional situation.

  2. Reconfigure the duct in its current position to minimize cabinet intrusion. Bend it at the ceiling and run it horizontally to the new vent location. Arrange the cabinets around it. If you're buying custom cabinets it shouldn't be a problem to box out a channel. If you're using off-the-shelf cabinets you can box it in yourself with suitable panels and a little clever carpentry.


To narrowly answer a couple of specific questions:

Yes, if the 2x4s are there only to hold up the ceiling, you can rearrange them to better accommodate the routing of the vent pipe. Presumably the 2x4s are suspended from the joists, so just make sure your new framing arrangement has sufficient support that way.

Two new 90 degree bends should be avoided. They may cause poor airflow, they may collect greasy food particles and need to be scrubbed a lot, They may create noise.Instead, think about shallower angles that will use some of the ceiling space the way you want, but will also use some cabinet space just as the pipe currently does. You can get to the position you want without any horizontal run.

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