Many consumers are requesting a wall oven and cooktop instead of a traditional range for their Dream Kitchen.
There can be many reasons for this.
They may have a large space and would like to spread the cooking activities around the room.
They may want an oven at a more ergonomic height.
There may want special features only available in a wall oven.
Once it is determined that your client would like to include a wall oven or two in their new Kitchen, it will be up to you to find the perfect solution for locating them in their design.
Read on to discover some great ideas for placing wall ovens in your Kitchen Designs.
When manufactures began splitting the range into a separate cooktop and wall oven, many ovens were placed within a wall cavity, hence the word “wall oven”.
It was popular to build ovens into brick walls with many of them being placed on the back side of the living room fireplace that faced into the kitchen.
If there was no brick wall in the vicinity, the wall oven would often be recessed into a plastered wall.
Soon cabinet manufactures saw an opportunity to build cabinets that could house wall ovens.
The most popular configuration was to stack the microwave above the wall oven and in some cases add a warming drawer below.
This setup works well in many designs because it puts all of the ovens together and concentrates all of the electrical hookups into one place for easy rough-in.
Once the decision is made to stack the wall ovens, the next decision is to decide where to place them in the design.
In the Cooking Zone
Many homeowners like to have their oven stack near the cooktop for a complete Cooking Zone.
By placing the ovens at the end of a run adjacent to the cooktop, it will define this zone and also provide drop off counter space beside the oven.
To learn more about drop off spaces you should be providing in your Kitchen Designs, check out “A Beginners Guide to Kitchen Design”.
Within a Run of Tall Pantry Units
To balance the depth of an oven stack consider placing them beside pantry cabinets.
For a custom look ensure you line up the upper doors above the wall ovens and the upper doors on the pantry.
Also plan the width of the upper cabinets across the top to all be the same size. These small details make a world of difference in the finished design.
Beside the Refrigerator
The refrigerator is also a deep appliances that can balance the size of a double oven.
Todays wall ovens and refrigerators are much better insulated than those in the past so placing them side by side is an option.
Do check the specifications on the refrigerator door swing to ensure there is not a conflict with the wall oven handles before specifying these two appliances side by side.
Check out “Tips, Tricks and Traps for Reading Appliance Specifications” for more info on refrigerator swings.
In A Corner
Corners are often overlooked areas for placing a set of wall ovens, but it can be a great spot to consider.
If you choose this location for the ovens recess them back into the corner.
This extra 6″ or so will make the tall unit feel less bulky and adds a nice detail in the corner.
Perpendicular to a Counter Top
Having a landing counter near a wall oven should always be top of mind for the Kitchen Designer.
A solution to ensure this is to place the ovens perpendicular to a counter top run.
This type of installation allows the oven door to be opened with counter surface directly beside it.
Your design can still have all your tall units lined up with the safety of a counter top close by.
In Mid-Height Cabinets
Mid-height cabinets are often overlooked in Kitchen Design but they can be the perfect units to house wall ovens.
In most cases they will accommodate a double oven and they are perfect for placing ovens side by side.
The shorter height of mid-height cabinets could be the unique feature your kitchen design needs.
In an Elevated Base Cabinet
Another underutilized cabinet in Kitchen Design is the elevated base cabinet.
This unit is usually between 42″ and 48″ high and allows the oven to be elevated slightly above standard countertop height.
It is a great solution for placing the oven at an ergonomic height for the baker in the household.
Under a Cooktop
Installing a wall oven under a cooktop produces a streamline look.
Designers will choose this option to allow a continuous countertop line on that elevation.
It does take more planning on the part of the kitchen designer because you need to calculate clearances between the bottom of the cooktop and the top of the oven.
This set up is a great alternative to a free standing range.
Specifying a wall oven under a countertop will allow it to be tucked up tight to the counter.
This also allows a drawer to be placed under the oven for added functionality.
With consumers investing in multiple ovens for their Dream Kitchens, Designers will need to find unique places to install them.
There is never a one-size-fits-all solution for wall oven locations.
Hopefully the above examples will inspire you to develop some unique wall oven placements in your future Kitchen Designs.
I would love to see your wall oven installations. Please comment and drop in a pic below.
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Jan Rutgers has been designing kitchens and products for over 25 years and is a recipient of Kitchen & Bath Design News’ Top Innovators in 2020 for the Kitchen & Bath Industry. She has designed more than 1000 kitchens learning valuable skills with each one! Her experience in Kitchen Design, Millwork Manufacturing and Product Development has led her to create VESTABUL SCHOOL OF DESIGN where she educates and mentors people passionate about the Kitchen Design Industry.
If I send you a layout of my kitchen can you send me design ideas?
Thanks for your question Darlene. As part of Vestabul, I do offer Kitchen design packages for homeowners. I’ll email you directly with more information.
What is your opinion of placing a microwave convection oven UNDER a wall oven? With the wall oven being at a higher height and microwave would be more about waist level? We’re getting a GE Cafe french door oven, and I think it would look better to have the oven more at a chest level, which would mean you would have to put the microwave under it. (I dont like microwaves in the island, that’s too low. )I have seen this setup only once before. Thanks for your input!
Thanks for the question Cheryl. I can see that set up working especially with the french door oven. I suggest you get a large piece of paper, tape it to the wall and draw this cabinet and oven placement to scale. I have done this in the past for clients. What you want to check is are you comfortable with the height off the floor of the oven and the floor of the microwave. You also want to check that the control panel on the oven is not too high. Will you be able to see and operate the controls? I typically will place the controls for the top oven at my clients eye level.
Let me know if you have any more questions and would love to see a pic of it installed!
Thank you Jan! I decided to go ahead and put the microwave/convection above the regular wall oven, but just placing everything a few inches higher so that the microwave is just a few inches lower than where an over the range microwave would normally be. That way it’s not too high, and the oven isnt too low. Thank you so much for your input and sorry it took me so long to respond! (I forgot!, lol)
Glad to hear you found the best solution for your project Cheryl!
Hi Jan! I am doing research on wall oven placement and came across this article, which was very helpful. Have you ever designed a kitchen with 2 under counter wall ovens placed side by side and an induction cooktop centered above them? I’m getting some pushback from my kitchen guy on this idea, but I can’t believe it’s not possible. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!
I have placed a wall oven under an induction cooktop in the past. The most important thing is to check the specs on both of the appliances to ensure there is enough clearance (air space) from the top of the oven to the bottom of the cooktop. You may need to look at the appliance’s installation manuals to find this spec. Some induction cooktops require more air space below them then you think!
I have also installed ovens side by side under counter.
It would be interesting to know what your kitchen guy is pushing back on. Is it the specifications, the function or the aesthetics?
Thanks so much for getting back to me! I will definitely keep all those things in mind, and try to find ovens & cooktop from the same manufacturer to hopefully make it easier.
As for my kitchen guy, I would like to know the same thing lol! I’ve actually brought him graph paper drawings made to scale, explained my thought process to him, and believe we’re on the same page. When I get his computer layout, it’s not what we discussed. Very frustrating, to say the least. So I was wondering if it’s just not technically possible, or if he’s just never done it before. Anyway, thanks again for getting back to me.
I just learned that my Bertazzoni oven can’t fit under my Bosch induction cooktop due to ventilation and spacing requirements. So now I’m thinking about putting the oven in the cabinet to the right of the cooktop, but it would be against a wall. Your opinion on access to the oven when it is against a wall on the right side? (I’m right-handed)? We’ll also have a speed oven in a wall cabinet which I expect will be our most used oven.
Hi Nora, I am so glad someone checked the specs on installing these two appliances before it was too late. Ideally I would like to see your layout before I commented on the location of your wall oven.
However, if there is room to stand in front of the oven as well as to the left side, you should have enough access to the appliance. In most cases, even if the oven is place so that it is accessible from both sides, the cook will get into a habit of always approaching it from one side.
I hope this helps with your placement decision. Jan
Jan, Thanks so much for your perspective on this and for answering so swiftly! Yes, we have an impressive team (cabinetmaker and GC) paying close attention to all the details.
Happy to have found you and your site!
Thanks for your comment. I’m glad I could give you some help with this. Would love to see pics of your finished kitchen.
I have a very strange appliance placement situation…the stove must be placed against a half-wall with a bar top that opens to a dining area, so there is no place for a hood or vent! Have you ever heard of using a cooktop with a downdraft system over a separate oven?? These would both be electric. Any opinions or thoughts would be most appreciated!
Hi Patti, I have seen a version of that done. It takes some planning!
The design I saw entailed using a downdraft vent that allowed the motor portion of the appliance to be installed either on the front or the back of the downdraft vent. By positioning it off the back of the unit, there was enough space for the oven to fit under counter and not be blocked by the down vent motor. This however meant a deeper base cabinet to accommodate everything. In your case, this could mean taking up some space under your eating bar.
My suggestion is to visit your local appliance dealer and see if you can locate a down draft that allows this reverse motor installation. Then you will need to to draw how everything will go together from a side view and a top view. As I said it all needs to be planned out. Make sure you check the install specifications for each appliance in this set up to ensure you have the appropriate clearances for each unit.
Let me know how it goes, Jan
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You need to refer to the specifications of the specific induction cooktop you are installing. The clearance can vary from model to model.
Within the manufactures installation instructions, look for a drawing that shows the cooktop over a wall oven and look for that clearance number. You may also find that information in the “notes” surrounding that drawing. Ensure you follow these clearances for safe operation of both the cooktop and the wall oven.