How To Install A Kitchen Range Hood

Always have the wiring for your range hood hooked up by a licenced electrician!  Most range hoods have a normal powercord to attach to power, but if you have no wiring inside your ceiling, get an electrician to provide it.

We were pretty lucky when we bought our range hood.  The store had one left of a range that had been discontinued, so with a bit of eyelash-batting (which likely had nothing to do with the outcome), we scored this range hood for just under $200, which ended up being around $80 less than the advertised price.  It certainly isn’t fancy, but it is functional (remember, kitchen = temporary).

This range hood will be used in ‘circulation’ mode, which is not as good as being ducted (sucking all the smoke up and out through the ceiling using ducting pipes), but again, it’s temporary, and it seemed a bit wasteful to install all the ducting when we are just going to remove it.

You want to look at the installation manual to make sure you’re installing it at the right height.  Most range hoods will need to be around 600-700mm above the stove top.  This height will likely be more if you have a gas stove.  So check!

Mark the wall on the left hand side once you have determined the height of the underside of the range hood.   Using a spirit level, put a level mark on the right hand side, making sure these marks are within the boundaries of the range hood length so your marks don’t stick out either side.  This will be easier in the long run, as you won’t need to erase or cover the pencil mark if you are installing onto a finished surface.

Level marks | How to install a Range Hood |

Next, you want to determine the position above the cooktop, so it sits directly above.

Measure the length of the cooktop.  Make sure you actually measure it yourself, as a 600mm cooktop may actually be 590 or 610.  Divide this measurement by two, then mark that centre spot just above the cooktop on the wall or on the bench.

Stove centre | How to install a Range Hood |

Using the spirit level, transfer this mark just above the lines you drew in the previous step.  This is now your centre mark for the range hood.

Measure the length of your range hood.  Divide this measurement by two.  Then, using the centre mark you just drew, measure outwards left and right and mark the outer position of the range hood.  This will ensure your range hood is centered above the stove top.

Wall centre | How to install a Range Hood |

Now that you have the area that your hood is going to sit, you need to determine how many studs you have in said area, and where they are.  To do this you can use one of two methods:

  • The Tap Test.  Tap the wall with either your knuckle or a hammer. Where the sound is hollow there is no stud, where the sound is solid there is a stud. Mark the area where you believe a stud to be.
  • A Stud Finder.  This is much more accurate, however you will need to purchase a stud finder. Using the stud finder mark the position of the studs.

You can check to make sure you found a stud by using a small nail and (behind where your range hood will go) tapping the nail through the wall sheet.  If you meet resistance, congratulations!  You found a stud.  If your nail goes straight through, there is no stud and you’ll be left with a nail hole – be sure to use a fine nail.

Now you need to see if the studs line up with any of the fixing holes on your hood.  The hood will have convenient little pre-drilled holes where you attach the thing to the wall with screws.

If your hood’s holes line up with studs, you’re in luck.  You’ll just drill screws into the frame of the house (the studs) and it’ll stay.

As you can see from the photos, ours only had two fixing spots, neither of which lined up with studs.  In come hollow wall anchors.

Stud location | How to install a Range Hood |

These little babies allow you to affix items to gyprock (drywall) where there is no stud available.  Hollow wall anchors come with a metal sheath that opens up and grips onto the back of your wall lining when you screw the supplied screw into it.

We drilled holes into the wall, in line with the holes that came in the range hood.  The easiest way to do this is to have someone else hold the hood in place while you get in it with a pencil to mark the spots.

Remove the hood and drill holes into the wall.

Anchor holes | How to install a Range Hood |

Insert the hollow wall anchor and tighten the screw to grip the gyprock (drywall) with the anchor sheath. Remove the screws and your anchors are ready to go.

Anchor sheath | How to install a Range Hood |

Next we needed to make a new fixing point in the range hood that lined up with the one and only stud that was available. To do this, I used the center line we had previously marked on the wall and measured the distance to the located stud. I then transferred this measurement to the inside of the range hood by locating the hood’s center and measuring from that. Once it was marked, I drilled a hole through the back of the hood large enough to admit the screw I was planning to use.

Fixing hole | How to install a Range Hood |

Replace the hood (with someone else’s help) and screw your anchor screws through the back of the range hood into the sheath. This will hold the weight of the hood we are using so now I can screw a screw through the fixing point that I made into the stud. This was probably not completely necessary, however it was a small amount of effort for my peace of mind.

Bingo Presto. The base of your range hood is snugly in place.

Base complete | How to install a Range Hood |

Now, you’ll need to install the flue. Even if, like us, you’re just circulating the air rather than ducting it, you will need to make a hole in the ceiling. This is for the plug to pass through and plug into the socket you had installed by a licenced electrician.

How this is achieved will vary greatly depending on the type of hood, flue and location. For us, we have a square flue that is against the wall and passes through the cornice (the concave plaster that joins the wall and ceiling).

First we identify where the flue will meet the hood. Plumb these marks up to both the bottom and the top of the cornice. Then, using a flexible ruler, I joined the two marks.

Now, using a multi tool, I cut through the cornice on either side of where the flue will pass through.

Flue position | How to install a Range Hood |

After that is complete we are able to create the hole for the plug we were talking about before. There may be a small gap there anyway from where the wall and ceiling sheets don’t meet.

However, if you do have to cut a hole you will want to keep it as small as possible. Only just big enough for the plug to fit through (remember, we are operating this range hood in circulation mode, so we want to keep as much of the smoke out of the ceiling cavity as possible).

Pass the plug through said hole and secure in the ceiling cavity to stop it falling back through after the flue is on.

Okay, let’s get this flue attached the the wall.

Using another hollow wall anchor, I attached the bracket (provided with the hood) to the wall. This had to be lower than the instructions said, as the cornice would not allow me to access the holes in the flue to screw to my bracket. Therefore new holes were made in the flue that matched the location of the bracket.

Flue bracket | How to install a Range Hood |

On goes the flue. The bottom half sits in the groove on the hood and the top half, with its newly appointed holes, slides up and gets screwed to the bracket.

Last, but certainly not least, we crawl back into the ceiling cavity, connect the power, come back down and take her for a test toast.

Voilà, nice new range hood.

Completed range hood | How to install a Range Hood |

What kind of range hood are you installing? Share your range hood success (or failure) story!


How To Install A Kitchen Rangehood | Totally Hammered Home

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