how to fit a recirculating cooker hood

Installing a new cooker hood at home needn’t be as complex as you may have imagined. Sure, the idea of installing an extractor hood is not the easiest of jobs, but with some DIY knowledge and a step-by-step guide, there should be very few problems that you then have to deal with.

The truth is that most cooker hoods are designed to be easy to install. They are quite basic in nature, and it will be even easier for you if you already have the vent hole from a previous cooker hood.

With that in mind, let’s get to fitting that brand new cooker hood.

Step 1: Know Where it is Going

This first step is easier if you are replacing an old extractor hood with a new one. After all, you will have the vent hole prepared, and hopefully, it will be the same size, and it will save a lot of the preparatory work.

However, if that’s not the case, then you need to know the exact location where your cooker hood will be positioned.

After all, this determines where drilling will take place, where things will be attached, and where potential extractor fans have to appear on the external wall.

Step 2: Unpack the New Hood

The next step is to unpack the new hood. Check all of the pieces are as they should be. Look at the different parts and make sure nothing is bent or damaged. Even small dings can make life a lot harder for you when it comes to connecting everything up.

It’s best to do this now before you start to make a mess in your kitchen.

Step 3: Your Measurements

You now need to make some measurements. In general, look at your cooker and measure between 28″ to 36″ from the top of the cooker. That is where the range hood needs to be positioned to ensure that everything functions correctly.

But be careful. You also need to measure the size of the hood itself. If it’s of the larger variety, and by that, we mean the depth, then you may have to position it higher to make sure it’s not at head level.

Then, make a mark on the wall as to where the range hood will be positioned.

Step 4: Finding a Place to Anchor the Hood

Next, you need to know how you will anchor the hood to the wall. This is easy if you have a brick wall, but if you have stud partitions, then you need to use another approach.

Use a stud finder, and find those closest to where the cooker hood will be going. However, don’t stress too much if you don’t have something that is lining up exactly with the hole to be drilled, as there are ways around this problem.

Make marks on the wall where the studs are located.

Step 5: Marking the Screw Holes

You now need to look at the range hood and identify the screw holes or the mounting points. Get the mounting points, and measure the actual distance between the two. Mark the middle, as that’s going to be important.

Step 6: Preparing the Hood

This is an extra little step to make life easier for you, but you are going to require a large piece of cardboard. Well, a piece that is larger than the range hood.

The idea here is to draw around the hood onto the cardboard. That allows you to know the actual size of the hood, and it’s going to be pretty exact. Then, draw in the mounting points and also mark the middle.

After that, you want to place the cardboard onto the wall where the top of the hood is going to be going. That shows you exactly where the range hood is placed, and then it’s onto drilling.

Step 7: Drilling the Wall

Go ahead and drill straight through the cardboard and into the wall, but make sure you drill on the points you marked.

After you have drilled, you may need to include wall plugs to make things secure. The idea here is you are then going to be able to add the wall plate that holds the range hood in place. Add fixtures and fittings for the range hood, and this may vary slightly depending on the make of the cooker hood.

Step 8: Adding Support Screws

You need everything to be super strong, so that’s where adding some support screws comes into its own. That’s going to hold the hood firmly in place, so you need a hole drilled to add those screws into the right spot.

You should have already marked where the studs are located, and this is where you add the support screws. Use a couple of screws, and drill into the back of the hood to add them in. This should keep the cooker hood nice and firmly in place.

Step 9: Where’s the Power?

By now, you are onto the point where the mounting brackets have been added, the range hood is secure, and you are ready to look at the extractor fan and chimney. However, you need to think about one other important thing.

Where is the power source?

You need to know where it will be plugged in. If concerned, get a qualified electrician to help with this part.

Step 10: Creating the Vent Hole

As you know where the hood is located, you will then know where the chimney has to go, which helps when it comes to knowing where the fan will go to take things to the outside wall if you are using this method.

For that, you need to mark where the hole will go and then get drilling. This is a big job, and it will create a lot of mess, so you may need to remove the hood to make sure it doesn’t get damaged.

Mark the size of the hole required and drill it out. You then need to look at adding the fan to the external wall.

Step 11: Adding the Fan

If using this method, then the extractor has to be installed. This also requires you to screw the fan onto the wall using the screws that should come with it. You need to make sure that the extractor part is also lined up to the fan on the inside wall as well. That is why you need to line everything up perfectly before you have the vent hole drilled for the cooker hood.

This exterior vent has to be installed correctly. After all, you now have a hole in the exterior wall, and that’s not something you want to leave open.

Step 12: Installing the Chimney Bracket

The chimney bracket means the interior wall is going to look neat and tidy, but you need to make sure it’s placed perfectly. You will notice that the bracket has two holes for screws. You need to mark fixing points on the wall where this bracket will be located.

It’s important you mark the centre point on this bracket. Once you have done so, start drilling slowly. It should be all lined up with the centre point on the ceiling for your cooker hood.

Step 13: More Drilling

Next, you need to drill and attach the bracket. Now, the exact method, or the exact drill bit you require, will vary. There are huge variations when it comes to the types of brackets with the chimney section, so double check your bracket and go over those marks before drilling.

Once you have added the bracket, you should be able to hang the chimney section without it falling off.

Step 14: The Current State of Play

So now, you have the support structures for the cooker hood, and that applies even to ducted hoods, and you have brackets for the chimney to be hung onto the wall.

At this stage, you then need to start to put everything together.

Step 15: Adding the Chimney

You need to get your tape measure and measure the distance from the top of the hood to the ceiling. That determines the length of the chimney. Add the relevant pieces of the chimney together in order to get that length. Use some additional ducting if required.

Step 16: Wiring It Up

Once the chimney is in place, you need to switch everything on. Now, if that involves connecting it to the junction box, then do get an electrician to help you. There’s no point in taking any chances at this stage.

Step 17: Add Filters

The final step is the easiest one, as it involves you adding filters to the hood. This is so much better than having an open window as the filters will remove smells and make the kitchen far more bearable to be in.

The filters will slide into place, but do check the instructions from the company to see how to do this part correctly.

After that, your cooker hood should be good to go.

Additional Points to Remember

While it’s relatively straightforward, here are some additional points that are worth remembering if you aren’t a kitchen fitter and carrying out this job using your own method.

Drilling Made Easy

If drilling through into an outside wall, use an SDS drill for a faster result. It means you can hammer through things, but only if you have a masonry bit installed.

Check the Gas Mains

As you are in the kitchen, make sure you know where the gas is located for safety reasons. The same should apply to the electricity supply, so turn things off if required.

Do a Test Fit Before Making Holes

Get someone to help you with this part because you should test things out with the cooker hood before making any new holes in your wall. This allows you to check on the position of the final job and have the correct height. This is not something you want to change later on.

Make a Small Mark, Then Check

You want your hood to be in a comfortable position, so make that mark, use a spirit level to make sure two marks are even, and then double-check it all before you install.

Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions

This may sound a strange thing to even point out, but do follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing a cooker hood. They will often give you their own step-by-step guide to fitting a cooker hood, and at least it’s linked to their own particular make and model.

Use the Right Screw Every Time

Considering you attach everything in the installation with a screw, you want to make sure you install the hood with the correct equipment. Don’t just think that any screw will do at any stage. Instead, follow the installation instructions carefully. Use the correct size of screw, or the things you attach can easily come off the wall.

Be Prepared to Add a New Socket

If your hood is positioned too far from where you would usually have power, then you need to think about doing more than simply adding in a new wire. Instead, a socket may be the order of the day, but that’s a whole other installation issue.

You need to provide power to your recirculating hood, as that’s the only way it will be able to operate. So, get that sorted out before you go too far down the steps, or your installation will come to a halt.

Installing a Recirculating Cooker Hood

And that is how you are going to carry out a successful recirculating cooker hood installation, and there will surely be fewer steps there than you would have imagined. Of course, if you still feel anxious about dealing with cooker hoods, then do get a professional to come and help you. It’s not the type of job that will take too long to complete, and you will have a functioning cooker hood in next to no time at all.

But do remember to seek that help with the electricity side of things. You can pretty much work out everything else on your own if you take your time, but it’s not worth the risk with the power supply.

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