Great tips on choosing the best custom metal range hoods

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Decorative metal range hoods are gorgeous. We bookmark them on Pinterest, search them on google, and dog-ear them in our design magazines. They define the style of our kitchens with their front and center location above our cooktops. We can’t get enough of them! That said, how do we know what to look for when buying a custom metal range hood? What are the questions we should be asking? How will we know which one is best for us?

A good example of how to use custom metal range hoods in a white kitchen with a Raw Urth Designs' product.

A fresh take on a modern farmhouse design by Aspen Leaf Kitchens with white subway tile and custom metal range hood by Raw Urth Emily Minton Redfield Photography

Which metal vent hood is best?

Talking with clients over the phone, I get asked all the time which custom metal range hoods I think are the best. Navigating the ins and outs of kitchen design can be a little overwhelming and intimidating if we aren’t seasoned pros. We can often feel like everyone else knows things we don’t. It makes it hard to know where to begin. That’s no reason not to dive in headfirst and make it happen. Hopefully, I can help get you on the path to finding your perfect new metal range hood!

The best range hood vent is the one that fits the space, has the functionality you need, and my personal favorite looks like the vent hood you always imagined in your dream kitchen! Of course, there are a few more details to think through, but these are the basics.

  • When looking into purchasing a new range hood, you will start the conversation choosing:
    • The size (width and height) that fits
    • The level of vent hood fan, or “guts” of the hood you need
    • The style you love

Of course, there are a lot of little details we will also want to tackle a little later on. This is simply to help you get the ball rolling. We can think through all those straps, rivets, crown moldings, aprons, and trims in a different blog. Today is about getting the conversation started and getting one foot on the road forward.

An example showing a decorative metal range hood between two kitchen windows with range hood by Raw Urth Designs.
Laura Yeager Smith Designs created a refined and clean palate that really lets the custom metal range hood be the star of the show. Photography by Addison Jones Commercial Photography

How do I know what size my custom metal range hood should be?

Choosing the width of your range hood

I usually recommend that the width of your range hood is at minimum, the width of the cooktop or range that sits below it. That’s pretty easy! If you have a 36″ range, you will want a 36″ hood at the minimum. If you have a 60″ cooktop, you will choose a vent hood that is at least 60″ wide. That said, most of our designers will normally guide their clients towards a hood that is about 6″ wider than the range. The slightly larger size gives you a double bonus. Being larger is a nice visual design balance above the range. It also gives a larger capture area for smoke to be vented. That would bump your 36″ range hood to a 42″ width.

Now that I have given you the rule of thumb, let’s break the rule! If you are looking at a hood model that has fairly ornate or oversized trims, I would recommend purchasing a hood that is wider than you range. For example, if you were thinking about our Montrose range hood (great choice by the way), the trim on each side of the hood extends 3″ past the apron. That would make the actual capture area of the hood 6″ narrower than the overall width. Understandably, I would suggest that we keep the capture area of the hood the width of your range. Therefore, a 30″ range would really love to have a 36″ Montrose at a minimum. Maybe even 42″ if your space allows!

Choosing the height of your range hood

The height of your hood may be super simple to determine if it is going all the way to the ceiling. Since you are looking into custom metal range hoods, you can simply tell the hood company the height of your ceiling. They should be able to determine the overall hood height for you!

Keep in mind the recommendations from your range company on the height above your range. Also, get a feel for where the bottom of your hood will be when you are cooking. If you are especially tall, you may want to lift that a little higher off your cooktop. Just remember, the lower the hood, the better the ventilation. The higher the hood, within reason, the more or your fabulous new backsplash tile will show!

What about custom metal range hoods with a vaulted ceiling?

Example of how to use custom metal range hoods with a vaulted ceiling and open space with range hood by Raw Urth Designs.
With a short wall in a vaulted space, the custom metal range hood becomes the centerpiece with exposed double venting through the roof. Photo courtesy of Raw Urth Designs

If you have a super high ceiling and prefer to vent your hood out the wall, you have the option to cap the range hood short of your full ceiling height. This is often done in kitchens that have vaulted ceilings. It can look good to run a chimney all the way to the top or, simply have it sitting on the wall terminating where the design works best. Your hood designer can make suggestions on a good height that will be in proportion to the wall and other details in the space. Usually, a quick glance at your new cabinet drawings or, photos of existing ones will help your designer.

What size of vent hood fan do I need?

Image shows a blower unit incorporated into a custom metal range hood with range hood by Raw Urth Designs.

Custom metal range hoods come in every level of fan power you could possibly need. Your HVAC contractor will be your best source of direction on the size of the vent hood fan you will want. The size will be determined by looking at a number of factors. Here are a few:

  • The size of the space
  • BTU’s of your range
  • Ducting size
  • Local codes
  • Make up air

Of course, there are guidelines to follow if you do not have an HVAC contractor hired. This is a pretty big subject on its own so, we will dive into that a little more deeply on another day. This is just a little aside to keep it on your radar when you are thinking about the “guts” of your hood! That said, I do recommend using a reputable vent hood liner company. This is the functioning part of your hood so, we want to get it right! We also want to anticipate the day that might come when it is not working at its best. If that day comes, we want to make sure there is a network of service techs that can come and help you get it taken care of!

Which kitchen hood vent style is best for my new kitchen?

This range hood you are choosing is going in your new kitchen! The best custom metal range hoods are the ones that you really love! If you love it, it will complement the other details you love in your space!! You choose those details too! I like to think of the different range hood styles like I think about Jolly Ranchers. They are all delicious, but I will dig for the green apple every time. Stefan will go for a blue raspberry if given a choice. There is a flavor for everyone. None are better than the other, just different. A little personal preference goes a long way to giving you long-term satisfaction with the hood style you choose!

Example of a stainless and brass custom metal range hood used in an industrial space with high ceilings and dark wood cabinets with range hood by Raw Urth Designs.
Adding a little luxury to an industrial loft space, this stainless and brass range hood really sets the tone. Space by Distinctive Designs. Photography by Libbie Holmes Photography

Of course, styles change, and what is en vogue today could seem so 2000 and yesterday before you know it. That said, custom metal range hoods are timeless. We have seen traditionally shaped hoods work seamlessly in modern spaces. In converse, we have seen super sleek and streamlined designs really pop in a more classically designed kitchen.

Custom metal range hoods are best when you don’t skimp on quality

It is the quality of the hood that will make the most impact. Quality never goes out of style! This will be the center point of your kitchen so, making sure to splurge a little here if needed to establish the tone of the space is well worth it. That said, it is not always the most expensive hood you can find that is the highest quality. You will want to talk with the metal range hood company you are considering. Make sure you work with a company that will take care of you through this process. This will be part of your design team and needs to be people you trust. Look at their samples, their web page, and read third-party reviews. It can be hard to tell from photos online the level of care a company has without doing a little extra digging. Houzz is always a good resource for third-party reviews online too.

At the end of the day, once you have the size right, the functionality of the blower optimized for your space, and a design you love, you have found the best custom metal range hood for you.

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