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Kitchen Niche or not to niche

Jay Gunasekera
6 months ago

Hello everyone! I am renovating my kitchen and want to put in a niche behind my 36 inch range, however, there are pipes going in the back so i can only manage a 24 inch wide niche. I would like to install a pot filler behind the range too (possibly in the niche). A couple of questions:

- Would the niche look crowded since the width of the niche is only 24 inches?

- Should i have different decorative tile backsplash behind the range that is 36 inch wide (not recessed) and put the pot filler there and have two recessed niches on either side of the range to achieve symmetry and have a place for my oils and spices?

I would love to hear your ideas and see photos too!

Thanks in advance!


Comments (14)

  • darbuka

    It’s never a good idea to keep oils and spices so close to the stove, as the heat tends to age or spoil those items. Also, cleaning your oils/spices and open shelving, will be a nightmare, given the dust and grease that’s bound to matter how good your venting is.

    Most people I know who have pot fillers, are sorry they spent the money. Many have leaked at one point, or another. And, then there’s the fact that you still have to carry the pot of water to the stove to empty it, when you’re done cooking.

    Never been a fan of a different backsplash behind the range, or niches. To my eye, they’re too fussy, ornate. I prefer simplicity. But, that’s me.

    Jay Gunasekera thanked darbuka
  • suezbell

    In addition to heat potentially adversely affecting spices or anything else placed above a stove, a niche would likely be difficult to keep clean, especially if you ever fry anything. My preference would be something that is a neutral color and easy to clean. I, too, prefer simplicity.

    Wouldn't want to risk a faucet over/behind the stove. But that's just me.

    Jay Gunasekera thanked suezbell
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  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    I too have thought about the niches, but even with my oil and spices off to the side, i'm still wiping them down w/grease residue. can't imagine having them behind the stove. and yes, the heat will spoil everything a lot quicker. I agree, it does look cool though.

    But going smaller (24" over a 36") might look weird.

    if you must have a pot filler, don't recess it. (are you sure you want one? is the sink that far from the stove? do you always fill up giant pots w/water? )

    this one is very simple looking. Looks like a 42" stove though

    If doing the niche, then keep the same tile. otherwise it's going to look to busy w/accent tile, a pot filler and your bottles and such. Here they just switched directions of the tile

    they look better on wide open backsplash areas w/larger stoves. The one above looks a little awkward

    Jay Gunasekera thanked Beth H. :
  • chispa

    I would have little use for a pot filler and would hate having to clean it. I would probably resort to covering the thing with foil when cooking messy things so I wouldn't have to clean it afterwards!

    Jay Gunasekera thanked chispa
  • Jay Gunasekera

    Thank you for all your comments - i love this community! I am beginning to think that i should not have a feature tile behind the stove as it will make the kitchen look busy. My kitchen is not that big either. I hope my wholesaler takes returns of the tiles as the stove backsplash tiles were the most expensive. If i do decide on a pot filler, i will not recess it.

  • wilson853

    We have a warming shelf above our range top and use it all the time. Our hood has warming lights but even if you don't it would still provide extra space while you are cooking. Here's a couple with a shelf and pot filler.

    Tidal Marsh · More Info

    Sorrento Residence · More Info

    Jay Gunasekera thanked wilson853
  • 2ManyDiversions

    We put in a niche and I love it - but it's the same width as the range/cooktop. I keep oils, dried herbs, pepper and salt grinders, and spices that I'm using while cooking there, which I find incredibly handy, while I keep other things for cooking to the sides of the range. I wanted one for this purpose exactly and have found that my oils and seasonings actually stay cleaner than they did when I put them off to the side. I put everything away when I'm done, just as I would if I were to keep them to the side while using.

    Not sure I understand the whole bother of cleaning the tile shelf of a niche. I mean, it's a swipe or two. If food splatters, it'll splatter on the backsplash too. If grease splatters, it'll spatter in all directions, not just the niche wall or shelf. Ours is yet to be tiled, and I'm cooking, and no issues for me. OTOH, my countertops are 27" deep, giving me a few more inches between the niche and cooking area. Still...

    As for the pot filler, that's hotly debated here. Don't put one in if it's just for looks. Seriously. We put one in, opted for a deck mount, but it's to one side just behind our range's cooktop (and situated so it reaches every pot, anywhere on the cooktop), so looks almost part of the niche but isn't, and can be situated under our upper cabinets if needed. We chose deck-mount for the sturdiness. If you install one in your niche or wall, add extra support to the back or it might sag over time. Do this when/if you do the niche as it means dry-wall work. We also put in a cut-off valve behind the drawer base beside the range - for easy shut off in case it's needed, and the pot filler has 2 shut off valves. As for usefulness? I thought I'd use it maybe 2-3 times a week, tops. I use it 1-2 times a day. Really. But I also use it to fill my sous vide which I place beside the cooktop for easy transfer when I am ready to sear off. I cook a lot, from scratch. And even though I have a sink just across from my pot filler (and another sink in addition for cleanup), I wouldn't ever have another kitchen without a pot filler. I thought it'd be useful, but I had no idea how useful and how much it'd save in trips to the sink with pots. But many people just don't cook that much these days. Depends on your needs.

    Jay Gunasekera thanked 2ManyDiversions
  • lucky998877

    I will absolutely have a pot filler! I have always wanted one, it will make me smile every day when I'm in the kitchen!

    Jay Gunasekera thanked lucky998877
  • Jay Gunasekera

    2manydiversions and luckyblueeye - what pot filler did you get?

  • lucky998877

    I got a Brizo one.

  • 2ManyDiversions

    Whitehaus deck mount in antique brass. Please ignore the lack of tile backsplash, and the herbs that need changing. I've only used the basil, rosemary, and chives and it's so hot outside to pick new ones. I placed a couple bottles and a pepper mill on the niche's shelf as a quick example of how I use the niche when cooking. I've got a wonderful spice area for the mills, and keep my oils in the cabinetry pantry. Anyway, love this pot filler. The 'thingy' at the end of the spout (where the aerator fits in) swivels 360 degrees for aiming it as well. Water from most pot fillers comes out as strong as your kitchen faucet spout so you can fill pots fast, but can also be turned on to come out in a slow trickle, which is nice when you need to use measuring cups.

    Jay, I would call our niche rather tall in height, although I've seen many this height. I also saw a few that were rectangular, and much shorter than tall... loved the look but we wanted an arch to correspond with the arched panes in our transoms (two of which are in the kitchen). I realize this is a {coughing into hand} dated look... as if I care ; -) Luckyblueeye, may your heart always sing in your kitchen : ) Mine sure does : )

    3rd Photos for Uploading · More Info

  • P McG

    @2ManyDiversions I'm getting ready to begin a large remodel. I have a bumped out window behind where my kitchen sink is currently located. I will be moving my sink and my new 36" cooktop will go there. Instead of removing the bump out it will become a tiled niche over my new induction cooktop. I'm using white beveled subway tiles and inside the niche the tiles will be in a herringbone pattern. This is a much cheaper alternative to completely removing the bump out AND it will be a functional focal point in my kitchen beneath my hood. Who knows maybe those of us who like the Niche behind the cooktop will revive this great look. Happy cooking to us all :)

  • Buehl

    I have a niche behind my cooktop, but no pot filler. We have well water and when water has been sitting in the pipes for many hours (or days), it's recommended you run the water for a minute or two (until fresh water comes out -- based on water temperature) before using. So, a pot filler would not work for us. Besides, I'd rather not have one b/c it's a water source with no drain beneath in case of drips, leaks, or overflows. And, as others have pointed out, you still have to carry a pot to your sink to dump (again, no drain). My sink is close enough and adding water once something is on the cooktop/range is not done often enough to warrant the risk or extra expense.

    As to the niche -- it doesn't get any dirtier than a wall with no niche. In fact, b/c the niche is deeper, there's less grease/splashing on the wall itself. Stuff does land on the niche "shelf" and anything that's in it. But, I just put decorative things in there that can be put in the DW to clean.

    My niche is 30" wide behind a 36" wide cooktop:

    An old picture. (I decorate differently now; this picture is over 10 years old!)

    For over 10 year's we've been postponing our tiled backsplash! Ever time I save up the money, something comes along that's more important to spend it on (like a new DW or refrigerator or college tuition for kids, etc.)!

  • 2ManyDiversions

    P McG: "Who knows maybe those of us who like the Niche behind the cooktop will revive this great look." Thank you for that comment! I really think it never went out of style, just that the style of them changed, just as the style and patterns of backsplashes change. The naysayers are welcome to their opinions, so long as mine may be expressed : )

    Buehl, thank you for the comment that it does not get any dirtier than a flush backsplash. There are those who say different, but I suspect they have no experience with them. And I love your niche! RE: the pot filler, you might be surprised how much of a time and backsaver that one less trip to empty a pot at the sink is, but not have to fill it there. I sure was. And by the time I'm done cooking, I'm a bit tired too. With soups and stocks the emptying is done on the cooktop.

    I understand about running the faucet due to well water, and remember those days. I'd also flush the commode first thing in the morning to run water through the pipes. I'm so grateful for 'city water' now, LOL!

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