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Downdraft vent dilemma

Vanessa
9 days ago
last modified: 9 days ago

Hi all,

I am finishing up a kitchen design and about to put my money on the table. I was planning on putting a double oven gas range using a downdraft vent in my island (gas is a must). I went to the appliance store today, and he said that I could only do that with a dual fuel range, then proceeded to show me some JennAir dual fuel downdraft range as being my only option- but the downdraft is smack dab in the middle of the stove and I feel like this is just a bad design. I should also mention, as much as I'd love a hood vent, that's not a viable option.


Of course, the salesman can't really sell me anything that he can't offer at Yale, so I'm turning to Houzz! I've heard of the Cattura downdraft by Best- but I'm uncertain of its capabilities. It seems to read that it can serve as a downdraft for ANY type of stove (range, cooktop, rangetop, dual fuel or not). Am I reading this wrong? Can anyone enlighten me- do you have a Cattura downdraft and if so what do you use it with?


This feels too good to be true, so if the Cattura is limited with what it can be used for, do I have any other options? Or are my options simply the crappy JennAir, or a gas cooktop?


Tell me all the things! Thanks all!



Comments (19)

  • PRO
    Designer Kitchen and Bath
    8 days ago

    Cattura can be used with a range, with the plenum reversed. It has to be located in a minimum 21” deep cabinet to the rear of the range. That occupies significant space, and renders that cabinet virtually unusable. Or it can be located to the left or right of the range, occupying similar space, and rendering those cabinets unusable. Remote blowers located elsewhere can also be an option, but that greatly increases the cost of an already expensive system that is marginally effective.


    I will not specify a gas range with a downdraft system, as it is a safety issue. Overhead venting routes can sometimes be challenging, but they remain the only good option for a gas combustion appliance in your home. Good luck!

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  • opaone
    8 days ago

    Unless you are only boiling water on an induction cooktop or this is on a lanai in Hawaii with a huge amount of natural ventilation all of the time - get a proper exhaust hood. It's really irresponsible for your families health to not do so.


  • Victory Showroom
    8 days ago

    A downdraft will not function well with a gas range. It is very similar to not having a range hood at all. The smoke/steam needs to be pulled in and then usually pushed down, which is never a good idea. If you do not have the option of using a traditional range hood, you could explore the possibility of using a ceiling-mount unit that is flush with the ceiling. We make one that fits between the joists (Sunset model). Even ceiling-mount hoods are best for basic/moderate cooking, but anything is better than a downdraft. I know you are asking for suggestions on downdraft units, but unfortunately nobody recommends them, especially not for gas ranges.

    Vanessa thanked Victory Showroom
  • darbuka
    8 days ago
    last modified: 8 days ago

    If in fact you’re “...just finishing up a kitchen design”, then change it and put the gas range on a wall...then, design for a proper venting hood.

    However, if you insist on putting the gas range in the island w/o a hood, then don‘t bother with a downdraft. Downdrafts are ineffective, esp. with gas. You’ll be spewing cooking effluents into the air with a downdraft, or without. Save your money.

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting
    8 days ago

    IMO down drafts no matter who makes them are pretty close to useless and with gas really a bad idea. I agree there has to be a place for a gas range somewhere else in the kitchen design if you post the floor plan you might get some great ideas. BTW when you post a question here you get answers that are often posted from experience.

  • PRO
    BeverlyFLADeziner
    8 days ago

    If you keep track of what is shown currently for kitchens, you'd be hard-pressed to even find kitchens with cooktops in islands. KDs have come to the conclusion it is a bad design practice. People who COOK need good appliances and good exhaust. That dictates the location of the cooktop or range at a wall.


    For some of these homes, money is no object and the cooking is still placed on the wall.








  • Fori
    8 days ago

    You could probably just skip the downdraft and go ventilation-free. Makes the design easier, right? :)

  • Vanessa
    Original Author
    8 days ago

    @Fori haha! That's about where I'm at! ;)

  • Angel 18432
    8 days ago

    Are you using a KD? If they know their profession, they should be advising you and should know from experience.


  • wdccruise
    8 days ago

    It's best to review the Cattura Downdraft "Installation Guide" for answers. Based on the drawing and text on page 11, it appears you could install the Cattura behind a range (photographed in the "Brochure") in a 30" deep cabinet which would allow space for the Side Exhaust cutout through which the Cattura would be connected to ducts as shown on pages 7 and 8 of the Installation Guide.

  • Vanessa
    Original Author
    8 days ago
    last modified: 8 days ago

    @Victory Showroom thank you! I hadn't heard of a ceiling vent. I will look into that. I'm assuming those are relatively new- anyone have experience?

  • wdccruise
    8 days ago

    It would be interesting to see some data that demonstrates that a ceiling mount range hood located five feet above a standard cooktop (assuming an eight-foot ceiling and a cooktop 36" above the floor) performs better than the Cattura Downdraft, for example, whose intake is 18" above the cooktop).

  • kaseki
    8 days ago

    A ceiling mount range hood (not really a hood, but we'll be nice) at 5 ft above the cooktop should be able to collect all of the effluent that reaches its boundaries, and if of adequate size, all of the rising effluent. The key word is adequate, because the plumes are diverging at a 10 degree angle (more angle for the lower velocity components normally entrained with low hoods) plus air disturbance driven displacements. The velocity of the induced air flow up there might not have to be 90 ft/min due to cooling and slowing plumes, but necessary capture area grows fairly large so the total CFM will be larger than with a conventional hood of proper size at 3 ft above the counter.

    In comparison to even tall pop-up downdrafts that cannot entrain or even successfully divert hot greasy or oily cooking on front burners or generally completely collect plume effluent on back burners, the ceiling collection should be successful, excluding perhaps turbulence and draft induced mixing of effluent into the general kitchen air. I am not aware of any residential ceiling 'hoods' that are either large enough or designed to provide good capture over their physical extent. On the other hand, I don't have any candidates to measure.

    Commercial ceiling ventilation typically deals with the entire ceiling. See Haydal's website. The issue for a residential scheme is cleaning convenience. Commercial approaches use UV or other approaches to destroy grease and keep the ceiling manifolds clean.

    Understand that while the aperture may be at 8 ft from the floor, and this is where the architectural ceiling is, the actual space needed above the ceiling may call for a deliberately designed house architecture to accommodate the parts. Clearly one could put a very large commercial hood at 8 ft instead of 7 ft so long as there was room to fit the assembly above the ceiling but below the next floor.

  • wdccruise
    8 days ago

    @kaseki: "A ceiling mount range hood...at 5 ft above the cooktop should be able to collect all of the effluent that reaches its boundaries..." "the plumes are diverging at a 10 degree angle"

    The short side of a triangle with one angle 90 degrees, one angle 10 degrees, and one side 60" is about 11". Per your comment, the hood must have to extend 11" in all directions beyond the size of the range. If one had a standard 30" range (depth 25"), the ceiling hood would have to be 30" + 11" + 11" = 52" wide and 25" + 11" + + 11" = 47" deep. The largest hood offered by Appliances Direct is only(!) 54" wide, 25" deep (and requires 13.5" inside the ceiling) so it's not big enough. Take out your tape measure. Would you really want even a 54" x 25" box stuck to the ceiling?

  • kaseki
    7 days ago
    last modified: 7 days ago

    What is needed in this case if using "off-the-shelf" flush ceiling 'hoods' (e.g., Best Cirrus, Miele, etc.) is more than one ceiling 'hood' with edges butted together to make a larger capture area. Multiply up the vent blower and MUA requirements appropriately.

    More functional given what I have seen available would be a custom made collection box of the requisite size having structure to hold multiple baffle assemblies. Baffle assemblies are available from such manufacturers as Flame Gard.

    Think about how such systems, custom made or not, will be accessed and cleaned while protecting the island underneath.

    Think about how either approach's space demands will be compatible with where the next floor's joists are, along with vent ducting runs, MUA intake, ducting, heating, and insertion into the house air.

    And because it may be difficult to avoid crawling around on the island to deal with this, any use of stone should be well supported, and weight spreading using stiff boards such as sections of MicroLam may be needed for margin.

  • opaone
    7 days ago
    last modified: 7 days ago

    For a ceiling hood to be effective requires excessive aperture size, containment volume, internal baffling and CFM's. Otherwise they are only slightly better than downdraft. They are nirvana for open plan commercial kitchens but the install cost is about 5-7x the cost of a standard hood and operational cost about 3x (in cold climates) so are very rarely installed.

    The effluent plum at the ceiling is quite different than at 3' above the range. It is cooler and much less dense which works against good capture and containment. Closer to the range the heat of the effluent helps to contain it in the hood (hot air rises) until it can be exhausted. Even just 3' higher the byproducts that you need to exhaust are less dense by a factor of about 4 (so you have to exhaust 4x as much volume to exhaust the same amount of particulates) and it has cooled resulting in the need of nearly twice the containment volume.

  • wdccruise
    7 days ago

    Obviously she should just do the the Cattura Downdraft.

  • PRO
    Celadon
    7 days ago

    Obviously she should get a better kitchen design and kitchen designer. This one appears to be clueless about. the ventilation issues that she has caused with a bad design.