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Non-combustible window casings

Meg Caven
last month

Well, we failed inspection because our wood window casings are too close to our gas range. We are upset because if we had known that this would be an issue, we would probably have run the stone backsplash to the window. Now we're trying to figure out what to do to solve this problem. Options so far on the table include:

  • finding a non combustible casing material (white quartz?, ceramic?) - if so, can we get it cut to the profile of the existing casings? There are wood casings on the next wall that share this profile.

  • re-cutting the backsplash stone to run to the window, and then tiling the wall above.

-some combination - stone windowsills to match the stone backsplash, non-combustible casing materials.

Looking for suggestions and recommendations. What materials should we consider? which options of these would you pick, or what haven't we considered?

Comments (27)

  • just_janni
    last month

    Can you repurpose a Hardi type material for casings? and is not non-combustible?

    Meg Caven thanked just_janni
  • PRO
    HALLETT & Co.
    last month

    Was it just the ear on the sill the inspector flagged or all the trim?

    Meg Caven thanked HALLETT & Co.
  • theresa21
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Your kitchen is so beautiful. Let me preface the following suggestions by stating, "Don't listen to me, I'm just throwing random thoughts out there because I feel so bad for you."

    • Would zoning let you do an induction range instead of gas?
    • Would Corian pass inspection as an alternative to the wood trim?


    Maybe you can fit some sort of metal baffle behind your range to protect the immediate area behind your range from scorching.

    I hope someone, besides me, can help you figure this out.


  • Meg Caven
    Original Author
    last month

    Thanks to all who have weighed in, and appreciate the kind words about our kitchen that is looking very lived-in right now.


    Re: Hardi-type materials: apparently it is not sufficient for the material to be fire-resistant (there's apparently something made of ash that doesn't meet standard). Not sure if Hardi meets muster, but i'll look into it.


    @HALLETT & Co. Apparently it is the casing upt to the height of the range hood, not just the ear on the sill.


    @theresa21, induction could work, but that's an expensive swap out for a new range...interesting thought, though. I think Corian could pass - but my preference would be for it to be cut with the profile of the existing trim. Do you know if that's possible?

  • chicagoans
    last month

    Your kitchen is so pretty and I would be frustrated too! I had the same question as HALLETT, so I think my first step would be asking the zoning folks if you would pass inspection if you just replaced the window sills with stone. If so, then I'd ask the fabricator if it's even possible to pull out the existing sill and insert a stone sill, and I'd ask him / her to see if they have any remnants that match your stone.

  • rebunky
    last month

    Beautiful kitchen and I am so sorry that your designer dropped the ball by not reading the specs in your Thermador gas range. I believe you needed 5” clearance to the sides and 18” high.

    I typed in ”non combustible window casing” to google and this product came up. I have no affiliation and I actually had never heard of ”Foamed Ceramics”. Maybe you can check it out?

    https://www.kitoceramics.com/outdoor/window-trim.html

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    last month

    Consider covering the window trim, in the red rectangle, with the same material as the backsplash.





  • deb s
    last month

    What if you did no casings and did a bullnose edge kinda matching the range hood so it would look a bit stucco ish

  • JP L
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I have seen this done with cast stone interior casings to mimic the wood profiles/trims - I believe they can closely color match your wood trim, or you can select a different color that is closer to the backsplash material. It's not an inexpensive fix, but it's probably less than replacing that whole backsplash.

  • theresa21
    last month

    I would find a talented Corian craftsperson to evaluate the job. Some of the details such as the outside moldings on the header and side casings might be more challenging or impossible to duplicate. However, I would think that an experienced Corian technician should be able to install all the unadorned flat pieces, corner blocks and the sill. After installing those simple profile pieces, have it inspected for code compliance, and then if you are still not satisfied with the look, attach the detailed wood moldings to the Corian and then paint the whole thing to match your other windows. But first you need to ask if Corian is code compliant, and you'll need to find a talented Corian craftsperson.

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting
    last month
    last modified: last month

    That backsplash is also combustaible and so is corian they are plastic . Get some tile tile that whole wall remove the window trim and replace with tile that should satisfy the inspection I hope

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    last month

    Replace all the casings and stools with a white contrasting natural stone. It's not going to be cheap, but it will look like you planned it that way. Remember, you're going to be looking at this for a very long time. You don't want regret in your coffee every morning.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    last month

    Change all windows in the kitchen , replicate just the two in Pure white Thassos marble...?

    https://www.windowsills.com/natural-stone/thassos-white-marble-window-sills-distributor-in-miami/

  • palimpsest
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Corian has a Class A Fire Rating. It has a flame spread rating of 20.

    Class A fire ratings indicate a flame spread rating somewhere between zero and 25. Materials that fall into Class A or Class 1 include things like brick, gypsum wallboard, and fiber cement exterior materials. These materials do not burn well and are very unlikely to contribute fuel to a fire.

    Cambria Quartz (as an example) has a Class A Fire Rating.

    They are not heat proof. They will scorch or discolor when exposed to high heat like placing a hot pan on them or on the vertical surface behind a high BTU range, particularly one with rear vents for the oven.

    But they are not "combustible" or "flammable" like wood is. Pine or oak have a flame spread rating up around 100.

  • PRO
    Charles Ross Homes
    last month

    Hi, Meg,

    I'm not sure what building code applies in your area, but the definition of non-combustible material in the International Residential Code is one that meets the test requirements of ASTM standard E136. James Hardie claims that Hardie Trim meets ASTM E136, so you should be able to use it in lieu of the wood casings and comply with the code. I suggest you check with your building code official--not the on site inspector--to verify.

  • PRO
    Minardi
    last month

    Corian will still turn brown in the heat zone, even if it is an approved material. The prohibited combustibles zone around a range is pretty clear in the appliance paperwork diagrams of most. This should not have been missed.


    But, since it was, the better option may be to just remove the casing completely, and do a tile wrap, with a radius bullnose. A tile wrapped window is a classic look.




  • Meg Caven
    Original Author
    last month

    Thanks, all. Some great suggestions here. I agree that this should not have been missed. This was our contractor's mistake and as far as I am concerned he is accountable for the fix. The existing backsplash is quartzite, and we love it and don't want to lose it. Because of the way the existing slab it is cut to accomodate the sill, my take is that we either have to re-cut the slab on the wall behind the range (assuming another slab from the same lot is available) and do 36" of quartzite, and tile above that, or replace the casing material with cast stone, corian, Hardie. etc.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    last month

    "Because of the way the existing slab it is cut to accommodate the sill,..."


    Is the backsplash cut around the stool ends, or have the stool ends been cut to allow the slab to pass behind please?

  • AnnKH
    last month

    In the second photo, it looks like the backsplash was cut around the ends.

  • Meg Caven
    Original Author
    last month

    @joseph_corlett and @AnnKH - correct, the backsplash is cut around the sills.

  • aem04
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Just want to say to the people here suggesting Corian - huh? No. I had Corian in an older kitchen, and set a warm (not hot) pan down on it for 2 seconds and it left a burn mark. Even if Corian won't go up in flames next to a gas oven, it'll look like trash in no time, next to that gorgeous and expensive stone.

    I like the suggestion to find more of that stone, pull out the existing sill and replace with a stone sill. But first find out if that would solve the inspector's issue.

    As to induction cooktop swap, that too would need to be discussed with the inspector. While the induction cooktop does not have a flame and does not get hot, the pots and pans on it will get hot. There's a video showing a pan left on an induction cooktop lighting on fire - because the contents of the pan were flammable, even though the cooktop is not. So before contemplating that cooktop switch, clear it with the inspector.

  • la_la Girl
    last month
    last modified: last month

    What a gorgeous kitchen - and I agree hang on to that lovely quartzite -

    FWIW & def not a pro - but I remember seeing honed black granite window sills when I was out slab searching and wonder if there is a work around with that material? It would imagine it could be easier to work with since it was already "cut down" into manageable pieces

    these guys sell to the trade - but have a storefinder

    https://www.windowsills.com/absolute-black-window-sills/

    https://www.windowsills.com/window-sills/

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting
    last month

    Sorry so many quartz counters here I assumed .

  • J Sk
    last month
    last modified: last month

    ^^^ the upper cabinets might be as close to range but would be much higher

  • palimpsest
    last month

    Actually, seeing a close up of those casings...they are kind of chewed up looking, and I would want something in a little better surface condition for a new remodel. I would not have said anything except they are going to have to be changed anyway.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    last month

    Meg:

    The returned ends on your new stools could be fabricated in a way to cover the notched backsplash. Even if they don't, your splash has enough movement to lend itself to inconspicuous repairs.