Expert advice – downdraft extraction hobs
As downward extraction hobs become more popular in kitchen design, BORA’s Willi Bruckbauer talks us through how this latest technology works.
Trends in kitchen design come and go, but one that has become more a way of life than a passing fad is the move towards open-plan kitchen living spaces. The kitchen is more of a lifestyle than ever. And with this, more individual than ever too. The benefits of open-plan living are numerous - making small spaces look and feel much bigger, filling the room with light and encouraging families to be more social – so it’s no surprise that open-plan living is so popular among homeowners. While the advantages can’t be denied, there are drawbacks to open-plan kitchen areas, which should be addressed to ensure the space really works for everyone.
One of these is cooking odours – in an open-plan kitchen it is important that smells from cooking aren’t left to linger long after the meal has been enjoyed. From cushions and curtains to clothes, any soft furnishings and materials can be left with an unpleasant smell that is difficult to wash off unless the extraction system in an open-plan kitchen is sufficient. However, a head-height extractor hood can constrain the room’s design – depending on where it is sited it can create a visual obstacle and restrict the room’s layout, particularly when it needs to be sited above an island unit right in the centre of the kitchen. Inventiveness is required: who wants to visually overload a small kitchen with a bulky hood? Less is more – providing it is well-thought-out and carefully designed. How can you create a clever and chic design that also offers great technical efficiency in just a few square metres?
The solution is the downdraft extraction hob, signalling an end to the extractor hood in the conventional sense. A downdraft extractor quite literally removes the steam and odours away from pots and pans exactly as they arise, drawing them downwards before they have the chance to permeate the air. Grease particles released during cooking are effectively trapped in the filter, so that it feels like cooking and living in fresh air. With odours being released at source the cook themselves is not part of the cooking process.
Another practical concern in open-plan living rooms is of course that of noise. There is little worse than having conversations interrupted, or your enjoyment of watching the TV or listening to music spoilt, by the noise of appliances, with conventional extractor hoods being a big culprit here too. A downward extractor will be significantly quieter than a head-height model, in fact it will only be around the same level of noise that a steak makes when cooking, so it won’t disturb anyone else in the room.
With the extraction system built into the cooktop, a seamless and minimal finish is achieved, with the design of the space overall not compromised in any way. From a practical viewpoint, cleaning is made easier too, as the system can be easily dismantled ready for the dishwasher.
Published: January 3, 2019