The exhaust duct for your kitchen cooker plays an important role in the function of your kitchen. That doesn’t mean it’s appealing to look at.
If you want to hide your cooker hood ducting, you have several options. First, you can build a column or a false cupboard around the ducting to hide it from view.
You can also blend it in with your walls by using matching satin or glossy paint. Finally, you can use your ducting as a place to hang decorative pieces such as wreaths or baskets.
Use this guide to help determine which method is best for your kitchen and how to hide your hood ducting.
Hide Your Cooker Hood Ducting With A Column
One of the most complete methods of hiding your range exhaust duct is putting it behind a column. In essence, you install a box that attaches to the wall and ceiling around the duct.
Then you can add trim to or paint to blend it with the rest of your kitchen fixtures. No one will be able to see the ducting at all anymore.
What You’ll Need
- Measuring tape
- Pencil or chalk line
- Stud finder (optional)
- 2×4 beams
- Wood saw
- Nail gun
- Plasterboard sheets
1. Measure And Mark Your Column Dimensions
Measure from the ceiling to the top of your cooker hood for your column’s height. Locate the studs on either side of your ducting in your back wall, either manually or with a stud finder.
Mark the ones closest to your ducting and measure the distance between them. This will be the width of your column.
Finally, measure the length from your back wall to the front of the top of your cooker hood.
Mark the ceiling using the length measurement, then find and mark the studs in your ceiling along this length.
2. Cut And Attach The Wall And Ceiling Plates
Cut a length of 2×4 to the appropriate width for your column. Then, cut two more pieces to the height of your column.
These are your ceiling plate and wall plates; the frame of your column will attach to this. Keep this in mind while calculating your measurements for the frame pieces.
Using a nail gun, attach the ceiling plate and the wall plates to their marked locations. You should have two vertical slats on either side of the duct, and one slat on the ceiling running parallel to your range.
3. Cut And Build Your Frame
Cut another 2×4 to the width of your column. This will be the bottom of your frame. Cut two more pieces to the height of your column, minus the thickness of both the frame bottom and the ceiling plate.
When you attach these supports to the ceiling plate, the entire frame should be the height you measured for your column.
But first, attach these supports to either end of the frame bottom with your nail gun, making a “U” shape. Measure and mark off every sixteen inches between these supports.
Then, cut another support the same height as the two on the ends for each mark. Attach one to each mark, creating an evenly spaced row of supports.
4. Attach And Finish The Frame
Attach the frame to the ceiling plate at each support using your nail gun. Then, measure the space between the bottom of your frame and the wall plates.
Cut two pieces of 2×4 to this measurement. Attach one to each end of the bottom of the frame running perpendicular to the ceiling plate. The other end of these bottom supports should reach the wall plates.
Nail these ends to the wall plates. You should now have a frame surrounding your kitchen ducting that is attached to both the wall and ceiling plates.
5. Finish The Column With Plasterboard Sheets
Cut four pieces of plasterboard to finish your column. Cut one with your column’s total height and width measurements for the front piece. The two side pieces will use your column’s height and width measurements.
The fourth piece of plasterboard will also use the height and width measurements. However, you should also cut a hole in the middle of this piece for the ducting itself.
This cut-out should be at least an inch bigger in diameter than your ducting to ensure it fits properly.
Finally, attach each sheet of plasterboard to the column frame, covering the three facing sides and the bottom.
You now have a cooker duct column that is ready for paint, wallpaper, or any other finishing of your choice.
You can also build a soffit using the same general method. A soffit is very similar to a column, except that it covers the tops of all your cabinets.
Install A False Cabinet Around The Duct
Since your range duct will run up towards the ceiling, it should be near your kitchen cabinets. Try building a false cabinet around the duct to hide it.
It doesn’t need shelves inside since it won’t be in use for anything other than covering up unsightly ducting.
Many home improvement and home design stores sell backless cabinets that are pre-built. You can find one for your style of cabinet, or at least something that resembles your current style.
You will need to cut a hole in the top and bottom of the faux cabinet for the duct. Cut the hole about an inch wider in diameter than your duct for easier installation and better airflow.
You can also build your own – simply follow the same instructions for building a column above. Instead of adding plasterboard to the front, however, add cabinet doors.
Paint Your Cooker Hood Ducting
If you’re less handy with tools or just want a quicker fix, paint can do wonders to hide ductwork.
Choose a paint that can withstand heat and is designed for metal surfaces. If possible, choose one with a gloss or satin finish. These withstand dirt and oil better than matte finishes and are easier to clean.
A great way to blend in the ductwork of your kitchen is to paint it the same colour as the wall behind it. It will become much less notable to the eye.
Another option is to choose a colour that complements your overall kitchen colour scheme. Then your ducting will look more like a cohesive decorative choice rather than something you’re trying to hide.
Either way, paint is an easy solution to hide or blend in your cooker exhaust duct.
Hide Your Ducting With Decorative Items
Instead of just trying to hide your ductwork, you can have it pull double-duty as a place for decoration. Try placing a pretty wreath or even artwork over your duct; a wire basket also works well.
This can maximise the design space of your kitchen while also covering up the ugly ducting.
Be very careful to ensure that your décor doesn’t damage the duct. It should also be tightly secured so there’s no chance of it falling from the duct while the cooker is in use.
Cooker hood ducting is important but not very pleasing to the eye. You can hide your ducting with decorative items, paint, or constructed coverings like a column or fake cabinet.
Some methods cover the duct completely but take more construction skills. Others are much simpler but don’t put the entire duct behind a covering.
The good news is that this means there’s a solution here for everyone. There are options for hiding your kitchen duct no matter your skill or the kind of kitchen you have.