Can You Have An Induction Hob Under A Window? – Advice + Tips
An emerging trend I’m seeing (and being asked about) a lot more recently in kitchen design is the placement of induction hobs/cooktops under windows.
But can you even do that? Are you allowed to have an induction hob under a window?
In this post, I’ll answer if you can have an induction hob under a window, explore the various pros and cons and delve into aspects like aesthetics, safety, ventilation, and maintenance.
Let’s get into it!
Can You Have An Induction Hob Under A Window? (UK)
Yes! You can have an induction hob under a window, at least here in the UK. However, there are a few important considerations to think about and address.
I’ve read through the UK building regulations, and while they do have specific requirements concerning the installation of cooking appliances, they focus largely on safety and ventilation.
To the best of my knowledge (at the time of writing), there isn’t a specific UK-wide regulation that explicitly prohibits the installation of a hob under a window.
Instead, it’s more about adhering to the general safety and ventilation guidelines set forth in the building regulations.
- Ventilation: Adequate ventilation is crucial, as outlined in Approved Document F of the building regulations.
- Fire Safety: Any curtains or other combustible materials should be kept a safe distance away from the hob.
- Building Structure and Material Safety: Consideration should be given to the materials surrounding the hob, including the window, to avoid any adverse effects due to heat.
I always recommend:
- Review Local Regulations: Some local councils may have more stringent regulations, so it’s essential to check any additional local restrictions or guidelines and check with your local building control team.
- Check Manufacturer’s Guidelines: The installation instructions provided by the hob manufacturer should also be followed, as placing the hob contrary to these guidelines could void the warranty and potentially be unsafe.
I also read through various appliance manufacturers’ websites and installation guides with NEFF and AEG stating the following:
- NEFF website says “Our FlexInduction Venting Hob frees you to place the hob wherever you want, whether it be on a kitchen island or in front of a window. With no hood in the way, there’s nothing to block your view or creativity.”
- AEG website says “Now you have more space for your versatile kitchen layout ideas – window, peninsula or island.”
Outside The UK
If you’re outside the UK it may be a similar scenario, however, please double check with your local building regulations before committing to this design choice.
I have read about and seen examples in the US of cooktops under/in front of windows when the window in question was fixed closed. ie. one you cannot open. So there is no danger of reaching over to open it, or drafts affecting the cooking/ventilation. You can read a discussion here – Houzz.com
Is A Venting Induction Hob The Best Option For Under A Window?
In my opinion, yes! A venting hob is the best option if you want an induction hob under/in front of a window.
A venting hob is essentially an induction hob that comes with a built-in extractor or cooker hood. This means it serves a dual purpose. It helps you cook and simultaneously removes the steam, smoke, and odours that are produced while cooking, directly from the source.
The presence of a window above the hob area typically means that installing a conventional overhead cooker hood isn’t a practical choice, or even possible. There simply isn’t sufficient wall space to accommodate a standard hood due to the window placement.
This is where a venting hob steps in as a convenient solution. It eliminates the need for overhead installation by combining the induction hob and the extractor into a single appliance.
So, you get to enjoy the benefits of an induction hob, coupled with effective ventilation, all while preserving the aesthetic appeal of having a window in your kitchen.
And because it’s likely going to be an outside wall (as it has a window) the option to vent out (rather than recirculate the extraction) will be a relatively straightforward and optimal option. Straight out the back of the hob, through the wall and outside. Perfect 👍
I’ve personally done a kitchen project where we placed induction venting hobs (hobs with built-in extractors) under a window. It was in front of a fixed (closed) internal window (looking through from the kitchen to the utility room).
I’ve never done a project with a regular induction hob under a window, only venting hobs. However, you can see and read about a kitchen project that has done this here – SimplyTheNest
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Why Would You Want To Have An Induction Hob Under A Window?
There could be a number of reasons why you might be considering positioning an induction hob under your kitchen window.
Here are some of the main reasons you might opt for this slightly unconventional setup.
In compact kitchens with limited counter space, layout restrictions might necessitate placing an induction hob under a window. It may be the most viable option to maximize functionality within the available space while adhering to kitchen ergonomics, allowing for a practical workflow and efficient utilization of the confined area.
Aesthetics and View
For many, the appeal of cooking while overlooking a garden, street, or landscape is enticing. An induction hob under a window can offer an enhanced cooking experience, fostering a sense of openness and connection to the outdoors. This configuration can transform the kitchen into a more pleasant and visually stimulating space, potentially making cooking tasks feel less tedious.
A growing trend I’m seeing more in kitchen/interior design is the use of these letterbox-shaped windows with the hob and/or sink in front of them acting a little bit like a splashback with a view.
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Enhanced Natural Lighting
Positioning an induction hob under a window can capitalize on natural light, reducing reliance on artificial lighting during the day. This setup contributes to a brighter and more welcoming kitchen environment, which can also be more energy-efficient, potentially lowering electricity consumption.
Modern and Streamlined Look
Induction hobs are renowned for their sleek and minimalist appearance. Integrating them under a window can amplify the contemporary and uncluttered aesthetics of the kitchen. This alignment can create clean sightlines and a sense of spaciousness, especially appealing in open-plan living spaces.
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What Are The Problems With Having An Induction Hob Under A Window?
Just because you can have an induction hob under a window, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should.
While induction hobs are generally considered safer and more adaptable to unconventional placements like under a window, several concerns and challenges should be addressed to ensure a safe and functional kitchen environment.
Here are some problems associated with having an induction hob under a window:
Proper ventilation is crucial in kitchens to expel odours, smoke, and excess moisture. When a hob is placed under a window, it could impede the installation of a conventional overhead extractor fan or range hood, potentially leading to inadequate ventilation. This limitation may require alternative solutions like venting hobs or downdraft extractors, which might not be as efficient in some cooking scenarios.
Splash and Spill Concerns
Cooking often results in splashes and spills, and having a hob under a window could lead to frequent cleaning challenges. Food splatters and grease can accumulate on the window glass and frame, necessitating regular and meticulous cleaning to maintain visibility and aesthetics and to avoid any long-term damage to the window materials.
There is a risk of knocking pans against the window while cooking or reaching over the hob, which could potentially damage the window or lead to accidents such as spills and burns. Additionally, depending on the window’s type and how it opens, there could be added risk factors and safety concerns to consider.
Draft Impact on Extractor Effectiveness
While induction hobs are not directly affected by drafts, the airflow from an open window can impact the effectiveness of an extractor in venting hobs. This disruption can cause the ventilation system to struggle to draw cooking fumes, odours, and steam away, leading to their accumulation within the kitchen.
Although you could argue that having a window that’s able to open can help with the ventilation. I guess it depends on which way the draft/wind is blowing!
Continuous exposure to heat and steam can impact the structural integrity and lifespan of the window frame, especially if it’s made from materials that are sensitive to heat and moisture. It’s essential to ensure that the materials in proximity to the hob are capable of withstanding the environmental conditions of cooking. Condensation could get pretty bad!
Curtains and Window Treatment Hazards
Even without an open flame, the presence of curtains or other window treatments near the induction hob poses a risk. Accidental contact with hot cookware can lead to damage and maybe even fire hazards, and as such, careful consideration must be given to the type and placement of window treatments in such setups.
Pros And Cons Of Induction Hobs Under Windows
|Aesthetics & View||Risks include knocking pans against the window and safety concerns with reaching over the hob.||Requires frequent cleaning due to splashes and spills on the window.|
|Natural Lighting||Maximizes natural light, reducing dependence on artificial lighting.||Potential impact on window’s structural integrity due to continuous exposure to heat.|
|Space Optimization||Suitable for kitchens with limited counter space, offering flexible layout options.||Limits the installation of overhead cabinets, potentially reducing storage options.|
|Safety||Flameless cooking reduces fire risks associated with open flames and window treatments.||Potentially improved indoor air quality with quick air exchange when the window is open.|
|Ventilation & Air Quality||Potentially improved indoor air quality with quick air exchange when the window is open.||Presents ventilation challenges and may affect the efficiency of extractor fans due to drafts.|
Can You Have A Gas Hob Under A Window? (UK)
Now, to the best of my knowledge, there isn’t a specific rule that explicitly prohibits the installation of gas hobs under a window in the UK. I’ve read through so many regulation documents now. If you know of something please send a link.
However, given the potential safety risks and the strict regulations surrounding gas appliance installations, it is crucial to consult with a Gas Safe registered engineer before installing a gas hob, especially if you’re considering locations like under a window.
A ‘workaround/exception’ might be if the window was fixed shut with no flammable surfaces within the ‘hot zone’ behind the hob. So there would be no chance of reaching over to open it and causing harm and no drafts interfering with the gas/flame or any flammable surface able to catch fire.
You would also need to make sure the glass is toughened and able to withstand the direct heat from a flame. It would also help to have an extractor fan/cooker hood overhead to help with the fumes, grease and steam. As demonstrated in the image below.
Even then, I still don’t like the idea of a gas hob under/in front of a window for a number of reasons I’ll go into below.
Flame Near Window Treatments
When it comes to gas hobs, the open flame is an inherent safety risk when placed near window treatments like curtains or blinds. These materials can easily catch fire if they come into contact with or are too close to the flame, presenting a significant fire hazard. Even non-combustible window treatments can become hot and emit fumes that may be harmful to health.
Impact of Air/Draft on Flame
Windows are susceptible to drafts which can affect the stability of the flame on a gas hob. A gust of wind from an open window can cause the flame to flicker or be extinguished, causing potential gas leaks, uneven cooking, or even fire outbreaks if the flame comes into contact with flammable materials nearby.
Safety Risk of Reaching Over
Positioning hobs beneath windows necessitates reaching over them to access the window. This action can lead to accidental burns and scalds, as individuals could inadvertently come into contact with the active heat source, or cause pots and pans to topple over while maneuvering around the appliance.
Direct Heat Exposure to Window Glass
Windows adjacent to hobs, especially those without toughened glass, are exposed to direct heat, which can compromise the integrity of the glass. Regular glass might not be resilient to sustained heat exposure, making it prone to cracks or, in extreme cases, shattering, which could result in injuries.
Restricted Ventilation Options
Ventilation is crucial in the kitchen to dissipate heat, smoke, and odours. Typically, range hoods are positioned over hobs to address this need. However, having a window in this location restricts the installation of effective ventilation systems, leading to compromised air quality and the potential accumulation of harmful particles and gases in the kitchen.
There are venting gas hobs on the market that can address this but I still wouldn’t recommend it, for all the other reasons I’ve explained.
Ceramic Hob Concerns
While not having an open flame like gas hobs, Ceramic hobs still present risks. They remain hot for a considerable time after being turned off, which could lead to burns if one reaches over them to access the window. Additionally, the radiant heat from ceramic hobs can also impact the integrity of window glass and surrounding structures
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There you have it! Everything you need to know if you’re considering putting an induction hob under a window.
Placing an induction hob under a window combines aesthetic allure with practical constraints. Understanding all of the pros and cons ensures that your cooking space remains safe, functional, and beautiful.
While not prohibited, having a hob under a window does come with some practical considerations that shouldn’t be overlooked.
And if you’re at all unsure, prioritize safety and consult with professionals to craft a space that’s not just visually pleasing, but also tailored to your unique needs.
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Michael is a kitchen designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new kitchen installations for over 10 years. Before that, he was an electrician and part of a team that fitted kitchens. He created Kitchinsider in early 2019 to help give people advice when it comes to getting a new kitchen.