A cooker hood is an essential appliance in the kitchen. It is designed to control moisture in the air whilst cooking, preventing water and grease vapours from depositing onto your surfaces.
Not only does it help prevent mould and mildew issues in the kitchen, but it also helps keep odours at bay. Ultimately, it makes it easier to keep your kitchen clean and your house smelling fresh.
Whether you want to replace an existing exhaust hood or install one for the first time, the steps below will teach you how to fit a cooker hood over your hob.
How To Fit A Cooker Hood
Fitting a new cooker hood can be as easy as mounting the appliance over the hob and wiring it (if it’s a ductless cooker hood) or more complicated if you also have to install ducting.
The steps below show you how to install a vented hood.
What You’ll Need
- Cooker hood
- Flexible ducting
- Rigid duct sleeve
- Vent kit
- Aluminium foil tape
- Hole saw
- Drill bit set
- Flathead screwdriver
- Phillips screwdriver
- Wire stripper
- Tape measure
1. Obtain Planning Permission (If Necessary)
Planning permission is not needed when installing a cooker hood replacement. However, if you want to install a new hood with an extractor fan, you need planning permission.
Otherwise, you cannot drill the chimney or vent hole through the outside wall legally.
Planning permission is also needed if you’re upgrading your kitchen and want to change the hob’s (and hob hood) position.
Permits are generally required in this case only if you have to make changes to the gas plumbing, add a new electric circuit, or drill a new vent hole.
2. Measure And Mark Cooker Hood Location
The first step to fitting a cooker hood, once you have all the necessary permits, is to measure and mark the hood location on the wall.
You can install it at any desired height, as long as you respect a minimum and maximum distance from the surface of the hob.
The table below shows the minimum and maximum heights for the various hob types:
|Cooker Type||Minimum cooker hood height||Maximum cooker hood height|
|Gas||650 mm||800 mm|
|Electric||550 mm||800 mm|
Once you decide the height, unpack the appliance and ask a helper to keep it against the wall.
Mark the fixing points with a pencil, the position where the duct meets the hood, and any opening you might have to cut to fit the duct pipe.
3. Measure And Mark Ducting Route
Starting from the spot where the ducting connects to the hood, plan the ducting route to the outside wall (or the ceiling).
When planning the route, remember that the number of bends your duct can have is limited to two for fans with extract rates between 6 and 30 l/s.
The duct can only have one bend if the fan has an extraction rate higher than 30 l/s.
Mark the fixing points, keeping in mind that the duct pipe needs thorough support. Also, mark the duct exit point on the outside wall.
4. Drill Out Fixing Points
Using an appropriate drill bit type (plasterboard or masonry) and size, drill out fixing point holes for both cooker hood and ducting. Remove the dust with a vacuum cleaner.
5. Drill Out The Vent Hole
If you’re installing a cooker hood in a new or upgraded kitchen, you might also have to drill out the vent hole.
Drill the hole with a masonry-grade hole saw. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for the size of the hole needed.
Generally, vented cooker hoods require a vent hole between 120 mm and 150 mm in diameter.
6. Install External Vent And Ducting
You can now install the external vent and ducting. Most ducted range hoods come with everything needed for installation.
If your appliance doesn’t come with a vent kit, you can buy one from your local home improvement store.
Start by attaching the short section of ducting that goes through the outside wall to the internal ducting plate.
Thread the pipe through the wall and screw the internal plate in place.
Head outside and install the exterior ducting plate. Depending on your circumstances, you might have to use a ladder or scaffolding to reach the vent hole securely.
Install any support brackets needed to hold the ducting in place.
7. Get The Power Supply In Place
Next, you have to get power to your new appliance.
Most kitchens have wiring in place for appliances, including the range hood. If yours doesn’t, or you want to change its position, you might have to install a new circuit.
Draw a wiring diagram from the closest wall socket or light bulb circuit. The wire should go into a junction box, through a fuse spur, and connect to the hood.
Warning: Improper installation of a new electrical circuit can lead to numerous hazards. Hire a licenced electrician if you’re not sure how to install the wiring. Always turn off the main electrical switch in your house before carrying out any electrical work.
8. Fit The Cooker Hood
Once everything is in place, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to wire up the hood and connect it to the duct.
Fit the cooker hood to the wall with the fasteners included in the package.
Turn electricity on and test the cooker hood.
How To Fit A Recirculating Cooker Hood?
Fitting a recirculating (ductless) cooker hood is easier than fitting a cooker chimney or ducted appliance.
All you have to do is mark its position on the wall, drill the fixing points, hook the wiring, and fasten it in place.
Once you’ve fitted it, install the carbon filter as instructed in the product manual.
Can I install a cooker hood myself?
Yes, you can install a cooker hood yourself. There are no installation regulations that prevent you from doing so.
However, installing ducting or adding a new electrical circuit is often challenging. It is best to call a contractor if you’re an absolute beginner.
Is it easy to fix a cooker hood?
Fixing a cooker hood is easy if you’re replacing an old appliance with a similar one. In this case, you won’t have to alter the wiring or install new vents.
Fitting the hood gets more complicated if you want to switch from ductless to a vented model or if you want to change its location.
Do cooker hoods need to be externally vented?
No, cooker hoods don’t have to be externally vented.
Ductless hoods use active carbon and other air filters to remove moisture and grease droplets from the air.
However, chimneys and other types of ducted range hoods need to be externally vented. Otherwise, the exhaust will release the fumes back into your kitchen.
Fitting a cooker hood is an excellent project for intermediate and advanced DIY enthusiasts. Beginners could also tackle the task, as long as you don’t have to install new wiring or a duct.
Regardless of your skill level, we hope this guide can help you complete the project successfully.