A very essential component to stop dinner smells hanging around especially in an open plan area if you cook, curries with garlic, onions, or fish and fried food and there are four main types and they come in all shapes and forms:


  • Fully Ducted
  • Recycled Air
  • Downdraft
  • Ceiling Mounted


The best solution for removing the smell, heat and grease is a fully ducted wall mounted unit with immediate extraction to the outside.  Therefore your hob should be designed within the worktop position, adjacent to an outside wall and the extraction unit will have some form of a chimney and is wider than the hob eg 60cm hob 90 cms extractor and emits straight out.   Induction hobs emit steam sideways and upwards. Gas tends to go straight up. A minimum of 5mtrs of ducting can be used eg above wall units to reach the outer wall but the more bends and the further the run the less efficient it will be. (You lose 1.2 mtrs per bend)

Image: Neff fully ducted extractor



This is measured as with other electrical appliances from A to G and in kilo watts per hour and all products must display their rating.   The extractor must be able to exchange the air within the whole room (open plan needs a large extractor) 10 times per hour. If you work out the volume of your room, (length x width x height and multiply this by 10) it will give you the minimum extraction rate required. eg Kitchen of 250 sq mtrs = 250m3hr. 

Each type of extractor also needs to be positioned in exactly the right distance from the hob and according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Image: The extraction unit ductwork from the hood to the outside wall



The more powerful the extractor the more noisy it’s likely to be, especially cheaper models. A quiet extractor will be about 60 db.  A powerful extractor will have an air exchange rate of 730m3 per hour and be over 70db  Check the power with noise levels of the various extractors as noise and efficiency are the most important aspects.  Image has taken over from logic and common sense should apply. Understandably this may not be something you want to see but at what price in terms of installation and cost of the unit.



A Hotpoint fully ducted wall unit with a feature ceramic style hood and a glass canopy. Consider how this will look if not cleaned regularly!



Recirculating Extractors are far less effective and often fitted in apartments and flats in small kitchens which really need the best extraction.  They operate with removable filters to eliminate odours and capture grease.  The filters need to be cleaned regularly and often have additional disposable liners.  They fit in under wall units and in between and can be discreet but they are not the best. They are the cheapest usually so buy the very best if you have to have this type.


With the fashion for all things streamlined these come with pop up units at the back of the hob or centrally positioned between the pan circles.  If fully ducted you may need to dig up your kitchen floor to install the ductwork to the outside or the units are recyclable and sit within the kitchen unit under, which means you cannot have an oven in this position as the equipment takes up a lot of space. They are quiet to use.

The back units that pop up do not work well with the pan rings at the front of the hob. You also need to allow space around the cut out space. They are very expensive to buy and to install. You will pay for the look.



These are very expensive but certainly give the look.   You need space for the ducting of between 200 – 400mm in the void of your ceiling and the room above. See diagram for ducting. It’s worth looking at their noise vibration and efficiency, against the cost and how far away from the hob they will work effectively.  In a large room it will need to be a powerful set of motors to extract efficiently.

Decorative Pendant Extractors – these will operate the same as either a recyclable or fully ducted unit but you will need to clean the exterior regularly as they will naturally attract grease and dust with the ascending vapours.

Suitable for WC

The simple square extractor shown above is not suitable for use in a kitchen alone.  Every room in the house should have some form of extraction and this may suit a WC. For Kitchens you need both.  A Passive air vent and a mechanical extractor to meet building regulation approval and also for your own comfort.

Above is also a ceiling mounted extractor well ducted but where is it going – into the bedroom above?   When planning an extension or a new property you need to make a choice of the type of extractor and where you are going to place it quite early on or leave several options to connect to or cap off.



The latest in extraction.  As said before workout the cost versus the efficiency and the problems of installation before losing your heart to this type of extractor.  They look great of course!

Integrated appliances and flush ceiling mounted extractor by Luxair.



Integrated appliances are always more expensive than free standing with a door which defies the streamlined look if this is what you want. It seems ridiculous that a unit without a door is more expensive than with – possibly a marketing exercise.

In Germany, kitchens are not always a standard part of the purchase price of a property and they go with the removal of the previous owner or tenants. Therefore it makes sense to have more free standing items, although Germany is also one of the best countries for their export of fitted contemporary kitchens.  

Integrated makes the best use of space and also you can design the front elevations of the kitchen lining up the units so they are symmetrical. You rarely see drawers these days. They too are integrated behind a door or come as large pan drawers to give a very clean uninterrupted look. The design of the Elevations are just as important as the plan for looks and use. (See glossary of terms).

Floor to Ceiling tall units with fully integrated appliances with some on show and easy to use and others behind doors.



Nearly all ovens are electric and your budget and personal needs for number, type and size is an easier assessment if you know your type of cooking.  Hobs, which in the UK, can often be gas, are definitely more controllable, but more visible and can be less easy to clean. Induction, Halogen and Electric hobs give good service and can be almost invisible and it’s very much personal preference that dictates choice and how much you cook or ‘eat out’. Steam Ovens, Microwaves and Combination Ovens again are determined by your cooking. Certainly a Steam Oven is considered a very healthy way of eating.

Ideal Home.co.uk

Smeg integrated or ‘built in’ compact microwave, wine cooler and hob.   Of course you can see the ovens and the hob, but the wine cooler is hidden as will other appliances.



The essential larder’s of today should be positioned within easy reach of the sink because the route between them is one of the most frequently used.   You do not want a long run like you see in magazines, with the focal American Fridge at one end and the sink at the other, needing roller skates to get between the two easily.  If you really feel you need, the image and iced water, American Fridges are now available at a reasonable price, but the depth can be a problem as they protrude extra cms into the room and are usually around the 900mm wide.  This means they do not really ‘integrate’ well and many still need mains cold water supply to the fridge for the dispensing of safe chilled drinking water. An important ‘first fix’ decision which is needed early on in the design of your layout of the services.  So choose this quickly if you want to have one.

Every effort has been made to ‘integrate these American Fridges but they are a statement and quite obvious.

Your average tall larder fridge will give two thirds of the same storage within the normal 600mms x 600mms which combined with the matching freezer may not have the chilled water supply but is much cheaper and can be fully integrated giving a designer look.   Add the chilled water to the hot water boiling tap position if this is important. If you prefer wine instead of water, a chilled cabinet for white wine, champagne, rose and some reds are really useful and come in with the standard depth and within the 400 width unit.  It is lit within and obviously sends out a statement! An ‘under counter larder fridge’ on the opposite side of a peninsula or island makes grabbing a beer when entertaining easy and does not disturb the cook!

Image: Integrated larder fridge and freezer



With so many different worktops available giving the fully integrated sink all-in-one and the under- mounted and top mounted units, the choice is endless.  The size of many standard sinks on offer are not good enough. They look the part but washing large oven trays and pans combined with the feature spray taps and no drainer, is not ideal.  Buy the largest two bowl sink you can afford and add a drainer if you need one, with deep enough grooves that drains properly. Also check out the staining of sinks if you tip tea leaves and coffee grouts down the plug.

Alternatively a large Belfast (Butlers) sink in a nearby Utility (regardless of your style) could be used and will allow soaking overnight out of view, useful for the dinner party as they do not usually hide easily in dishwashers either. A waste disposal is also extremely useful. Always buy the top quality version and try to fit your waste bins behind closed doors near to the sink along with a dishwasher close to hand so again the operation of cleaning plates is easy. Top Tip!

A Belfast or Butlers sink is still a favourite with the traditional look with matching taps above.

Dishwashers are invaluable if you have the space to accommodate them. A useful tip is not to put them down low with the normal base units but to have them higher within a tall unit so it means you do not have to bend down to use it. You can sit them about 40 cms from the floor or more and have cupboards below and above.


If you are an avid tea drinker as long as the water is ‘truly boiling’ they these are very useful and also add speed to using a pan to bring to boil using this water supply.   The cool water likewise in hot weather is useful, but consider how many people can access this at once and the frequency.These units do cost to run and expensive to install, making them a luxury product.  Consider its use and maybe a smaller sink, purely for drinks sited near the beer fridge again avoids a congestion point.

Taps should be chosen to suit your kitchen style but without doubt the mono block with a movable tap that can pull out to clean and spray is very useful.

Stainless steel options are perfect for mass entertainment and very hygienic to use



‘the Toaster, the kettle, a coffee maker, the grinder, the mixer, the juicer, etc…’

All of these, or just a couple may need to be part of your kitchen lifestyle and operation.  Think carefully about how they will look dotted around the kitchen. In a Country Style or Family orientated kitchen they can be hidden with vases and patterned tiles and generally they form part of the general style.   The brochures and showrooms are not good at displaying ‘a real working kitchen’. In the streamlined kitchen these items are ‘housed’ in a space of their own usually work top height and pulled out from roll down shutters or lift up doors connected to their own pull up socket unit. 

Sockets broken into backsplashes of sheet materials or tiles can be messy looking, yet you need hundreds of them it seems.   There are now lots of possibilities and some that have other facilities as well eg internet connection. Check out your supplier or research for alternatives to build in. 

Pop up sockets mean you do not have to damage the look of the backsplash or to your worktop and they are well suited to the island hob units although remember they take up space below.  They come in different finishes to finish off with the rest of the kitchen details eg brushed stainless steel handle etc…..

Lastly, all your electrical appliances need to be ‘plugged in’ and usually this is a hard wired into a fused spur – with a neon light – and should be labelled as you will have many.   I suggest do not put that behind the appliance – put them all together in an easy reach position. Ensure the installation of each unit allows sufficient cable for the units to be pulled out, but in an emergency you can switch everything off altogether in one place.  Top Tip!

The Next and final section is all about the Management and Installation of your new kitchen.

It also has a great selection of Design Helps Top Tips which are not to be missed.