Whether you are getting a new stove or fully refurbishing a kitchen, some design elements simply don’t work. For example, can you put a stove under a window? Naturally, curtains near burners is a terrible plan. Especially if you are using a gas stove where a small breeze can blow out a range top cooker and cause a gas leak, this isn’t the best option.
Careful and well thought out appliance placement can prevent you from violating safety codes and help avoid severe kitchen disasters. I’ve redone numerous kitchens and looked at the building codes more times than I care to consider, so I’ll share what I learned to help save you the time and trouble of redoing your kitchen over a misplaced stove.
Can you put a stove in front of a window? You cannot put a stove in front of a window. In most places, the building codes forbid you from setting a stove below a window for practical reasons. Curtains, drafts, and other issues interfere with the safe and effective operation of your stove. Moreover, the range hood is difficult to install in this location. Even if your local codes allow it, don’t put a stove under a window.
Is It OK to Put an Electric Stove Under a Window
Designing a kitchen means finding the perfect placement for everything. You cannot put a gas stove directly in front of a window, but what about an electric stove? Does the heat or power source matter at all? Typically, the answer is no; it doesn’t matter how you heat your food.
The problem with stoves near windows is more than merely the open flame and a curtain catching on fire problem. When you cook on a range top, the heat doesn’t warm, just the burners. Food gets hot as well, and that means hot oils. If that oil pops out of the pan and a small bit touches a cold window, the glass can easily break.
Sure, the glass will get to almost a thousand degrees before it melts, but that’s when you heat it evenly. Uneven heat, such as a small, hot section, causes the glass under the heat to expand at a different rate than the cool glass around it. Resultantly you have a huge amount of stress on a hard, brittle surface. You will get cracks and even shattered glass.
Building codes in most places call for a minimum distance of one foot from any windows. Unfortunately, that’s not a suggestion, but a safety requirement. Not only will your insurance refuse to cover any ‘accidents’ if your stove is perilously close to a window, but you can also get cited for code violations, which means you will have to move things around anyway. It’s better to avoid the problem entirely and set your stove up correctly in the first place.
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How Far Does a Range Hood Have To Be From a Window
Even if your stove isn’t directly in front of a window, you may want to put in a larger vent that extends over the window area as well. Surely that’s not a problem, or is it? Just like stoves, range vents cannot go directly over or in front of windows. As you already guessed, this is for safety reasons.
According to The Building Code Forum, per the International Residential Building Code, “The exhaust termination must be three feet away from any window and ten feet from any mechanical air intake unless that intake is three feet below the vent termination.”
Calculations and safety testing for the International Residential Building Code (IRBC) took decades to formulate fully. In general, this code is accepted in most countries of the world as a universal minimum standard for home safety. Although not all nations subscribe to the IRBC, and individual countries can choose to modify the parts they apply for, it is always a good starting point to determine whether you can do a home upgrade.
Can a Stove Be Next to a Wall
Depending on the type of stove you use, the window isn’t the only place to reconsider. You cannot always put a stove directly beside a wall. While electric ovens usually only require between two centimeters and about two inches of clearance, gas ranges need more space.
Especially if you plan to locate a wood or gas stove on an interior wall, you may need at least eighteen inches of clearance or heat shielding. The design of electric stoves tends to change the way heat is disbursed. However, a stove, such as a huge cast iron wood burner, will get hot and stay that way for hours. As a result, the radiant heat can damage your walls.
Like a fireplace, special building materials below and behind the stove are needed for some older style stoves. The standards for this vary widely from one region or county to the next. I strongly recommend contacting your local building codes office and asking someone who understands the permits to explain what you can or cannot do in your area.
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Can a Stove Be Placed in a Corner
Corner placement could be the perfect solution for your stove. Unless you have a corner window or the stove is gas and within eighteen inches of a door, this layout often works exceptionally well. However, the gas and wood stove standards still apply.
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Interior and exterior walls tend to differ slightly in the construction, but an electric stove will fit well in the corner space. Keep in mind you still need to install a proper vent over the location. Moreover, corner stoves have another challenge.
All stoves need a backsplash to protect the wall from the everyday wear and tear that comes with cooking. In a corner, you will need to install the backsplash twice. Both walls need to be covered to prevent stains from grease and food as you cook.
Whenever possible, choose a spot for your stove where the cook is facing east or southeast. In the northern hemisphere, this means the least amount of direct sunlight in the eyes. That makes your cooking safer and easier to see. For those not in the USA, you may need to adjust this to reflect your latitude.
What Is the Recommended Distance That a Gas Stove Should Be from a Window
Gas stoves cannot be under a window, nor can they sit next to a doorway. The minimum safe distance is twelve inches, but more is recommended if you have space. Drafts from windows and doors can put out a gas flame quite easily.
It may seem unlikely, but a proper kitchen layout has dozens of rules and guidelines. Most of these exist because the kitchen is so dangerous. Not just your stove, but ovens, toasters, microwaves, and virtually everything that plugs into a wall is a potential source of fire. Having appropriate clearance isn’t just about drafts. It would be best if you also considered minimum safe clearances for doors and windows in case of an emergency.
Hopefully, you will never experience a house fire. However, if you were in a position where the normal exits are blocked, then that window could be your only safe escape or the only way for firefighters to reach you. If you’re cooking right below it, there’s nowhere safe to stand. Likewise, a hot stove too near a door or window could injure someone.
If you are wondering if can you use oven cleaner on stove top, try to avoid it.
Always give your stove more space than you think it needs. More importantly, remember that building codes represent a minimum level of practical security. You can always take extra steps to make sure your kitchen is more fireproof and safer. There’s no need to be overly alarmist but pay close attention when looking at designs and use common sense in following the IRBC and other advice for stove placement.
Proper stove placement is vital. In addition to not putting a stove under a window, you also need to consider what goes beside your stove. Items such as garbage cans and appliances like dishwashers require clearance if you put them near your stove. A gap of two centimeters to a few inches is vital to avoid heat transfer.
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A window over your sink or a counter is no problem. It allows you to have a nice view and plenty of daytime light while working in the kitchen. Alternatively, putting your stove under a window is rarely the right choice. There are a few exceptions, such as wood stoves that vent out of a modified former window, but in general, it’s not a good plan. Instead, place your stove at least twelve inches to the side of any windows or door to avoid drafts and curtain fires.
A misplaced stove can burn down your whole house, which is why building codes expressly forbid this location. Even if you don’t open the windows and have no plans for curtains, it’s still wise to follow the code, so you don’t have to move things later.