With concealed cooker hoods becoming big news in kitchens, does that signal the end of the road for all statement extraction?
Downdraft extractors and all-in-one venting hobs may have recently captured the imagination of kitchen designers but that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road for focal cooker hoods. Far from it, in fact.
While, arguably, they may not be the media darlings in the spotlight of kitchen extraction, focal cooker hood sales are supported at all levels of the market, from price-conscious newbuilds to luxury kitchen schemes.
According to country manager at Novy UK Owain Harrison, focal extraction still accounts for 40% of all cooker hood sales.
And it’s a market that is continuing to grow, as senior brand manager for Hotpoint Catherine Balderson says: “Between 2017 and 2018, the cooker hood category witnessed a growth in sales of 2.6%”, and stated extraction is “one of the biggest drivers of sales across the cooking appliance category.”
Supported by newbuild
Catherine Balderson of Hotpoint continues: “UK building regulations state that new homes must have an effective method to remove steam and condensation from the kitchen to avoid the development of mould. Newly-built homes, therefore, must incorporate kitchen extraction.”
While downdrafts could be price prohibitive for some developers seeking cost-effective extraction, focal cooker hoods can be a solution.
In the lower to mid-market sector, focal extraction can add perceived value. It t is probably why marketing manager of CDA Steve Corbett comments: “Chimney extractors remain the best seller in the market and there are still a lot of customers out there who aspire to the stainless steel chimney when a kitchen is replaced – often either never having had an extractor before or had an old, noisy and often ineffective machine that mad a lot of noise and did not extract effectively.”
Luxury island looks
However, it should be pointed out that focal cooker hoods are not simply for the cost-conscious market, nor are they simply based on the tradition ‘T’ shape.
With a vast array of styles, they can be a first choice for consumers. It may be that the designer or their client doesn’t want to lose the cupboard space, associated with downdraft extractor or venting hob.
Equally, they may want it as a talking point above a kitchen island. Think pendant extraction.
Product manager of Caple Luke Shipway explains the design ethos of focal extraction in a kitchen with an island: “Focal extraction can be best used to create a statement in an integrated kitchen. Island hood designs tend to be dramatic to create a strong focal point in the central island where food may be prepared and cooked and guests entertained.”
And Catherine Balderson of Hotpoint agrees, commenting: “Many consumers opt to install a focal hood above their island, bringing professional glamour into the kitchen and making an eye-catching statement. This has further resulted in a significant growth in market share for focal extraction.”
Hoods add illumination
Statement cooker hoods also provide the additional benefit of lighting, not only providing enhanced visibility for tasks but also soft mood lighting.
Owain Harrison of Novy UK explains: “There are many consumers and designers that still want to feature an overhead extraction option, not just for its ability to remove cooking vapours but for the stunning lighting choices that come with. LEDs often have adjustable settings to deliver different tones whether for task lighting or more understated mood lighting when socialising.
“The statement cooker hood nowadays is also equally considered for its ability to provide ideal illumination in the kitchen space.” And Steve Corbett of CDA agrees: “The extractor is also part of the lighting scheme in most kitchens.”
In fact, such is the demand for the extractor to provide lighting; it has been a design focus of extraction produced by Wave, as its managing director Vincent van den berg points out: “You only have to look at the developments in lighting to see that the real pursuit is for stunning and beautiful product design.
“We’ve married together these trends – the functional qualities of a high performing extractor with the beautiful design of interior lighting. Our high performing extractors can be cleverly combined as a stunning light while being prominently on display.”
Blurring design boundaries
Combining extraction with lighting begs the question has there been a blurring of lines between concealed hoods and statement pieces?
The cooker hood can now form an intrinsic part of the architecture of the kitchen, especially with the trend for industrial style projects.
Vincent van den Berg of Wave comments: “We’ve developed an industrial mounted frame which houses the extractor and acts as a statement piece with standard sizes up to 3000mm in length. The frame can be in stainless steel, black or in a customer specific colour in matt or gloss finishes and in any size they want.
“This is a product which is more than an extractor. It epitomises the industry trend and gives retailers the ability to add a distinctive element to their kitchen design.”
In addition with the latest Lift & Rise extractors from BSH Home Appliances, the statement extractor can be concealed when not in use.
Product manager for ventilation at BSH Home Appliances Adam Norris adds: “our Siemens varioLift ceiling hood does somewhat blur the boundaries between statement and integrated solution, offering additional flexibility in terms of installation.
“It isn’t intrusive when not in use, but when you’re cooking it creates real theatre in the kitchen, adding a ‘wow’ factor and a unique sense of style.”
Functionality comes first
But while aesthetics may play a key role in the choice of a statement extractor, industry experts are also keen to remind kitchen design professionals that functionality must come first.
Brand manager of Indesit Sara Bazeley points out: “Hoods should be considered not only for their appearance but also their performance.
“It has to be practical, fit in with the needs and lifestyles of the household and the design of the kitchen, as well as perform powerfully and quietly, creating and maintaining a comfortable environment for the user.”
And channel controller of KitchenAid Lee Collett agrees, adding: “Ducted installation ensures better extraction performance and should always be the preferred option for the luxury kitchen, where it is possible.
“In addition to removing odours and grease, ducted installation ensures moisture is also removed from the air.
“By opting for ducted installation, the air is removed from the home, furnishings are protected and air quality is dramatically improved.”
However, Vincent van den Berg points to a new generation of recirculation extraction, as he states: “As well as the aesthetics of the extractor, there will be a continued focus on improving the performance of extractors.
“This is especially critical as kitchens become more integrated into the home environment. While most retailers know about recirculation, they might only be aware of recirculation using carbon filters.
“These tend to have inferior functionality which has led to poor reviews. Plasma filters are a new type of filter. They are equal to – and even outperform – ducted extractors.”
And, of course, as connectivity becomes more commonplace, chairman of Airuno Geoff Baker adds: “Cooker hoods that feature hob-to-hood technology which connects the hob and hood wirelessly, allowing the hood to operated automatically and only when necessary – should perform well.”
So when specifying kitchen cooker hoods, perhaps don’t naturally steer towards concealed extraction but consider the looks and functionality which statement hoods can deliver.