Can I put my kitchen range so that the right side is adjacent to a wall?
March 11, 2018 1:11 PM   Subscribe

Can we put our new range so that the back of it backs up against against a wall (like most people do...) but also so that the right side of it backs up against a different wall - more or less putting the range in a corner of the room. Aesthetically, I don't love it - but it's a compromise with other issues in the space. My question isn't about where else it could go, but simply, will building codes (for a remodel) allow me to do this or is putting a adjacent to a wall forbidden?

If it's allowed, I imagine I'll have to fireproof both walls in the corner and am OK with that. Location is San Diego and the remodel will require moving plumbing (water and gas) and adding/moving electrical outlets and thus will most likely require permits. The house was built in 1927 but we wouldn't be adding on to the footprint of the house.

Current 3D mockup of the layout we are considering can be found here:
posted by pwb503 to Home & Garden (14 answers total)
The code is different for electric versus gas ranges, I believe. A licensed contractor could tell you for sure, but I think electric stoves are OK close to a side wall, whereas gas stoves require a lot more clearance. What those clearances actually are may vary from one locality to another, so check with a local professional who knows the codes.
posted by Quietgal at 1:31 PM on March 11, 2018

It occurs to me that my son has a range sitting in the corner of his kitchen like that. It doesn't appear to cause any problems. I looked up the installation manual of a random GE range, and it says (first page, 2-C) that it's approved for 0" clearance on back and both sides, although they recommend 6" to avoid steam, grease and splatter, not for safety reasons. I think a tile or metal backsplash on both walls would take care of any issues. Note that for gas ranges, GE recommends 1-6" spacing "for proper combustion."
posted by beagle at 1:34 PM on March 11, 2018

Response by poster: UPDATE: it is a gas range. Thanks for the answers so far!
posted by pwb503 at 1:48 PM on March 11, 2018

My stove is in a corner (against a brick wall on the left side), but my apartment was last renovated in the early 1980s or may have changed since then. It's not great for multiple pans, since the frying-pan handles in particular have fewer places to go.
posted by praemunire at 1:56 PM on March 11, 2018

Look up the range installation guideline first. Use a non-combustible wall finish and substrate (such as type "x" drywall.) And call your local building permit department and ask to speak to someone who can provide guidelines. They are usually pretty helpful.
posted by mightshould at 2:52 PM on March 11, 2018

Local rules. When I did this we had to have clearance to the side, but there were also rules about the fan/hood.
posted by Gotanda at 4:11 PM on March 11, 2018

I asked basically the same question when we were house hunting. The answers were about the same as you have here, but I’ll add that it was a factor in us not buying that house, if that matters for the future.
posted by Kriesa at 5:23 PM on March 11, 2018

I have that set up with a gas range. Within a few months of living in my house, I scorched the wall, which has no protective surface. I learned to be more careful since, but this week we thankfully begin renovations and are absolutely moving the range.
posted by alusru at 6:23 PM on March 11, 2018

We remodeled a house for our daughter and definitely did not put the range in a corner.
The refrigerator was in the corner next to the garage exit (east wall) and the range was beside the back door (south wall), where skillets and pots could be knocked to the floor. We moved the fridge next to the back door and put the oven in the middle of the east wall. The sink stayed in the SE corner (wasted space above and below was taken up by the sink and plumbing, two windows were set in the corner).

It is much better to be able to move a hot skillet to the nearest countertop (with a trivet beneath it). Steam, grease splatters and spills are a nuisance with six inches between the range and the side wall, but a real problem when the appliance is bumped right against it.
I'm left-handed, other family members are right-handed, so that also affects placement of cooking surfaces. How many people will be using the range, sink and refrigerator at the same time?

I am assuming that by range you mean a range atop an oven, so you also have to contend with opening the oven door along with both traffic and cabinet door issues.
My husband designed the range outlets for both electric and gas. The local building inspectors were hands-on about all decisions made and gave excellent advise on how to best achieve our goals.

If we did it again we would have planned for a taller fridge, which is what we bought after the cabinets were in place. So consider fantastic deals on appliances with a different size than the ones you currently have.
posted by TrishaU at 6:59 PM on March 11, 2018

Who is doing your remodel? They should be able to tell you the relevant codes for your area. I have had two apartments with this layout in NYC, and I know that it is against code in my current area. You need to find your local codes to know for sure.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 7:53 PM on March 11, 2018

In the UK, we were not allowed to do that. All ranges needed a certain amount of clearence. Can't remember the exact distance, but guy who certified it said he had seen some fire hazards when it gets to close to walls and cabinets.
posted by troytroy at 8:01 PM on March 11, 2018

I've had an electric range in the corner in two apartments, including the current one. It can get a little tight.
posted by Making You Bored For Science at 8:38 PM on March 11, 2018

I'm in LA and my gas stove is in a corner-ish, the right side is a wall and the back is a half-wall/counter. The bigger problem is that I can't really use the right-side burners because I'm right handed and there's just no elbow room. The whole right side has turned into a place to stack pans and lids and such.
posted by zengargoyle at 3:23 AM on March 12, 2018

I've been staring at your design in order to get how it works, but it doesn't, for me (I mean the sketch-up model, not your design). Just a thought: most kitchen manufacturers, including IKEA, offer free design services, could you take a talk with the company you are planning to use?
I am not in the US, but I had a range up to a wall, and as others have said, it's both a nuisance and dangerous, and I was overjoyed when I realized I could move it within my budget. Doing this deliberately seems wrong to me.
A free design consultation based on your needs and dreams might open up other solutions.
posted by mumimor at 10:23 AM on March 12, 2018

« Older Which is the more elegant, less awkward phrasing:   |   How Can I Set the Time on a Sony a900 Cordless... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.