I was out for a late lunch with some friends Saturday and I think I shattered their dreams of owning a Yaletown Townhouse. I'm sure it was a lovely kitchen before I saw the photo and went off like a champagne cork, but in my defense it had a wall oven below a cook-top. You know, for some reason or another, some idiot designer thought it would be a brilliant idea to put a wall oven in a base cabinet. Now there's a whole series of base cabinets for wall ovens because said designer complained to their manufacturer about the poor product line up.
The brilliant folks at Bosch Appliances have wonderfully illustrated how a wall oven can be installed in a base cabinet - BUT IT'S WRONG! Sorry Bosch, but you deserve all the heat on this one for doing what you did, sharing it with the world, and knowing better.
You know, they're called "Wall Ovens" for a reason.
So what's the problem? Well, there are two problems, actually:
1. Knobs inappropriately placed - Wall oven controls are meant to be operated at eye level, and from what I can see of the lovely Bosch photo above, there is no tilt up display, remote control, or magical mirror placement that will allow anyone to easily and quickly access the controls. In order to use a wall oven installed in a base cabinet, the user will be required to bend over and crank their neck in such a way that no human can bend. Not even me. The alternate is to go down on your hands and knees (OH LORDY! I DID NOT JUST SAY THAT!)
2. Cavity access proves tiresome - Items that are 3-inches above the ground take 7 times more energy to move by we meager mortals. 10-inches take 5 times more. I may have a fairy wand (with a pink ninja star on the end) but it doesn't move piping hot forty-pound roast turkey's from the oven for me. No sir-ee, I have to lift that big bad bird all by myself.
a) The correct installation height of any wall oven is within 4-inches of the user's eye level, roughly 48-inches to the top. This will vary by user, and there is no standard.
b) Double wall ovens should be avoided when possible, instead choose two side-by-side single wall ovens.
c) Remember to plan for a landing zone. I prefer 30-inches wide by 18-inches deep within 24-inches (2 baby steps) of the wall oven, if not directly beside.
d) What applies to wall ovens, applies to microwave ovens and even dishwashers can be raised up to accommodate better access.
e) The homeowner could buy a supped-up range instead of 2 separate appliances at half the cost.
The thing of all of this is that appliance manufacturers have begun to rename their wall ovens to either "ovens" or "build-in ovens." It is extremely mixed messaging for the consumer. But, I'm here to fight the fight and I hope that Bosch leads and takes this seriously to stop recommending this poor installation method. There's only one appliance pimp that I know will make this right now.