Finding the right size cooktop
The vast majority of cooktops sold in the U.S. are either 30″ or 36″ in width. However, there has been a very good market over the years for cooktops ranging from 42″ – 48″, with a 45″ width being the most common size in this X-Large cooktop category.
In an effort to reduce their model lineups, some manufacturers have discontinued 45″ cooktops. This has created a problem for consumers needing to replace their old 45″ cooktop since there is now a very limited selection of cooktops that will fit the hole left when the old cooktop is removed. Here are some suggestions and workarounds if you find yourself in this situation.
The Viking Range Company does still make a 45″ wide electric cooktop model RDECU2566BSB. Dacor makes a 46″ wide gas cooktop model SGM466, and Miele makes 42 1/2″ wide cooktops in both gas and electric. While these options may or may not provide the perfect fit for your existing cooktop there are some workarounds for you to consider. If you are replacing a 45″ wide cooktop with a 46″ wide cooktop, you may be able to just cut the existing whole a bit wider to accommodate the larger unit. On the other hand, if the replacement cooktop is not quite wide enough to fill the hole, there are companies that make filler kits such as Micro-trim. Also, It might be feasible to just replace the entire countertop. That way you can cut the opening to fit a new cooktop.
Some of these 45″ cooktops were installed in islands and peninsulas and have downdraft ventilation systems. Jenn-Air still makes 45″ downdraft cooktops in both electric and gas.
The electric model JED8345ADB comes with a grill in the left bay, and two open bays that will accept 2 element radiant or coil cartridges, as well as a griddle that will fit over the grill element. The grill may also be removed and replaced with a coil or radiant cartridge to provide a total of 6 electric cooking elements.
The gas model JGD8345ADB comes complete with a gas grill in the left bay, and fixed gas cartridges in each of the two right bays. The grill is removable and can be replaced with an additional gas cartridge giving the homeowner a total of 6 gas burners. The Jenn-Air center downdraft eliminates the need for an expensive rear downdraft or island hood, and provides effective, economical, and unobtrusive ventilation. This is a great solution if you are replacing a Jenn-Air or other downdraft vented cooktop. If you have a traditional overhead vent system, you would need to reconfigure your ducting and remove the overhead system.
Finally, another interesting possibility for replacing a 45″ cooktop would be to combine 3 – 15″ cooking modules or a 30″ cooktop and 1 – 15″ cooking module. Wolf has a good selection of modules and also has trim pieces to make them fit together.
If this all sounds a bit complicated and confusing…well, it can be. It's a good idea to get some expert advice. First, measure your existing cooktop outside dimensions. If you have the old installation instructions with the model number and cutout dimensions that would be helpful also. Then call or visit the experts at UAKC, Universal Appliance and Kitchen Center. They'll be able to recommend the best solutions for your specific situation.