Building a Wall Oven into a Wall
The alignment of a wall oven to the face of a kitchen's cabinetry gives the oven its "wall" name, but as a heavy appliance instrument, installing it directly into a sheetrock wall requires a lot of built-in support. Aesthetically, a wall oven installed flush with a wall lends a streamlined, contemporary appearance to the design layout of the kitchen. But to make it possible to build the oven into the wall, a lot of behind-the-scenes work must take place.
The Wall Oven Depth
The 6-inch thickness of a standard wall doesn't provide enough depth to hide the back end of a wall oven. For a depth requirement of at least 24 inches, figuring out what to do with the extra 18 inches presents its challenges.
Look to what exists on the opposite side of the oven's wall. If it extends to the outside, then no, the wall oven can't be built into the sheetrock without requiring a major, yet small, renovation to the exterior of the house. For an interior wall, look to the adjacent room. In the best scenario, the back of the oven goes in the closet. If not, additional construction is necessary to install the wall oven.
Reinforce the Wall
Make a small hole in the wall to check for plumbing and electrical wires in the wall. Also identify whether the wall bears the upper load of the house, and if so, install wall supports before cutting through the wall studs. Once in the clear, mark and cut the recommended cut-out measurements for the wall oven using a tape measure, level, straight edge, pencil and utility or drywall knife. Use a reciprocating saw to cut through the wall studs to make way for the wall oven's horizontal supports. Cut out an additional 4 3/4 inches on the bottom, and 2 3/4 inches on the top to accommodate the addition of two horizontal 2-by-4 pieces below and on one on top. The extra 3/4 inch accounts for the 3/4 plywood to line the interior of the box.
The horizontal supports must reach and connect to wall studs within the wall, at both ends. Tie a strand of twine around the middle of the beam to make it easy to lift after screwing one end into a stud. Lift, level and toenail the other end into the other wall stud. Cut loose the twine after installing each horizontal beam.
Support The Weight
Consider how to support the total weight of the wall oven beyond the limits of the wall. After installing reinforcements in the wall using two horizontal layers of 2-by-4s across the base of the opening , build it out into a frame with four reinforced legs that reach the floor, to the depth measurement of the wall oven. The legs transfer and distribute the weight of the unit to the floor below, lessening the burden of the wall oven's weight on the wall. This build-out compensates for the support a wall oven cabinet provides.
Conceal the Back
Enclose the back of the wall oven whether it extends into a closet or into an open room. Extend the base frame into a full box enclosure around the wall oven's back. Extend the frame all the way to the ceiling, or leave it short, just above the oven. The ceiling height blends the bump-out in with the existing wall, while the one that reaches just above the wall oven stands out as an addition afterthought that leaves much room for creative design incorporation, or disguises.
Wall Oven Installation
The placement of a wall oven in a dream kitchen design flows with its functionality and convenience in cooking and baking.
Learn about incorporating a wall oven in a traditional kitchen design.
Read about the benefits of a solar wall oven in a green kitchen design.
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