Thursday, October 16, 2014

How to Install a Propane Cooktop

Atwood Propane Cook Top
I have a beautiful multifuel stove that both serves to cook my meals and to heat my home. However, I cannot use this in the summer and that limits my kitchen functionality. Originally I was going to simply place an electric burner on the surface of my beautiful wood/coal stove that I could just store away over the winter, however, I like the convenience of being able to heat the tea kettle or pop some popcorn without having to stoke up the stove too. A simple two burner propane cook top is a great solution and an economical one too.

My Vintage Godin MultiFuel Cook Stove
I purchased a cook top on Ebay for just under $40. It is a simple two-burner model commonly used in travel trailers. For an additional $12 I bought a regulator. I already had two spare propane tanks that I had filled prior to my move. I decided to install the cook top in the kitchen for year-round use primarily for the convenience factor, bu and because it really doesn't take up that much more space. I didn't want it to appear to be a temporary fix, but a long-term solution that would blend into the environment of my small and funky kitchen. After contemplating installment options, I came up with installing the cooktop in its own section of counter with storage underneath for the propane tanks that could be concealed by a skirt.

Inner Workings Attaching Regulator
I first chose a piece of counter top to mount it in. I used a section of butcher-block top that matches the counter where my sink is located. I decided to make the height of this stove taller than the surface the sink sits in because it is easier on my back for cooking. The counter top is 1.5" thick butcher block, so I traced the cook top and then predrilled holes on the corners for a cleaner installation.

Pre-drill holes in Counter

I mounted a support board to the wall, firmly screwing it into the studs on both ends. It is important that the support board be screwed into the stud because pots of boiling liquids are quite heavy. You do not want to risk a collapse with a pot of boiling pasta on the stove. The support of the wall studs is mandatory for safety. I plan to install a tiled back splash later, so the wall is plain for now.

Wall Support in Stud

Next I built a frame to support the section of counter top. I was careful to measure the counter top so that there was room to install the cook top without the support interfering with the propane regulator. Finally, I added posts to support the front. I will add a skirt around the bottom that conceals the propane tank and a spare. The skirt will match the kitchen for a cleaner and less cluttered look.

I added some storage containers to the side to hold small cooking items and to hang a towel and some pot holders out of the way of the flame. All-in-all it looks great and functions superbly. I highly recommend a propane cook top in addition to a wood burning stove.