A microwave is a handy appliance to have in the kitchen, but you may be wondering where to put microwave in kitchen. There are a few different options depending on the layout of your kitchen.
The rule of thumb is to put the microwave in an open spot that can easily be cleaned and won’t interfere with cooking or dishwashing. This article will show you a few different locations that you can use for your microwave in the modern kitchen.
- 1 Microwave Do’s And Don’ts
- 2 1) Over The Range
- 3 2) On An Upper Shelf
- 4 3) On A Lower Shelf
- 5 4) Built-in With A Trim Kit
- 6 5) In Combination With A Wall Oven
- 7 6) In A Drawer
- 8 7) Hidden In A Cabinet
- 9 8) Recess A Microwave Into A Wall
- 10 9) Ditch The Microwave Altogether
- 11 A Word About Wattage And Size
- 12 Conclusion
Microwave Do’s And Don’ts
Not that long ago most microwaves were simply plonked onto the bench near an existing power point. I’m sure most of us now agree that’s a waste of valuable bench space – as well as a good power point. (Unplugging the microwave to use the power outlet, and then having to reset the clock, is a huge pain – unless you’re a student).
And did you know that all microwave doors open from right to left? A little-known fact that can have a big impact on where it lives in the kitchen. So apart from power point access and the way the door opens, what should you think about when deciding where to place your microwave?
Ease of access
Like people, microwaves come in a range of sizes with varying heights, widths, and depths. A microwave placement that’s ideal for the six-foot-plus man of the house might be awkward or simply unreachable for the kids. And vice versa. Keep both in mind.
If you’ve got a small kitchen or shallow cupboards, your options may also be limited due to limited space. What’s more important … Storage space or a ‘discretely placed microwave’? Aim for a location that’s convenient to the countertop microwave, stovetop, and fridge.
It’s really common to pop something straight from the fridge into the compact microwave, so you want the two to be close together – while ensuring there’s bench space nearby.
That kind of positioning also minimizes moving hot foods and drinks from one area of your kitchen to another – so there’s less chance of accidents.
Behind closed doors, It’s more popular these days to conceal the microwave … That can be done using cabinetry with single or double doors that retract fully back; known as pocket doors. But these must remain open whilst the microwave is being used – because microwaves breathe a lot. Be mindful, though, that some microwaves are pretty deep, and extra space is needed for venting.
This guide is for you if you also wonder how to hide the washer and dryer.
1) Over The Range
This is a classic choice, especially in smaller kitchens. Tucked away neatly over your stove, the microwave does double duty as a hood vent. Over-the-range microwaves (also called OTR microwaves) are great space-savers but note that in general, they do not vent quite as well as a stand-alone hood.
The OTR also takes up most of the cabinet space above your stove so it’s hard to have a special tile feature right above your range. All that said, it’s a great use of precious kitchen space, especially in smaller kitchens!
Pros: Over-the-range microwave and hood-fan combos do double duty to a great space-saving option in a compact kitchen.
Cons: If the microwave is too high, reaching and seeing in will be difficult for many users. It also replaces a sculptural range hood for a somewhat less elegant look and typically is not as effective at venting.
2) On An Upper Shelf
If you can make do with a smaller microwave, then you can tuck it onto a shelf as part of your upper cabinets.
Depending on the model you choose you may find that you need the shelf the microwave sits on to protrude out a little further than your upper cabinets, and you’ll want to plan ahead so that your electrician puts the required electrical outlet on the wall in the space where the microwave will live. (Remember that you’ll need enough depth for both the microwave *and* the plug/wire behind it.)
3) On A Lower Shelf
You can use the same concept as above but put the microwave on a shelf in your lower cabinets, too. Note that this means you’ll have to bend down or squat in order to put things in and take things out of the microwave, so it may not be the most ergonomic choice.
If you do place the microwave on a shelf in your lower cabinets, there will be some wasted unused space behind the appliance (microwaves are not 24″ deep). Some people who go this route place it on a shelf at the end of an island so that they aren’t losing any storage space:
4) Built-in With A Trim Kit
Whether it’s in an upper cabinet or lower, you can make the built-in microwave look substantial by adding a trim kit. The trim kit is just a matching metal ring that fills in the gap of space between the microwave and cabinet.
Mostly it’s just an aesthetic choice, but it does help hide an area that you might otherwise have to keep clean over time.
Pros: The microwave is fully integrated into the cabinetry, offering a custom look.
Cons: A trim kit adds to the cost and requires extra installation expenses.
5) In Combination With A Wall Oven
If you have the room in your kitchen, stacking your microwave over a wall oven can be not only a wonderful, streamlined look but also puts the microwave at an easy-to-use height. Note that there are units that are sold as microwave-oven combos (these are often convection-style microwaves) or you can install a wall oven with a separate microwave with a trim kit above.
Pros: Since you’re already using the wall for cooking appliances, no additional valuable countertop space is wasted.
Cons: This solution requires other appliances that match and that can be grouped attractively and practically with your microwave blend.
6) In A Drawer
Okay, not in a drawer, but actually a drawer-style microwave! They now make drawer-style microwaves (usually 24-30″ wide) that install discreetly in your lower cabinets or island. Just slide it open, set in your food, and use it as normal. They are spendier than the other styles of microwave, but look fantastic!
Pros: Because of their location, drawer-style microwaves provide easier access than countertop microwaves and over-the-range models while saving counter space. This configuration is the safest for all users and lends a high-end look to the kitchen.
Cons: A drawer-style microwave tends to be more expensive than a counter microwave cabinet and has more limited installation options.
7) Hidden In A Cabinet
You can also hide your microwave entirely. You can hide your microwave completely, just as some people prefer not to see their TV. It can be hidden in your pantry or cupboard. Make sure the model you choose will fit once it is plugged in. Also, let the electrician know what your plans are so that they can place the plug where it should go and take any safety precautions required by code.
Pros: This solution provides immediate landing space without the need to keep the microwave visible from the countertop.
Cons: The installation and cost of adding a cabinet door to your home will be higher.
Maybe you don’t know how to set up the kitchen cabinet, see this our guide.
8) Recess A Microwave Into A Wall
Depending on your kitchen floor plan, you might be able to recess the microwave in a space taken from an appliance garage, closet, or another empty area. Ask a contractor or remodeler before you cut into a wall. They can also check the structure and add reinforcement if needed.
Pros: The microwave can be placed flush against the wall, creating a unique look that doesn’t require additional counter space or cabinets.
Cons: Construction and demolition will be required.
9) Ditch The Microwave Altogether
It’s your home. There is no requirement that you have a microwave. We are seeing more people opting for home-cooked meals and authentic flavors as a result.
The steam oven is a popular choice. It roasts, steams, and then reheats beautifully. The steam oven is a great kitchen tool that can replace the microwave cabinet and produce gourmet, delicious meals. You’ll love a steam oven, I promise.
The humble toaster oven is another microwave substitute. It can quickly reheat food and bake in small batches in a matter of minutes. Michael, the owner and production manager of CRD, has been known to bake several cookies in the toaster oven at once for after-dinner treats!
The speed oven was initially developed for restaurant chefs and is now more popular with home cooks. A speed oven is a combination of a microwave and a convection oven. This combination combines the convenience and speed of a microwave with oven-quality cooking.
This is an excellent option if you don’t have enough space for a microwave but still want something versatile. You can also find countertop models with electric toaster elements for achieving the crispy texture you desire.
There are also those appliances that you can use to cook almost anything. Your stove and oven are two examples. Many home chefs find that no additional cooking tools are necessary and that cooking old-fashioned makes the flavor more intense. My wife and I lived for many years with a stovetop, but my in-laws insisted that we get a microwave.
A Word About Wattage And Size
There are many sizes and power levels for microwaves, ranging between 600 to 1200 watts. The higher the wattage, both for popcorn and Lean Cuisine, will faster popping.
Most standard microwaves run at full power for defrosting and low power levels. Inverter technology allows them to remain on at a lower power level, allowing for better cooking.
Size is an important consideration when choosing a microwave. We recommend that you select the smallest footprint microwave that you can use. You don’t need a 2-foot microwave that can cook Thanksgiving turkey. Instead, use it to heat water for chamomile tea. Side note: You should never cook a turkey in your microwave. Yuck!)
Peelsnyc hopes this has given you some insight into where to put your microwave in the kitchen. Please look at these three different locations to help you decide where it is best placed in your kitchen. Have you used any of these locations for your microwave? Feel free to share any other tips for putting the microwave in the kitchen.