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Where Not to Place a Microwave (Issues / Problems)

Steve Sheinkopf  |  June 02, 2015  |  3 Min. Read


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Have to admit, I love Houzz.

If you are planning a renovation, then Houzz is a great resource for looking at different styles. Want a high styled, ultra modern or super traditional kitchen, bathroom, and house or outside, then check it out.

However, before posting to your Pinterest wall (love that site as well) or printing to show your contractor or designer, know that not every design works.

Let’s look at a few...

I really like these kitchens. However, I would not place a microwave over my head. Taking out boiling hot food and/or liquid is not safe. It can be dangerous. So let’s look at a few alternatives.

Over-the-Range Microwave

The over-the-range microwave is space efficient with an integrated hood. It’s been a great idea for over 20 years. However, the vent is average at 310 CFM (310 cubes of air exhausted per minute), and there is very little capture area.

Meanwhile, gas ranges can now reach 20,000 BTUs or almost twice as much as 20 years ago. It’s somewhat underpowered for heavier cooking.

Under Cabinet Microwave

It’s a GE exclusive and is only 12 inches deep. It fits snugly under a regular cabinet. The GE is the least expensive option, but is not large at roughly 1 cubic feet. This looks a bit dated in an upscale kitchen.

Microwave Drawers

Drawers slide open with a touch of a button. They are designed for lower areas like islands. Sharp produces the drawer for every brand, but it is integrated (without edges) in the Bosch, Thermador and Jenn-Air labels. I like drawers, but they are pricey.

Speed Ovens

Speed ovens are yesterdays microwave convection. They are fold down instead of hinged, do not require a trim kit (allows the unit to breathe) and look much nicer than the older units.

Old Unit (trim kit is the piece around the microwave itself)

New Unit

I love the speed oven. It can be placed anywhere and looks good over a matching wall oven. However, like the drawer, it is a bit pricey.

Final Thoughts

Microwaves can really be placed anywhere except where many people seem to be placing them. Just know there are some safer alternatives. If you are ready for some features, check out the posts below.

Recommended Reads

Additional Resources

Get the Yale Speed and Steam Guide with features, specs and inside tips on every brand like Miele, GE, Sharp, Bosch, Wolf, Thermador, Gaggenau and more. Well over 100,000 people have read a Yale Guide.

Speed and Steam Oven Buying Guide


A few review sites have placed this at the bottom of their articles. So here is our take: Our mission is to find reliable products for you to buy. Other review sites may say this as well.

However, we don’t love every product. Quite frankly, it costs us way too much money in repair costs to support less reliable brands.

In fact, we sell fewer brands than most appliance stores. Here is why:

We feel it is our responsibility to repair your appliances after you buy them.

We now have 30 service technicians, each averaging 8-10 calls a day Monday through Friday, plus another 110 on Saturday. That's over 30,000 service calls logged in one year.

The labor rates of fixing an appliance do not come close to the true cost in any product’s warranty period.

That is why no major retailer has a service department. It costs too much labor, money and time.

Our Blog is a bit different than most others you will read. We cannot write glowing reviews of unreliable products.

Hopefully, the bloggers and organizations who write such glowing product reviews for every brand consider servicing these products first. Only then they will understand the consequences of their marketing.

Steve Sheinkopf

My goal has always been simple: I want Yale to be the best retail experience anywhere. I have tried to create a compelling environment for customers and employees alike.

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