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Where Not to Place a Microwave (Issues / Problems)

June 2nd, 2015 | 1 min. read

By Steve Sheinkopf

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

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Steve Sheinkopf

Steve Sheinkopf is the third-generation CEO of Yale Appliance and a lifelong Bostonian. He has over 38 years of experience in the appliance industry, and he is a trusted source of information for consumers on how to buy and repair appliances.

Steve has also been featured in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Consumer Reports, The Boston Globe, Bloomberg Radio, the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur, for his knowledge of how to buy appliances and appliance repair.

Steve is passionate about helping consumers find the best appliances for their needs, and he is always happy to answer questions and provide advice. He is a valuable resource for consumers who are looking for information on appliance buying, repair, and maintenance.

Despite being the worst goalie in history, Steve is a fan of the Bruins and college hockey, loves to read, and is a Peloton biker. The love of his life is his daughter, Sophie.

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