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Microwave Placement advice

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  • Feb 14th, 2021 11:24 am
[OP]
Newbie
Oct 17, 2017
71 posts
52 upvotes

Microwave Placement advice

Hi All,

We are going to be doing some renos that will mean we'll have to take down and reinstall our kitchen. So wanted to take the opportunity and try to figure out a place for the microwave. It's currently on the counter, and taking up a ton of space. I did a lot of reading and figured we have two options:
  1. Replace our over the range hood with over the range microwave - specifically the low profile one from Whirlpool. I know they are not usually recommended because of their lack of power, but figured it may be sufficient for our needs. We are also replacing our electric range with a gas one,. Biggest con is it doesn't seem like we'd be able to install over our #1 choice due to the fact that it's a 6 burner and combined BTUs are over the recommended max (GE Cafe dual fuel range).
  2. Add in a in-drawer microwave into our peninsula, effectively swapping out one of the big cabinets for the microwave and a drawer. No idea how much the cabinets would be, plus the actual microwave is costly. So biggest con here is cost.
  3. Add it at the bottom of our coffee bar station - will go just outside the kichen between the dining and back entrance. So biggest con is location - it would be sort of out of the kitchen, which would reduce its usefulness.
Are there any other ideas i'm missing? We don't have a pantry, so no easy way to conceal it there. Would love some input!
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20 replies
Deal Addict
Feb 11, 2018
1624 posts
1317 upvotes
If you were to close that wall of the kitchen (3rd pic) instead of keeping it the way it is it would give you a lot more room to play with.
Love is all there is to have.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 4, 2009
4909 posts
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How about looking for a narrow shelf (maybe butcher block top, to match the kitchen motif) and place that where your step-ladder thingy is? Place the microwave on top, plus some shelving below, also, it's out of sight.
"I'm a bit upset. I've been grab by the back without any alert and lubrification"
Lucky
[OP]
Newbie
Oct 17, 2017
71 posts
52 upvotes
Toukolou wrote: How about looking for a narrow shelf (maybe butcher block top, to match the kitchen motif) and place that where your step-ladder thingy is? Place the microwave on top, plus some shelving below, also, it's out of sight.
Thanks! Actually i should've mentioned that chimney will be removed, so that nook won't exist post renos. I like the idea of getting a shelf somewhere though.. Wish we had more walls Face With Tears Of Joy
[OP]
Newbie
Oct 17, 2017
71 posts
52 upvotes
TomLafinsky wrote: If you were to close that wall of the kitchen (3rd pic) instead of keeping it the way it is it would give you a lot more room to play with.
I do like the openness of the kitchen to the living room. That peninsula is quite handy for when we have people over, everyone just congregates around it (pre-pandemic, and maybe again someday soon)
Deal Addict
Feb 11, 2018
1624 posts
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ishamron wrote: I do like the openness of the kitchen to the living room. That peninsula is quite handy for when we have people over, everyone just congregates around it (pre-pandemic, and maybe again someday soon)
I agree with you, but you pay for convenience. It is a choice you make. One advantage of a more closed kitchen for people who cook a lot is more of the smell stays in the kitchen instead of spreading to the whole house ( as long as you use the range hood...).
Love is all there is to have.
Deal Addict
Nov 17, 2012
3167 posts
2137 upvotes
Toronto
We put ours under the counter. The deep drawer below holds tons of tupperware containers.

We also did all drawers in the lower cabinets. One blind corner corner cabinet has a door with a Lemans pullout tray system, and under the sink there are of course doors. But it's drawers everywhere else which we love.

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[OP]
Newbie
Oct 17, 2017
71 posts
52 upvotes
torontotim wrote: We put ours under the counter. The deep drawer below holds tons of tupperware containers.

We also did all drawers in the lower cabinets. One blind corner corner cabinet has a door with a Lemans pullout tray system, and under the sink there are of course doors. But it's drawers everywhere else which we love.
That's interesting! I agree, drawers are so much more functional than doors. So this is just a regular microwave and you just placed it below the counter? Thanks!
Deal Guru
Sep 2, 2008
11597 posts
1523 upvotes
torontotim wrote: We put ours under the counter. The deep drawer below holds tons of tupperware containers.

We also did all drawers in the lower cabinets. One blind corner corner cabinet has a door with a Lemans pullout tray system, and under the sink there are of course doors. But it's drawers everywhere else which we love.

Image
Hi, what microwave is this? Is it ikea cabinet? Thanks
Deal Expert
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Feb 8, 2014
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You didn't ask this but get induction instead of gas.
You won't regret it.
In fact in Rand McNally they wear hats on their feet and hamburders eat people
[OP]
Newbie
Oct 17, 2017
71 posts
52 upvotes
Quentin5 wrote: You didn't ask this but get induction instead of gas.
You won't regret it.
Really? What’s the main benefit? Husband is Italian and loves to cook and is convinced gas is best.
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Feb 8, 2014
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ishamron wrote: Really? What’s the main benefit? Husband is Italian and loves to cook and is convinced gas is best.
Gas is very well known so i'm not surprised at his instinct.

The control is better than gas and there is no air pollution. Gas is very polluting, if it had to meet the same standards as outdoor air it would be illegal.
This explains it well, and you can google for more:
https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environm ... alth-risks

Induction heats up much faster than gas, has better fine tuning than gas and is much easier to cleanup. No grates and nothing ever bakes on since the pot heats directly. If you spill something onto the element you can in fact wipe it off right away because the range is only heated by the pot (i'd be careful with the towel but its very doable). You can even put cardboard or a towel between the element and the pot.
You also don't get that greasy film on the stove itself and the grates that often forms on gas stoves over time. So you never need to scrub it clean, a damp towel removes everything.

You do need induction friendly cookware. Anything iron, steel, cast iron will work. Aluminum cookware won't work and some copper can work it its part copper part steel.
In fact in Rand McNally they wear hats on their feet and hamburders eat people
Deal Addict
Nov 17, 2012
3167 posts
2137 upvotes
Toronto
ishamron wrote: That's interesting! I agree, drawers are so much more functional than doors. So this is just a regular microwave and you just placed it below the counter? Thanks!
slowtyper wrote: Hi, what microwave is this? Is it ikea cabinet? Thanks
Microwave was just a simple countertop Panasonic. It since died and I bought a different one that fits.

Cabinets were custom made - Merlo Woodworking. But it's just a cavity with an outlet at the back and the microwave just sits there. No fancy trim or anything obviously.
Deal Addict
Jul 19, 2004
1110 posts
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Ajax
We had ours built in to the kitchen island and is at crotch height and I absolutely hate it.
I love the fact that it is out of sight and doesn't take up counter space, but I hate bending over to use the thing (first world problems, I know).
Once it dies, I am splurging on a drawer type and have the best of both worlds.

Avoid over the range microwaves as well. Not effective for exhausting cooking and too high for everyday use.

My $0.02
Oh boy, Buffalo testicles!
Member
User avatar
Oct 2, 2018
406 posts
274 upvotes
Toronto
I dont personally like a microwave above the stove, inconvenient and not as useful when you are cooking.

Regular microwave units whether placed on a counter or put into a cubby is better, but they can sometimes slide a bit and again seems more an afterthought.

We renovated and came across a microwave drawer, looks custom and is former secured. Press a button or slightly pull the handle and the drawer opens.

Microwave drawers are more expensive, but give a custom look and not an afterthought.

Might be hard to incorporate for you seeing it is an existing footprint, however worth looking into imho.

An example....
https://www.canadianappliance.ca/produc ... gKU-vD_BwE
Deal Guru
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Mar 23, 2008
11905 posts
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Edmonton
We put in one of the drawer units in our kitchen. I’ve got mixed feelings about it. It was about 5x the price of a good normal unit, it doesn’t have a turntable, it’s workspace is short (so we have to cut the tops off some packages before putting them in), it’s slow to open and close, and finally, I’m leary of overly complicated electronic devices (expensive to repair and more likely to break). Oh, and it’s a royal PITA to clean if something blows up in it. You can’t reach or look directly in it.

But it is nice to have a microwave properly designed to be mounted at a lower height. The panel is easily used by any grownup without stooping. And we don’t lose any counter space.

C
Sr. Member
Aug 8, 2007
505 posts
343 upvotes
Microwave drawers are designed to vent to the front and down so you don’t need any extra room for air circulation and cooling purposes. I have read some people complain of the moisture being vented onto what is beneath the drawer recommending some form or protection depending on the surface but these don’t seem to be widespread complaints.

Most regular microwaves vent to the back or side and the manufacturers recommend 3” clearance around the microwave which is a lot of waste space. Not providing this space could overheat the microwave shortening its life and/or discoloring or worse the interior of the cabinet. I would doubt a short burst like popcorn would be an issue but I can see if you are running it for long periods of time at one go that this could be an issue.

I discovered this the hard way as the kitchen designer my wife hired designed a built-in under cabinet space for the brand new 24” wide microwave he recommended we buy that was, you guessed it, just over 24” wide. Installers opened the box, put the microwave in and promptly declared it was too big and was a hazard as no air circulation. Why they had to open the box to tell me that, and why the designer didn’t know better, I still can’t fathom a.

As a result I now have a brand new top of line Panasonic 2.2 cf brand just out of box microwave for sale in the Toronto area for anyone looking for one!
Deal Guru
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Mar 23, 2008
11905 posts
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Edmonton
EYEAM2COOL4U wrote: Microwave drawers are designed to vent to the front and down so you don’t need any extra room for air circulation and cooling purposes. I have read some people complain of the moisture being vented onto what is beneath the drawer recommending some form or protection depending on the surface but these don’t seem to be widespread complaints.

Most regular microwaves vent to the back or side and the manufacturers recommend 3” clearance around the microwave which is a lot of waste space. Not providing this space could overheat the microwave shortening its life and/or discoloring or worse the interior of the cabinet. I would doubt a short burst like popcorn would be an issue but I can see if you are running it for long periods of time at one go that this could be an issue.

I discovered this the hard way as the kitchen designer my wife hired designed a built-in under cabinet space for the brand new 24” wide microwave he recommended we buy that was, you guessed it, just over 24” wide. Installers opened the box, put the microwave in and promptly declared it was too big and was a hazard as no air circulation. Why they had to open the box to tell me that, and why the designer didn’t know better, I still can’t fathom a.

As a result I now have a brand new top of line Panasonic 2.2 cf brand just out of box microwave for sale in the Toronto area for anyone looking for one!
Confirm the drawer microwave we have vents to the front and down. It came with a metal piece to install under the microwave to protect the cabinet underneath. Fits nicely in a 30” IKEA cabinet, but I think there are 24” versions too. In fact, ours would fit fine in a 24” space if the door was replaced.

C
Deal Addict
May 23, 2009
2795 posts
1260 upvotes
Mississauga
Install the microwave on the wall cabinet next your refrigerator(above it’s current position). The 24” Panasonic trim kit is about $200 and works with any Panasonic 6 series microwave which sells for $150-250. If the microwave dies it is cheap enough to replace.
The trim kit comes with the hardware to bolt the microwave to the cabinet

I think IKEA has wall microwave cabinet that fits. Vent it down at the back. It will vent above your counter top and will be hidden similar to under cabinet puck lights.

This is similar to what I did. Built in looks a lot more premium
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[OP]
Newbie
Oct 17, 2017
71 posts
52 upvotes
Thanks everyone that responded - I’ve been looking at the drawer microwaves and think will try to incorporate into the coffee station cabinet. The location may not be ideal, but seems it will be most functional there (and we don’t have to redo kitchen cabinets).

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