Kitchen Design: A Microwave Guide

Where oh where will the microwave go?

Today’s kitchens are bigger, brighter and more open than ever before. Windows are large, often taking up a majority of available wall space. See EZ Window Solutions for examples on how to arrange you kitchen with little wall space. Kitchens are designed around a focal point, and great attention is given to the appearance of this area.
Often this focal point is the cooktop or range wall. The cooking area is centrally located, and offers a great opportunity for decorative tile or stone. It is designed to be symmetrical, and the availability of decorative accessories is huge.
And we love those decorative range hoods –the sleek modern stainless steel, the traditional coordinating wood, or those custom tile showpieces.
Which brings us to our dilemma – where will the microwave go? I have covered this question with clients so many times! Now that we have chosen that gorgeous hood as the statement piece, we need to find a new location for the microwave. For years we have specced out micro-hoods- that great appliance that sits above your range. Not this time!
no microhood
However, we won’t give up our microwaves. They just need a new location, and I have some ideas.
If you like having your microwave at eye level, there are a few options. Let’s start with smaller microwaves. These compact units usually run about 1.5 cubic feet, and can fit easily in to a run of wall cabinets.
This Sharp over-the-counter microwave comes with a hanging kit, and is designed to fit perfectly into a run of wall cabinets.

Or we can use a cabinet to house the microwave. A compact micro can fit in to a wall cabinet as small as 24” wide.

Now, if you don’t want to see it at all, let’s pop that microwave behind closed doors. As always, watch your sizes. Make sure you are checking your cabinet’s interior dimensions, and the opening size.
Now let’s look at larger microwaves – Look towards microwave ovens found on as the example. These appliances are designed to be built-in, the same as a built-in wall oven. Some versions offer microwave/convection cooking. They are often built in to a tall cabinet, either alone or above a standard oven. You can also purchase a one-piece oven and microwave combo. If you are having issues with your oven visit, they have great reair service.
Built-in microwaves can also be installed under the countertop. For this application we can choose either the “oven style” microwave with the bottom hinged door, or the drawer style, which pulls out.
Now pick the idea that will work in your kitchen! 
*Remember to read the microwave’s installation guide and specifications carefully, all microwaves have different requirements.
Posted by Sue LeVee
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