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Christian 03-28-2008 10:42 AM

over the counter microwave??
Hi everyone,

I just bought my first home, and my kitchen has very limited counter space. I want to install a microwave underneath over-head cabinets (similar to over the range) but instead, over a regular countertop. I cannot install over the range b/c the stove is actually positioned in front of a window. (odd I know, but not as bad as you might think).

My question is regarding the ventilation of the microwave. How is it different from a regular countertop microwave? Will there be a problem with installing it above a regular countertop instead of over a range? I don't see what the difference would be...but I'm not sure. Sharp sells a microwave that specifically says "over the counter", and shows a picture of it over a regular countertop instead of a range. However, this micro is like $350 and it got a couple of bad user reviews online. I see some "over ther range" styles for $150-$250, which is much more in my price range. Would these work in my situation?

Thanks all.


guyod 03-28-2008 12:05 PM

Here is another option: they sell microwave shelfs that mount under the cabinet. Big box stores sell them with there cabinets. install one of those and get a $50 microwave.

over the countermicrowaves are big and bulky and i dont think it would look right any place else. but if you want to go ahead there is no reason why you cant.

auntshe 03-28-2008 12:15 PM

over the counter microwave
As long as the air can circulate around the microwave it should work just fine.

Some microwave are called space savers and are mounted on the bottom of the top cupboards. These type are not vented.

cibula11 03-28-2008 12:43 PM

The purpose of an over the range microwave is for ventilation purposes. If you don't need ventilation (which you probably wouldn't since it's not over your stove, I would DEFINITELY get a microwave shelf and use a much cheaper microwave.

On the contrary, if you already have a range microwave then I would see no problem installing it. Just make sure you have the electrical necessary to do this and proper mounting brackets.

Rustedbird 03-28-2008 03:15 PM

I wanted to do an over the stove microwave once. Turned out I'd have to monkey with the ductwork and I had a lot of counter-top real estate. So, just installed a new hood. Not keen on having anything over a heated surface anyway.

Square Eye 03-28-2008 03:31 PM

The shelf and wave thing is a GREAT deal in your situation. When an over counter wave goes bad, you have to get all new brackets and redo the install. When a cheap wave dies, trash it and grab another one :)

If the shelf is big enough, you can stick other kitchen related junk up there too! :D

Christian 03-29-2008 08:23 PM

OK...I know you all will probably think I'm retarded here...but I did a search for "microwave shelf" at, and nothing came up. I searched google, and all I came up with were stainless steel shelves that were like $175. I assume this isn't what I'm looking for...haha.

I hope there is something out there that mounts without large brackets underneath the shelf on the wall (like L brackets). I don't want it to look tacky...I want it to look like the microwave "belongs" there...if that makes any sense. Hopefully I can get something that's made of wood too...that way I can paint to match the cabinets. Anyone know if this exists!?

Thanks all.

Christian 03-29-2008 08:31 PM


Originally Posted by auntshe (Post 17316)
As long as the air can circulate around the microwave it should work just fine.

Some microwave are called space savers and are mounted on the bottom of the top cupboards. These type are not vented.

When I was talking about the "venting," I was referring to the microwave's ventilation...not to the microwave also acting like a hood to vent the stove. I have no need for that...just wanting to make sure the microwave will keep itself cool properly when operating.

Square Eye 03-29-2008 08:34 PM

Yeah, :)

An internet search is very limited at the Home Depot. A microwave shelf is a special order unit at most big box stores. The "brackets" are usually the sides of the unit, all wood.

Square Eye 03-29-2008 08:56 PM

Here's one :)

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