If you have found yourself on the hunt for a new microwave, you may be surprised by the number of options that are on the market.
In addition to the brands and the specifications for each microwave being different, so are the types of microwave that you can purchase.
One of the common types of microwaves are over-the-range microwaves.
Traditionally, these units are meant to be used over your range or stove.
However, many people have questions about how important this is and if there are other areas where it is acceptable to use an over-the-range microwave.
Can Over-the-range Microwave be Use on the Countertop?
An over-the-range microwave cannot be placed on a countertop.
The main thing that will prevent you from being able to place the microwave on the countertop is that it is not going to sit flat.
The over-the-range microwaves are going to have a vent on the bottom of them, and this makes them unstable and incapable of sitting properly on the counter.
Another issue that can happen with using the over-the-range microwave on the counter is that it can create a heat problem.
There is no place for the heat to escape from the over-the-range microwave when it is left to balance on its own bottom.
The countertop microwaves are built to make sure they can adequately distribute heat without causing a heat problem or issue to your countertop.
The over-the-range microwave will not only do damage to your counters, but it will also impact your microwave and potentially cause it to burn up.
When you are using an over-the-range microwave, you have to always be sure that you are allowing the bottom of the microwave to vent out.
There should be no cabinet built around the bottom of an over-the-range microwave, or it will not be able to work correctly.
You can install a microwave with a cabinet over and around it, but the bottom needs to be open as this is partly how this type of microwave functions.
Areas in Which To Place A Microwave
Since you can’t put an over-the-counter microwave on the counter, you may be looking for some different areas around the kitchen where you can place your microwave.
Luckily, microwaves are one of the easiest appliances to move around the kitchen when necessary.
It’s certainly easier to find a spot to put your microwave as opposed to where you are going to put your refrigerator or stove.
1. In a Drawer
Some microwaves are built to be put inside a drawer.
A drawer microwave is a unique option that allows for some extra space on the counter.
If you are looking for a cleaner look in your kitchen where you can’t see appliances and accessories quite as much, the drawer microwave is a good choice.
These microwaves are just as efficient, and they can make the process of hiding the microwave relatively easy.
Overall, this type of microwave will be priced around the same as any other microwave, but a specific type of cabinet will have to be built to make this work.
2. In a Cabinet
Another popular place to store a microwave is in a cabinet.
The cabinet is an excellent solution if you want a uniform look in the kitchen or if you don’t use your microwave all that much.
The cabinet solution is perfect for those who only occasionally use the microwave.
However, if you are someone who prepares most of your meals with the help of a microwave, it is going to help make it a bit difficult to have the microwave in the cabinet.
3. On a Shelf
If you don’t want your microwave over the range or on the counter, a shelf microwave is a great option.
Putting a microwave on a shelf is an excellent idea because you can customize the height of the shelf to work for you.
This is a great choice for a kitchen that has a more open concept look where shelves are more exposed, and there is not as much cabinetry.
4. Built in With Trim Around It
A very traditional way to install a microwave is to have it built in and trim placed around it.
This is different from the cabinet choice as the door to the microwave will be accessible even without opening the door to the cabinet.
Indeed, you also have the option of putting a microwave on the counter in your kitchen, but a lot of people find that they would rather free up space on their counters.
Most of the time, kitchen counter space is something that can be quite limited, and it is best to preserve as much of it as possible.
The space needs to be there to make sure you have plenty of room to prepare and cook meals.
What Kind of Microwave Can Go in a Cabinet?
It is essential to choose the proper kind of microwave to place inside your cabinet.
Just as not all microwaves are capable of going on the counter of your kitchen, not all of them will be safe to put in a cabinet either.
Putting a microwave in a cabinet means that it will need to be properly vented.
The cabinet-style microwaves will have a similar capacity to other types of microwaves, but they will just be a bit easier to hide and not take away from the kitchen’s look.
The microwaves that go in cabinets need to be built-in microwaves, and the upfront costs are going to be a little higher.
You will likely need to have a professional come to your home to install a microwave like this.
However, in the end, the built-in microwave is going to be an excellent choice for those that are short on counter space.
It is very important to make sure that the microwave is properly vented, and it has enough clearance.
Does a Kitchen Need a Microwave?
A microwave is something that most people feel as though they can’t live without.
With the ability to quickly heat food and prepare a meal, there is no question the microwave is convenient.
However, for some smaller kitchens, the logistics of finding a place to put the microwave and get it to fit in your space may make it not worth it.
There are ways to survive without a microwave in your kitchen.
For the most part, any type of reheating and cooking can be done in your oven or on your stovetop instead of using the microwave.
Of course, the time it takes to heat up the food is likely going to be longer, and therefore, you will have to be prepared for that.
In addition, there is the option to use a toaster or toaster oven at times instead of a microwave.
If you find that you don’t have the wall space or the counter space for a microwave, maybe think about putting it somewhere else in your home.
Could you get a small counter microwave and leave it in your pantry or your laundry room?
You may even be able to purchase a small microwave that you can simply plug in when the time is necessary to use it.
There are lots of options for making a microwave work, even if you don’t have a lot of space.
Some people find that they would rather have a microwave than a dishwasher in their home.
This is usually because the ability to go from a frozen product to a cooked product in a matter of a few minutes is very appealing.
As nice as dishwashers are, they don’t quite offer this same level of convenience.
When you are installing a microwave, you must follow all of the necessary precautions that the manufacturer recommends.
If you are unsure about the proper way to install your microwave, you can talk to a professional about the type of microwave to purchase and the location to place it.
There are serious fire hazard issues if you install a microwave in the wrong location.
These concerns go well beyond aesthetics, and they can become safety issues.
Don’t ever place an over-the-range microwave in a cabinet.
You can do a built-in around the top of the microwave and the sides, but the bottom can never be closed in.
This is the way that the microwave allows heat to escape, and without this, there are going to be some serious safety concerns.