Using an over the range microwave elsewhere?

lesmisJanuary 2, 2009

I'm new here, but wanted to get some information if I could on our nearly new Over Range Microwave.

Just over a year ago we purchased a "direct" venting microwave with the idea that we would continue that set up after our kitchen remodel.

We are in the midst of designing the new kitchen and have decided to go with a hood instead.

Does anyone know if we can still use our microwave (a GE Profile XL 1800) some place else in the kitchen? We are building a pantry/microwave cabinet and wondered if we could use this same microwave, but obviously not use the venting features anymore.

Are there "real" differences between venting microwaves vs. those that are countertop or built-in models besides that fact that the over the range type have the capability of venting?

I contacted GE and of course their standard line is "it's not manufactured to be placed anywhere but over a range," but I was curious if anyone else had run into this and how it worked out if they put it some place else in the kitchen.

If we have to purchase a new one (lesson learned) we will, but if this one can work I'd love to keep it, it's one of the few new appliances I purchased that I like!

Thank you for any information you can provide!


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I wondered about that too because they do not have a countertop microwave in the GE Cafe line, only the over the range.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 4:57PM
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Sure. We've done it twice, both times with a GE. If you're not venting to the outside you just need to add a recirculation kit. Piece of cake. Having a good cabinetmaker helps.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 5:21PM
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Chipshot, Thanks so much!!! I knew there must be a way to make it work.

Did you purchase your recirculating kit from GE? Also, I LOVE your cabinetry. We are going with inset cabinetry like yours and I've debated putting doors over my microwave so your picture is perfect!

What color did you paint your cabinetry? And do you have soapstone counters?

I've been having a mental meltdown all day. All along I've had this 1920's white shaker kitchen in my head with a whole black and white theme going and a little bit of British influence for good measure. Then I found these wonderful bronze tiles that are verdigris and have marine life motifs (we are on the water) that I went ahead and purchased thinking if I didn't use them in the kitchen I'd use them in the bath remodel.

We are doing the hood mostly because of me wanting to feature these beautiful tiles and now I'm questioning if I want to stray from my vintage black/white kitchen!!

I think the more time I have to decide the worse it gets!!

Thanks for helping with at least one decision about the microwave!!

Do you have a link to more of your kitchen pics?


    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 6:21PM
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Thanks for your compliment about our cabinetry, Kat. I'm sorry I can't help you with the source of the recirculating kit. Perhaps it was included with the Advantium? I doubt we got it for free.

The cabinet above the microwave is perfect for storing paper towels (although I need to reach them for my wife). There is another set of high doors to their right. They provide access to the fish tank.

Our kitchen cabinets are all white. What specific shade I do not know. They were painted by our cabinet maker at their facility. We don't have any soapstone counters. Our island is blue Caesarstone and our perimiter (including below the microwave) is white crystalline glass. Yes, glass.

I wish I could help you with all your choices. However, you sound well on your way to making sure (I hope this comes out right) that your kitchen is YOUR kitchen. I'll try to post more pics. We had the last piece (the light over the table) installed only a couple of weeks ago, so it will be good to show the "finished" product.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 10:13AM
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Most OTR micros offer a recirculating kit in their accessories. You will need the one for your specific model.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 10:22AM
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Thanks everyone for the info. The forum doesn't email me when people respond so I didn't know there were any other postings. I have it set up to notify me, not sure why it's not working, oh well.

Chipshot, I completely understand what you mean about making it "our" kitchen. I love going in to someone's home and knowing a little bit about them just by looking at their home. We are putting in some traditional features like our cabinetry and the soapstone, but we'll have plenty of "us" in the details. I'd love to see your finished pics!

I just got my cast bronze tiles ( a huge slurge at $60 a piece and I only bought 3!) for the backsplash above the range and I found really cool knobs that will be a little quirky.

I think my mental meltdown is over for now. I just need to follow my gut (or our gut, I do let my husband in on a few of the decisions! ;) )and let the design chips fall where they may.

Thanks writersblock for the info, I'll do a google search for our particular model. Are you a writer by any chance? I am. :-)


    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 4:51PM
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OMG, sometimes the timing on this forum blows my mind. I have exactly the same question and was getting ready to post it! The answers are great but I still a point of clarification. Chipshot, regarding your suggestion of adding a recirculating fan and showing over the counter usage: are you saying that an OTR micro cannot be used on a counter? I ask because I, too, bought an OTR micro that I will not be using for it's original intended purposed. Given it's cost, I'd like to still use it but was hoping to install it on a shelf in my pantry. Is that an absolute no-no? Must such a unit it be suspended above a space so that air can flow below it?

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 6:00PM
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I don't think OTR microwaves even have feet, marthavila, so I'm not sure how to place one on a counter. Suspending it from a cabinet didn't appear all that difficult and left me with more of that oh-so-valuable countertop space.

I took some photos today, Kat, and hope to be able to post them tomorrow. I never knew such a thing as $60 tiles existed. I learn so much here.

Other than the lurkers, aren't we all writers here?

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 12:01AM
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Can't wait to see the photos Chip!! And yes, I guess we are "all" writers here! Too bad I don't get paid for it though! ;)

I'll have to post pics of my tiles, they were worth every penny in my opinion!! The icing on the cake so to speak, and let's face it, what's cake without icing?!!


    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 9:10AM
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Wait no longer. A view from each corner. Sorry they're no more than quick snap shots (and that I didn't spiff up the place before taking them). I'm job-hunting, so I know what it's like not to get paid. Looking forward to seeing pictures of your tiles.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 2:39PM
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Wow, just beautiful, thanks for posting!! Ahh to have that much space, our kitchen is only 14 x 14 more or less.

We are doing hardwood as well. Is your's oak? We are looking into heart pine and getting ready to put down a deposit. I love the way wood floors look with white cabinetry!

I really like your glass countertops, very unusual!! I talked to a company today about maybe using zinc on my island. I want something a little out of the ordinary and the island would be a good place to do that.

How big are the recessed cans you used? My husband and I had this discussion earlier today, about what size and how many to use. Yours look nicely spaced and unlike some kitchens I've seen it doesn't look like a lunar landscape because of too many lights!

I hope you find a job quickly (if you are looking to get another one). The market is tough right now I know but I'm sure it will turn around.

How do I post pictures? Do I have to host them to photobucket or someplace first and them upload them here?



    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 3:34PM
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Here are the photos of my tiles, they are 4x4 solid cast bronze with a verdigris patina and very heavy! I just love them and can't wait to see them installed!




P.S. If that is your "messy" less spiffy kitchen then we probably can't be friends! ;)


    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 4:02PM
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Wow, beautiful job with the kitchen layout, chipshot. I love the drum shade over your breakfast table. Where did you get it? I have been looking for one just like it.

I have put my microwave directly on the counter before. Then I got a different one for over the range. But don't they automatically come with the recirculating kit? I don't have exterior venting and never changed the vent kit, and it automatically recirculates.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 7:41PM
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Cool tiles, Kat. I especially liked the nautilus. I've seen some pretty spiffy-looking kitchens here in gardenweb land. I like mine just fine and shot it as-is in the interest of getting you the photos ASAP.

Our hardwood is oak (red, I think). Isn't zinc toxic? I guess that won't be a problem if you don't put food directly on it. Our recessed cans are smaller than what we had in our last house. I think they take 65 watt bulbs. We left them as-is even thought we changed just about everything else in the kitchen.

rennovatorjen, we found the light fixture, shade and all, in one of our interior designer's many books. I believe countertop and OTR microwaves are close cousins. Their guts and controls may be identical, but their underpinnings differ. I hope that helps.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 11:14PM
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Thanks Chipshot! I wish I knew why my pics didn't post properly, you'll have to fill me in on how to make them work. I'm a complete noob on this forum!

I was joking when I said that if that was your "messy" kitchen, meaning that if that's messy than you wouldn't want to see mine, which at the moment truly IS messy! Yours looks as though it's ready for company!!

If it is mixed with other metals in the fabrication process it can be harmful but zinc and pewter have been used for years in Europe as countertops. Lots of bakery tables and regular kitchen tables are topped with zinc in France. And people take zinc supplements so I think it's fine. :)

I did get the quote back and we won't be going that route, we'll stick to soapstone everywhere. Looks like my uniqueness will be limited to accent pieces throughout my kitchen.


    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 11:57AM
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Soapstone is already pretty unique, Kat. We explored it but elected to use it instead as a fireplace surround. I find posting pictures from Photobucket a snap. When I'm looking at thumbnails and "hover" the mouse over a photo, four items appear beneath it. I simply select and copy the HTML code and paste it into my message. Previewing confirms I didn't miss any key pieces of the code. Hope it works as easily for you.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 12:34PM
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Thanks I'll try the pictures again! I think I clicked on the img link the first time around.

I love soapstone, but I wanted something that made a little more of a statement on the island, but after pricing and looking at other materials, I think soapstone will work out to be the best option.


    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 4:56PM
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Congrats, you did it!

Have you checked out Pyrolave (a form of lava stone from France)? We had it (in bright blue) on the island in our last house, and it certainly made quite a statement.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 5:19PM
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Thanks, yes I got it figured out, thanks for your help!!

I will look into the Pyrolave, I've not heard of that. I've looked at lava stone but not that brand. Thanks for the tip. is a link to a site with a bunch of different drum shade lamps, some are really expensive, others nicely priced. Hope you find something you like!

I just got a really unique light for over my kitchen table, I can't wait to have it installed!


Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 9:01PM
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Hmm Chip that Pyrolave looks pretty interesting. I would want one with a matte finish I think. What made you decide to not use it again in the new kitchen?

Here is a picture of my new light fixture. I haven't decided if I'm going to put it over my kitchen table or if I'll put it in the dining room. Decisions, decisions! :-)


    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 10:41PM
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Pyrolave wasn't in our budget this time around, partly because of the size of our new island. We went with Caesarstone instead and are happy with it.

Interesting light fixture. It has an astronomical look to it. How large is your dining room table? How high are your ceilings.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2009 at 9:40PM
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I would have to measure my dining room table, it can seat 8 people comfortably with the leaf in, but I usually don't have the leaf in.

My ceilings are only 8 feet tall, but my concern is that where we are moving the kitchen table to in the remodel is by a new bank of windows and I don't want to obscure the view, which isn't an issue in the dining room.

We wish that there were many things different about our house (higher ceilings, an attic *they used the wrong kind of trusses*, more bedrooms, etc.) but it's on the water and the location can't be beat, so we are working with what we have.

I will try and dig up some photos of both areas to get an opinion on the light fixture. It's beautiful, very unusual, but it is large. It's actually the same diameter as my other light fixture but looks much larger because it is round, if that makes sense!

Here is a photo of my old kitchen chandelier which we brought with us when we moved. I had always intended to use it as my breakfast nook light, until I found this other one.

You see our dining room when you first enter our home so I think the other light (the round one) might make more of a statement. Plus I think the Hubbarton Forge is more open and won't obscure the view as much and it goes well with my pendant lights that I've chosen for over the island.

Either fixture will work as the breakfast area will be separate from the kitchen.

Here are my pendants.

So what do you all think? I appreciate the input. Having a perspective with new eyes is always a good thing.



    Bookmark   January 10, 2009 at 10:57PM
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