Triple Oven combo ?'s: height of units, MW drawer too low?

mamadadapaigeMarch 25, 2012

I have committed to the Wolf Convection Steam oven as well as Wolf single oven. I am contemplating the Wolf drawer microwave -- the three would be stacked with MW drawer on the bottom, single oven in the middle, steam oven on top.

My reason for considering this configuration is that I don't really have another good spot for the Microwave.

I am concerned, however, that in order for the steam oven to be at a good height for getting stuff in and out of it and using the controls, etc. the microwave is essentially just above the toe kick.

I don't microwave very much (maybe 2-3 times per week) and I think I can live with the bending over to use the controls, etc (I guess this would be a better option for me than reaching too high to use the steam oven... and I also think better than having a MW taking up my valuable cabinet space which has been so carefully planned and fussed over for months)...

Just wondering if anyone has contemplated this situation and what you'd do ... I am posting because of my reservations even though the alternatives aren't great. I guess just hoping for some confirmation that it will be okay or to hear that I should absolutely NOT do this and find some other place for a MW.


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I recently looked into this same question as part of a new home construction. My conclusion was no combination of a "triple" would work for me (I'm 60). Whatever's on the bottom would get little use and when used would be uncomfortable to use. Ended up doing a microwave drawer elsewhere in the kitchen and two ovens on a wall (30" big oven and smaller steam/convection oven). My suggestion: Think carefully about all the bending and lifting entailed in a floor level appliance before you do a triple.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 8:30AM
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thanks for your input...

I don't want the MW taking up prime real estate in the kitchen given that i don't use it much. I could have it occupy the space I was holding open for a printer above my desk area - I do have a printer upstairs and could live without one in the kitchen. compromises - compromises....

hoping to hear from others as well.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 9:05AM
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Why not get a mini-printer for the kitchen so you can print off a shopping list or recipe or whatever without running upstairs, but send the big print jobs to the remote printer?

Or put the printer on a rollout shelf under the ovens?

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 6:21PM
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thanks for weighing in... I was hoping you would as I know how much thought went in to your kitchen. I think it is not looking good for the drawer MW - my gut knows it but it is hard to go through the mental gymnastics of relocating the silly thing at this point (but I will do it, most likely). I have been wanting to place my cabinet order for eons but all the fine tuning is taking so long. The doors on the cabinets in my current kitchen are literally falling off their hinges and the fridge is in the other room so this can't happen soon enough.

thanks again.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 9:36PM
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I have no experience of such a set up but honestly it looks to me like that MW would be way too low. Aesthetically I also don't like it stacked 3 tall like that. I think you need some kind of cabinet - either doors or drawers below to counterbalance the upper cabinet. As it is it looks like a load of stacked up technology components with a cabinet teetering on top....just my 2 cents. I would say follow your gut feeling and find another location for the MW. Good luck and keep us posted!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 10:57PM
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I have a Sharp MW drawer across the aisle from my warming drawer placed under my Wolf ovens. I use the WD 4-6 times a week and don't have an issue using it so low. Yes, it'd be better if it was higher, but it was a last minute add. This was the only place for it as I could just swap it for the drawer in my already-built cabs.

If Wolf's MW controls are placed as Sharp's are (and I think they are), I wouldn't like using them placed in that location. I don't think the stooping up and down the few times a week you use it would be as much of an issue as being able to easily view the buttons. I don't mind my up/down for the WD because I'm not visually locating and aiming my finger at a little button or two with each use. The writing is very small!

Good luck! Doesn't the planning stage seem to take more time than you think it should? You're getting the best kitchen for YOU this way though. Oh, btw, did you see the thread a couple of weeks ago over in KF addressed to you asking about the status of your kitchen?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 2:49AM
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buffalotina and breezygirl - thanks!

breezy, i havent' been on much lately - works has been so busy. I just posted an update on kitchens with elevations. please take a look!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 7:29AM
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came up with an idea for the MW location... posted it over on kitchens if anyone cares to look. would love feedback!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 9:56AM
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Yes, we all know it would be less than ideal, but consider this. Many of us have regular drawers at that height, right? What is so different about putting a plate in a MW drawer compared to putting a bowl in a storage drawer?

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 12:01AM
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Checking the heights, I'm less worried about the MW, than I am about the steam oven being too high.

Since the door pulls down from the top (rather than side-opening), the top of the hot door, when open, may be too high to use the oven safely. Suppose the door is 2 inches thick, then the top of it is about 52 inches off the floor (4' 4"). Can everyone in your household who is going to use it safely load and unload over that height with enough clearance (and even if the racks pull out easy, you still have to reach in to pull out the rack)?

I wouldn't mind a MW drawer at that height if I was only going to use it once a week or so. If I was using twice a day or more, it would get annoying fast. But the steam oven height is a safety issue that would be more important. Can you see one installed somewhere and then make yourself short enough and try to use it at your proposed height?

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 12:49AM
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I have a drawer MW at under counter height and my concern with having it as low as is pictured above would be cleaning it. I don't find it fun cleaning the MW at under counter height and it really won't be easy cleaning the top of the MW cabinet inside the drawer cavity having it that low to the ground.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 2:58PM
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What would you consider the ideal height for a drawer microwave? Mine would be going in a full height cabinet, so I have some flexibility for elevation. I'm thinking maybe 4-5 inches above standard counter height for the top of the microwave.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 3:53PM
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Attofarad--how tall are you and other family members? I'm 5'8"ish and if I raised the top of my Sharp MW drawer to 41" (standard 36" counter plus your 5"), it would be uncomfortable to me to reach over the front of the drawer to put in/take out food. The controls would be at a great reading height, but the rest wouldn't work for me. If you must to raise it above 36", IMHO only 1-2" would really work.

Angie--with a regular storage drawer, you're reaching in once to grab or replace an item. A MW drawer takes more than one movement, more than the one opening and closing of a cab drawer. Setting the controls (time, power, function), opening/closing again to retrieve food all add additional movements. And then there are MW users like me who check and recheck food temps, so multiple opens/closes.

I know from MDP's thread in Kitchens, she's moved the MW elsewhere.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 4:14PM
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breezygirl -- 5'5" to 5'9". Since the sides are lower than the front (when open), can't you reach in that way? I guess not for heavier items that might take both hands.

I looked at a unit in the store and thought that the controls were too low for best comfort. I'll have to go back and take another look. I had a regular small microwave on the counter top where it was perfect; on a table 6 inches lower I had to stoop to use the controls (still higher that Sharp controls when under counter).

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 4:48PM
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