Microwave Trim Kit HELP please!

eleenyAugust 2, 2009

Ok, I've only ever owned cheap microwaves in my life that sit on the countertop. Now for our new house, we are planning to buy a stainless steel countertop microwave (thanks to this forum!) with a 27" trim kit for that built-in look, to be installed UNDER the countertop.

My dilemma is with the trim kits. There are not a ton of pictures online, but I've looked at all that I can find. It seems like GE is the only one with the smooth SS trim kit (you know, no holes in it). All the other trim kits I've seen have the grill plates / vented slats. Aesthetically, I think that the smooth look is much better than the open slats which I imagine will be a dust-collector. WHAT DO YOU THINK? But there are several major brands that I haven't been able to find trim kit pics for. Anyway, my hesitation with the GE is that all of their microwave have gotten lots of negative reviews.

DOES ANYONE KNOW OF ANOTHER BRAND THAT MAKES THE SMOOTH STAINLESS TRIM KITS FOR MICROWAVES?

Also, if the dimensions match, are trim kits interchangeable? In other words, can the GE trim kit be used with another brand's microwave (provide it has the same dimensions as the GE microwave that's supposed to fit there)?

Thanks so much, everyone!

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weissman

I have a GE MW with a trim kit and the trim kit is not smooth - it has the vented slats and it has to have them so that the microwave can vent out the front. I'd be surprised to find any trim kit without slats for venting. I don't find the slats to be dust collectors at all. By the way, my MW is nearly 8 years old and no problems at all (model JEM31, now replaced by the PEM31). I have mine mounted in an upper cabinet and the GE was one of two that was shallow enough but if you're going undercounter you'll have more choices.

There's a company called mircrotrim that makes custom trim kits - you could contact them - but again, I really think you'll need vents or the MW will overheat.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 9:48AM
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eleeny

Thanks, Weissman. I've wondered about the same thing myself. Below is the link to a pic of the trim I'm talking about. It's supposed to go with the PEB2060 and JEB1860 GE Profile microwaves. I imagine that if GE makes them that way, they should be okay in terms of ventilation, right? I have seen Microtrim's website; it looks like all of their trims are vents slats too.

What do you all think?

Here is a link that might be useful: GE JX2027SMSS Deluxe Built-In 27

    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 2:07PM
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weissman

Ok I checked out your link and then went to the GE site. I couldn't find that trim kit but I did find it's installation manual. It vents around the top, bottom, and sides of the frame so you have to leave enough room so as not to block the venitng.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 11:48PM
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kucharsk

Remember that microwave trim kits aren't just for appearance but are also to route vented air out the front of the cabinet.

Without the trim kit the vent just exhausts up (perfect for countertop use, but bad when in an enclosed space.)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 11:46PM
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eleeny

Yeah, that's been the toughest part about outfitting our new kitchen -- trying to balance form versus function! The problem is that, although I like the look of the GE trim, their microwaves seem to be quite problematic based on the reviews I've read.

Does anyone know of any other microwaves that have the option of smooth trim?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 9:33AM
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weissman

Just curious where you read bad reviews of GE microwaves? I haven't seen any on this forum and I've had my JEM31 for nearly 7 years without any problems. Others on this forum also have the JEM31 or the PEM31. Most MWs these days are made by Sharp, GE and Panasonic. I hadn't seen any smooth trim kits until the one you posted.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 9:37AM
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eleeny

Epinions... It's good to hear that your GE's been doing well, because I think that's what we'll be getting. (Unless someone offers up a better option soon!)

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 4:04PM
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weissman

I would take epinions with many grains of salt. Unlike this forum where you get many balanced opinions, epinions seems to attract people with an axe to grind against a particular product. You don't see many positive reviews of anything there.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 4:17PM
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writersblock

Also, I think scale of business has something to do with this. GE is far more widely available in stores than the other brands, so they probably have a much larger customer base. 10% disgruntled customers is a lot more negative reviews when you sell 200,000 units a year than when you sell 20,000.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 6:33PM
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eleeny

Okay, your replies make sense and make me feel better about the GE. Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 7:01PM
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cmg01

We've had our GE Monogram MW for 5 years and had it sitting on a shelf. Two years ago during a gut kitchen rehab we bought the smooth stainless trim kit from Trevor at Eurostoves and built it into the cabinetry. We haven't had any trouble with either. The venting is around the sides of the microwave; there are no fins. It looks really finished and custom. (which it is)

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 8:18PM
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antss

Viking makes a smooth micro + trim kit that has no visible slats in it.

I'm not advocating it, but it is available and is very pretty like a lot of their stuff.

It's their DMTK series I believe.

The track record for last few years of GE's magnetrons has been a problem for me. Sure they make a ton of units, but I feel the % of problem ones is WAY too high to take a chance on given that they are not the cheapest offering nor have more or better features than the competition.

Look at Panasonic or Sharp for a reg unit and Miele if you need / want a gee wiz bang speed oven.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 8:40PM
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eleeny

cmg01 ~ Do you know how the Monogram microwave is different from the regular GE or GE Profile? We're considering the GE Profile PEB2060 but if the Monogram (which is a better-looking unit, IMO) is better, then we might pay for the upgrade...

antss ~ Thanks. I will check out the Viking. I do LOVE the Panasonic microwaves -- both the look and their features. However, they don't make their own trim kits (I called and they referred me to Microtrim). I have only about a week to get this delivered for the contractor to install for us, so Microtrim will be cutting it close, and also they only make the trim w/ the slats, not the smooth kind. Most of the other brands I can just order directly from the dealer who got all of our kitchen appliances. We're already getting the Gaggenau Combi-Steam, so thought a "gee wiz bang speed oven" would be overkill (although I'd love one!). That's why we're going for a reg ol' microwave w/ trim kit.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 1:35AM
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eleeny

Here's an update: We looked at the Viking that antss mentioned -- very attractive unit, but wow! on the high price tag! We ended up choosing the GE Profile w/ the smooth SS trim kit.

By the way, we found out something interesting about the GE JEB1860SMSS microwave and the GE Profile PEB2060SMSS microwave that we were considering. The 2 units are very similar but the Profile cost $16 more. It turned out that the Profile had a 5-year warranty on the magnetron tube, while the regular GE only had a 1-year warranty. Totally worth the extra few bucks, IMO! Just an FYI for anyone who's purchasing this in the future.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 10:10PM
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antss

What'd ya expect. A totally smooth trim kit is a very niche item which in and of it self would lead one to think higher price tag, and it was from Viking, who is not known for budget anything.

Glad you found something you like.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 10:43PM
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Texas29

There is a company that I used successfully to get a trim kit for my counter top LG microwave that I wanted to build in to my new oven, microwave, warming drawer stack. Doing this saved me about $900 since built in microwaves are ludicrously expensive for something that is essentially no different than a counter top model. My kit cost $133 and I had it in 7 days.

Microtrim.com will custom make a microwave trim kit for you. They are very helpful with getting the measurements right and will show you exactly how the trim kit will look with your set up. Although mine has the vent slots to keep the microwave from overheating they might make a smooth one for you. You would just need to be certain they leave about a 3/8 inch gap between the unit and the trim so the microwave can properly vent.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 12:29PM
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moebus

If you find a microwave trim kit without venting, run the other way quickly. All built in units need to be vented or they burn out quickly.
Look for the least offensive slats like the Wolf drawer to minimize the effect. I sympathize as I started out the same way you did.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 10:06PM
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RealHousewifeofNJ

Thank you, thank you, thank you! To the person who recommended MicroTrim. Bought a Viking Microwave whose trim kit does not fit into a Kraftmaid cabinet. Microtrim is able to help!!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2014 at 1:25PM
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