For those with a 30'' OTR microwave but a larger cooktop:

Adrienne2011January 22, 2011

Did you buy filler side pieces for your microwave, or did you do something different? Is there even an alternative that can be done to maintain the width of the cooktop all the way up to the microwave, or is my only choice to buy a stainless steel filler piece to match the micro?

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It is a REALLY bad idea to have an OTR MW over a 36" cooktop. Don't do it! You really should get a proper 36" hood. There are some OTR MW's made in a 36" size, but (A) they are really 30" MW's with stuck-on "wings" to get them to be 36" wide, (B) consequently, they look ugly AND strange, and (C) also consequently, you won't get any kind of exhaust function at all. Even a 30" MW over a 30" cooktop doesn't do much because there is very little capture area other than a couple of squares toward the back. And with the 36" OTR MW setup you are envisioning, you will get no exhaust over the front burners AND no exhaust over the sides. Your idea about stainless filler pieces doesn't make much sense. This OTR MW setup would not be a good use of your money, throwing it away actually. You may as well spend that money elsewhere and just open a window to vent for all the help an OTR MW over your 36" cooktop is going to give you.

Please, just get a 36" hood for your 36" cooktop. It'll look so much better too. An OTR MW isn't very nice to look at, especially with weird filler pieces, that are possibly against Building Code by the way. But there are some very pretty hoods out there.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 11:40AM
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I already bought the appliances, and while I appreciate hoods for their aesthetic quality, I rarely use the vent that I currently have. If I had an extra two thousand to throw away, I would have purchased a hood. But honestly, I never understood the point of spending soooo much on something that does so little.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 12:02PM
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The extensions on the 30" microwave hood to make them 36" can't be against code, or they couldn't be produced. In the international building code there are requirements for distances to non flammable surfaces, to my knowlege, and these may vary from the recommendations that come from your cooktop manufacturer and those from the manufacturer may be greater distance than the code minimums.

I've only seen Kitchen Aid, and GE OTRs configured to 36" and the KA is symmetrical while the GE is not.

What 36" cooktop are you using? Is it gas or electric?
One thing to look at is the configuration. My 30" cooktop had the controls all along one side and the burners were really set within a smaller width than 30". The only ones who appear to have this now are a couple Whirlpool and Maytag models.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 12:13PM
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Your other option would be to use a 3" filler (pullout?) on each side and line the lower surface of it with metal for added protection.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 12:27PM
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Code requires a 30" minimum between a cooking surface and a combustable material. You'd have to purchase one of the 36" OTR MWs made to go in a 36" spot in order to comply with code. Cladding a combusible surface with a non combustible material doesn't comply. It still creates a fire hazard by the conduction of the heat to the combusible surface.

The easiest solution would be to return the OTR and purchase a 36" vent hood or to return your 36" cooktop and get a 30" one.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 12:44PM
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Palimpsest - I was referring to the OP's idea of using filler pieces above the cooktop as potentially being against Code. I was not referring to the 30" OTR MWs that are made into 36" size by the manufacturers by the addition of "wings".

Adrienne - You do not need to spend that much on a hood. But it looks like your mind is made up. I was offering advice about what is best to install above a 36" cooktop for exhaust and for appearance, but I understand that is not exactly what you asked.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 12:46PM
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Thanks Live_wire_oak for backing me up. Your post crossed with mine,

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 12:48PM
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A = 30 inches minimum clearance between the top of the cooking surface and the bottom of an unprotected wood
or metal cabinet or A = 24 inches minimum when the bottom of wood or metal cabinet is protected by not less than
1/4 inch thick flame retardant material covered with not less than #28 gage sheet steel, .015 inch thick stainless
steel, .024 inch thick aluminum, or .020 inch thick copper

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 12:58PM
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Is your kitchen very, very small? If not...

"...I rarely use the vent that I currently have..."

Could that be because it's not effective, too noisy, or both? We didn't use our rangehood much in our old kitchen b/c of both reasons. However, I could often smell what I cooked for dinner all the way upstairs and into my bedroom that night as well as in the rest of the house the next morning (even when I did use it!) Additionally, there was usually a thin layer of grease on the back of the range, the wall above it, and on the sides of the surrounding cabinets...which I wiped down at least once a week. My parents' kitchen, which has no hood at all, has a film of "gunk" (grease+dust) on the cabinet above the range, the wall next to it (it's against the wall on one side), on the cabinet on the other side, and on the ceiling above.

I knew that I needed to get some decent venting in my new kitchen if I didn't want the film to start developing on my new cabinets & if I didn't want to have to constantly wipe everything down. So I did...much more effective and much quieter. Now, I use my hood every time I more grease even on the back wall!

You do not have to pay $2K for a decent hood.

Here are some:

$307: Broan Deluxe Series 893600

$483: Broan Elite Series E64E36SS

$499: Vent-A-Hood Emerald Series SLH6K36SS

This is just to help you think about the reasons you don't use it now and to consider the possibility that you might use it if you had a decent one. It's your kitchen, so the decision is yours...please, just think about it.

Then, there are the negatives of a MW over a, height, location.

If someone is cooking and someone else wants to use the MW, the Cook has to step aside at least twice, then the MW user has to place/remove food while reaching over a hot pot/pan (with steam, grease, etc.) at a height that's really too high for handling hot foods.

Again, it's your decision, these are just things to think about.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 4:09PM
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The space of my kitchen is hard to define with square footage. Currently it is 10 by 12 feet, but will become approximately 14 by 15, I guess. It will be a double L shape: an L shaped counter run with another detached L shape counter run mimicking it.
Anyway, a hood makes it so cabinets cannot go above the cooktop, but with an OTR microwave, I could at least have a short cabinet there. I don't care for the regular smallish vent hoods, though. Unlike to smell the food that I cooked - that is one reason that I cooked it. I almost never fry anything at all. You're right - my current vent is a noisy piece of junk.
Returning the appliances would be interesting because I bought them at a kick-butt price from someplace in California, and I live in Michigan (I bought them online). So, I will definitely keep them. Anyway, what about tile? Could I use my backsplash tile and tile next to the microwave?

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 5:07PM
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I have to agree about the microwave positioned over the range. If you are remodeling a kitchen even if you have bought it, I would consider mounting it as an over the counter microwave at a lower sounds as if you haven't finalized the cabinet layout? Or, you could sell it and probably get a decent range hood and countertop microwave for about the same price combined.

Maybe you rarely used the old hood because it was ineffective.
I had the OTR microwave in my old kitchen and it worked better than the (lowest quality available, thirty year old) conventional hood that was there. I did this because my kitchen was 35 square feet.

In the new kitchen which is only a bit larger, I passed on the OTR and went with a countertop model, and a conventional hood. If I *really need the extra counterspace, I can move it.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 5:11PM
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My computer auto-corrected a word for me.
I like to smell the food that I have cooked.
Sorry about that.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 5:14PM
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An otr for me, too. I could use a good vent for the broiler part of the double oven as often that would smoke and even flame. To my knowledge, a vent is not available in the U.S for wall ovens. But I don't need a vent over the cooktop.

I hardly ever fry. If I make fish, I use the gas grill outside. Lots of chicken breasts and no bacon. Deli stuff. Well trimmed meat. We just don't have cooktop generated smoke, smells, grease, etc. No greasy cabs. We have a 10 x9 foot cooking area with very small counter space(5feet and adding 4 feet). Why wouldn't I have an otr? Some styles of cooking may scream for a counter/builtin mw, but some don't.

If I or other otr fans had a 20 x22 foot kitchen, you can bet we'd have a very nice place for a microwave. But we don't.

P.S. I have an otr in our beach house kitchen and it's perfectly fine. Just hip bump a co-cook. - Works well with lots of cooks cooking!

Good question Adrienne. No fillers.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 9:18PM
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The comment about our parents' kitchens makes me think about something. How often do you wash down a range area walls and ceiling with ammonia or TSP? Or repaint a kitchen because it's changed color? In my childhood, that was essential--the entire range area in those early 1950s hoodless years was yellow and greasy-sticky. I've been cooking for two in my kitchen 8 months with a modest Broan hood and there's no stickiness on the adjacent walls or cabs.

By the way, we've got storage of seldom-used stuff in cabs above the range over the vent--including a cut-out on shelves to accommodate the exhaust system. Works for us.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 9:39PM
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The Kitchenaid KHMS2056SSS seems to be the only option.

I have a small kitchen and the Microwave/Hood seems to save a lot of space. It is also a lower cost.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 4:44PM
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