Microwave under the counter

auroraborelisJanuary 8, 2013

I love the idea of Microwave drawers, but I'm not so so found of the price.

Does anyone use a regular built in Microwave and put it below the counter? How does it work for you?

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I put in a Sharp MW drawer and love it! I searched for a deal and found a great factory refurbished unit on ebay for much less than $500. It's been perfect for the past 14 months.

I have used regular MWs placed under the counter. I did not like them. At all. I'm about 5'8" and found looking down for the keypad and bending over to place and retrieve a real hassle. Over the past three years here, I have read many people say the same. There are, however, people that say they don't mind such a placement. I know it would drive me batty enough to cut back on an regular and essential household expense to save enough money to buy the drawer. Less wine, perhaps? Yes, I believe I would cut back on that to save up to avoid the hassle of a regular MW under counter. :)

I'll link some past threads in case you want a little extra reading.

Here is a link that might be useful: past threads on undercounter MWs

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 7:41PM
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I specifically didn't want a MW drawer, lovely though they are. I wanted a carousel, and I've had so many microwaves go bad, I didn't want to get locked in to a space. In that vein, I didn't want my MW framed in - I wanted a space big enough that I could replace the future broken MW without worrying if a replacement would fit.
It doesn't bother me to bend down (but then I'm 5'4") - but we don't use it constantly either.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 8:06PM
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We just had a microwave drawer installed. So far I love the look of it. We haven't moved in yet but it looks like a great product. No more spills. Just straight up to the counter. Excuse the mess! No grout on floor or toekicks yet.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 11:22AM
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Oops sideways pic!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 11:24AM
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    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 11:25AM
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We have a regular micro under the counter that was put in by PO. My 6'6" husband was very worried about it, but it hasn't been a problem. We don't use it much, though.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 11:28AM
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I can't wait for my 2 year old MW to break down so that I can replace it with a MW drawer. I wish I hadn't been so budget conscience and just did it initially. I'm now afraid that we may have to rebuild the cabinet to make it work. But that is a future problem.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 11:46AM
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Okay, I've realized that I could stack a couple coupon deals and get the Sharp drawer microwave for a reasonable price. So that decision is made!

Next I have to figure out the range hood, a prospect that completly overwhelms me!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 11:47AM
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I have a regular carousel microwave that is built-in under the counter. It's fine. The biggest pains are it beeping when someone's knee hits the keypad, and it being accessible to my kids. When my youngest son was 4, he put a date in it and got carmelized and smoked a little! But, I do like it better than sitting ON the counter and over the cooktop was not an option in my mind.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 11:54AM
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I have a Miele speed oven under the counter which is pretty much the same as having a regular MW under the counter (except that with the speed oven, the door is hinged on the bottom like a regular oven rather than on the side like a regular MW).

We were going to get the MW drawer but I really wanted the functionality of a second real oven.

This is my view. I don't love having to bend down to see inside the oven but it is not a big deal. But then again, that is the price of getting a real oven. The MW drawer is a real ergonomic improvement over a regular MW under the counter. Although expensive, I think it is worth it if you don't need a second real oven.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 12:11PM
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I think it depends on if you have kids and their ages. We had our micro under the counter (see design) because I love to save counter space but I hemmed and hawed over it because I worry that my three year old will push the buttons all day. I think we're going to move it above the range. But we have friends that have theirs there and love it that way. I also think it depends on how much you use it. Ours is only used for popcorn and reheating plates. I don't do any real cooking in it or use it for anything heavy. If you will be doing anything heavy it might be a pain.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 12:16PM
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When we moved in our kids were 2 & 4 and they never touched the microwave. I never warned them away, it was just not something they ever thought to mess with.

Now at 7 & 9, they are just starting to use it.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 1:23PM
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Hi Laura,

I know that lots of people love their MW drawers. They're a great idea, especially if you can get one for a good price!

I chose to do a regular old $100 GE because it took up a LOT less space in my island and because it is so easy to switch out if we break it. We already had to replace it once--5 minutes of popcorn--it was not salvageable. If I'd had to rip out and replace a drawer...well, much bigger deal. Just food for thought!!

I could not have done a drawer on the end of my island and still had enough leg room for seating:

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 1:40PM
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Thanks for the advice everyone!

I think I'll go with the Sharp microwave drawer afterall...

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 2:16PM
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I got a MW drawer off craigslist .it's also had a slide in range with it. The kitchen is no where near ready for them but I look forward to using it.
The ease of reaching in and placing on the countertops,no worries about height or shoulder pain as we age. And its great for the kids to use for popcorn. Best of all its out my cooking and prep area on the end of the cabinet run.
The one I have is the Sharp 30in. According to the manual, it does have a lock-out feature.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 3:56PM
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Just got back from an appliance store and I asked to see what they had in micro drawer options. They told me a few of their manufacturers have discontinued them because of too many customer complaints that they are really difficult to clean once splatter gets up under the top and then they tend to smell. Don't want to burst any bubbles but wanted to pass that on if anyone was on the fence. I do think it seems like a great spacer save, otherwise.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 9:42PM
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Well I can certainly see that happening if you explode something in it. I have the drawer and am happy with it, but am very careful not to put stuff in there without a paper towel to cover it if it's something that could bubble up, or without a saran cover & steam vent if it's something like a large bowl of soup.

If something were to explode inside it it would be an awful pain to clean, probably involving a lot of patience and a handheld mirror. So you should definitely be cognizant of that -- the best strategy is prevention.

BTW, it's weird that they'd say "a few of their manufacturers have discontinued them" ... I thought there was only one manufacturer (sharp), although they white label it to others such as wolf. I could be wrong on that though.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 10:23PM
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You're right about Sharp, Taggie. And yet another example of the fact that a huge majority of appliance sales people aren't to be relied upon for accuracy. Sharp makes ALL MW drawers. Those sold by others are simply re-badged and have a large markup to go with it. I trust what I read here from actual users who aren't working on a manufacturer kickback of the month, like sales people, for my appliance info.

I've melted butter beyond the melt stage to explosion more than a few times in my drawer. I've also exploded a couple of other messes. Its really not that hard to clean. Wipe up the sides and bottom, then lean down and look up. You can see almost all the roof like that. And if you don't want to lean, wipe methodically back and forth blindly, working your way front to back. That works also. Mine has been in use (and misuse) for 14 months now. No smells. No issue. It looks as good today as the day I bought it. I'm VERY happy with it.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 12:42AM
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Interesting. I was goin to go with Sharp anyway, but out if curiousity, do they also make the Wolf and Viking ones?

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 1:01AM
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Hi there! For those with the Sharp microwave drawers, I was just at the store and had always been looking at the 30" size, but the salesman pointed out that the 30" size is just expanded on the OUTSIDE to fit in a space that others might have. The 24" and 30" have the exact same capacity and measurements INSIDE?

Looking at the dimensions listed, that looks to be the case. Anyone else hear that and/or have purchased them and discovered that to be true. If so, it would be great for my island planning (doesn't exist yet so I don't have any space constraints.)

Sharp 24" Drawer Microwave

Sharp 30" Drawer Microwave


    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 7:08PM
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Hi again - to follow on that point, I compared the specs. It is an exact match except for width, so I think the salesman was accurate that they just added stainless width without changing any fundamentals of the actual microwave space and capacity/strength. That would be key if you needed 30" vs 24" (for cabinets or an existing space,) but I might save the $ and also then have space in my island for a beverage center. hooray!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 7:17PM
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Akcorcoran--Yes, both the 24" and 30" MW drawers have the same interior space. The 30" just has a wider front or "filler" to make up the external difference. And the 24" is cheaper. I have the 24".

Sharp makes ALL the drawers. High-end manufacturers just take the Sharp unit and slap their high-end label and door on it. Well, and charge you much more. Functionally, they are the same as Sharp.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 8:49PM
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