Where is your microwave?

rrs626February 26, 2010

I'm thiking of getting rid of my over-the-range micro/exhaust putting my it on the countertop next to the frig. It would be out of the way and doesn't really show in that area. I have lots of counterspace and don't use that area for anything other than the toaster. I hardly use the micro for anything except reheating.

I would like to install a nice range hood with a quiet exhaust fan and tile backsplash. Would this be a bad idea for resale? I wonder if buyers might be put off by the micro on the countertop.

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I'd rather see a "real" range hood and MW on a counter than an OTR MW...especially if you have plenty of counterspace & an used portion on top of that! OTR MWs are a definite negative for me! Will it be vented outside? That's another plus for resale.

But, when do you plan to sell? In the next couple of years? If so, maybe resale is a consideration. If not, then just do what works best for you & your family, not some potential buyer in the future who you don't know & don't know what they will like then. Besides, you only need one buyer, not dozens, to be happy with it!

Oh, and the tiled backsplash will be another positive for resale.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 1:32PM
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No, the buyers might be pleased with having a real range hood. Also, when you're showing the house you can remove the MW off the counter to not call attention to it. If you're not planning to sell in the near future, get what you want.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 1:34PM
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Good points. It is vented to outside. I want to put in an "in-line" exhaust to make it quiet. I don't know how that is done but posted a question about it.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 1:37PM
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Ditto. I definitely prefer a nice hood, if you have the counterspace to spare for the MW. If I were buying a house with an OTR MW I would be ripping it out move in day.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 1:39PM
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My home was built with an over the range exhaust and microwave. For me that height is not an issue, but my Mom is short and would not be able to use that. Since she often visits me, I put a large microwave on the counter next to my fridge...it is just one cabinet underneath so is a good fit and I also have plenty of other counter space. It is actually handy to have 2 microwaves, especially when entertaining. On a daily basis, I end up using the one on the counter.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 1:48PM
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I too would prefer a range hood to an OTR microwave. Some range hoods are so attractive and the OTR micros aren't, IMO.

(To answer the topic question, our MW is a drawer under a counter.)

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 2:01PM
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Ours is around the corner in the walk in pantry. We literally only use it to reheat coffee and melt butter, and for the very rare leftovers that don't get taken to work.

I agree that a hood is preferable. But that assumes that putting a MW on your counter won't take up half your counter space. I've seen kitchens where over the range is the only sensible thing to do.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 2:10PM
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My micro wave is in my walk-in pantry...OUT OF SIGHT. I use it only like yourself to reheat...popcorn. I hated having it on my counter and rather a nice hood fan over the range.
Good luck

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 2:16PM
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oops! I never told you where mine is! I have a MW Drawer that's under the counter. However, we use our MW quite a bit...heating leftovers, cooking frozen veggies, popcorn, etc. so it had to be convenient.

Based on...

"...It would be out of the way and doesn't really show in that area...."
"...I have lots of counterspace..."

I think your idea will work for you.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 5:58PM
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I dislike microwaves so much, mine was banished to the walk-in pantry, never to return!

So you guessed right - my vote would be for range hood w/o a microwave.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 6:24PM
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When I renovated my kitchen I installed an expensive OTR MW. Within a couple of months I hated it so much I took it out and replaced it with a proper hood. I sold the OTR MW on Craig's List for a good price, since it was barely used, but I still took a loss on it. But SOO worth it! The hood is a huge improvement in exhaust function. And I don't like the looks of any microwave. I love how my hood looks. I agree with the others that a nice hood will help resale not hinder it. I bought an inexpensive countertop MW and have it on a shelf in my pantry, and since I am not a frequent MW user, it's perfect there.

Make sure to post on the Appliances forum when you are shopping for your hood, so that people can give you feedback and suggetions.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 6:37PM
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With so many people going in the direction of putting decorative hoods over the range instead of Microwaves, when it comes time to sell and there's a Microwave over the range, buyers may say, "That's so early 2000!"
I hated the look of the microwave over the range, so we took out the OTR microwave and opted for a small countertop MW for reheating coffee.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 7:56PM
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I wish I had more room "not" to put micro over range but I do not. However, I have a Velos that I love, whenever anyone walks in my kitchen they say "cool microwave" and open it (must be kept clean at all times). IÂm going to redo kitchen but the way it is setup with a stainless slide in range with stainless tiles on the wall leading to the velosÂwell, it does look pretty good.
In my new kitchen IÂm having six inch spice cabinets on both sides of micro and a cabinet above with decorative curved wood over glass to do a mock hood look. A girls gotta do with what she has to work with sometimes. I lusted after a real range hood for a long time but am happy with the new design.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 8:14PM
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I put ours in our island. I had many people tell me that it was not the best choice, but I am so happy we did it. We use it all the time and I don't mind. I would go with the nice range hood.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 8:18PM
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I'm not a fan of a microwave over the range. I know in some kitchens it's unavoidable, but if it's possible to avoid it, I'd rather see the microwave just about anywhere else.

I can't recommend where our microwave is, we have ours built in over our fridge. I like it, it works for us, there was open space there and no other really good place to have it- but my friend who is 5'2" came over and couldn't reach it. If we were to resell, we'd just take the microwave out and fill in the wall in that area.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 8:35PM
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Mine is in the corner on the countertop next to the range. I got one with a stainless steel front and painted sides and top of the microwave to match my upper cabinets/backsplash.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 9:20PM
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My microwave is on a shelf above my countertop. I wanted it off the counter when I renovated, since prep space is limited in my kitchen. If you have to sacrifice cabinets to get the thing off the counter, I'd sacrifice anywhere else but over the range.

If you plan to sell your house to one of us GWers, most would prefer a real vent. However, in your market, the general population may or may not notice. Here where I live, OTR microwaves are featured in lots of otherwise high end builds and renos, although I'd never have one.

So, who are you designing for? Yourself? or some hypothetical future buyer?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 11:33PM
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I threw my microwave out over 10 years ago and never looked back. Our small oven works for leftovers. We have a small SS pan with lip for melting butter. We have a double boiler to melt chocolate. Popcorn gets popped in a heavy pan. I never re heat coffee because our coffee maker drips the coffee into a carafe thermos where it stays hot. I would never think of cooking vegetables in a microwave, I prefer using our SS steaming pot or sauteing veggies in our SS or cast iron pan.

Microwaves are controversial http://www.mercola.com/article/microwave/hazards.htm
and besides . . . I don't think they cook or reheat tasty food.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 11:59PM
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Mine is on a shelf under my upper cabinets. I love it there. It is right at eye level, not taking up counter space and best of all, allowing me to have a great range hood. :)

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 12:40AM
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I have a small microwave that is used daily. We keep it on the counter, in the corner of the "L" where it is easily accessed from either dierction. It is the same color as the backsplash (white) so it sort of fades into the background visually.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 7:28AM
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My personal opinion is that Kristine_2009 & CooksNSews have the "ideal" location...on a shelf under the upper cabinets. That puts it at a good height to add/remove food safely (i.e., no reaching up to get into it or having to lean over and lift up...just reach straight in). It's also off the counter so it doesn't take up counterspace...and most people cannot afford to lose counterspace.

If you and your family are short, the "ideal" might be lower (like on the countertop); taller and the "ideal" is probably still the shelf under the cabinets or in an oven stack over a single oven.

However, the countertop is a good compromise if you don't have a shelf to put it on.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 7:59AM
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If my breakfast nook were larger, I would have the MW on a cart or shelf there maybe along with a toaster. Most items in our MW go directly from there to the table, so it would save steps. YMMV, since your may use your MW differently.

I am too short to use a micro-hood safely. When it comes time to sell, I would just stash the micro away when the house is being shown.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 10:25PM
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Thanks! I think I'm going with the nice hood with quiet exhaust, interesting backsplash and put the MW over in the corner where it belongs :-)

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 11:16PM
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We have an OTR microwave and I can't stand it. I have discovered the microwave drawer and it will be going in the island when our reno is done!

rrs, I think you'll be happy with your decision!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 11:38AM
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We are in the process of making changes to bring a back porch into the kitchen. So far, we've moved the fridge where it will go, and put the M/W and convection oven where they will go on either side of it atop base cabs....which are presently just sitting there. This height is very handy but I do need some place to set hot pots as they come out of the convection oven.

Presently we do not have a stove at all, just a 2-burner hotplate, since I threw OUT the stove...don't ask why...and will wait patiently until I can install a 24" Berta range before deciding how to finally secure the two countertop ovens. My hubby likes to share cooking chores, like he cooks every other night, so I must keep his preferences in mind...sigh.....and put up with his abuse of my nicer pots. I have on occasion HIDDEN some pots, but not much room to hide anything these days.

I had a OTR MW (GE Spacesaver) in the house destroyed by Katrina. While it did not get any storm surge, the salt spray totally destroyed all the electrical stuff in the house. I did not like it there to begin with.

If you do not have a suitable out-of-the-way counter to set your MW on, then modify a cabinet just below counter height for it. Or put it on a lower shelf of a m/w cart. I suppose the new m/w drawers are the cat's meow now, but not for me due to no cabinets in my kitchen where they could be located.

Here is a picture of the current set up for the fridge/mws.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 12:03PM
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Have always had an OTR and, while I like the look of a hood, I am somewhat surprised by the strong reaction against them. In a small kitchen, space is at such a premium that I can't think of another place to put it without giving up something that I find more important. In my case the hood would be a decorative enhancement almost hidden behind the fridge & tall pantry and I'd be giving up good functional counter or drawer space. Can it really be such a MAJOR resale factor?

    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 5:20PM
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gwentm...I'm with you, some of us do not have counterspace or cabinet space to give up. I think if the rest of the kitchen is done tastefully and you use quality items it will not be that much of a factor on resale.People will know they can always take micro out and add a hood.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 5:38PM
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We put in a fancy wood hood that matched our cabinets above our stove. Our microwave has a built-in look. We had a shelf made for it with cabinets below and above it. We bought a GE profile counter top ss microwave and bought a matching trim piece to give it the built in look. People love what we did with it instead of putting it over the range. Type in my user name on this forum and you can see some pics that I think will show it.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 8:07PM
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Ours is in a reach-in pantry. We have a galley kitchen and it has reach-in pantries on either end of the range side. It used to sit on the counter but I wanted it either out of sight, or below countertop level, as I was doing away with all upper cabinets except for the over-fridge cabinet. We thought about the micro drawers, and just a regular micro under the counter, but in the end just put it on a shelf in the pantry. We added an outlet in there, and it has worked out great for us.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 10:22PM
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We ended up with an OTR, vented properly to the outside, and we're happy with it. But, I made sure that in the future, I'd put in a hood instead and put the MW somewhere else. Ours was a moderately-priced remodel, and given space issues we had, this was the best solution for us. But someday, someday, someday!! A nice hood, with a more hidden MW will be the choice.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 11:26PM
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I am going to have an OTR because of space issues. Not my favorite choice but I hope it will be ok.
It is a Panasonic with 420CFM and it will be located on an outside wall so vented directly out, no bends. This was the best CFM model I could find. (Appliance store lady also said it was quiet- always a relative statement!)

Demo starts TODAY so maybe I will be able to try it in the next 4-5 weeks.....

    Bookmark   March 1, 2010 at 10:01AM
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Our microwave is going in an open space below a deep - 20 inches - upper cabinet next to our fridge. Here's a picture without the microwave in place yet:
From Kitchen Remodel

In a 24-inch cabinet, about 20-inches deep the selections of microwaves are somewhat limeted, but there are choices. A wider cabinet would give you lots of choices.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2010 at 12:29PM
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