Decorative hood over microwave over stove

tammy518April 21, 2013

I'm in the process of buying a house and would like to get everything in the ready for move in. I'm starting to look at kitchen cabinets. One house we looked at had a small (I'm sure just decorative hood) over the microwave over the stove. I've been looking online at some of the cabinet companies and haven't seen anything like that offered. Here's a pic I found on Google Images of what I'm talking about:

Here's a normal hood over range with no microwave. It's more the style and color I'm looking for but I do need the microwave over the stove because of space constraints.

Do any of you have such a setup as that, or know a company that might have a small, decorated only hood just for looks? I'd appreciate any help. It's been years since I've had to renovate a kitchen.

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I'm pretty sure those wooden decorative hoods are purchased without the innards so you could do what you want with them. I do think though that most of us are very puzzled at that first picture, thinking that there is something wrong with the picture. If you have a micro-hood, better to put a regular cabinet on top of it and not draw unwanted attention with a nonfunctional hood over it.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 1:57PM
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If you are putting a mw over a range due to space constraints then why would you want to waste the space above? That would need to be a cabinet.

The first photo shows a kitchen where there were better places to put the mw.

Why not post your layout here?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 2:22PM
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Sophie Wheeler

It leaves me really puzzled. It's neither form NOR function, so I'm not really sure what was being attempted there. Ironic whimsy? Deliberately trying for as many negative points as possible on the ventilation subject? It is without a doubt one of the silliest things I've ever seen posted here though. And that says a lot.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 2:37PM
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Makes no sense

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 2:49PM
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Okay. Wow, didn't know my idea would meet with such dislike. I know a cabinet would be more practical. It's just that I looked at a house that had that setup before I put a contract on my house and really liked the decorative look and can't get it out of my mind. divorcing and having to go with a small ranch half the size of the home I've been used to but want to "pretty it up" as best I can on a budget. I guess I should've asked on the decorating side since most of you folks have huge kitchens and $50,000+ budgets. My divorce is upsetting enough. I'll look elsewhere for advice. Sorry to bother you all.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 5:56PM
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Sorry Tammy if we seemed harsh. No most of us don't have huge kitchens and $50,000 budgets but I understand why you may think that. The majority with smaller more realistic budgets don't always post their kitchens.

Anyway back to the issue. Mw over stoves are not practical or the best for safety. I know in some cases they can't be avoided but in most average kitchens they can be put somewhere else more convenient.

Going through a divorce is a major life event. Be careful making decisions.

If you buy the house please post and you will get help with decor and such.

I'm truly sorry if I offended you with my post.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 6:13PM
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Not meaning to hurt your feelings, but what exactly about that setup is appealing to you? If it's the $2000 hood, then do the hood and just put a $1500 ventilation insert into it. If it's the convenience of having the $200 MW off of the counter, then you can certainly do an OTR if you need to for space savings if you're willing to give up decent quality ventilation. Or, you can do a wall cabinet with a MW shelf or hang a MW from a shorter upper cabinet.

Combing the two doesn't work at all though. Pick one or the other. It's like trying to combine a dirt bike with a sports car. You're on the wrong track from the beginning and it won't improve either mode of transportation.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 6:28PM
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We're sorry you were offended - but what most were trying to say is that if space is at such a premium that you cannot afford the relatively small space a MW takes up, then it's puzzling why you would sacrifice so much cabinet space for something that you think looks "pretty" but has no function whatsoever.

Such small kitchens (those that have no space for a MW), shouldn't really have an element in them that wastes space and has no function.

As Debrak_2008 explains, OTR MWs are not the safest nor are they the most useful...

  1. They're too high for safe use unless you're well over 6' tall (I'd say closer to 6'6" or more) - you're removing hot food/fluids at a height that if it spills, it will spill on your face, arms, chest, etc. (Plus, you can't see inside to check the food b/c it's too high)

They're located such that:

  1. If someone wants to use the MW while someone else is cooking, the cook must get out of the way at least 2x (once for putting the food in and again to take it out; if you need to stir or check the food, the cook needs to get out of the way a third or more times)

  2. If you have any food cooking on the range, you will be using the MW over the intense heat as well as things like splattering grease or clouds of steam from boiling liquids - all of it bathing your arms, hands, and face.

  3. Oh, and beware loose clothing if you use flame to cook - more than one person here has described a sweater or shirt catching fire when reaching up into an OTR MW with a gas range.

They're lousy hoods - loud and inefficient. They don't cover the front burners so they're pretty useless for any cooking on the front burners. Even for the back burners, they don't work well. They're generally the most expensive MW out there!

Yes, I am speaking from experience - my sister has one b/c her kitchen really is too small (she has about 12" of counter next to her range and then 24" on either side of her sink - that's it!) I've also used them in weekly rentals - in most cases there has been enough room for a MW elsewhere, so I was always puzzled as to why they were there in the first place!

And honestly, that first picture does look a bit silly.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 6:54PM
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Well the house that had that setup sold the next day of going on the s so I guess at least someone else didn't think it was stupid. As I said in my original post I'm sure it was a DECORATIVE HOOD, just like cove mding, furniture legs, what have you. It wouldn't be a $2000 hood put there and waisted. It was for decorative purposes only, such as a piece of furniture or table setting in a house might attract a buyer. Those that have 5000 square foot kitchens and are against a microwave over a stove and say it's dangerous, well I had a microwave over my stove in my marital home for the last 11 years and it was no problem or hazard or danger. Over that we had a cookie press and other such foolish things we used once a year so the space was not lost. Sorry again for bothering you. I had heard this side was harsh but didn't think a disabled person whose husband has left her and is getting a smaller home than all the years of marriage would be attacked.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 7:16PM
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No one is attacking you. You are being overly sensitive. It's understandable that your feelings are near the surface after a rough divorce, but lighten up. We are questioning the utility of the idea. Small kitchens cannot afford to have wasted space. And we also are questioning your attachment to the expense of it. Someone on a limited income cannot afford to waste money on something so expensive. 2K would be an inexpensive shell wood hood. Most that you see in homes cost 4-6K. Or, someone DIYed them for about 2K.

I do this every single day. It's my job. I know what things cost and I know how to make a kitchen be the most functional that the space can possibly be. If you'd post the layout and some pics of the space, you'd receive plenty of ideas to help you. Free of charge.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 7:50PM
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I can't post pics because we don't close on the house until the middle of may and I probably won't move in until sometime in June because of all the work that needs to be done. It's not a terribly small kitchen but I just keep thinking of the decorative hood over the microwave in the house I bid on too late. Something like that, not even the size of 2 small upper cabinets, would really be $2000? I guess I'll start hitting the design places and see what they have available and what the prices are. Sorry about my other post. This is all very depressing and I'm basically starting life over. I have a limited amount of money to fix up the whole house but hoping to get a somewhat decent kitchen since thats the hub of a home.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 12:44PM
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You should still be able to get into the house to do measurements and take photos. Contact your agent and insist that you get access. While you are there go crazy and take photos and measure everything. You won't be sorry.

Please take into account that you are going through a difficult period in your life. It is often recommended that during major life changes you don't make any big decisions. Of course that can't always be avoided if you need somewhere to live. Use this forum and the other great forums here to bounce off ideas. Keep in mind that we often give "tough love". Tough love is often what we all need during those times.

Good luck with your new house and your new life!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 1:17PM
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It's a simple wooden box, no way it would be thousands of dollars. But I guess someone may be willing to pay that much.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 1:52PM
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Here's a pic from a spec book of a low to medium priced cabinet line. No one pays list, but you can figure around 50%-60% of list is retail depending on the area of the country as shipping is factored into that.

That does NOT include the metal insert with lighting and grease capture mechanism. Nor does it include the blower. It's just the "wooden box".

This post was edited by GreenDesigns on Mon, Apr 22, 13 at 14:20

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 2:18PM
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I am puzzled. If the hood is already there and it is a house, not apartment or condo, why cannot you put a real insert liner and vent it outside? This way, you'd have good ventilation and the looks, no?

When I looked into doing it, good liners were ~$1K (with a motor) plus a few hundred to install it inside the hood and run the duct outside. I am sure there are liners that cost less than that.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 2:30PM
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Pretty kitchen. I can see why you like having a decorative hood over the range over just looking at a microwave there. I would have thought it was functional, taking care of exhausting the front portion of the range, where OTR's loose some of their effectiveness. I would vent it if possible but maybe it wouldn't be feasible.

I would never pay $2000 and would expect you could do much better on price. But you have to start your search somewhere!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 2:50PM
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Hey Tammy, I'm sorry you felt attacked here. I've only been here a few months, but in that short time I've found that the vast majority of folks here want to help. The regulars here tend to consider function first, looks second (though the two can certainly go together). Some here are kitchen designers or builders; others are just people who have been through a kitchen build or remodel, and want to share with others what they have learned along the way.

I'm remodeling my kitchen - it's about 100 sq ft. I have learned a LOT here about the elements that make a kitchen - big or small - work well. In a small kitchen, function is even more important, since you don't have a lot of space to play with.

I currently have a microwave over the stove, and I hate it. Using it isn't so bad, but it's mounted so low that I can hardly see into a pot on the back burner, and I'm short. And the ventilation is horrible. I live in North Dakota, and don't like to open windows in the dead of winter to get rid of the smell of fired onions or bacon. One of the things I am most looking forward to in my new kitchen is a decent range hood with good air flow and lighting, even if it means giving up precious counter space.

Hugs to you as you go through this difficult transition.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 3:22PM
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I don't come here a lot, being that our remodel was over 4 years ago, but this thread caught my eye :-)

The practical aspect of these hood cover is that they hide a hood insert that is not meant to be seen (and wasn't attractive w/o the cover), but the decorative aspect is that it's very pretty over the range.

We did a budget remodel (probably around $10 - $15K for completely gutting the kitchen), and I hired someone to built a custom hood cover for my Vent-a-hood insert (I think its called an insert) for over the range. I wanted the best ventillation I could get for our budget, but the insert had to be covered with something (hence the custom hood cover)

It WAS relatively $$$ -- about $1,000. Very close to the prices for mid-range cabs from Home Depot etc. And this was CUSTOM, nicer than the HD one, with some shelves on the sides as well. With nice wood, matching our cabinets, designed by the gentleman who made it (based on what I had in mind). In a way, it was like commissioning a piece of furniture. It was the splurge of the remodel (the range/cooking area is a focal point, mainly due to how our home is laid out and that the kitchen is open to all public areas).

Everyone is right, to have this ONLY for decoration and not another purpose is a rather expensive choice. I agree they are pretty, and give the kitchen a more custom look. Even the one in your pic, although it's not actually doing much other than maybe hiding the vent that maybe connects to the microwave...I'm not sure if they can vent's a much more expensive way to hide the vent than to use a cabinet AND you lose the potential storage a cabinet offers.

We have a little cabinet above the hood/cover, and use almost the whole storage space even though part of it is obstructed by the venting tube.

Anyway, good luck! There are lots of creative minds here who can help you make the most out of your space/budget.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 3:24PM
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As soon as you can get in and measure and take some pics, do a separate post asking for suggestions. I know it's sometimes difficult to go from a larger space to a smaller space, so bear in mind that many things that you've had in the past will now need to justify their existence in your kitchen. You don't have room for slackers that don't pull their weight! Every inch counts. That's why you are getting some of the pushback on that decorative only hood. That, and the fact that with the microwave, it's like wearing a skirt with pants too. And not in a cute girl fashionable way.

So, start your journey into the smaller space by purging those items that you only use once a year. They potentially can be donated. Or, they can live in the attic. If you haven't used something for longer than a year, you can for sure donate it.

Figure out how often you use the MW, and for what tasks. Some people couldn't live with out one, and some people put one in a pantry so they can say they own it, and then pretty much forget it. If you are a frequent MW user, then it may make more sense to do something else with the MW. There are many options for that that you ay not be aware of other than on the counter or as an OTR.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 5:25PM
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Eve72, thanks for agreeing with me that you can't see the hood being $2000.

Eleena, the hood isn't already there. The pics I posted were pictures I found on google Images. The type of I'm envisioning that was in the one house I looked at was probably decorative only. I couldn't see it venting to the outside. The only cabinets that were sacrificed were two small wall cabinets that would have been in place of the hood. I guess most here think it sounds silly but I really liked the look of it in the one house I saw and would like to duplicate it if is possible. My budget is small but I am hoping for a few renovations that will make my days brighter when I see them.

Thanks to everyone else that weighed in.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 6:17PM
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I found this blog so I guess I'm not the only person that's thought of this. I'm looking for something similar.

Here is a link that might be useful: Faux hood

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 6:47PM
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The purpose of a decorative hood is to make it and the range with the red knobs the focal point of the kitchen. It says, "Look here! I spent a bundle!" That design tries to make the humble microwave the focal point. It's an odd appliance to try to feature.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 6:59PM
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Fori is not pleased

I don't think it's bad. I mean, I dislike microwave hoods (I'm short--nuff said) but that doesn't look bad to me. Dare I say it's almost cute?

Interesting to me, my inlaws have a wood hood that opens like a cabinet. Naturally, lots of it is hood guts, but space isn't wasted like it is in many mantle style hoods.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 7:14PM
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I agree with Greendesigns, decorative wood hoods like the one posted are at least $2000 without the fan part. I paid $3500 for mine, it was just cabinets with a curved piece of valance at the bottom, nothing fancy. That was also at cost from cabinet company without the normal markup from the builder or contractor.

I also agree that it not an ideal set-up especially if you are trying to reduce cost. The two items, the OTR microwave and decorative hood do not normally go together, it's usually one or the other.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 8:13PM
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Unfortunately I won't be getting a range "with red knobs for the hood to highlight" as mentioned in the thread. Gas stoves are rare in my area and my new house is on a slab so there's no fancy stove in my future to "highlight," just a plain old flat top stove. As ive said as nauseum I'm speaking of a decorative piece only; no guts, no venting, just a simple wooden facade that looks like a range hood. There's no way I'll buy that something like that will be $2000-$3000.

Thank you to the few people who actually "get" what I'm talking about.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 8:47PM
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Maybe you can DIY it with a kit!

Edit: you would probably also need the trim kit; so the main kit is around $320, then another $30 - $50 for the trim. You can assemble, paint or stain, and install!

Here is a link that might be useful: DIY range hood cover kits

This post was edited by melle_sacto on Mon, Apr 22, 13 at 21:02

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 8:59PM
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Tammy, here's a thread from 2012 that discusses costs of a wood hood and cheaper ways of getting one. If you get a chance to take measurements I am sure that everyone here would chip in to you to help you fit things so that you could have a real hood that you love.

Here is a link that might be useful: 2012 discussion gardenweb

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 9:01PM
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Here's a very nice diy wooden range hood AND she found a clever place to put her microwave! A wonderful low-budget transformation.

Here is a link that might be useful: remodel blog

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 9:13PM
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Thanks for the additional links! I'll check them out now.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 9:39PM
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tammy518, I think your microwave hood idea is darling! I also really like the link that scrappy25 posted. I may have to rethink my microwave plans...

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 1:44PM
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It's obvious that people are using faux hoods now, and it seems to be a diy-able project. I suspect there is less than a hundred dollars worth of wood in there.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 3:22PM
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Have you considered a microwave in an island or a microwave cubby to conserve counter space? People on here are into giving practical advice and I think that is what you are getting. I don't have a huge kitchen or a big budget either so practicality is #1 for me. Not to say everything in your kitchen needs to be practical but for my money, I'd rather get an upgraded countertop or a backsplash I really loved because in addition to being pretty, it also services a purpose. A faux hood serves no purpose at all.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 4:07PM
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Sorry you felt attacked - don't be so sensitive :-)
The hood with the ventilation CAN be very expensive to do safely and properly. And yes, those hoods can be outrageous, even with a basic cabinet company. I have Schuler cabs from Lowes and they wanted a crazy amount of money for decorative corbels that would cost very little to make! That's why I didn't do it in my kitchen. I've seen new kitchens with OTR micros, but in my town it is ILLEGAL. It's dangerous because of the gas ranges, especially any with power (even my 30" GE cooks up a storm!) We hid our microwave in a cabinet next to our fridge, and I do use part of the cabinet above my range. An electric stove with the look you want might work, although personally I think it looks a bit odd, but that's just me. If we all had the same kitchen, life would be boring. Good luck! And yes, welcome to sticker shock. But if you work at it, you can have a beautiful kitchen regardless with compromises :-)

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 10:43AM
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I'm so sorry for what you are going through. It must be so scary an stressful. I think with research, planning, and assistance from the amazingly talented people on this board you will definitely have a beautiful kitchen!!!

I love the link that threegraces posted above! I wanted to add also that I would try to find a carpenter or handyman on Craigslist who can build what you want within your budget.

God bless you!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 12:33PM
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Talented or no, it'd be nice if we tried harder to help people get what THEY want, and if that doesn't fit the mood at least READ what the poster has to say. This would not be a working ventilator.

Tammy, of course you can buy the hood in your budgeted cabinet line without the innards. You'll pay more for the custom installation.

You know, I'd do a hood that didn't actually ventilate over over a stove to look as if it did. Or a fireplace with no chimney so the mantel could do wonderful service as focal point in my living room. Set a fake fireplace on my sideboard? Probably not, but I truly believe you should have what delights you.

If you go this way, it wouldn't be a bad idea to also purchase the cabinet that would normally go there just to keep your options open, for instance if you decided to sell later. As a former appraiser I can say with confidence that most buyers are pretty conventional in what they want to purchase. That's why millions of tract homes across the nation look the same. You wouldn't want half your potential buyers frowning at the kitchen.

Some suggestions just for thought, because they're things I might do in your position. Let's face it, the usual stove/micro/cabinet look IS very far from decorative, and I'm too short to reach the cabinet without a chair anyway.

1. Do decorate above the microwave, just not with a pretend anything. For instance, you could put a really handsome paneled niche up there to display favorite art and knicknacks. All the moldings that might be on the hood you like best could be incorporated in the design of the niche.

2. Is the stove area the main thing you see when you look in the kitchen or is another place? If the second, decorate THAT area to be the special feature. The sink area is way overdue for some real creativity in styling. It's been a long time since cabinetmakers ran a little scalloped molding across it from cabinet to cabinet, and something more ambitious could be really exciting. It could even a flared wood valence, not unlike but also not the same as, the flare of a hood.

3. Third is my continual usual wonder for finding valuable extra space--could you set the microwave into a wall someplace, extending into, say, a closet on the other side of the wall? Or into a bedroom where it could be hidden in the back of a built-in? The wall itself gives an additional 4" or so, and a $30/hour handyman could add this dab of extremely valuable "extra" space to the kitchen in no time at all. The space might be in an "empty" wall that'd have no cabinets, something you normally just walk by and wonder how to decorate, or it could be in the wall at the back of a counter.

Have fun!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 9:31AM
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