Microwave shelf, how high?

rogerv_gwApril 27, 2013

We have a combination microwave wall oven unit where the microwave part has died and cannot be replaced or repaired. So we need to replace the whole thing. I'm thinking of using a single wall oven and an open shelf for a microwave this time.

My question is how high should the microwave shelf itself be to accommodate a reasonable selection of microwave ovens (one at a time, of course *smile*). The width and depth of the shelf are dictated by the space (27 inches wide, and deep enough, I'm sure), but I would really like to get suggestions for how tall the shelf should be to accommodate a reasonable microwave oven and the air space that it requires.

Any help from someone with some experience with this?


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My mw shelf is at the same level as the bottom of my upper cabinets, which are 18" above the counter. 54" from floor.

"As far as the microwave, the NKBA recommends the microwave be placed no higher than 3â below the users shoulder height. This will allow the user to safely remove a microwave dish without spilling the contents since they can see inside the container. If your microwave bottom is at 62â AFF (above finished floor) it is about 2â short of the height of the average American female. This is a very unsafe height and should be lowered. As you mentioned, the NKBA recommends the bottom of the microwave be no higher than 54âÂÂ. Until the microwave is lowered, be very careful when removing hot liquids from the microwave."

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 4:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks very much, but I guess I should have been clearer. I wasn't asking how high the shelf should be off the floor, I was asking how high the shelf itself should be. Like 12 inches, 18 inches, 24 inches, etc. to accommodate the height of a reasonable microwave oven with space for air flow.

I guess I could as well have asked, "how tall is the typical microwave oven plus the required air flow space", but my question seemed easier somehow *smile*. Like if you had a microwave shelf that worked well for you, you could measure it *smile*.

Hopefully that's clearer.

Thanks for your response, though, interesting *smile*.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 5:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well, ours is just under 12".
If you visit a site like ajmadison.com, they let you sort microwaves by height. All but one are under 18". Here's the rest:
10" - 10.9" (11)
11" - 11.9" (12)
12" - 12.9" (17)
13" - 13.9" (26)
14" - 14.9" (15)
15" - 15.9" (1)
17" - 17.9" (1)

So if you left 14" of space you could fit (barely) 66 of the 84 countertop microwaves they sell.

Here is a link that might be useful: AJ Madison, microwaves under 18

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 5:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I picked a microwave at random (a LG) and opened the manual. It specifies four inches of air space above, on both sides, and behind.

I opened the manual for a GE and couldn't find any spec for air space.

I think I'd feel comfortable with quite a bit less space then 4", except maybe at the back.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 5:47PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Unsealed leathered Virginia Mist?
My Virginia Mist/Jet Mist counters are installed and...
IKEA kitchen nearly done- so delayed
We've been extremely delayed!! The granite is going...
Unusual granite
I have searched for other pictures of this granite....
Ikea Process?
We're re-thinking things and are now leaning towards...
Did anyone purchase a new color KitchenAid stand mixer...
...to go with your new kitchen? We are weeks away from...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™