undercounter microwaves - pics please?

celineikeApril 19, 2011

DH thinks it will look weird to have the microwave under the counter.

Any pros or cons i haven't thought of...?

Do you like yours?

Have any pics to show him?

thanks a bunch!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There's a thread discussing undercounter MWs, I recommend reading it. Are you thinking of a standard MW mounted in an alcove under the counter or a MW drawer?

How tall are you and your family...the tallest (or potentially the tallest!)?

Personally, I would not put a standard MW under the counter...it would be too uncomfortable to use. But, others here have done it and are OK with it. I think it may also depend on how much you use your MW. We use ours a lot.

When we realized we had no wall space for a MW, we knew we wouldn't like a std MW in an alcove that low, so we decided on a MW Drawer. During our remodel, we tested our MW on a chair in our temporary kitchen...and it confirmed our thoughts...it was much too low. FYI...I'm the shortest in my family at 5'10".

Your family's height will definitely have a bearing on whether an undercounter std MW will work for you.

Here's our Sharp MW Drawer (Sharp makes the vast majority of MW drawers, if not all of them):

Here is a link that might be useful: Thread: type of microwave for in island?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 12:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I went thru the same questions. I didn't like the cost and the size of the microwave drawer. We're a big microwave family and actually have 2 (and sometimes I think we need 3). My DS has multiple food allergies and we have a few picky eaters. We use both microwaves for dinner time for multiple items most nights. I have one microwave under the counter. I could not justify the price and size (too small) of the microwave drawer. We have a 2nd small microwave on the counter on the outskirts of the kitchen. Once the kids leave the house that microwave will disappear. I have no problems with the under counter microwave but I'm pushing 5'3".

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 12:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There is a newer Sharp model with a larger interior capacity. That's the one I'm getting.

I think it FEELS weird, not looks weird, to have a regular MW in a base cab. I tried it years ago at a friends house. It was awkward for adults, but easily reachable for kids. Maybe if you were short and didn't use the MW often it could work.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 3:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think we have the same Microwave Drawer as Buehl. Ours was listed as the larger capacity. There is an even newer version where the handle protrudes less.

This photo shows the handle protrusion:

And this shows the drawer fully extended:

I like the drawer so much better than the over the counter position of my previous microwave. If I had to do it over, I would still choose the drawer, but I would get the lower profile handle. (The 2 quart Pyrex fits in this drawer with room to spare, which was a definite selling point for me!)

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 7:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rob from nj

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 8:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ours is a Sharp drawer MW like the others shown. I LOVE it. I like keeping it off the counter and having access from above (no bending down to look in.)

A friend of mine has an under-counter MW with a door hinged on the bottom. It works great for her (she is very petite so she doesn't have to bend much to look in.) If I couldn't have a drawer MW, I'd want one with a bottom-hinged door. I think this would be less awkward than a side-hinged door installed under the counter.

There are several brands with bottom hinge (KA, Jenn-Air, etc.) This one is an Electrolux:

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 9:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Mine is not built in...just a shelf with an electric outlet installed in the rear. It will be easy to replace the microwave if anything happens to this one.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 9:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

thanks. this is great info and now im second guessing it. Once again the best thing to do is throw money at the problem and it will be fixed! i should get the MW drawer. ugh. it's our swimming pool all over again!
well, Im very short - 5'0" and either is fine for me, but DH is tall..er.. 5'10".. so this would be a PITA for him.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 10:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hey Celine,

My DH is 5'10" too. The drawer works great for him. It has very pleasant ergonomics. Good luck with your decision!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 10:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I mentioned this on the other thread. In our case the MW wound up under the counter by default - no place else to put it.I have a normal MW under the counter because it was cheaper than the drawer = big mistake. Should have gone with the drawer. I don't like always bending over to get stuff out of the thing and if you have hardwood floors, the water that accumulates on the dishes in the MW drips onto the floor and then needs to be wiped out and blah, blah, blah. With the drawer it would just be a simple lift out of stuff.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 11:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here's mine.

We had just purchased this micro when our old one died not too long ago so I would not justify buying the drawer. I did NOT want it on the counters. We don't use ours a lot but do use it several times a day to heat water, soften butter, reheat leftovers, etc. It's just me and my husband, no kids. I am 5'9" and he's 6'1". Doesn't bother either of us. No different than loading the dishwasher or the front loading laundry. The space above is a fake drawer where my hubby will be running his lines for his brew tap that will be mounted on the counter above. The only thing I might change in the future is to get a micro that hinges the other way. This one hinges on the left. Now that I think about it...I don't think I've ever seen one that hinges on the right. Oh, well. Totally not a deal breaker for us.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 11:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I definitely think it depends on how much you use the MW. We only use it for instant oatmeal, defrosting bagels, things like that. We planned on a MW drawer but weren't positive about it, so we compromised. I had the electrician & cabinetmaker build & hardwire the niche in the island so that it could ultimately accept the MW drawer and then we just installed an outlet in the niche. Right now (we have been in about 3 weeks) we have our regular countertop MW there & it's not a problem, but I am short. I am liking the idea of getting used to it being there before investing the $$$ in another appliance.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 11:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
laura mcleod

Here is ours off on the far right (not a great pic, sorry!) I love it because I don't have to look at it, and as a shorter person it is really functional for me (I open it and look down as I stir). Easy to operate and super easy to clean. Now that we have the drawer, I would never go back (but I realize that every one is different).

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 12:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

reaching to pick something up, if it's 25" to 26" above the floor, is no stretch. It's reasonable reach. Think of a keyboard tray drawer under a 30" work table.

in a drawer microwave, the working innards are at the bottom of the space it occupies (which is totally the opposite from other microwave ovens).

The guts being down low puts drawer floor at a lot higher level than the floor level of my huge drawers. I have 15"h drawers under a 36"h countertop. The top 15" drawer holds thing that are less than 8"h (because there is another, shallow, drawer inside this big drawer). It's a reasonable reach not a stretch.

The microwave floor is at X inches above the floor, but the bowl you place into it and that you reach to take out can be grasped by the rim, a lot higher than the bottpm.

it's a new habit to acquire, seeing things in slide-out drawers, below waist level, and then reaching down to pick them up. that is the only thing to change, the only newness to overcome. in my opinion.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 12:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We were torn over the same issue and ended up selling a bunch of "crap" we had around the house on ebay & craigslist to be able to pay the extra $700+ for the MW Drawer after reading the posts on here about them. If you are leaning towards that - I think from what I've read, that all MW Drawers are made by Sharp, so it's not always worth paying the extra bucks for another brand name. Also strange, but even though they make a 24 and a 30, inside they are the same cu. ft. You might want to look at some threads on the Appliance forum too.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 12:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good point about internal volume. There are many other appliances made as 24" wide that get repackaged to fill a wider space; the guts remain as is. I think this just goes to show that a 24" oven is an OK size after all, but that the average buyer doesn't believe it, wants "big", dreams of needing big, perhaps because we all dream of socializing with large numbers of close friends at one big meal. End of story.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 1:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We put a standard microwave in a cabinet undercounter. The cabinet has slide in doors so that they don't block anything while in use, but the microwave is hidden when it's not being used.

This was a great solution for us- the microwave is a $100 model, and given the relatively short lifetimes and variable sizes of microwaves, we just couldn't justify the expense of a built in model. Especially if we couldn't find a same sized replacement a few years down the road.

We're not heavy microwave users, and are of average height (me 5'4", DH 5'9"). It's really no big deal to use, it's not like you bend down the entire time something is cooking, just to stick it in and pull it out. You'll do much more bending using a DW.

It's been in 4 years and we're still really pleased with our choice.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 2:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

celineike I think a drawer MW would work fine for your DH. I'm 5'11" and my DH is 6'3", and we both really like the drawer. It's easily accessible from above.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 2:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sharp has a patent on the technology in their drawer micro, so you will only see them made by or possibly under license by Sharp until someone invents something new to compete -- but Sharp seems to be the only one doing new things with micros these days. You definitely don't need to spend more for another name on one unless you have a highly stylized kitchen where that different front will really make a difference in pulling all the details together. For most of us, appliances are tools, not the jewelry.

The size is the same because Sharp introduced the drawer in the 30" width with all that trim to fit under ovens and warming drawers. The 24" version came out within a year, if I remember correctly, and now that seems to be the most popular size. The working parts are all the same.

As far as regular ovens, the interior sizes have changed as insulation has improved. I have had a 27" oven I couldn't fit a full size cookie sheet into and another that I could. I probably could have stayed with a 27" oven, but I went to 30" to be sure I had interior room and because there were fewer 27" models out there and I didn't want to be faced with not having options when this one needs replacement.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 2:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I replaced a 20+ year old undercounter Amana (with a drop down door) when we remodeled. Had to find something that would fit the space and was thrilled that the KitchenAid Architect with drop door did fit the hole.... I was considering a drawer but the sizing was off.

Anyway I love having it under the counter. Always get the heebeejeebies when I have to use someones high microwave and lift hot things down from face level.

In my kitchen layout if I didn't want to sacrifice any upper cabinets to a microwave. I like the look of my uppers being all nice wood and no big stainless steel blob up there being a visual distraction.... much less noticeable to me where it is down below.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 3:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a push button drawer style by Dacor.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 5:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"...No different than loading the dishwasher or the front loading laundry...."

Yes, it is different.

With a DW, the racks pull out and, like a MW drawer, you're reaching down to put things in, not reaching down, and then leaning in, trying to reach inside. (Plus, the top rack is much higher than a regular MW in an under counter alcove.)

With a front loader washing machine, it's mounted on a 13" or so tall platform to raise it off the floor. Then the door is at least another 12" (or more) above that. It has a much bigger door and you're not trying to take out food that might spill and/or that is scalding hot....you can just grap and toss into the dryer. (As to height, I actually wish our washer platform was even taller...) [I'm not positive about the platform & door heights...I'll have to check when I get home...but the door is definitely higher than a standard MW in an alcove under the counter.]

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 7:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here are a few pics, hope it helps you convince your DH.
I think they look cool.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 7:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I remember how I agonized over this very decision last year. I didn't think I'd like it below counter, but I really do--much better than my previous kitchens with OTR m/w. We have the Sharp drawer. I find it very handy, much more so than the higher-up ones.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 9:04PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
"Ledge" sinks and accessories -- do you use them?
I'm considering an undermount stainless sink that has...
Can you look at my kitchen layout and tell me what I'm missing?
Sorry I posted this once previously, but I wanted to...
Cabs above the fridge and wall oven
We don't have a KD yet, and I'm still just figuring...
Jennifer Weinman
Baker Cherry Shaker doors vs IKEA Laxarby doors
Please advise on Baker doors. I am going to get IKEA...
Your longest stretch of granite counter w/o seam?
Our counters will be re-templated later today. It...
Sponsored Products
Smooth Bronze Whitehaus WH3621COFCD Copper Double Bowl Front Kitchen Sink
Blue Bath
Rectangle w/ORB Widespread Fct
Ultra Wall-Mount Bathroom Faucet - Lever Handles
Signature Hardware
Undercounter Jar Opener
$5.99 | zulily
Toto LT967 Soiree 1-Hole Undercounter Sink - LT967#01
$279.07 | Hayneedle
EdgeStar IB120SS Under-counter Stainless Steel Ice Maker
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™