Microwave small enough to fit in an upper cabinet?

summersucksMay 16, 2011

So I've searched and searched and have had no success. Does anyone here actually have a microwave that's shallow enough to fit in an upper cabinet, so only 12" deep? or less?

I wonder if this is even possible or if I am doomed to have a MW sitting on my counter forever :o(

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ok so the universe is weird. No sooner did I post this that I found one. It's danby, exclusive to Rona in Canada. It's 10 2/16" deep! WINNER!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 2:42PM
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Whoa! Great find!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 2:47PM
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oh if anyone is interested, link!


    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 3:01PM
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I have been eyeing the one below at Future Shop which is still 12.75". Zellers has something less deep (12" ish, if memory serves) - house brand - Home Sense maybe - should the Danby not work out. Zellers one is white.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 8:54PM
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Thanks for the link! I've been looking for the same, too bad this one is only available in Canada :-(. One caution though, just make sure you have enough for clearances, the installation for the Danby stated
"Allow 20 cm of space above the microwave oven,10 cm at back and 5 cm at both sides." I also found this one which has less clearance issues, I THINK!

Here is a link that might be useful: other small microwave

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 9:04PM
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The GE Spacemaker PEM31 can be installed in an upper cabinet if you recess it into wall slightly. If you use their trim kit, it will vent out the front properly. I have the previous model JEM31. Sharp also makes one the R-1214, I think, that also works.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 10:46PM
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collins design

Just want to add some thoughts about MWs in cabinets: I keep my microwave in a wall cabinet (but we custom built it so it's 13" deep and holds the smallest GE.) I just wanted to report that the MW does produce some moisture. For example when you MW soup or veggies and then open the door, there's steam. I'm slightly concerned about the effect of that moisture on the cabinetry over time. I MW with the cabinet door open, and if it's something steamy I usually leave both the MW door and cabinet door open for a few minutes afterwards to let the steam dissipate, rather than shut it in the cabinet.

I do love having it hidden away behind a door, though!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 7:53AM
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We got a cabinet built for the microwave and it works great. MH was very against a over the oven microwave.

Here is a pic if you are interested.

Sorry, not a great pic, but best I have at this time.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 8:59AM
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I just had my contractor build a small shelf where our large over the counter microwave was. It is a small Frigidaire.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 9:30AM
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woa @cluelessincolorado I had no idea I needed 10cm behind it! that's nuts! I just don't use my microwave that much, like maybe two or three times a week, so I don't foresee moisture being a huge issue...also, the wall cabinets are actually going underneath my counter overhang and they're not totally built in, they will just sit under the counter so recessing the microwave isn't really an option...

lots of good options here though, thanks so much everyone! i am thinking my best bet is to just shop around some B&M stores and measure them in person.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 10:13AM
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GE PEM31SMSS... I've had them in my last 2 kitchens, have one on order now.

Here is a link that might be useful: GE Spacemaker

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 5:51PM
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I have had my eye on this for a while also do not microwave often. Just once in a while i think it would be nice.
I deliberately did n ot make space for the micro and probably would like to do without one ( how did they used to heat up thing before we discovered the joy of microwave is what i keep asking myself?)
anyway this looks do-able
it's called an WaveCube Microwave

Here is a link that might be useful: cute little microwave

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 10:18PM
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I used a traditionally sized MW, and just made the cabinet deeper. Even though my last MW lasted 20+ years, I didn't want to be searching for a replacement MW in 10 or so years that had to fit a specific sized cab. SOOOOOO, the spot for mine is plenty big, to allow for ease of MW replacement, and also for proper venting.

No matter what size you get, remember to have your electrician put in a recessed outlet. That will save you some depth as well.

1 Like    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 1:30AM
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I have the GE Spacemaker mentioned above, and I do not think it will work for the OP. I purchased it figuring it could go in my pantry cabinet or on the counter, depending upon which place seemed best. My pantry cabinets are 14", not 12", as the OP has. And the microwave is too deep for the pantry cabinet. (I thought the pantry cabinet was to be 15" deep, the maximum we could have without doing away with a window I wanted to keep. The microwave would have worked in that case.) I have the microwave on the counter in a corner which would be pretty much unusable otherwise.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 1:36AM
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@muspic that is wickedawesome. I need to see pics of the inside, but that is so darn adorable! I wonder if it'd be enough for us...

@vitamins, you're absolutely right. The specs tell me it'll be too deep. Otherwise I'd be all over it.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 10:45AM
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summersucks - are you needing to close the cabinet door? If so, then you and vitamins are right, the GE Spacemaker won't make it; it's 12 9/32" deep (just over 1/4" beyond the 12"). If you do find something that works for you, please share so the rest of us learn. The Danbys look great. There's actually another model (DMG099BLSDD) on their website that's .9 cu ft capacity and only 11 9/16" deep. But I can't find any place to actually buy one... :(

Here is a link that might be useful: Danby DMG099BLSDD

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 3:59PM
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rjr220 -- Thanks so much for posting the picture of your microwave shelf. I have to advise my GC tomorrow exactly how I want the microwave shelf for my reno. Been ruminating about it all weekend & was pretty sure I wanted it done like yours. Seeing your photo confirms it!

Shallow depth microwaves with any decent interior size are hard to find, and I have similar concerns as you -- that it would be a hassle to try to find a shallow depth replacement later on, even if I bought one now. Bumping out the cupboard & shelf means that nearly any size microwave will do. I was considering the GE PEM31, saw the Sharp online but can't see it in any stores near me to check it out. Now, I can get the deeper GE I was looking at -- and still have it fit on the shelf.

BTW, love your kitchen!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 9:43PM
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I chose a micro shelf to get mine off the counter. These were RTA cabinets, and the uppers were standard depth, but the micro shelf sticks out a bit further. If you are planning to use an already installed cabinet, perhaps a deeper shelf board could be bolted to the lower shelf to hold a deeper microwave.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 10:46PM
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redhead, yes, I was hoping to be able to close the door.

Sadly, the danby arrived and the website dimensions are WAY off. I had to return. Back to square one.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 6:24PM
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We've been struggling with this issue ourselves. Too many of our friends have had trouble replacing built in microwaves. Our solution is to place it in an upper cabinet, on a shelf but build the shelf recessed so that the microwave does not need a ledge jutting out. Much like recessing a regular refrigerator to appear to be counter depth. I'll post a photo during construction and after when we get there....hopefully this summer!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 1:34PM
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So after more research it looks like the walmart website regarding the GE microwave may not be accurate: http://www.ajmadison.com/cgi-bin/ajmadison/JES0736SPSS.html

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 9:36AM
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recessing a microwave into a niche in the wall. Good idea.


dimensions often get erroneously reformatted, on the web. Triple check them.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 10:29AM
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FWIW, I have the walmart Rival MW, because it was the very smallest one I could find. It's not very highly powered and even that one, although technically it would fit on a shelf, can't be used that way because of the clearances required.

I honestly don't think your plan is going to work. You'll either need a deeper space or just go with a microwave with a hanging kit under a cabinet.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 11:25AM
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I have been searching for a microwave to go in an upper cabinet also, but on a shelf like cooksnsews and lovesautumn. The problem I'm having is that the smaller microwaves all seem to have some really bad reviews; they stop working after a few months, (Panasonics) spark and start fires, or the door button breaks. I would say it's a problem with smaller micros, but the GE spacesaver probably has the worst reviews of all.

For those of you who do have a small microwave, less than 15 inches in depth, what brand, how long have you had it, and how do you like it?

I currently have a Sharp Carousel, similar to this one but a 90's model. It also seems that newer models don't get the best reviews either, so maybe they just don't build them as well as they used to.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 2:07PM
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I purchased the GE spacesaver about 6 months ago or more and its been working fine. I had posted about the spacesavers on appliances forum and got some postive feedback. Yes I did read some bad reviews on the internet. I plan to use it on a shelf.

I know there are at least two people on kitchens who have posted that they have the spacesaver and haven't reported any issues that I know of. I could not find any alternatives to use on a 12 or 13" shelf.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 2:18PM
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Ok, I just ordered it. I know it stands to reason that more people would post negatives than positives, and the spacesaver did fit the space better than any other.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 5:49PM
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Just came back to give a big thank you to debrak 2008 and others who helped me with the microwave decision. The GE spacesaver fits into the cabinet opening perfectly. I'm really pleased with it so far.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 11:06AM
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I'm so glad it worked out for you.

Mine is still working well but still waiting for the shelf.


    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 5:16PM
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Good Morning! I am glad I am not the only person looking for this 'unicorn' of a microwave oven. I recently installed new cabinets and in one upper cabinet I had an outlet installed (originally there was not a cabinet here and the wiring was for a wall lamp). My goal was to procure a very small microwave that I could keep behind closed doors. I rarely microwave and wanted it out of view. I was curious how many of these suggestions actually fin INSIDE the cabinet (door closed). The max depth allowance I have is 11 inches. This is a picture of a similar application in the UK (or Switzerland).

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 2:45PM
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We are building a new house; our cabinet maker is putting the microwave under the cabinet. It will have a small drawer underneath it, in the gap between the microwave and the counter. The space for our microwave will be large enough for a mid sized unit; if we ever want a smaller microwave, the extra space in the microwave spot will be easy to deal with.

I've always had over the range microwaves and never liked them...,I've heard that kitchen designers discourage them - they can be a safety issue, and for shorter adults and children, they can be very hard to use. So - I hope this alternative location will be a good solution.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 4:49PM
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