cross post fom Appliances: Microwave placement

hrhpriJuly 7, 2013

Sorry, wasn't sure where the best place for this was...

Hi, we are new to the forum and this is my first posting (of many I'm sure!)
We are building our home and are at the point of having to order cabinets. With this, we have to know our appliances. Our big question right now is microwave placement.

The usual/expected route we would take would be a 30" unit with a built-in look, next to our fridge and with cabinets above it and counter space below it. However, we'd consider 2 other possibly more economical options if they seem "ok" to do:

1 - over the range microwave where the built in would go, still with cabinets up top and counter space below. The light portion may get used, and the vent portion only if extra ventilation is needed. With the cost of these things being so much lower than the built-in, I'm not sure why this isn't done more often?

2 - countertop microwave on the counter within an appliance garage and taller cabinets above it.

For what it's worth, we'd be using the microwave fairly frequently and may be interested in a model that also does convection. We're thinking middle of the road - not a completely basic model, not one with too many features to get complicated.

Is a 30" microwave pretty much the expected/standard in a new construction? Would 27" be adequate?

And just out of curiosity... What is the usual lifespan of these things? We were thinking that, with option 2, an appliance garage would house any future microwave of any size should ours go bust anytime soon.

Hope this question makes sense. Thanks in advance.

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I would go with an OTR micro...will save space for more cabs, unless your kitchen is very large and storage is not an issue. Also, with a micro being used all the time, you're never going to close that "garage" door.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 6:56PM
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Thanks. Don't know if it matters, but we are planning to do a separate range with hood. So microwave is only appliance which we are planning to stick next to fridge. Sink and dishwasher are in island. So the "OTR" microwave won't really be over the range, just hanging under a cabinet and hovering over a counter... Ones this present a ventilation issue? Does it seem like it'd look tacky? Thanks.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 7:17PM
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Didn't know you were doing a range and hood. My SIL has a countertop convection microwave sitting in a floor to ceiling cab I think with drawers below an drawers above. It is an open space where the MW is. Her landing space is the counter on the other side of a doorway...probably not the best setup, but you can essentially turn around and put things down. Not sure about venting, but anything CAN be done.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 8:36PM
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Our microwave will be under the cabinet, but with a drawer underneath that, and then about 7 inches of counter space in front of the drawer, if that makes sense? We chose a mid size microwave - 1.6 cubic foot, I think (can't remember how wide) - could have gotten a convection or a Panasonic Inversion in that size, but decided against it. We asked our cabinet maker to give us a bit of extra room in the microwave slot, just in case we ever replace it with something a bit larger.

I've never liked OTR microwaves - I'm 5 8 and they are a bit high for me to use comfortably.

If we have a child or a shorter adult in the house, that microwave is hard for them to use. Also, it isn't safe to be working with hot food over another potentially hot surface (the stove top). And - microwave/range hoods tend to not have really good ventilation - separate hoods are going to be better quality. I'm not a KD, though - that is just what I've read in kd books.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 8:53PM
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For landing space- if the MW is in a stack w/o a counter - you could have a pull-out shelf, like an old-fashioned bread board. Takes up only a few inches of vertical space, and slides back when not needed.

Just have to remember to pull it out before you've got both paws on a hot pot, however.

(Don't bother wondering how I learned this!)


    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 11:34PM
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