Microwave placement when u have a commercial exhaust, HELP!

stpindellJuly 7, 2013

We are buying a home and will be remodeling the kitchen. We really want a commercial exhaust over range but not sure where to put the microwave now.
Has anyone had this problem? Can u share pictures and ideas??


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Stacked in cabs like wallovens; under the counter (there are drawer models); on the counter? There are even models designed to be hung under upper cabs. This is not a big deal.

Since it sounds like you are coming from an OTR (over the range) MW combo, beware of commercial exhausts -- they may increase your costs due to the need for very hefty (possibly heated) make up air systems.

Good exhaust is important, overly-powerful exhaust will add to your costs considerably. IMO, cooking that is essentially BBQ-ing is best done out of doors, reducing the need for commercial venting.



    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 11:47PM
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Microwave drawer

Microwave in a wall stack

Undercabinet microwave

In cabinet or appliance garage.

There is a difference between having a 24"-27" deep SS hood with a 1200-1600 cfm residential blower and true commercial ventilation.

First thing first though what kind of range or rangetop are you planning to vent?

In what metro area or what part of which state do you live in ?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 12:22AM
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Thanks for you helpful input. I should not have used commercial exhaust as it was misleading. I guess it's the residential exhaust style just do NOT want the OTR as that exhaust is worthless. lol.

Thanks for the great pictures!!! I guess I just want a residential blower and not even the type that goes out of the house. Do you have one? If so, how do you like it?

Of all the types of microwave placement (besides the OTR) which one does everyone like best and why? Any downsides?


    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 8:32AM
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not even the type that goes out of the house

Ummm - why bother? How will that be less worthless than the OTR?

As to microwave placement, it depends on how much you use it, whether it is used by the cook or just by individuals who want things reheated, and the flow of other work in the kitchen. There isn't an answer that everyone likes best.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 8:47AM
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You want the exhaust to leave your house.

Why not start a new thread with your layout.

This post was edited by debrak_2008 on Mon, Jul 8, 13 at 9:34

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 9:33AM
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Yes, you do want the hood to exhaust outside of the house -- you just don't need a jet engine in the blower to be effective.

Kksmama is right -- the placement should make sense to the way you use a micro. There are designers and people here who like a micro near the fridge on the theory that it is close to where things needing to be heated come from. Some like it away from the cooking zone so snackers can make popcorn or snacks without getting in the way. My plan put it at the end of the counter run that is my cooking/baking zone so that it is handy to melt butter, defrost, etc., but also takes people heating up something while I am working to the outer corner of my kitchen. That is also the plating area and closest to my breakfast table. I would rather carry a cold dish from the fridge a few steps more and have the placement where hot things are carried a shorter distance.

Drawer placement worked for us because of the width (24" instead of 27") and depth. I didn't want anything deeper than standard in an upper cabinet and wasn't willing to trade double ovens for a micro in a stack with a single oven -- that would also have been at the wrong end of the kitchen for my use.

There isn't one location fits all -- it really has to make sense in your layout and for your use.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 9:57AM
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We hid ours in a custom cabinet near my refrigerator and baking station. It will fit several 1 cu ft models, so if it dies, I am not limited to a specific model/brand.
We primarily use ours to melt butter or for an occasional microwave veggie, so the lower height works well for us. Others that use a microwave several times a day would be frustrated with the low placement.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 8:15PM
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I put ours in the pantry cabinet in the corner of the kitchen. We rarely use it, so placement wasn't important, just that it wasn't taking up counter space and I didn't have to see it. It sits on a shelf about counter height.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 8:54PM
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Thanks everyone for giving me some good options to consider.

For those of you that have a microwave drawer, have any of you had to replace one? And was it difficult? Looking at one of the pictures posted, it looks the the cabinet was built around it.

Are microwave drawers standard size? So if one stopped working it won't be hard to replace and have it fit in the same area?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 10:29AM
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I put mine on a shelf. It's a compact size, but it fits a full size dinner plate.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 12:03PM
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Holly- Kay

I decided venting was more important that an OTR microwave. I am so glad I did make the change but my counter top micro is so darn big. I finally found a Whirlpool corner model that got great reviews and if the dimensions were correct I should be able to slide it into my appliance garage. It was delivered today so as soon as I get home from work I will find out if it works there or not. If it was just me I wouldn't bother with a micro but DH uses one to soften ice cream so I had to replace it.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 2:57PM
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Do you have an exhaust that vents to the outside? If so, was it costly to do? I'm considering that option.

Also, does anyone have an exhaust that doesn't vent to the outstide? How is it? And is it slightly better than the OTR micro?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 3:17PM
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I decided the same as holly-kay, that venting was more important, and I also didn't want the microwave over the stove for safety reasons. Didn't want my kids reaching over the gas burners to get to the microwave. My contractor was able to put the exhaust pipe straight up and out my roof as my house is a ranch, so it wasn't a big issue.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 5:04PM
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I haven't done it yet, but I am about to demo my kitchen and this is what we are going to do. I like small, cheap, easy to replace, not-built-in, counter-top style microwaves. But I don't like to see it or put it out on the counter. I also don't want a drawer style one. So I designed a place for it in a wall or storage cabinets that are going to be beside my fridge. This is a counter-depth area of storage cabinets which from bottom to top go: drawer, drawer, microwave cabinet (counter height), regular cabinet, furr-down, ceiling. See attachment.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 5:07PM
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All Microwave drawers are made by Sharp in two sizes 24" and 30" and are interchangeable.

I have had two made in the USA Sharp MWs. One lasted 17 years the other I used for 8 years then gave to nephew. These Sharp drawers are made in the USA. They have been around for about 7 years? I have not heard of anyone replacing one yet.

The $100 MWs at Wal-Mart are made in random Chinese factories may last 2 years or so.Drawers give you better ergonomics and longevity(vs the cheap MW). I don't like tossing MW in the trash every 2 years, it is wasteful. But these are definitely a luxury.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 5:57PM
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BTW Now that I have had my Sharp 24" drawer for about a year I will never go back to a regular box type microwave.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 6:21PM
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Dee beat me to it, but at least until the patent runs out, Sharp makes all the micro drawers and they are standard sizes in widths that line up with the most popular sized appliances. They are installed with a cutout made to fit much like and wall oven would install. The cabinet folks know how to order them or make them right. If you had to replace, it would be a few screws, slide it out, unplug, plug in a new one, slide in and insert securing screws.

I think they have been around about 7 years. They came out while we were in our planning phase and we've had ours about 6-1/2 years. Before we moved into this house, I had a Sharp convection micro for at least 22 years with one $100 repair.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 7:34PM
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Holly- Kay

Stpindell. Yes my hood is vented to the outside and my carpenter didn't charge me anything extra to vent it outside. It was easy for him to install the vent pipes on top of the cabinetry to my outside wall. The vents are covered by my molding. Even though I have a thirty inch induction cook top I chose a 600 CFM hood. Another GW member wisely pointed out that if you go with a higher CFM you can get away with using a lower speed with less noise.

I am so pleased to be able to say that the Whirlpool micro fit perfectly in my appliance garage!

Edited for spelling

This post was edited by holly-kay on Tue, Jul 9, 13 at 20:49

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 8:45PM
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Holly- Kay

I think a micro drawer would be the best way to go but a micro in our house is only used to soften ice cream and an occasional reheat so this little corner micro was ideal for us.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 8:55PM
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Thanks everyone for the feedback. We are definitely leaning towards the microwave drawer and venting exhaust to the outside.

Holly-Kay: Glad to see your fit in the appliance garage!!! Small victories!! =)

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 9:49AM
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Sounds like a great choice! If my kitchen were bigger, and I could have afforded to give up lower drawer/cabinet space, I would have gone with the MW drawer too.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 9:13AM
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We love our MW drawer. It is on the island.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 10:02AM
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"Also, does anyone have an exhaust that doesn't vent to the outstide? How is it? And is it slightly better than the OTR micro?"

If it doesn't vent to the outside, it's not an exhaust. It's a recirculating fan. It's exactly the same as a recirculating fan in an OTR. OTRs can also exhaust to the outside, though.

Also, although there are two apparent sizes for the drawer models (24" and 30"), they actually have the same interior size. The only reason to use the 30" model is if you have a larger cabinet that you need to fill the hole of. Functionally they are the same size.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 12:06PM
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