Am I a microwave rebel?

mjseeSeptember 5, 2012

I didn't put my microwave in a cabinet. It's going to sit on a counter...because that just seems safest to me. The beach house we've rented the last few summers has an over-the-range MW. While we've never had a serious mishap, a couple of folks have had near-misses when reheating coffee.

Am I the only one who prefers the MW at counter height for safety/ease of use?

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Just like I'm not the only one who doesn't want stainless, nor a white kitchen, nor an [whisper] island.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 8:58AM
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CF--We are kitchen sisters!

I didn't want stainless...but decided it looked better with my cabinet choices. I really and truly wanted white. I even put together a "color story" with white cups substituting for the appliances...and decided that they stopped the eye too much. Plus...the range I liked best (in my price point) only came in stainless. Hope that decision doesn't bite me in the backside. Luckily, they are JUST appliances and eventually will need to be replaced. If I truly hate and despise the stainless I'll swap 'em out for something else.

No island for me, either. Hate them. Just one more thing to catch my hip on. (Besides, with a 12' x 13' kitchen--where would I PUT one?)


    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 9:14AM
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mjsee, ITA on the MW. I worry every day about dropping something on my glass cooktop. That puppy is on its way OUT. I'm still debating getting a Sharp drawer MW off eBay as some here have done cheaply. There are some pics here, tho, about putting the MW in low hutch areas. Very cool. I put together an email full of pics for my cabinet guy. If you want to see it, email me. But there is nothing wrong with having the MW on the counter if you've got the space.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 9:22AM
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Our MW has always lived on the countertop in our pantry.
Since we use it primarily to reheat leftovers and melt butter, for us, it's the best location.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 9:23AM
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I had a micro on the counter in my last two houses -- but I had counter corners that housed them without losing important space. This house has no counter or corner cabinets and not enough counter space as it is, so I would never put a micro on the counter here. I think it really depends on the space you have and your use of both the micro and the rest of the space. I have a drawer micro and probably always will in this kitchen.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 9:27AM
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over the range is a space saving location but can be a problem for less than average height people....At counter height and up to 54 inches off the floor height is an ideal height for reaching and placing/retrieving food. Many microwave wall cabinets end up with the bottom of microwave at 12 or 15 in up from counter so you would still have some counter below the microwave,as opposed to sitting on counter.also,the sides and electricals sandwiched in some sort of shelf/cabinet set up may be more desirable to some people. Sitting on the counter in an out of the way location where the unit is not occupying prime real estate is acceptable. Devoting a cabinet with the necessary electrical somewhere in a kitchen design may be more desirable.. Many are placing the drawer microwaves in a base-I hear very little negative about these. Your idea isn't rebellious,but a prospective buyer may think,oh, the microwave was overlooked in the re-do of the kitchen. Kitchen revamps are going to always have compromises:think it through-this is more than just a color or material choice.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 9:34AM
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I get'cha.

To answer your question with less flip, I have mine in an undercounter cabinet. The normal kind you see. When I was building the cabinet, though, I had mine sitting on the counter.

[whisper again] I loved it. I didn't have to bend down. Nothing caught the top of the box if I didn't lift it out far enough, then up. It wasn't like years ago, when I had only the top of the fridge to even HAVE a microwave. God knows what was going on up there I couldn't see from my 5'2" viewpoint.

Like you and your stainless, though, I'm committed. I've tried to decide if I wanted to retrofit the microwave cabinet into something else. I've even considered moving my refrigerator out into the mud room to make space for more cabinetry upon which my MW could sit.

There's one thing to be said for actually building your kitchen yourself: You can change your mind in a heartbeat and only have yourself to (blame) answer to, please, make happy, explain the $$ to.

That idea is sounding better and better.
I'm thinking I might go out and measure again.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 9:38AM
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I put mine on the counter in this kitchen, and I painted the carcass to match my cabinets and backsplash (which are the same color). I will probably do an on the counter microwave in the next kitchen too, although I might semi build it in in the run of pantry cabinets.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 9:43AM
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My MW is on the counter. As are other items I use frequently. The little stretch of counter it sits on wouldn't be particularly useful for anything else.

I don't exactly feel like a rebel doing this. Most of the people I know have a MW sitting in plain sight.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 9:55AM
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MW is going back to the corner of the counter where it sat until we gutted the kitchen...and it will "just sit there". I MAY invest in a new one--our sharp carousel is circa 1991. (Which was the LAST time I did a kitchen, at out former residence.) Maybe I'll get a stainless one to match the rest of the appliances and leave the old one in the temporary kitchen I've got set up in DH's office.

Went and looked at the prices on the microwave drawers...YOWCH. THAT'S not happening. I wonder if they retrofit relatively easily? I could probably do one in a year or two...I know just which drawer I would sacrifice...hmmmm...

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 9:59AM
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linelle--I got a lot of grief from several friends (and one sister) for not building it in. Hence the tongue-in-cheek title.

Pal--oooooo....I like the idea of painting it. I could pull out one of the reds from the backsplash...hmmmm.....

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 10:02AM
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My microwave, circa 1986, sits in the corner of my counter. It's very functional there and out of the way.

Kitchens are workrooms. To me, that means they should function well and give you easy access to your tools.

And, they should be warm and inviting because you spend a lot of time in them.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 10:50AM
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I put mine on a shelf in the pantry...I love it there...

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 10:55AM
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Pantry shelf, too... most convenient space by our food!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 11:08AM
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I struggled with this. I came to the conclusion that, at least for our household, there were only two places to easily use a MW: the countertop, and a drawer MW under the counter. We wound up springing for the drawer MW to save what little counterspace we had. (We had been planning on one in an upper -- I had even installed the dedicated outlet for it. Just didn't feel right at that height.)

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 11:41AM
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Mine's on the counter, with the toaster oven next to it. I looked into combo MW/toasters, but they don't seem to be successful. I considered every other placement option I could think of, and this was still the best. We use both appliances daily, often many times. DD is under 5', and I'm only 5'3", so counter height is best for us. My kitchen is too small to give up precious cab space up or down. These appliances don't bother me on the counter, although I really wish you could get a MW hinged on the right.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 11:44AM
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Mine is over a counter, near the fridge. It's still a bit too high for me (I'm only 5') but it's way better than anywhere else I could fit it. It's also on a shelf, not built in. I wanted to be able to have some space around it just in case I decided to a) switch it out later on for a different model and needed other dimensions and b) put it somewhere else (i.e.; counter, possible bakers rack, etc.) and use that shelf for another purpose.

It's a pretty basic KitchenAid model - nothing fancy. I wasn't interested in bells and whistles. As long as it cooked rice well, I was happy. There isn't too much else I use it for come to think of it - other than reheating.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 11:53AM
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Pre kitchen reno, I had it on top of the refrigerator. I'm tall, so it sorta wasn't too tall for safety. But it was HEAVY and never got moved once there. Spills were a problem.

Now, I've got a tiny "dorm" one on the buffet counter in the DR area, and an OTR Advantium (display that I got a steal on) hung from a cabinet (but not over the range!) in my cooking area. That gave me the most counter space where it counted, and the refrigerator's location is convenient to either.

This isn't the only red MW out there, but it's the coolest looking, and it's not expensive and gets good reviews.

Here is a link that might be useful: $89 at WallyWorld

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 12:00PM
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I have an old kitchen that was not designed for a microwave, so my microwave has always been on the counter. I would love to have mine built in close to the frige.

When I first started seeing some of the nice pantries on here with the microwaves in them, I thought "what a neat idea". Now that I have thought about how I use mine, it would not be effecient for me. We warm a lot of left-overs, so it needs to be beside the frige.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 12:06PM
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That's that new "retro" line at Wally World. I was sucked in by those and almost started a buying frenzy.

D@mn them for using RED!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 12:23PM
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I don't think you're a rebel. Counter height is the most logical place for one. I on the other hand really rebelled. I eliminated it completely from my kitchen and I don't miss it one bit!

It's you're kitchen. I say the hell with the built-in or over the range MW. The future owners can worry about retrofitting it if and when the time comes.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 2:25PM
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Green Designs... cool looking MW. Not sure I want to make mine that attention grabbing.
\ twn85... I am with you. I am not putting a dishwasher in. I am ripping out the old one. It's been there since we moved in and we only use it about twice a year. I am tired of it being wasted space in such prime real estate AND it would screw up my design. I am asking John (DH, cabinet maker) to try to make it so someone could reasonable easily add one. However, we plan to be here as far in the future as we can see. I figure once a kitchen is at least five years old, a buyer would probably want a different kitchen design anyway. So why think about them anyway? I am certainly not going to sacrifice what I want for what I think they might want.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 3:29PM
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Counter height is nice, but ON my counter? NOT an option. I just hate that so much. The overreaction probably has something to do with my housekeeping habits, since amount of work space is irrelevant. On the plus side (also not!), for the imperfectly organized the top makes a handy place to set all that paper that ends up in the kitchen. And you only see the crumbs underneath if you crouch, and how many guests do that?

But I agree with doing whatever you want in your kitchen. I so respect rebels and often deplore my drearily common tastes. :)

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 3:47PM
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