Which to install first? Backsplash or Microwave

a.girl.named.maxNovember 25, 2013

We are in the middle of remodeling out kitchen. We have installed new kitchen cabinets and countertops. We think the next steps are to install the tile backsplashes and an over-the-stove microwave.

Should the new tile go behind the microwave or should it butt up to the bottom of the microwave? In other words should we install the tile first and then the micorwave?

We haven't selected the tile yet. The electrical outlets and wiring for the microwave are are already installed. Any other things/pitfalls we might not have thought of yet?

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I just did a quick Google search to see what comes up, some people are saying to tile first then install microwave. In case you change models down the road... Make sure to mark out stud locations first.

A few say to install microwave first to have a more level surface and to locate studs easier, to reduce the amount microwave sticks out from cabinets....

Hopefully you get more responses :)

    Bookmark   November 25, 2013 at 12:14PM
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Most likely your OTR micro will have a backplate which will need to be attached to your wall. If you put up your backsplash first, you'd have to drill through your tiles to mount that backplate. Put up the micro first, and tile up to it.

You might want to consider getting extra tile, so if a little further down the road you decide to put in a hood instead, you'd be able to take down the micro and add the tile to the backsplash.


    Bookmark   November 25, 2013 at 12:25PM
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Hi Max, hope you don't mind my jumping in. Like Helene, I'd install the microwave first too, especially because of that backplate. It is a lot stabler when attached directly to the wall.

Doing this also helps streamline the work. Install all fixtures first, and then tile the walls. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2013 at 8:50PM
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My microwave was installed first, I purchased extra BS incase I need it in the future.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 7:50AM
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Elraes Miller

Just be sure you do not grout against the MW, easy to happen when tiling. Put some tape around it to minimize the possibility during grouting.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 8:26AM
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Your upper cabinets should be screwed into studs which will tell you where they are. Install the backsplash, grout, and install the microwave. The meeting of the microwave and the tile will look much nicer if the tile is behind the microwave rather than butting into it. Your microwave will be additionally proud of the cabinet the thickness of the tile, but so what?

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 10:17AM
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