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Proper distance between microwave and range top?

Posted by caveman_mike (My Page) on
Sat, Mar 23, 13 at 23:00

Since I'm gutting my entire kitchen, I now have the ability to correct some things that have really bothered me since we moved in 11 years ago.

For one: there is only 14" between the bottom of the microwave and the grates of the range.

There is only 2" between the top of my pressure cooker and the bottom of the microwave.

I bet this doesn't even meet code.

I often get uncomfortable when I'm doing several hot dishes that it's getting too hot under the microwave.

I don't want to damage the seal on the microwave. I bet a damage microwave seal would emit more radiation than granite counters !!!! :-)

The green area above the 2 cabinets is not available (used for ducting and electrical).

If I raise the microwave, I guess I would need to half the cabinets above the microwave.


Caveman Mike

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Proper distance between microwave and range top?

In case it matters, here's what's inside the cabinets above the microwave:

And, I'm 5'10"


RE: Proper distance between microwave and range top?

If you are gutting the kitchen, I would get rid of the OTR MW, and put in a proper hood. OTR microwaves have to be hung low over a range. How much can you raise it? 4"? 6"? You will still be claustrophobic under the OTR MW. And if you raise the MW higher, you or family members may not be able to see inside and/or reach inside. And, it is dangerous to pull hot, sloshing dishes from a height.

And you are right that the undersides of OTR MWs get hot. That is why "pro-style" ranges recommend against OTR MWs. Some of those ranges will even void the warranty if you hang a OTR MW above them instead of a hood. Even without a pro-style range, OTR MW's tend not to have longevity because the heat underneath them will either melt the undersides or damage the electronics.

OTR MWs do not exhaust well, if at all. First, the capture area is usually two small squares of mesh, pretty worthless. Then the tiny duct of the OTR MW is also inefficient and extremely noisy.

You are not the first to comment on the claustrophic set-up of an OTR MW. Or that you cannot use, say, a stockpot for soup or spaghetti sauce because the OTR MW is so low.

Again, since you are gutting, buy an inexpensive countertop MW. Panasonic and Sharp make good ones for about $125. Either put it on a shelf in your new kitchen cabinetry, or on the counter, or some people put theirs in the pantry if you have one. Install a proper hood over your range. The distance between the top of the range and the bottom of the hood should be about 30", so you will no longer have the problems you described. And you will have actual exhaust capabilities.

This post was edited by akchicago on Sat, Mar 23, 13 at 23:21

RE: Proper distance between microwave and range top?

Wow @akchicago , that's a lot of really good info !!!!!

Living in a 1 bedroom high-rise, and since the kitchen is only 12'x8', and since the original scope was to add 7' of additional counters because the prep space was soo limited, I really can't imagine taking up counter space.

And, I guess it would look really dope-y to have the microwave next to the range with some kind of "V" combined exhaust?

Then, I'd also lose some valuable prime real estate for plates, glasses, ect. that would be in easy reach.

Hmm. This I will have to think on.

I might just end up raising the MC 4" or 6" in place (over the range), and hope the next owner isn't shorter than me :-)

Thanks a bunch!


RE: Proper distance between microwave and range top?

OTR microwaves suck (and I don't mean that in a literal way, which is why they are horrible). I think you should get a real hood and put in a micro--drawer or put a microwave on an open shelf (either in an upper or a lower cab). Based on the video tour of your kitchen you posted, your problem isnt a lack of cabinet space, but rather and over abundance of junk. I think if you go through all the stuff you have and get rid of the extra crap you will find that you have plenty of cabinet space. On top of that, your new cabinets will likely be more efficient than your old cabinets and have more useable space.

RE: Proper distance between microwave and range top?

I guess you could just get a hood and then mount the OTR MW in another spot where it is not on the counter, but why not get another one and put it into a cabinet, but off your counter if it bothers you to take up counter space.

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