Let’s Settle This: Where's the Best Place for the Microwave?

Let’s Settle This: Where's the Best Place for the Microwave?

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Dabney Frake
Nov 16, 2016
(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

What's the perfect place for microwaves in the kitchen? They are must-have appliances for many, but they sure do have large, ugly footprints. So, do you prioritize saving space over aesthetics? Put them where you can easily reach? Or, is there that one sweet spot that let's you have it all?

Option #1: Above The Range

(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

Installing the microwave above your cooktop is a classic space saver, freeing up your countertops to use as workspace — especially when microwave and hood-fan combos do double duty. The downside is the extra vertical reach that doesn't work for everybody and the fact that a microwave holds such a prominent place in the room. Above, Ben and Elise's Vintage Wonderland in Mount Washington.

Option # 2: Under The Counter

(Image credit: Marie-Lyne Quirion)

Nick and Julia used IKEA cabinets in their kitchen, adding a few custom inserts to get the space exactly how they wanted it. Again, this spot is a great option for getting it off the counters, but having to bend down often could get old. Families with children might also have safety concerns.

Option #3: Hidden In A Standard Cabinet

(Image credit: Pinch of Yum)

If you can find a microwave that's the right size, adapt one of your empty cabinet shelves. A Pinch of Yum dedicated some space there, keeping it out of sight and out of the way when it's not in use. Potential downside? Having to open the doors when your hands are full with a heavy or large dish of food.

Option #4: Built Into Open Cabinetry

(Image credit: Adrienne Breaux)

Sam & Anne chose to keep their microwave exposed, but tucked it into cabinetry at arm height. While it looks seamless, and is very accessible for frequent use, the vent required is more expensive to install and isn't easy to clean. Also, if this one breaks, finding another model that's the same size is a concern.

Option #5: Tucked In A Pantry

(Image credit: The Makerista)

If you don't use the microwave that often, store it away in an appliance garage. They are roomy enough that venting's not mandatory, and they stay out of sight. Gwen at The Makerista loves this option and chose to use the space above the stove free for a beautiful range hood.

Of course, the real answer is whatever works for you and your kitchen. Which spot do you prefer?

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