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Placement of a Microwave Oven

Where do you locate a microwave?

Adding a microwave to an existing kitchen can be a daunting task. There are four places where microwave ovens are likely to be found in a kitchen, and there are advantages and disadvantages to each option. Here is the list of each choice and a discussion of their respective benefits. Feel free to contact the experts at Universal Appliance and Kitchen Center for specific models and dimensions.


Placing a microwave oven on a countertop is an obvious choice, and in the early years this is all way microwave ovens were located. The big, hefty Amana Radarange is iconic of this era. Countertop microwaves are convenient and are relatively inexpensive. Nevertheless, this is usually an undesirable solution because the microwave takes up valuable counterspace.

Micro-Hood Combination

Micro-Hood Combination


GE invented the O-T-R micro-hood combination back in the 70's. The O-T-R microwave has become commonplace and often a standard feature in new homes. While the micro-hood gets the microwave off the countertop, the eye-level location is not ergonomically sound, and the ventilation system is generally considered inferior.

Microwave In Wall

Microwave In Wall

Built-In to the cabinets

This can be an ideal solution. A microwave oven in the wall located at the perfect height is going to be a homemaker's delight. However, there can be difficulties. Upper cabinets are generally only 12″ deep and will only accommodate a very small microwave oven. This means that there must be a full depth cabinet at an appropriate height where the microwave oven can be installed. Some microwave ovens are designed for in-the-wall installation. Another option is to install a full-sized countertop wall oven with a trim kit as above.

Microwave Drawer

Microwave Drawer

Under counter drawer microwave

Recently, appliance manufacturers have been producing microwave ovens that open as a drawer. The drawer microwave can be installed under a countertop, and is often ideal for an island installation. Drawer microwaves are becoming very popular. They're very accessible, and because of this they also come with child proof settings. Most of the luxury brands such as Wolf, Dacor, Viking, Jenn-Air, etc. offer microwave drawers. One disadvantage might be that the controls are located quite low, and require bending down to see them.

As you can see, you're going to want to weigh the pros and cons of each type of microwave oven before deciding which one works best for you. The professionals at Universal Appliance and Kitchen carry most major brands and can help you select a microwave oven that fits your lifestyle and your budget.

Two locations to serve you – Calabasas and Studio City:

Universal Appliance and Kitchen Center

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January 06, 2014
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