A microwave is an integral appliance in a kitchen. With its ability to save you time, having one can help you a lot, especially when you usually have hectic days. It is a great appliance if you like toast in the morning.
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Microwaves come in various styles and designs, and a countertop is one of them. Typically, you put a countertop microwave on the kitchen counter. This is as opposed to built-in microwaves, which are tucked neatly into a wall or cabinet. You can also put a countertop microwave in a cabinet, but you need to be extra careful about it.
Can You Put a Countertop Microwave in a Cabinet?
The answer to this question is yes. You can put a countertop microwave in the cabinet, but you must do so cautiously. This is because installing a microwave in a cabinet puts the device in an enclosed space, which can cause some complications. Therefore, it is vital to know the proper way of installing the appliance before actually doing it.
Countertop microwaves are designed to be on the countertop. But depending on the microwave and kitchen you have, a setup like this might be cumbersome. It could be that you have more important things you want to put on the countertop. In that case, you can keep this appliance in a cabinet or the kitchen pantry instead, especially if you rarely use it.
However, it would be best if you were super careful with this because a microwave gets hot. A microwave must be in an open space to ensure that the air circulates well. There is not enough free air inside a cabinet, making it easy for the microwave to catch fire there if you did not place it properly.
Here is a video showing you how to mount a microwave into a cabinet. The rest of this article has some tips and pointers to share so that you can put your countertop microwave inside a cabinet without worries.
What are the Things You Can Do to Make Your Microwave Safer in the Cabinet?
You can put a countertop microwave in a cabinet. But as mentioned, it can be dangerous if you are not careful. How can you make it safer, then? Well, these tips can help you with that.
Provide Enough Space for Ventilation
The cabinet where you want to put the microwave must be big enough. You should also avoid placing the microwave at the end. That way, it still has enough space for ventilation. Countertop ventilation doesn’t have ventilation, but you can prevent a fire from happening with a wide cabinet.
Look for the Microwave’s Ventilations
You will usually find the ventilations on the top or the sides of a countertop microwave since it is designed for open space. These ventilations help so that hot air and dust circulates. Now that you know where they are, you can make sure that they have enough breathing area by ensuring they are not covered.
Clean the Microwave Regularly
If you put the microwave on the countertop, its self-cleaning system works. However, this does not work if you install the microwave inside the cabinet. Because of that, you need to take out and clean the appliance regularly. Do this at least once every three months, making sure to clean the vents using a damp cloth to remove dust.
Put a Trim Kit to Protect from Dust
A wide cabinet is essential for ventilation, but the big gap does not look good at all. You can improve it by putting in a trim kit. It will not only help with the appearance of your microwave but also protect it from dust. Ensure it is the trim kit is the best fit by getting it from the appliance’s manufacturer.
What are Things to Keep in Mind When You Put a Countertop Microwave in a Cabinet?
Since there could be complications and dangers in putting a countertop microwave in a cabinet, please keep the following things in mind:
Check the Instructions Book
Make sure that you check the instructions book of your appliance first. It should have information on the type of clearance that your particular microwave needs. There are different clearances that a microwave needs depending on the position of the vents. You want to know that information for safe installation.
Unplug the Microwave/Turn Off the Circuit Breaker
Before you begin, don’t forget to unplug your microwave. Ensure that it is not plugged in before making changes on any appliance, or it might lead to fire or electrocution. It is also better to turn it off at the circuit breaker. This way, you are confident you will not accidentally come in contact with electricity.
Put the Microwave Somewhere With Easier Access
Don’t put your countertop microwave at a high place. It is not good to place it in a high cabinet where you cannot access it easily. Otherwise, you may end up burning yourself when you try to get food out of it. Put the microwave in a cabinet at the same level as your countertop, so it works just like a built-in microwave.
Ensure the Cabinet’s Doors Open Well
One thing to check about the cabinet is the doors. Make sure that they open well, so it is easier to access your microwave. It will also help so that you do not have to move around your microwave a lot, an act that can reduce its lifespan. If the cabinet’s doors don’t work well, you can call an expert to fix them.
Ensure the Microwave’s Socket Fits Right
Your microwave’s socket has to fit right, or it can cause an accident, especially if the code is hanging. One way to help with this is to make a hole in the back of the cabinet. This is where the code can pass towards the socket. But if you want, you can ask an expert to do this instead to make sure that it fits right.
Put the Microwave Somewhere Easy to Access
It’s already been mentioned before, but make sure that you put your microwave in a cabinet that is easy to access. This is because you do not want to be moving around a lot with hot food. After all, that is dangerous. The ideal place would be somewhere near the countertop, so you can place the hot food down as soon as you took them out.
Ensure the Cabinet has Doors if the Microwave is at a Low Level
If you put the microwave at a lower level, you have to make sure the cabinet has doors. Otherwise, it can be dangerous to put a microwave there. Young kids are quite experimental, which means they may end up putting their hands where the microwave is. The kids can end up hurt because of this.
Ensure the Microwave’s Door is Latched Tightly
When you move the microwave, be sure that its door is latched tightly. If it falls open while moving, it could end up injuring you. Similarly, remove any glass turntables. This way, you can avoid injuries or your microwave ending up broken.
Request a Family Member or Friend’s Help When Moving the Microwave
If the appliance is heavy, don’t attempt to move it on your own. You can request a family member or a friend to move it or help you out at least. Trying to lift it on your own can result in accidents. Similarly, ensure no pets or children are playing around where you work to avoid accidents from happening as well.
Here are some answers to questions you may have.
How much clearance do you need for a countertop microwave?
According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, the microwave’s bottom shouldn’t be higher than 54 inches above the floor. This will give about 18 inches of clearance between the microwave and a cooktop, which typically has a height of 38 inches. However, some manufacturers do allow smaller clearances than this.
How much space should you provide around a microwave?
The advice is to keep about three inches of space between the top, sides, and rear of the microwave and the area where you will install it to ensure proper ventilation.
Can you put a microwave next to a refrigerator?
Putting a microwave next to a refrigerator heats the fridge. It makes it harder for the refrigerator to work because it consumes more energy. As a result, your fridge might end up with a shortened lifespan.
Can you put a countertop microwave in a cabinet? As you know now, you can definitely do this. You simply need to be extra careful with how high you put the appliance, ensuring the socket fits right and that it has enough ventilation. If you follow the tips above, you can install your countertop microwave in a cabinet with no worries.
- “Can You Put a Countertop Microwave in a Cabinet,” Smartkitchenimprovement.com
- “Can You Put a Countertop Microwave in a Cabinet? – Learn Here,” Kitchengearoid.com, Atif Qazi
- “Can you put a countertop microwave into a cabinet?” Askinglot.com, April 2, 2020