Can Microwaves Be Enclosed? (Do It Right, or Risk a FIRE Hazard!)
Now, I know we don’t all have a ton of kitchen space. Nobody does. My countertops are filled with kitchen appliances, unopened mail, and snacks and other things scattered around.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a little bit more kitchen space? I’m here to tell you that it is possible to move some of your kitchen appliances into an enclosed cabinet.
The focus of our topic today is going to be microwaves.
Can microwaves be enclosed?
The answer to this question is yes, as long as you install your microwave and provide it with some clearance. However, it’s not recommended that you place your microwave oven in a cabinet. The inside of the microwave should be vented out to prevent heat-related damage to your microwave, injuries, or fires.
You can put a microwave in an enclosed space, but you must take the necessary safety precautions. For example, make sure there is plenty of clearance between the walls and the back of the microwave so that heat can escape properly. Also, be careful never to close the cabinet doors when you’re using your microwave. If you completely encapsulate your microwave while it’s cooking, heat and pressure could build up and, over time, can permanently damage your microwave and your walls.
Is it safe to put a countertop microwave in a cabinet?
It is possible to install a countertop microwave in a cabinet, but there are some things you need to take into consideration before doing so. For example, you need to make sure that there is adequate ventilation so that the heat doesn’t build up and damage the microwave or start a fire. Additionally, it’s important to remember that these microwaves generate heat even when they’re not being used, so if you have a metal cabinet, it will help dissipate that heat.
While there has been heavy debate over how much space a microwave really needs in order to be considered safe, it’s important to understand that any obstruction to the heat and air that a microwave builds up can cause a fire or at least mitigate one.
I recommend that, if at all possible, you give your microwave as much spatial room as possible. This means the larger the enclosure, the better.
As long as you take these precautions, installing a countertop microwave in your cabinet is perfectly safe. Just be sure to keep an eye on it and never leave it unattended while it’s running.
Precautions to take when installing your microwave in a cabinet
Before you install a countertop microwave into a cabinet, you need to consider taking some precautions. The first step is to make sure that the microwave oven is safe to be enclosed in a cabinet. Kitchen accidents can be eliminated by following these basic precautions before installing your microwave oven in the kitchen cabinet:
- Make sure that the countertop microwave oven has been tested and certified as safe for enclosed installation by checking with the manufacturer or a kitchen appliance expert.
- Check that your model has an over-the-range exhaust and venting system. If it does, then it’s not likely that it will work properly when installed inside a cabinet. Most over-the-range microwaves have lots of vents, and some of them are very useful for capturing smoke right above the stove tops.
- Locate the exhaust vent on the back of the oven and make sure that there is enough clearance above and below it so that airflow won’t be restricted.
- Verify that there is at least 1 to 2 inches of air space on all sides of the oven cavity (front, top, back, and sides).
- If you have a built-in cabinet, make sure that the microwave oven is at least 1 inch away from the wall.
- Make sure that the cabinet is strong enough to hold the weight of the microwave oven.
- Check the height of your cabinet to make sure that the countertop microwave will fit. Most countertop microwaves are between 16 and 18 inches high.
- Whatever you clean your microwave with, remember that it’s going to be a little higher than normal. It’s important that if you cannot reach, then grab something safe and sturdy to stand on.
- Don’t forget to use a trim kit for your enclosed microwave. The trim kit will help you integrate your microwave into the rest of your cabinets.
If you can check off all of these items, then it is possible to install a countertop microwave into a cabinet. Just be aware that there may be some limitations with regards to what models will work in this installation.
How to Install Your Countertop Microwave in a Cabinet
Microwaves are a great tool that can help you cook food faster and with greater ease. The trouble is that they take up counter space and can be unsightly. You can enclose a microwave in a cabinet, but you do need to take some things into account. Here are the steps you need to follow to install your microwave in a cabinet.
- Measure your microwave and your cabinet.
- Make sure that the cabinet you are using is going to offer a few inches of clearance on all sides and on the back.
- Make sure the cabinet is sturdy enough to hold the cabinet and support it.
- Determine where the cord is going to come out and either make a hole or figure out the path for the cord.
- Place the microwave in the cabinet if it is a typical cabinet.
I should mention that you cannot install a countertop cabinet in a hanging position like an overhead microwave if it is not meant for that purpose. Hanging microwaves have brackets that help them hang.
How do you vent a microwave into a cabinet?
If you are placing a countertop microwave into the cabinet, your biggest issue is going to be venting. You can not really put a vent system into the cabinet for a countertop model as they are not designed with vents that are to be redirected.
The best method for making sure it is properly vented is to make sure the cabinet that you are putting your microwave in is large enough to hold the microwave and to have ample space on every side. When in use, open the doors to the cabinet and make sure that it has plenty of space.
Can you cut holes out of your enclosure for your microwave to vent?
If you have an enclosed space that you are installing your microwave in, you can cut holes to help allow for vents and to allow the microwave to vent when in use. You can cut vents into the side of the enclosure to help make a space for the steam to escape while the microwave is in use.
The main issue is that you want to ensure that the enclosure is not going to be compromised in terms of integrity. If you are cutting holes to make a space for venting you need to make sure that the hole is not going to make the cabinet unable to hold the microwave that you have added to the space.
What type of microwave can go in a cabinet?
There are a few different types of microwaves. You can install over the range or built in units in the cabinetry of your home without having to worry about making sure you have a whole cabinet that can hold it.
You can install the microwave and allow it to hang from the brackets that are included. You can place a counter top microwave into a cabinet that you can then close to help hide it.
The main issue with this is that you have to make sure you have a cabinet that is large enough to house the microwave, to support it, and to ensure that it is going to have plenty of space around it while it is working. You want there to be a few inches of clearance on all sides, as well as front and back of the microwave, while it is in use to ensure that it is going to be properly vented.
Can you put an over-the-range microwave into a cabinet?
Over the range microwaves are designed to be hung over the range. They are not designed to be placed into enclosed cabinets. Many models have a built in vent or fan and light that is on the bottom of the unit that will simply not go into a cabinet that is enclosed.
Another issue is that this type of machine is often much larger than a typical microwave. You will have to have a very large cabinet to be ablet to hold this type of microwave. It is not ideal to place an over the range microwave into a cabinet as it is not going to fit well and it is not going to work well inside a cabinet either.
Can you put a countertop microwave in a cabinet?
You can place countertop microwaves into cabinets to help tidy up your countertop and to help hide it away. This is a great way to keep your microwave up and out of the way and to ensure that it looks great.
You do need to make sure that it is going to have plenty of clearance and that it is going to be vented enough that there are not issues while it is running. You want to make sure you have a large enough cabinet, that there is a clear and unobstructed path for the power cord, and that you are leaving the door open while you are using the microwave to help keep it vented.
How much clearance does a microwave need in a cabinet?
It’s important to note that microwaves can damage your cabinet. They are generally better for open-air use, not enclosed in a small, constricted space. So make sure you have enough space for it before you install it! It’s suggested that you give at least 1 inch of space between the microwave and the walls around it.
If you are installing an over-the-range microwave in your cabinet over a stovetop, it is important to make sure that there is enough clearance for it. The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) recommends that the cabinet be on average 24 to 48 inches off the ground, but no more than 54 inches.
Microwaves need a lot of space in order to function properly. This means they can not always fit into cabinets like other small appliances can.
Does an over the range microwave need ventilation?
When it comes to microwaves, there are two main types: countertop and over the range.
An over the range microwave needs adequate air clearance on each side, the rear and the top to function properly. If your kitchen has professional-style ranges or cooktops, an over-the-range microwave may not be enough ventilation for these appliances. In that case, you would need to install a vent hood above your cooktop in order to use an over-the-range microwave.
Countertop models are less expensive, and if you’re handy with a screwdriver, you may be able to set them into your cabinets yourself. However, over-the-range microwaves often require professional installation, and this isn’t always included in the price of the appliance.
One thing to keep in mind is that even if your oven doesn’t have an exhaust fan, it’s still possible to install an over-the-range microwave as long as there’s room on top of the stove for it.
Does a countertop microwave need ventilation?
It’s usually not recommended that a countertop microwave be built into cabinetry. The heat it generates needs to escape in order to prevent damage or a fire. However, microwaves with a vented air tube can be mounted in cabinets as long as there is good circulation of intake and discharge air vents located in various areas of the cabinet. Some microwaves come with an exhaust vent that allows for better circulation of cooking odors outside the cabinet when cooking is done.
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