I hate it when I run out of counter space in my kitchen. One solution I’ve been hearing about is the idea of putting your countertop microwave into a cabinet.
If you’re thinking of doing this, there might be some safety issues you might want to consider before attempting this project!
Can microwaves go inside cabinets?
When it comes to microwaves, there are two types of ovens you can install inside cabinets: countertop microwaves and built-in microwaves. It’s important to consider which type of microwave you want before installing it into the cabinet, as the installation process is a little different for each one.
Countertop microwaves are usually lighter and smaller than built-in microwaves. They also don’t need as much clearance for ventilation around them, so they’re a good option if your cabinet doesn’t have a lot of space between it and the wall or furnace. However, not all cabinet doors can be opened with a countertop microwave installed inside of them. You’ll need to check if your door opens both ways before you start installing it.
If you have plenty of space, or if you want a microwave that sits flush in your cabinets, then you may want to consider using a built-in microwave instead. Built-in microwaves are larger and heavier than countertop microwaves, but they can be installed in more cabinets since they don’t require as much clearance for ventilation.
Is it safe to put a microwave inside a cabinet?
Microwaves need ventilation to function properly and safely. The amount of ventilation necessary depends on the model and design of the microwave oven. If there is not enough clearance between the top of the cabinet and the bottom of the microwave, then heat will build up and could potentially damage the cabinets or even start a fire. For this reason, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper installation.
Many microwaves come with built-in ventilation systems, but if your microwave doesn’t have one, you’ll need to provide adequate external ventilation. This can be done by installing a vent hood above the stove or by leaving an opening in the cabinet above or below the microwave. The vents allow expanding hot air to be released without causing any damage.
How to install a microwave in a cabinet
Microwaves are great. Installing one in your cabinet is a great way to get them off the counter. Here are some easy steps to follow to make the process a little simpler.
- Choose the right microwave. This is crucial. You need to make sure that the microwave that you choose is going to fit the space that you are installing it in.
- For a built-in microwave, you are going to need a trim kit to help cover the edges of the microwave.
- Remove the old microwave. If you have an old machine, you’ll want to remove it from the cabinetry so that it can be disposed of. With built-in models, there will be a template that you can use to show you where to drill your holes so you can secure the microwave in the cabinet.
- With a counter-top microwave, you do need to make sure you have the right size and that you are also taking the time to make sure you have a way for the cord to come out of the cabinet. This can be done by making a small hole a the back where the cord can come down, or bringing it through the front.
- Secure the microwave. With a countertop model that you are just putting in the cabinet, you are likely not going to need to secure it much; just make sure it fits and that it is not too close to the front of the cabinet.
- If you have a built-in model, you will then need to put on the trim kit to hide the space around the microwave.
Every consideration of putting a microwave in a cabinet
Microwaves need ventilation space
Microwave ventilation is important to ensure that your microwave does not overheat and cause a fire. Make sure that the placement of the ventilation on your microwave is appropriate for the model you have.
When microwaves are placed in cabinets, it’s important to ensure that there is adequate space on all sides of the appliance. If not, heat and moisture can build up and cause damage to both the microwave and the cabinet. If there is too little space, the microwave will not be able to ventilate properly and could cause a fire.
Make sure your cabinet can hold your microwave
Not all cabinets are created equal, and not all microwaves are the same size. You don’t want to put a huge microwave in a tiny cabinet and have it fall over.
Make sure your microwave fits inside your cabinet
It’s important to measure your microwave and your cabinet before you buy them so that you can be sure they will fit together properly.
Microwaves require regular cleaning
Microwaves do require that they are cleaned often to keep them working properly and to make sure that your food tastes great. It is recommended that you clean or wipe your microwave out at least once a week to remove stains and food buildup, and at least once a month to remove any bacteria.
Use a trim kit to protect it from dust
Trim kits are a great way to protect the microwave from dust, even if it is not a built-in model. A trim kit is something that will come with the microwave if you are buying a built-in model and something that you can make if you are just placing a countertop model in a cabinet. The trim is going to prevent dust and dirt from getting into the cabinet while it is in use.
Check the manual for guidance
If you are placing a countertop model in a cabinet, you do need to take the time to really pay attention to what the manual says. If the manual says that it is not suggested, you may want to opt for a built-in model that is specifically designed to go into a cabinet. Following the safety suggestions that are in the manual can help you get the best results.
Unplug the microwave
You do need to fully unplug the microwave before you start working to install it in any way.
Microwaves require easy access
You also need to make sure that you are placing your microwave in an area that is going to be easy to access. You want to avoid putting it too high up, making it hard to clean, or making it difficult to get to in order to actually use it.
Make sure the microwave doors freely open and close
Before you secure your trim, you want to make sure you can freely open and close the doors so that the microwave will work properly.
Make sure the microwave sockets fit properly
You also want to ensure you have a socket that is going to work with the microwave plug that you have.
Ask for help when moving and installing the microwave into the cabinet
If you are moving a microwave into a cabinet, it is always helpful to have help move it there. These machines, even the smaller countertop models, are heavy, and they can be unwieldy as well. This means that they can be hard to get into the cabinet. Having help can make it easier to lift the microwave and make sure that it is secure and will not fall and cause damage or hurt you.
Make sure the cabinet doors are free to open and close
You also need to make sure that if you have a cabinet, it is going to open and close properly once the microwave is in place. This will help keep the microwave safe and prevent the doors from hitting the front and potentially damaging the glass and the microwave itself.
Take into consideration the children
You also need to be sure that you are securing the microwave to prevent children from potentially toppling it over on themselves and becoming injured.
Make sure it is installed in a cool and dry space
Microwaves need to be placed in areas where they are clean and dry and where they are not going to come into contact with any water. Water can cause the microwave to short out, it can cause it to become damaged, and it can cause fire and sparks that can damage the home.
The benefits of a cabinet microwave
Counter space is a precious commodity in any kitchen, so it’s no surprise that people are looking for ways to save as much of it as possible. Cabinet microwaves are a great way to do just that. You can reclaim all that lost counter space by tucking the microwave away inside a cabinet.
Another advantage, specifically for over-the-range microwaves, is that they can double as ventilation systems. That’s like two appliances in one.
So if you’re looking for a way to save some space in your kitchen or want a microwave with extra features, then consider buying a cabinet model!
The disadvantages of a cabinet microwave
While microwaves are convenient, they do have some disadvantages. For one, if you don’t use the ventilation or leave your microwave open, the wood in your cabinet may get damaged. Microwaves produce heat and moisture that affect cabinet wood and food items. A microwave inside of a cabinet may not heat food effectively because it can’t be used for its intended purpose. Plus, it’s important to have enough space for an open-air microwave; otherwise, the function will not work as expected.
Another downside of using a microwave in a cabinet is that it can be difficult to integrate into an existing kitchen set-up. In most cases, you’ll need to do minimal construction if you want to set up a microwave over your range or worktop. When deciding where to integrate your new microwave, consider the following factors: convenience and ease of access for future repairs, electrical wiring, and aesthetic considerations.
Recirculating and external venting in microwaves
When it comes to microwaves, there are two main types of venting: recirculating and external. An externally vented microwave uses a fan to draw air through the microwave’s vents and into an exhaust duct leading out of the building. A recirculating vent draws air through a filter, but most of the heat and moisture stay in the house. Some units are equipped with charcoal filters that trap some particulate matter, but most don’t get rid of any odors or other pollutants.
A microwave with a recirculating vent is generally easier and cheaper than an externally vented unit. Installing a microwave with a recirculating vent requires fewer installations than an externally vented unit. An external vent requires access to the outside, so it’s most conveniently located on an exterior wall. A recirculating unit can be easily installed on an interior wall and can be moved relatively easily too. The cost of a microwave with recirculating venting is typically lower than that of a microwave with external venting because there is no need for someone to cut through the exterior wall. The vent should always vent to the outside, not into an attic or any other interior space. The vent duct should be made of galvanized steel, stainless steel, or copper, and it should have a smooth interior.
Your microwave will come with instructions on how to install the externally vented unit so long as they’re in compliance with local building codes. Because recirculating vents have no exterior components, they’re not subject to building codes. A charcoal filter will lose its effectiveness over time and will need replacing at least every six months if you cook frequently.
KitchenAid recommends washing the grease filters of their microwaves in a dishwasher. Check the manual for specific instructions on how to wash your owner’s microwave before you do this.
Do you need a permit to install a microwave in a cabinet?
Installing a microwave oven is a common task that many people undertake. However, not everyone knows whether or not they need a permit to do so. The good news is that you usually don’t need a permit to install a microwave oven in your home. There are some exceptions, however, so it’s important to check with your local authorities before you get started.
There are several ways to store a microwave, including an under-cabinet or above-range cabinet option. If you’re not sure whether your microwave meets the space requirements for installation, it’s best to contact the manufacturer directly. In most cases, you won’t need a permit to install your appliance as long as it meets the specified guidelines.
Even though the doors of a cabinet are quiet, they need to be opened frequently to make sure they’re functioning properly. If there are any problems with your cabinets, such as broken doors, you should fix them as soon as possible. You can hire a technician if necessary.
You might also consider removing the doors completely from your cabinet for easy access to your microwave. I’ve seen some styles where the doors are completely removed for the microwave, and the cabinets act more like a shelf to hold it.
The use of a microwave in close proximity to children is dangerous, so it would be better not to install one inside of a cabinet where they could easily reach it. However, cabinets are usually much higher than countertops, so you shouldn’t have any issues there. It’s generally recommended that you install microwaves above the kitchen countertops instead, where you can easily apply your food, meat, and other elements without any problems.
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