What Size Cabinet For Over The Range Microwave? (Find Out Now!)
Your kitchen is more than just a room to store and cook food; it’s often the hub of your home where people gather and spend time. There are plenty of decisions to make when it comes to designing your kitchen space, including the type of cooking appliances you want. One popular option is an over-the-range microwave.
When measuring the cabinet for your over-the-range microwave, you must consider the height, width, and depth of the cabinet itself as well as the distance between the cooktop and the microwave to get the correct size. This way, you can make sure you have enough room to properly use both appliances.
Since you spend a lot of time in your kitchen, we want to make sure you can use the space to its fullest potential without any extra hassle.
What is an Over-the-Range Microwave?
An over-the-range (OTR) microwave is a combination of a microwave with a range hood, which is the device that has a fan above the stove to clear away smoke, steam, and fumes. This system gets installed in a cabinet above the cooking area to help save space and ventilate the room.
It’s important to note that these are different than built-in microwave ovens, which fit into the wall or inside the cabinetry. While they look similar, the main difference is the ventilation system that OTR microwaves have.
How to Calculate the Size of the Cabinet for Over the Range Microwaves
The exact measurements for your OTR microwave cabinet will depend on the dimensions of your stove and the kitchen itself. There are a handful of different measurements you’ll have to take to get the right size for your space. Let’s take a closer look.
Distance Between Cooktop and the Over-the-Range Microwave
The minimum height of the cabinet space between the top of the cooker and the microwave is 30 inches. You can leave room for more space, but any less could make cooking in your space less convenient.
However, keep in mind that if you place your OTR microwave much higher than that, it will be more difficult to reach it. Plus, the ventilation system will be higher, so it may not be as effective over the stovetop.
Width of the Cabinet
On average, OTR microwaves have a standard width of 30 inches. This means the cabinet itself should be exactly 30 inches, too. If it’s too small, your microwave obviously won’t fit. Too large and there will be space on either side, which can impact aesthetics and cause the microwave to shift.
Depth of the Cabinet
The depth of most kitchen cabinets is approximately 12 inches. On the other hand, the average depth of an OTR microwave is between 15 and 16 inches. Depending on how your kitchen is set up, this may not be a huge issue.
The depths of the microwave and supporting cabinet shouldn’t be exactly the same anyway. Otherwise, you may have difficulties opening the microwave door all the way. However, if the microwave sticks out too much, it could impact your kitchen’s aesthetic.
The depth of your microwave will also determine where the ventilation fans beneath the microwave will be placed. You want them to be placed directly above the cooktop to make them as useful as possible.
Height of the Cabinet
The height of the cabinet will depend on the height of your stovetop since you’ll want to have enough space to utilize your space with pots and pans of different sizes. Typically, the height of an OTR microwave is approximately 17 inches. This will leave you about 13 inches of space between the stovetop and the range above.
What are the other types of microwaves?
There are a variety of other different microwave models, including countertop units, built-in units, over-the-counter units. The right model for you will depend on the size of your kitchen and your wants and needs for your space.
How does the ventilation system on the OTR microwave compare to a dedicated range hood?
OTR microwaves are much weaker than a dedicated range hood. Typically, an over-the-range microwave has an average fan speed of 300 CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute). A regular range hood, on the other hand, has a fan speed between 900 and 1,000 CFM.
What are the venting positions for OTR microwaves?
There are a few different venting positions for over-the-range microwaves. Internal venting units will have a blower located on the front at the top. External venting units blows the hot air out through the roof of the range hood. Most offer both internal and external venting options.
Finding the right size for OTR microwave is the best way to make sure you can enjoy your kitchen appliances without any unwanted inconveniences. When choosing an over-the-range microwave for your kitchen, finding the right measurements is key. Luckily, the process is very simple. Be sure to double-check all your measurements to avoid any issues once it is time to install the microwave.
I am a copywriter and editor based in the Las Vegas area with nearly a decade of experience under my belt writing landing pages, cost guides, blog posts, newsletters, case studies, and social media content. I have a degree in Strategic Communication and experience working in both the account and creative spheres. My goal is to always be discovering new interests and bettering myself as a writer and editor along the way.
More by Kerry Souder