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Old 05-31-2011, 12:55 AM   #1
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Microwave shelf in new kitchen or just on countertop?

The wife and I are completely renovating our kitchen and when the cabinet designers asked about a microwave shelf in the cabinetry, one of us liked the idea, the other wants in on the counter.

Which do you prefer, and why?

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Old 05-31-2011, 06:19 AM   #2
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Mine is mounted to the bottom of a cupboard. Is that an option?
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:14 AM   #3
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Mine is on the counter. My folk's is under the cabinet over the stove.

My experience with both has been that the under the cabinet is more inconvient than the loss of the counter space BECAUSE... the height of placing things into and taking from the MW can be awkward at times, and more likely to spill due to having to grab bowls, soup cups, coffee cups, etc. differently while up high than if they were lower. And a short person would have increasing difficulty simply using it.

The convenience of regaining some counter space, for me, would be lost due to the usability being decreased.
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:54 AM   #4
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Good point, Selkie. I am 6-1 and like the microwave at chest level, especially for reaching in and giving things a stir or flip, but a shorter person might have difficulty with it at that height.
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:32 AM   #5
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I'd definitely vote for mounted. Right now mine is on a separate rack and it works ok, but when I had one mounted on the exhaust fan above my regular stove, I loved it. And I hate to give up counter space. Having it more or less built in gives a cleaner look, and is so convenient. The mounting rig (don't know what to call it) also had a great light on it so my stove top work was great as well.

Oh, lord, didn't read the height thing. I'm tall as well; the microwave was at about face level for me. It worked well, but if I was 5' tall, it might have been a different story. And I hate bending down to lift or lower heavier things (heck, maybe that's why I don't bake!).
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:42 AM   #6
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Mine have always been on the counter. My dad's and my sister's are above the stove. My sister is only 5'1" and sometimes has trouble getting stuff out of hers and she has to stand on tiptoe to see inside it. I am not a fan of having it over the stove.
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Old 05-31-2011, 09:24 AM   #7
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We got rid of our MW as part of the stove hood when we installed a real stove hood that vents to the outside.

We now have a slimline MW on an 18" wide section of counter between the fridge and stove. The MW has the control panel across the top rather than down the side so I get the full-sized interior in a narrower profile. It's the perfect spot but I can't find a replacement MW now. The display is shot so we limit our use to straight-froward timed operations.
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Old 05-31-2011, 09:28 AM   #8
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I have mine on a shelf and I love it. It saves space on the counter and is at eye level so I can see inside without bending over. And there is still room for a shorter cabinet above it, where I store seldom used items.
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:08 AM   #9
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I would not have a microwave or anything like it if it had to take up valuable counter space. I would always find wall space for it. If you are having built in ovens, build in that, too. And I advise getting one that does more than microwave, such as the GE Advantium. It's usable for so many more things than just a microwave.

If you want it lower down, have it built into your island. This brings it down so it's accessible for the kids.
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:05 AM   #10
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I have been outvoted by wife, but she makes a good point for it being on out counter. Our new kitchen will have a lot of counter space and a microwave shelf is actually going to screw up cupboard space for TWO doors!!! I never thought of that.

I think as a compromise I may get a little make-shift shelf for the counter top, so as to slip bread underneath.
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