Making Room for the Microwave

Since its invention in the mid-1950s, the microwave has gone from a futuristic machine to an everyday creature. But the popularity of this appliance is n’t all that has changed. Its placement has undergone an evolution of its own. Although microwaves began animation on the antagonistic, you ‘ll now find them mounted over ranges and built into cabinets above and below counters. however, some spots are better than others .

Over the Range
The most park microwave location, a couple of feet above the crop, is the least effective and the most dangerous. “ This placement is bad because it ‘s excessively high for many people, ” says Rhonda Moritz, spokeswoman for the National Kitchen & Bath Association in Hacketts-town, New Jersey. “ You ‘ve got to reach up to put food in or take it out, so your chances of spilling something hot on yourself are greater. You besides run the risk of burning yourself on the cooktop. ” Users who are aged, disabled or light in stature may have trouble reaching a microwave at this height—or they may not be able to get to it at all. The NKBA ‘s official guidelines recommend placing the ledge or cabinet the microwave sits on well below eye flush, at 24 to 48 in. off the prime .
“ You can lower an over-the-range microwave so that it ‘s more ergonomically compensate, but then you ca n’t use tall pots on the back burners, ” says Chet Basher, a kitchen designer in Sparta, New Jersey.

This placement besides is n’t conducive to a two-cook kitchen, because it increases the likelihood that people using the microwave and cooktop will be in each early ‘s way. And if all that were n’t enough, the second coming of the increasingly popular 42-in.-wide, commercial-style range is another reason not to use the over-the-range placement. A standard, 27- to 30-in.-wide microwave looks disproportionately modest over a 42-in. range, and it besides wastes space on either side .
If an over-the-range location placid makes common sense for your kitchen, be certain there is enough of open quad on both sides of the range to serve as a landing sphere for items you take out of the microwave, and bring the unit down a far as you can without it getting in the way of pots .

Above the Counter
far more up-to-date and efficient are abovecounter placements in a wall, on an raised assign of an island or on an undercabinet ledge. This space-saving strategy is particularly commodious for kids, the aged and the disabled because it allows the microwave to be finale to center level and easy to reach. It besides provides users with immediate access to counter space, either good underneath the microwave, above it or nearby .
Adequate breathing, specially if the microwave is built into a wall of cabinetwork, is a must. “ The manufacturer ‘s instructions will tell you how much cabinet depth you need to have for a built-in, ” says Sam Cipiti, vice- president of the united states of R.M. Tunis Kitchens and Baths in Chevy Chase, Maryland. “ It ‘s normally at least 15 in. ” spare kits, an option for built-ins you can add at any time, allow at least 1 1/2 in. of ventilate space around the unit. If you have your heart set on a cabinet-wall location but do n’t have deeply adequate cabinets, the undercabinet ledge makes a bang-up alternate .

Under the Counter
Kitchens in general may be getting bigger, but many homeowners still have to contend with a deficit of antagonistic outer space. The unusual but sensible impression of tucking the microwave under the counter helps make the most of restrict surface area. “ When I bring up this option to people, they ‘re doubting, ” says builder Glen Doyle, of Glen Doyle Builders in Princeton, New Jersey, who designed and built the two kitchens shown on this page. “ But, believe it or not, it ‘s actually very efficient. ”
The NKBA ‘s Moritz already sees a course under way. “ We ‘re seeing lots of homeowners build a spot for the microwave in the island, approximately 24 in. off the floor. ” Undercounter solutions like this cultivate well for disable homeowners, peculiarly when there ‘s space for a wheelchair left underneath the microwave. And it ‘s perfect for older children .
It makes sense aesthetically, excessively. Because the romanticize, stainless-steel versions of this homely appliance have so far to take over the marketplace, putting the microwave under the counter keeps it out of sight .
however, households with aged members or small children should probably think twice ahead going with this installation—it requires some bending down and leaves a potentially dangerous appliance within strive of new hands .

On a Wheeled Cart
Placing the oven on a cart provides flexibility. If you have the floor space, you wo n’t have to go to the trouble oneself and expense to alter cabinets. Most carts besides provide extra storehouse, and their flexibility can make a kitchen with a ailing arranged knead triangle more efficient. But before you start wheeling the appliance approximately, make certain the electric mercantile establishment you use can handle the extra warhead. If you decide on a cart, be sure it has a heatproof surface and curbed edges so hot food ( and the microwave itself ) ca n’t fall off .

By the Numbers
Microwave ovens come in three standard widths :
19, 24 and 30 in .
small ovens ( 1/2 copper. ft. ) are 700 to 800W ; larger models ( 1.5 copper. ft. ) are 1,000W .
Dedicate a 15-amp, 120V racing circuit for a built-in microwave. If it ‘s on the lapp circuit as a major kitchen appliance, the operation of the microwave can be affected .
Prices range from $ 100 to $ 400, depending on
features .
Where To Find It:
D. Glen Doyle
Doyle Builders

153 Carter Rd .
Princeton, NJ 08540
KraftMaid cabinetwork
Middlefield, OH 44062
Sparta Trades Kitchens and Baths
Chet Basher
580 Rte. 15
Sparta, NJ 07871
R.M. Tunis Kitchens and Baths
7032 Wisconsin Ave .
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Yorktowne Cabinets

red Lion, PA 17356-0231