Microwaves are highly convenient appliances that can save you a lot of time in the kitchen. However, the shape and size of these units mean that they can take up scarce space in the kitchen, forcing homeowners to get creative with the placement. Is it safe to put the microwave above a gas stove?
It’s safe to put a microwave above a gas stove if the distance between both appliances is at least 30 inches to prevent appliance damage and ensure safety. The microwave to be installed above a gas stove also needs to have a vent at the bottom to prevent overheating damage while in use.
The rest of the article will cover all you need to know about putting your microwave above a gas stove.
Why Put a Microwave Above a Gas Stove?
Homeowners put a microwave above a gas stove to save space on the countertop or kitchen island. With your microwave safely positioned above your gas stove, you’ll have more space to work with, and your kitchen will look less cluttered.
Putting a microwave above a gas stove ensures all your cooking appliances are positioned within reach around the same part of your kitchen. It gives you more flexibility when planning and executing your cooking. Imagine being able to easily defrost meat while cooking vegetables on the stove without leaving the stove area.
The Right Placement for a Microwave Above a Gas Stove
Placing a microwave above a gas stop isn’t any approach to take haphazardly, especially if you have a stove with powerful burners. You need to ensure the microwave is in an optimal position to allow efficient use of both appliances.
You need at least 66 inches of clearance from the floor to the top of the microwave. Alternatively, you need to maintain a distance of at least 30 inches between the top of the stove and the bottom of the microwave.
Keep in mind that not all microwaves are designed for placement above a stovetop. Microwaves designed to fit over a stove have vents underneath.
If yours has vents to the sides or the top, you need to ensure there’ll be no obstruction around the vent if it’s installed above your stove. So, it rules out installations that place the unit snugly in a space between your hung cabinets over the stove. If you already own a microwave and the vent isn’t underneath, you should consider alternative positions for the unit.
However, if you’re about to make a new purchase, it’s a good idea to read the spec sheet and look at the images before you decide to buy any model.
Possible Problems if You Install Your Microwave Above a Gas Stove
You have to take care when installing your microwave above a gas stove to avoid problems. A microwave installed too close to the gas stovetop will severely limit the room you have to work with when cooking on the stove. In that scenario, there’s an increased risk of accidental burns and pot or plate slips.
Secondly, you need to ensure the microwave isn’t blocking the area where your hood is installed; otherwise, it would be harder to vent steam from boiling pots on the stove. Over-the-stove microwaves have vents underneath and can help deal with the steam from your cooking, but they’re best used alongside a standalone hood.
Correctly installing the microwave above the gas stove doesn’t eliminate problems either. The appliance may become out of reach for children or seniors living with mobility issues in their arms. So, while you may have installed the microwave at the right height, you need to consider how it affects other users in your home.
A good tip here is to strategically place a step stool for anyone that needs help coping with the new height of the microwave. However, climbing the stool may present a new set of challenges or risks.
Can I Put a Regular Microwave Above My Stove?
You can put a regular microwave above your stove, but it’s not advisable. Microwaves meant to be wall-mounted have vents on their underside. The vents serve the dual purpose of acting as a vent for your stove, and they also ensure that the microwave doesn’t overheat while working.
If you must mount a regular microwave above your stove, you need to install a standalone hood vent and ensure that any kitchen fittings don’t block off the vent on the microwave.
How Far Should a Microwave Be Above a Gas Stove?
A microwave should be as far as 30 inches away from the top of the gas stove. The distance ensures you have enough room to work with around the stove while keeping the microwave within reach for most adults.
However, as we’ve discussed above, this distance might be limiting for younger people or older adults in the home. If installing the microwave within the recommended distance puts it out of reach of some users, you can lower it a bit without compromising the cooking space above your stove. Alternatively, you can place your microwave in other parts of your kitchen.
When installing a microwave over the stove, verify that the distance between its bottom and the stove range is a minimum of 30 inches.
Alternative Locations for Your Microwave
If you can’t put your microwave above a gas stove, but you still don’t want it sitting on the kitchen island and taking up space, there are other locations you can consider. They include the following:
On the Upper Shelf
If you have a microwave that can fit on your upper shelf, you can neatly tuck it up there as a part of the cabinets. However, you’ll need to ensure you have enough space for the microwave and the wires there. The cabinet should also be sizable enough to allow the vents to work normally. If you have enough space on the upper shelf, you can call your electrician to install an outlet.
On the Lower Shelf
The idea here is the same as above. If you don’t have any space in the upper level of your cabinets, you can look at the lower levels. Again, confirm that the space fits the microwave and then get an outlet installed.
Keep in mind that using the lower shelf means you have to bend down when using the microwave and it may also put the appliance within reach of small children.
Above Your Wall Oven
If you have a wall oven and the room to work with, putting your microwave over it can give you a neat appearance and also ensure that your microwave is at an optimal height for use. You’ll need to buy a trim kit for this installation to ensure a streamlined appearance. You’ll also need to create an outlet for the microwave.
Inside a Cabinet
If none of the options above are practical in your situation, you can hide your microwave in a cabinet. This is a good approach to go with if you don’t use the appliance regularly. Tuck it inside your cupboard or pantry as long as it fits.
You’ll need your electrician to create an outlet, but if building codes don’t allow that, you may have to take out the appliance and plug it in elsewhere when you need to use it.
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It’s safe to put a microwave above a gas stove. However, you need to ensure you have the right type of microwave. Your installation should also allow enough distance between the top of the gas stove and the bottom of the microwave.
If you can’t meet these requirements, you should consider placing your microwave elsewhere in your kitchen.