18 Common Microwave Placement Errors to Avoid


We all know the frustration of a poorly placed microwave. It can feel like you’re constantly bumping into it, reaching over it to grab ingredients, or taking awkward detours in your kitchen dance. If your microwave location is secretly sabotaging your kitchen workflow, swipe through as we share surprising mistakes to avoid so you can optimize your kitchen space, performance, and energy efficiency.

Over the Range

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Experts caution against placing a microwave over the range for several reasons. First, the heat and steam from cooking on the stovetop can affect the microwave’s performance and longevity. Additionally, reaching over hot pots and pans to get to the microwave can pose a safety hazard, increasing the risk of burns or spills.

Under the Counter

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While tucking the microwave under the counter can free up valuable countertop space, it’s not always the most practical option. Bending down to access the microwave can be inconvenient, especially for individuals with mobility or back problems. Moreover, lodging a microwave under the counter may require custom cabinetry modifications, adding to the overall cost and complexity of the cookery design.

In a Tight Corner


When microwaves are placed in tight kitchen corners, their functionality and accessibility can be compromised. Corners can be challenging to reach, making it difficult to open the microwave door fully and load or unload dishes comfortably. Additionally, limited airflow in corner spaces can cause the microwave to overheat, potentially affecting its performance and lifespan.

Next to the Refrigerator

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The microwave should not be placed next to the refrigerator because it disrupts the flow of your kitchen. The heat generated by the refrigerator’s compressor can affect the microwave’s cooling system, leading to overheating and reduced efficiency over time. Furthermore, placing the microwave too close to the refrigerator door can obstruct the appliance, making it challenging to open both appliances simultaneously.

Above the Countertop

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Although placing the microwave above the countertop can be convenient, it can create ergonomic issues and detract from the aesthetics of your cooking area. Short people and those with limited mobility may have difficulty reaching a high-mounted microwave. Moreover, it can disrupt the visual harmony of your cookery design, creating an imbalance in the space.

Under-Cabinet Installation Without Adequate Clearance

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Mounting a microwave under a cupboard without sufficient room above can pose safety hazards and limit access to the microwave’s controls. Find out if there is enough clearance between the two to allow for easy operation of the microwave.

Near Heat Sources

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Avoid putting the microwave near stovetops, ovens, or other heat-producing appliances, as this can affect its performance and increase the risk of overheating. Heat sources can cause the microwave to overwork to maintain its internal temperature, leading to premature wear and malfunctions.

Limited Counter Space


Nestling the microwave on crowded countertops can make it difficult to reach, so confirm you have ample room for both the microwave and food preparation. Consider setting up a dedicated microwave shelf or cart to free up valuable counter space and keep the microwave reachable without cluttering the spot.

Too High or Too Low

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Positioning the microwave at an uncomfortable height can make it challenging to use, so aim for a convenient and ergonomic placement. Ideally, the microwave should be installed at eye level or slightly below to facilitate easy viewing and operation sans straining or stretching.

Near Water Sources


Water and electricity don’t mix, so keep the microwave away from areas prone to splashing or moisture accumulation to minimize the risk of short circuits or electrical shocks.

Inconvenient Reach

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Ensure the microwave is easily accessible from the cooking and dining areas to streamline meal preparation and serving. Weigh putting the microwave in a central location within the kitchen layout to facilitate efficient workflow and reach for all users.

Overlooking Safety Clearance


Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and leave adequate room around the microwave for ventilation and safety clearance. Avoid putting objects or other appliances too close to the microwave to prevent potential fire hazards or damage to adjacent surfaces.

Ignoring Power Outlets


Position the microwave near a power outlet to avoid tripping hazards and increased fire risks. Installing additional outlets or relocating the microwave to a more reachable location minimizes cord clutter and safety hazards.

Blocking Cabinet Doors

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Placing the microwave in front of cabinet doors can hinder reachability to storage areas and essentials. Maintain clear pathways and confirm that the doors can open fully without obstruction to facilitate fair access to cookware, utensils, and pantry items.

Unstable Surfaces

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Ensure the microwave is placed on a stable and level surface to prevent accidents and spills during use. Use sturdy microwave stands or carts to support the appliance’s weight and provide a secure platform for safe operation.

Limited Ventilation in Enclosed Spaces

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When setting the microwave in a cupboard or alcove, account for proper ventilation to prevent heat buildup and potential damage to the appliance. During use, leave doors partially open or install ventilation fans to promote airflow and dissipate excess heat.

Ignoring User Accessibility


When determining the microwave’s placement for optimal accessibility and safety, take into account the needs of all users, including children and people with disabilities. Confirm that the microwave controls are within reach and can operate for users of varying heights and mobility levels.

Disregarding Aesthetic Considerations

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Maintain a cohesive and visually appealing setup by keeping the microwave’s placement aligned with the overall design and aesthetic of the area, even if functionality is paramount. Choose a location that complements the section layout and style while prioritizing convenience and efficiency in daily use.


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