July 8

Can You Put a Countertop Microwave in a Cabinet? | Factors You Should Consider!


Author: Colin Ma
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Microwaves play very integral roles in the kitchen. Microwaves save time. But making space to put your microwave even if it is a countertop microwave can seem like a very daunting task esspecially when you don’t have the extra counter space to spare. But can you put a countertop microwave in a cabinet?

Yes, you can put your countertop microwave in your kitchen cabinet. On the other hand, due to the enclosed space, this has to be done cautiously to avoid it developing any complications as a result.

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This article will discuss countertop microwave cabinet installation as well as precautions to take in order to do it right.

Can You Put a Countertop Microwave in a Cabinet?

There are 3 variations of microwave ovens when it comes to installation. There is the built in oven, the over the range and the countertop. Despite the fact that countertop microwave ovens were designed to be placed on a counter, you can put your countertop microwave in your cabinet.

On the other hand, countertop microwaves were designed to be placed in open spaces. Unlike the built-in microwave, they are designed to be placed on a counter hence the name.

But as long as you take the basic precautions required to do this, you should be good to go. Also, ensure that you ask your microwave oven manufacturers before attempting to put your microwave in a cabinet. This is because not all microwave ovens are designed or suited to that location.

Tips to Consider Before Putting your Microwave in a Cabinet

Things to looking out illustration

The following tips can help you ensure that the installation of a microwave inside a cabinet is successful.

Check the Cabinet Doors

sketch of standalone built in microwave

For cabinets that have bad doors, you might want to fix that before moving your microwave oven in. This is because a faulty cabinet door can make moving your microwave oven in a chore.

These doors will usually require extra effort to open and close and this downside makes it one of the worst spots to put your microwave oven.

If you want to open or close your microwave in a hurry, the door could get jammed for a few seconds first.

If you can get a technician to fix the door, you might want to get that fixed before you put your microwave oven into your cabinet.

Having Kids Around

If you have your cabinet in a really low part of your kitchen and you have little kids around, the best option will be to ensure that your cabinet is one you can lock.

Whenever your oven is not in use and when you’re not around your microwave oven, you might want to keep the cabinet that houses your oven totally locked.

Otherwise, kids playing around in the wall oven can result in a kitchen accident and you don’t want that.


Before deciding to put your microwave oven in your cabinet, you should make sure that the cabinet can be easily accessed.

Putting your oven in a spot that cannot be easily accessed can result in kitchen accidents especially ones that occur from holding hot food taken right out of your microwave oven for too long.

Ensure that your cabinet is very close to your kitchen counter or its alright by you if it is not.

Things to Looking Out for When Putting Countertop Microwave in the Cabinet

things to looking out illustration 

1. Cleaning

This is a peculiar situation since you can easily clean your microwave oven if it is on the counter.

Cleaning your microwave oven from the cabinet is usually quite complicated especially because you might not be able to reach all the relevant nooks and crannies.

This is why you might need to take your microwaves out at regular intervals to clean all the hidden corners thoroughly. This will lengthen the lifespan of your microwave and help reduce the damage that might occur from not cleaning.

2. Trim Kit

microwave oven

This isn’t compulsory, but it gives your microwaves a neat and organized look. A trim kit can also help you protect your microwaves from dirt or even dust as it encloses the microwave.

If you want to get a trim kit for your microwaves, you might have to consider getting one designed by your oven manufacturer.

They are more perfectly suited since they are making it with your exact oven size and type in mind.

3. Ventilation

Ventilation is very important for all oven types. Microwaves produce heat and that heat when trapped in an enclosed space without any free space can result in damage to your microwave and possibly the cabinet.

Before moving your microwave into a cabinet, ensure that there is enough extra space for ventilation

4. Microwave Oven Vents

Check all the sides of your microwaves to locate the vents. Oven vents are meant to expel air.

So if putting the microwaves in your kitchen cabinet will affect the vents, you might have to find an alternative spot for the oven. Ensure that the microwave vents are not trapped or covered in the cabinet when you move your microwaves.

5. Location

When deciding on where to put your microwaves, don’t consider cabinets that are too high up.

Such locations will strain your neck and anything can happen while you find a way to use it. Instead, use a cabinet that you can reach easily and without fuss.

Disadvantages of Putting a Countertop Microwave Ovens in a Kitchen Cabinet

Disadvantages illustration


Due to the enclosed nature of cabinetry, moisture and heat produced from your food can get trapped in the cabinet and eventually cause damage to the wood.

This is especially when there is no adequate ventilation in the microwave. So ensure that your oven is not trapped too tight while it is in the microwave oven.

Wood is especially susceptible to damage in this situation because moisture and steam easily get trapped in wood and may begin to damage it.

To avoid this, ensure that you wipe down the interior part of your microwaves as well as the cabinet after each use. This will help it to last longer.


Convection microwaves are especially difficult to run in a kitchen cabinet because they usually require a lot of space for the heat to vent.

They also get considerably hotter compared to a solo microwave. So except you have clearance from your oven manufacturer, the cabinet might not be the best spot for your convection microwaves.

Also, always ensure that you leave at least 2 inches of extra space in your cabinet no matter the oven type. This will give it ample space and opportunity to vent.


It is perfectly safe to put your microwaves in your kitchen cabinet. But before you do this, ensure that you have observed basic precautions.

This will reduce the chances of kitchen accidents. The question “can you put your microwave in a kitchen cabinet” is one that does not have its answers set in stone.

While it is safe to put most microwaves in kitchen cabinets, ensure that you have clearance or permission from the oven manufacturers before you attempt to put them in.

Due to the fact that it is a countertop microwave oven. There may be some other tips or precautions that the manufacturers might want you to know before doing this.


1. Is it safe to put a countertop microwave in a cabinet?

Yes, it is safe to put a countertop microwave in a cabinet as long as the cabinet is not too small. The microwave should have at least 1 inch of space on all sides.

2. What kind of microwave can go in a cabinet?

Countertop microwaves can typically go in cabinets, but built-in microwaves usually cannot. This is because the depth of the cabinet may not be enough to accommodate the protrusion of the microwave's back panel.

3. Does a countertop microwave need ventilation?

Yes, it is required. Microwaves require sufficient air clearance on all sides, the rear, and the top in order to operate properly. This ensures proper air circulation for the intake and exhaust air vents.

4. How do you convert a countertop microwave to built in?

There are a few ways to convert a countertop model of microwave to built in. One way is to buy an over the range microwaves, which will replace your current microwave and the cabinet above it. This is the easiest way to do it, but it can be expensive. Another way is to buy a trim kit, which is a metal frame that goes around your microwave and attaches to the wall. This is a cheaper option, but it can be more difficult to install.

5. What is the difference between a built in microwave and a countertop?

The difference between a countertop microwave and a built-in microwave is that the countertop microwave is placed on top of the kitchen counter, whereas the built-in microwave is installed into the cabinet's wall or corner.

Our Recommended Microwave Oven

  • 6 smart sensor auto menus
  • Equipped with power-saving Eco mode
  • Inverter technology provides even heating and defrosting

About the author

Colin Ma

An avid home chef, Colin is equally passionate about delicious meals as well as the latest cooking appliances. He's also a keen writer about cooking-related topics.


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