January 5

How Many Inches Does a Microwave Have to Be Above a Stove? | Our Full Guide to the Right Placement


Author: Colin Ma
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Microwaves and stovetops should not coincide, as the microwave can become damaged if placed too closely. Microwaves work by transmitting microwaves, which are a form of electromagnetic radiation. This radiation can cause problems with the stovetop if it is too close, as the waves will interfere with the electrical current running through it.

Thus, even though microwaves are designed to stand up on their own next to stoves, they should not be placed directly above a stovetop. So, how many inches does a microwave have to be above a stove?

A common solution to the problem occurs when consumers use an overhead microwave attached via a small attachment to the oven. This keeps both appliances at a safe distance, thus protecting the consumer from any problems with interference. Additionally, placing built-in microwaves safely above stoves can be beneficial for consumers because they may save time by combining their appliances.

a large clean kitchen

How Many Inches Does a Microwave Have to Be Above a Stove: How Close Can a Microwave Be to the Stove Top?

Major manufacturers recommend placing microwaves at a minimum distance of 30 inches away from the stovetop. It's an industry standard and does not vary significantly by countertop models.

Microwave ovens emit electromagnetic-radiation waves, known as microwaves, which allow foods to cook quickly by heating water molecules. 

a stove and the microwave above it

If placed too close to a stove, the waves emitted by microwaves will interfere with the electrical current running through the stovetop, causing it to malfunction.

It can be dangerous if left unrepaired, as fires may start when stoves are left on and unattended. 

Microwaves are also often not designed to be easily attached above stovetops. As such, placing them too close can cause damage over time due to the weight of the microwave.

For these reasons, microwaves should not be placed directly above stovetops.

It is a best practice that microwave ovens are either wall or countertop mounted to prevent possible damage to the stovetop.

What Is the Standard Microwave Height Over Stove?

A standard microwave should be around 30 inches above your stovetop. It will ensure that the microwaves are not interfering with the electrical current running through your stove, thus preventing damage to both appliances. The bottom of the microwave should be less than 54 inches above the floor. As such, placing your microwave at countertop height is another good option.

Is It Ok To Have a Microwave Above a Gas Stove?

For microwaves to work correctly, they must transmit electromagnetic waves that travel through the air and absorb water molecules in food.

While these microwaves are not dangerous, they can cause problems with gas stoves if they are too close together. It's because the microwaves emitted by the microwave will interfere with the gas flow to your stovetop, causing it to malfunction and possibly leak.

As previously mentioned, microwaves placed above gas stoves should be at least 30 inches away from the cooking surface, and it is best practice to keep their wall or countertop mounted.

sink, stove and microwave in the kitchen

How Much Clearance Do You Need for a Microwave?

Two typical microwaves can be purchased; that is, wall-mounted or freestanding. If you have a wall-mounted microwave, it will be able to sit in front of your oven with less than an inch in between them.

A freestanding unit should have enough room to open the door, typically more than 30 inches but less than 48. It may be necessary to have a larger clearance if you have a large oven and need to pull the microwave out from the wall to open the oven door fully.

Why Is It Important Not to Sit a Microwave on a Stove?

a microwave on the stove, a cat and a danger sign

To prevent damage to either appliance, it is essential not to place the microwave directly above your stovetop.

The magnetron in your microwave  - see 'Things to Do With a Microwave Magnetron' -  can also cause problems with electric stoves, as it will interfere with the electric current running through your stovetop. As a result, you run a higher risk of causing damage, whether to the microwave's internal components or the electrical components in your oven.

Most major manufacturers recommend that microwaves always be kept away from gas stoves for safety reasons. Gas stoves require an open flame to heat food, and microwaves will cause the flame to burn hotter. It can be hazardous as it may increase the risk of a fire.

What Do I Do If My Microwave is Placed Above a Stove?

You should take several precautions if you have placed your microwave above your stovetop. First, you should check the stove's manual to determine if your oven emits microwaves. If it does not, you can disregard this article and continue using it as usual.

If your stove does produce microwaves, you should be sure to turn it off when using your microwave. For added safety, unplug the appliance before using either.

It is essential to regularly check for spills and other objects on your stovetop. By keeping an eye on both appliances, you will avoid any possible damage that may need to be repaired.

The best way to avoid damage to your appliances is by ensuring that they are placed at least an inch apart from one another. If you have a wall-mounted microwave over your stove, it will be easy to keep them separated using a wooden spoon or small cutting board.

white elements and silver stove and microwave in the kitchen

What Are Some Precautions I Should Take If I Have Placed My Microwave Above a Stove?

1. Make sure that you turn off the stovetop before using the countertop microwaves.

2. Check for spills and foreign objects on the stovetop regularly.

3. Keep an eye on both appliances to avoid overheating or malfunctioning.

4. Check your stove's manual to determine if it emits microwaves; some do not have this ability that may cause risk of interference if placed too close together with a microwave oven.

What Can I Do if My Microwave has Caused damage?

If your countertop microwave oven has been damaged because it was placed too close to a gas stovetop, some precautions can be taken before purchasing a new microwave.

The first thing you should do is check your stovetop manual to determine if it emits microwaves. If it does not, you can disregard this article and continue using your oven as usual.

If your stovetop does emit microwaves, you will want to ensure that the microwaves are turned off when using these appliances simultaneously. Unplugging the microwave will be an added safety precaution.

It would be best if you never placed a microwave directly above your stovetop, as it may damage the appliance or interfere with your oven's electrical components.

Installing an Over-The-Range Microwave Oven

If you have an exterior wall-mounted microwave oven above your stove, you may want to consider purchasing an over-range microwave. It will provide the same convenience of heat food quickly and easily, but it will allow you to keep both appliances separate from one another.

Over the range microwaves can be installed in different ways, depending on your stove, the make and model of both kitchen appliances, and personal preference.

Some examples include mounting it on top of the cabinet above your stove using screws or bolts, or you can drill through the wall to install an external vent for your appliance. You may even want to hire a professional if you are not comfortable installing it yourself. It will ensure the best and safest outcome.


It is essential to take precautions if placing a microwave oven above your stove. Not all microwaves cause interference when used with stoves, so it is best to check your appliance's manual or talk with an installation professional before purchasing one that may interfere.

If you have placed your oven over your kitchen range and it has caused damage, you can take some steps to repair it before purchasing a new microwave. If your stove emits microwaves, you will need to turn off the oven when using each appliance to avoid any problems.

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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