What Size Cabinet for Over the Range Microwave? (Answers)

Have you ever thought of what size cabinet you’re going to use for your over-the-range microwave? You’ve been planning how to do the interior designs of your new home. And you also want to make sure you maximize all the spaces possible.

Well, over the range microwaves are your new best friend! This cool gadget gives you not only a microwave but also a range hood for your stovetop.

An over-the-range microwave may also have built-in fans that help keep the air in your kitchen free from smoke, steam, and fumes.

Who knew cooking would be much cooler?

So, now we think about how to install your new over-the-range microwave. Cabinets are commonly the way (I guess it’s the only way) to go when putting them in.

With that, this article will help you determine the size of the cabinet you need for your over-the-range microwave.

Before you go rushing to the hardware store, read up on this first for some friendly and useful tips.

What size cabinet for over the range microwave?

You should consider the size of your over the range microwave and then measure the distance, width, depth, and height of its cabinet.

There are different factors that you need to closely consider to make sure that you get the cabinet with the correct size for your over-the-range microwave.

If you get a cabinet that has the wrong size, then the over-the-range microwave may not fit properly. Besides that, your cabinet may destroy the overall aesthetics and beauty of your kitchen.

Moreover, you also need to consider the size of your whole kitchen as well as your stovetop to make sure that everything fits correctly.

Continue reading the rest of the article to know more about how to properly measure the dimensions of your over-the-range microwave cabinet.

What should be the distance between the cooktop and bottom of the over-the-range microwave?

The distance between the cooktop and the bottom of the over-the-range microwave should be at least 30 inches.

It is important to first determine how much distance you can allot for your over-the-range microwave since this will give you an idea of how big or small your microwave should be.

With a distance of at least 30-inches, you can buy a microwave that is 17 inches tall without compromising on other spaces for your kitchen.

Moreover, if you have more distance to spare, then you can buy a much bigger microwave or you can turn them into more useful spaces for storage.

Of course, you need to remember that the higher you put your over-the-range microwave, the harder it might be for you to reach it (so consider your height as well – #selflove).

What should be the width of the cabinet for the over-the-range microwave?

The width of the cabinet and the width of the over-the-range microwave should be almost the same. Although you may also allow a little bit of extra space around it so that air can circulate properly.

The most common width of over-the-range microwaves is 30 inches, so your cabinet should also be 30 inches wide as well.

If the width of your over-the-range microwave is either lesser or more than 30 inches, then make sure to adjust the width of your cabinet as necessary.

On the other hand, if you want to put clearances around your over-the-range microwave, then you can add 3 more inches on each side and the top side of your cabinet.

You can also add 1 more inch in the rear of your cabinet so that your microwave doesn’t stick too much to the back.

What should be the depth of the cabinet for the over-the-range microwave?

If you have an over-the-range microwave with a depth of 15 to 16 inches, its cabinet should be around 12 to 13 inches deep. Of course, you still need to consider the overall size of your over-the-range microwave.

You need to make sure that you properly consider the space you allot for the door of your microwave. The cabinet should have enough clearance for your microwave door to properly open and close.

Additionally, you should also think about where the fans of your over-the-range microwave will be placed. These fans are needed for the microwave’s proper ventilation.

The fans must be located right above the cooktop as much as possible. Hence, you should make sure the depth of your cabinet allows the fans to fit correctly.

The depth of your cabinet will also affect the overall look of your kitchen. If it is not deep enough, your microwave will likely extend out of it and ruin the whole aesthetics.

What should be the height of the cabinet for the over-the-range microwave?

The height of the cabinet for the over-the-range microwave, just like its width, should be closely similar to the height of the microwave. However, the height measurement of the cabinet from the ground should be at least 13 inches.

Let’s go back to our discussion about the height of the cabinet. If you have an over-the-range microwave that has a height of 17 inches, you will be left with a distance of 13 inches from the cooktop to the microwave.

The more height allowance there is between the cooktop and the over-the-range microwave, the better.

You should also make sure that you put the cabinet as higher and farther from the ground as possible.

You can allot about 66 to 72 inches of distance from the over-the-range microwave cabinet to the ground.

The allotted distance mentioned above is important to create enough space to prevent fire accidents.

Tips on choosing a cabinet for an over-the-range microwave?

Yay! You already have an idea of what to primarily consider when measuring the size of your over-the-range microwave cabinet.

So now, here are some tips that can guide you when choosing and making the right cabinet for your over the range microwave:

  1. Your cabinet should be located high enough so that there is still enough space between your over-the-range microwave and your cooktop. There should also be enough space for the storage of your other kitchen tools.
  2. You should also consider your height when determining where to put your cabinet. It should be high enough to provide space, but also low enough for you to reach (you don’t want to use a stool while using your over-the-range microwave, do you?).
    • Additionally, it is also dangerous if the over-the-range microwave is too high since you might accidentally spill the food that you’re heating (I hope it doesn’t spill on you – ouch!).
  1. Choose your microwaves wisely. Make sure that it is meant to be used as an over-the-range microwave.
    • It is necessary that over the range microwaves have vents and are designed to be put on top.
  1. Do NOT expect too much from the exhaust of your over-the-range microwave. Its fans are not that strong compared to the average speed of the fans in the usual range hoods.
  2. Make sure that you carefully and properly mount your over-the-range microwave so that it doesn’t fall off and it can reach its electrical outlet for power (well, first make sure that there is an electrical outlet close to it).


So, there you have it! Now, you know how to properly measure your cabinets for an over-the-range microwave. This article showed you all of the basics when it comes to what you need to consider when it comes to choosing the size of your over-the-range microwave cabinet.

Remember that you need to look at the distance between the bottom of the over-the-range microwave and cooktop, and the height, width, and depth of your cabinets.

I hope you find the right look for the aesthetics of your kitchen.

Have fun designing and measuring!