Small Kitchen Microwave Ideas Our Readers Love

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Last updated: March 25, 2023

A microwave is a common small kitchen appliance that many homeowners use including small apartment renters. The problem with these small appliances is that they are relatively bulky and can occupy quite a bit of space in a tiny kitchen. You may have difficulty finding a place to put the microwave if your new kitchen space is limited.

A small kitchen needs to maintain or create as much space as possible when deciding where to put a microwave. Thus, in a small kitchen, a good place for a microwave should be on a microwave rack, hutch pantry, or baker’s rack, as well as inside a custom microwave cabinet or the limited counter space you might have in your modern kitchen.

Here are some great ideas to help you store your microwave in a tiny kitchen without sacrificing valuable space.

Table of Contents

  1. Small Kitchens: Where to Put a Microwave
  2. Over the Oven Range
  3. Wall brackets
  4. Hutch Pantry, Microwave Rack, or Baker’s Rack 
  5. Oven Rack Dedicated Exclusively to Microwaves
  6. Recess your Microwave into your Kitchen Wall
  7. Walk-in Butler’s Pantry
  8. Within Surrounding Cabinets 
  9. Designing and Building Custom Shelving
  10. Décor + Function
  11. In a Spare Cabinet
  12. Cabinet with Angular Corner
  13. Microwave Do’s and Don’ts
    1. Ease of access
    2. Safety
    3. Visual Appeal

Small Kitchens: Where to Put a Microwave

It is vital to organize your tiny kitchen so that you can cook meals, pack school lunches, clean dishes in the kitchen sink, and host guests efficiently. Even though you might find it challenging to fit a microwave placement in your small kitchen, we do not want you to forget that you own the appliance just because you can’t see where you placed it.

Adding a microwave in a tiny kitchen is possible. Much of this depends a lot on its size and your kitchen layout.  Find the right place is dependent on space and easy access. Most are countertop microwaves but there are options with other major kitchen appliances.

Over the Oven Range

If you want to consolidate cooking appliances and save space, microwave range hood-fan combos are popular and the best microwave option for some homeowners. If you have a small kitchen, it makes sense to combine the two. Make sure range microwaves and any oven have identical finishes. You can do this by sourcing the two components from the same manufacturer because something as simple as the black color on some stainless steel appliances can vary. Avoid disappointment because it could become an expensive double oven ruined by a color or shade mismatch.

In the past decade, rangers with a built-in microwave range hood have become common, making this storage method incredibly convenient. If you own an over-the-range microwave with vents, it is ideal for accelerating the cooking process and if you frequently use your microwave during meal prep. Additionally, it is an excellent option for saving space in small kitchens where limited space and cubic feet are constantly on your mind.

Never use your microwave over the range if it does not double as a range hood. As a result, it can lead to ventilation issues. Height is another factor to take into account. Short homeowners may find reaching the microwave above the stove difficult if the small appliance is placed high. In the worst-case scenario, you may get burned if your stove happens to be operating at the same time. Still, it is the most common storage method, so if you prefer it, you may have to consider investing in a step stool.

Wall brackets

You can hang a shelf or install wall brackets to accommodate your microwave over your kitchen island or bar. This can be one of the best places for a microwave. Before installing the microwave shelf, make sure it can support the appliance weight.

Make the most of unused great space available to you.

A great solution would be to place your microwave on a lower shelf within the upper cabinets below the countertop. You can repurpose the cabinets below your countertop into a rack for holding your standard countertop model if they have faux drawers or décor. People who do not want to reach for a microwave constantly can use this as an alternative.

Hutch Pantry, Microwave Rack, or Baker’s Rack

Baking racks and hutch pantries can be great accessories for small kitchens with a small pantry and limited countertop space, but with an empty wall that you can use for one of these units. In addition, these shelves are ideal for storing items such as your microwave or coffee machine, and you can use them to increase valuable countertop space. Additionally, we explore the possibility of using a microwave rack as long as there is available floor space.

Oven Rack Dedicated Exclusively to Microwaves

It is certainly possible to place your microwave on your new kitchen countertop and use it from there. Your microwave is most easily accessible and stored on the kitchen countertop next to a wall oven.

It is always convenient to have an electrical outlet around your countertops. Even bulky appliances such as larger microwaves should easily plug into electrical outlets without you having to walk through hoops to get to them.

You could quickly reduce your counter space by placing your microwave above other kitchen necessities. If you want to store your microwave on the counter, you can add a microwave oven rack for extra storage to save precious kitchen space. You might even consider a microwave drawer / drawer microwave which really is a smart design for smaller homes. We love them because a hidden microwave is a conversation item. Some kitchen islands have kitchen cabinets and a glass door or double doors for easy visibility and access.

Modern kitchen design is the perfect place to consider important things such as kitchen cabinets, smart features, type of microwave, and the different places to organize your pot racks.

Racks provide a sturdy way to create vertical space that is similar to a shelf riser. In addition, you can store ingredient jars, your spices, and other utensils atop, which otherwise would occupy counter space. A microwave rack is a great option if you have trouble finding another way to store your microwave in a small kitchen thanks to open shelves.

Recess your Microwave into your Kitchen Wall

If you don’t use your microwave regularly, you might be able to enclose one in an empty corner of the kitchen, closet, or appliance garage. For any kitchen remodel, it is essential to ask a contractor or builder to inspect the wall’s structure before cutting into it. Electricians ensure that appliances are supported with adequate watts of power for your kitchen. Electrical work involving power level should be left to professionals.

Although it may not be the cheapest option, an appliance wall is the most cost-effective if you look for simple solutions. To create this space, you will have to conduct some demolition and construction. You will not need a countertop or cabinet space with this space because the microwave is flush with the wall. 

Walk-in Butler’s Pantry

Kitchen owners dream about a walk-in butler’s pantry because it is a focal point for cooking items. As a practical option, a hutch pantry is a great place to add extra storage to your kitchen layout and storing your microwave. Real estate trends support the value of pantries and microwave sales in the United States, upon closer look, prove that microwave cooking with inverter technology continues to be a convenient option.

Unlike a baker’s rack, these pantries usually have large upper and lower cabinets below the built-in counter. If the pantry cabinet does not have a built-in microwave mount, you can put your appliance on the countertop unless there is a private area for it above or underneath the counter.

Within Surrounding Cabinets

You could make a second choice to place your microwave inside an alcove where it easily fits between other upper cabinets using a trim kit.

The best option for a sleek and modern aesthetic in your small kitchen is undoubtedly one with these features, which will keep your microwave neatly hidden.

It is even possible to store your microwave within your cabinets if you choose to and sometimes custom cabinetry may be required. You may also consider new cabinets to support the use of a drawer-style microwave. The upper shelf may be the perfect spot and the height of the microwave may be the right height for most young children and the entire family, all within easy reach by everyone.

If you don’t use your microwave often and have the available space, this is a popular choice to hide your compact microwave and keep it out of sight. It just requires access to electricity, but it’s a great way to hide it from view.

Designing and Building Custom Shelving

Alternatively, you could consider custom shelving for a more cost-effective solution.

If you happen to have empty walls in your small kitchen, shelves can provide you with a great deal of vertical storage space. 

Décor + Function

If you choose open shelving, you can store decorative dishes, spices, and even your microwave on these pieces of kitchen shelving. It is also an eye-catching accent piece that guests can see. 

Most of the time, carpenters make these shelves from visually appealing wood that complements your kitchen. Make sure shelving is also strong enough to hold a large microwave that could weigh around 55 pounds.

In a Spare Cabinet

Consider this do-it-yourself option since it only requires a microwave that can fit in your cabinets. If you have a cabinet you do not use, get a microwave that fits nicely inside. Ensure the cabinet door does not get rust since it can make it difficult for you to access your microwave. 

To avoid constantly removing the appliance from the cabinet when you want to use it, find a reliable electrician to wire the cabinet. However, with the right tools and expertise, you can do it yourself.

Make sure to go through your microwave instruction booklet to ensure the microwave will get enough ventilation. 

Cabinet with Angular Corner

Cabinets with an angular corner are a good alternative for small kitchens with unused deep corners. The cabinet provides ease of use by facing into the room from a corner. In addition, it offers better access to items that are otherwise hard to reach in a deep cabinet.

However, you will have unused space behind your microwave or other appliance with this angular corner cabinet. 

Corner cabinets are often planned during construction, making them difficult to add later. However, you can get a reliable cabinet company to customize one for your small kitchen.

What to consider when searching for a place you can put your microwave 

Modern kitchens come equipped with microwaves. For people with hectic schedules, it is essential. 

We’ve outlined the good, the bad, and the ugly for the microwave ideas in your small kitchen.

Microwave Do’s and Don’ts

Until recently, homeowners used to plop microwaves on top of power outlets. You probably already know that your microwave door opens from right to left. This little-known fact can have a significant effect on where the appliance resides. 

When choosing where to place your microwave apart from access to an electrical outlet and how the door opens, what else should you consider?

Ease of access

Each microwave has its unique height, width, and depth. It might be awkward or simply impossible to reach a perfect position for the six-foot man and vice versa. 

Alternatively, if your kitchen is small or your cabinets are shallow, your choices may be limited. Make sure you choose a location close to the kitchen countertop, stovetop, and fridge. If you are popping something straight from the fridge into the microwave, you should make sure that they are near each other – and that there is bench space close.


Furthermore, this kind of placement minimizes the movement of hot food and drink between areas of your kitchen, so you will be less likely to have accidents.

Visual Appeal

Nowadays, hiding a microwave behind closed doors is more common. The solution is to use cabinetry with sliding doors that can retract fully back, commonly known as pocket doors. Microwaves “breath a lot,” so they need to remain open while one is using the appliance. Although some microwaves require extra space for vents, keep in mind that some are pretty deep and come in many different sizes.

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