Over-the-Range Microwaves: To Do or Not to Do

Question from a frustrated customer:

Can anyone explain to me why microwave ovens are placed above the stove? Just imagine you had prepared a dish in the m/w oven that was supposed to be added to a pot of other ingredients cooking on the stove. The dish is heavy the pot below is steaming. Have you burned your arms yet? It is the most ridiculous arrangement of appliances that I have seen…yet it is in every kitchen design. Idiocy!


Over-the-range microwave ovens were originally designed to fit in abodes with limited counter spaces, such as apartments and condos. Pretty rough when one is busy busy and  has to bring out that darned microwave from the closet because a left-over needs to be re-heated or popcorn has to be made for that stay-at-home Friday night! Makes sense, right?

Because the over-the-range microwave looked so tidy and logical, that design spilled over into homes. Let’s face it, anything in theory is savvy. Practicality only hits one’s face when an unpleasant incident happens, such as steaming off eyebrows or burning one’s arms as you have mentioned. And if counter space is ample, a counter top microwave is certainly the best option.

Actually, we recommend counter-top microwaves to our customers and leave that over-the-range space for a hood fan, but sometimes the design or space doesn’t allow for it.

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