How high above the range should an over-the-range microwave be mounted?

Written by sarah sweetman
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How high above the range should an over-the-range microwave be mounted?
Space-saving features like above-range microwaves require careful consideration of many factors before installation. (Modern kitchen image by MAXFX from Fotolia.com)

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Low Enough to Reach the Microwave

Deciding the height at which to hang your microwave requires more than simply an exact measurement. You need to take into account the height of the people who will be using the microwave as well. Hanging it too high could cause issues with family members being unable to use the microwave while hanging it too low could increase chances for injury if someone were to accidentally touch a hot stove while trying to use the microwave.

High Enough to See the Stove

Allowing yourself enough room to use your stove is also important. The pots you normally use on your stove, especially on the back two burners, need to fit in the space you allow. You'll also need to properly see the stove surface once the microwave is hung. If you hang it low enough for a child to use, for example, you may not actually be able to see the back burners when you stand directly in front of the stove.

Bottom Line

Taking into account the height of the people who will be using your microwave as well as the size of the pots you use on your stove will give you a general range for the positioning of your microwave. For safety reasons, the bottom of any cabinet above your microwave must be no closer than 30 inches above your hob. Attaching your microwave above that point should give sufficient height and clearance. For usability and additional safety, though, ensure your microwave is no lower than 16 inches above the hob.

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