How to Install a Microwave Shelf

Updated March 23, 2017

Microwaves are a common utility in the kitchen, used as a quick method for heating leftovers, thawing frozen foods or cooking an entire meal. Microwaves are often heavy and require a stable and solid place in the kitchen. If little counter space is an issue, microwave shelves can be installed in several ways, depending on the space itself.

Assess your space. If the microwave shelf is to be hung by itself on the wall, several shelf brackets are needed for support. If the shelf will be part of a larger shelving unit, only a few brackets are necessary. While two brackets may be enough for the built-in shelf, four may be required for a standalone.

Purchase L-shaped metal shelf brackets. Shelf brackets come in different varieties, so be sure to purchase the hardware that work well in the space. The brackets should not surpass the general length of the shelf.

Purchase screws that are suitable for the brackets and the shelf. The length of the screws should be less than the thickness of the shelf, but long enough to support the weight of the shelf. If the shelf will be hanging alone, buy screws long enough to reach the wall studs. If the shelf is a built-in, ensure there is enough support in the unit walls to hold the microwave.

Find the studs in the wall using a stud finder if the microwave shelf is a standalone. Place the stud finder on the wall and drag it across the surface until the device lights up or beeps, indicating a stud. Mark the locations on the wall. Keep in mind that studs run vertically.

Place the shelf against the wall in the desired location and use the level to ensure it is even. Make marks to indicate the spot. Indicate where the brackets need to be installed using a pencil. For the built-in shelf, make marks on the sides that will support the microwave shelf.

Attach the wall brackets to the bottom of the shelf with a screwdriver. If the shelf is meant to hang on the wall, install the brackets on the front edge, so the shelf lines up with the wall. For the built-in shelf, install the brackets on the side edges, so the brackets can be attached to the unit in which the shelf is being attached.

Drill holes in the wall for the microwave shelf, if applicable. Line the shelf up to the holes and secure the shelf with screws through the brackets. If the shelf is a built-in, line the shelf up with the marks made in a previous step. Use a screwdriver and screws to secure the shelf to the shelving unit already in place.

Place the microwave on the shelf and plug it into an electrical socket close by. The microwave is now ready for use.

Things You'll Need

  • Shelf to be mounted
  • 2-4 L-shaped metal shelf brackets of choice
  • Screws
  • Stud finder
  • Drill
  • Pencil
  • Screwdriver
  • Level
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About the Author

Based in Toronto, Mary Jane has been writing for online magazines and databases since 2002. Her articles have appeared on the Simon & Schuster website and she received an editor's choice award in 2009. She holds a Master of Arts in psychology of language use from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.