DIY microwave shelf

Updated February 21, 2017

Finding a space in your kitchen for a microwave can be difficult. If you do not want to sacrifice counter or tabletop space for a microwave, a microwave shelf is the ideal space-saving addition, and you can design it to complement your kitchen design. The weight requirements of supporting a microwave call for sturdy brackets mounted to wall studs and, as a result, microwave shelves are best constructed using manufactured brackets rather than homemade brackets for extra strength.

Locate the studs, using the stud finder, in the area of the wall where you will mount the shelf. Mark the location of the studs using a pencil. Measure the distance between the studs and use this measurement as the distance between your shelf brackets. Skip this step if you're drilling into a brick or stone wall.

Line up the brackets on the bottom of the shelf so they are exactly the same distance apart as the studs in the wall. Measure from the centre of the stud and from the centre of the bracket when making these measurements. Mark the location of the screw holes on the shelf using the pencil. Use a shelf board that's at least 2.5 cm (1 inch) larger than your microwave on all sides.

Pre-drill the holes in the shelf using a drill bit that is slightly smaller than the diameter of your wood screws. Attach the brackets to the shelf by screwing them into the shelf using wood screws, being careful not to penetrate the surface of the shelf.

Place the shelf on the wall and rest the spirit level on top of it to make sure it is level. Mark the screw holes in the brackets, ensuring they line up with the previous markings for the studs. If they don't line up, remount the brackets to the shelf. Pre-drill the holes in the wall, making sure they penetrate the studs.

Attach the shelf to the wall by drilling in all the screws halfway, then fully tightening them after all screws have been placed. This helps balance the shelf and ensure that no screws are incorrectly placed.


Top-mounting brackets for microwaves are available, but buy brackets that are guaranteed for the weight of the microwave.

Paint or design the shelf to match the look of your kitchen. Different materials can also be used as a shelf board to match the other kitchen materials.

Placing your shelf right below an electric socket will allow you to mount the microwave without running a long cable.


Never add additional weight to your microwave shelf unless it is within the limits of the brackets' weight capacity.

Things You'll Need

  • Shelf board
  • 2 Brackets
  • Spirit level
  • Drill
  • Drill bit
  • Wood screws
  • Tape measure
  • Stud finder
  • Pencil
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About the Author

Nat Fondell has been writing professionally since 2006. A former editor of the "North Park University Press," his work has appeared at scientific conferences and online, covering health, business and home repair. Fondell holds dual Bachelors of Arts degrees in journalism and history from North Park University and received pre-medical certification at Dominican University.