How to Install a Microwave

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Updated August 18, 2022

If you have recently purchased a new kitchen appliance, you may wonder how to install a microwave. Even the best microwaves, after all, require some kind of installation process. Keep reading to learn more.


  • Installing a countertop microwave is simple. Just find a suitable countertop and place it down, making sure there is a viable power outlet for the power cord.
  • For a built-in microwave or range microwave, check to see if you have a dedicated enclosure above your oven range.
  • For a drawer microwave, check to ensure that you have a sliding drawer that can accommodate the microwave.

Different Microwave Types Require Different Installations

Generally speaking, microwaves come in three different design types. There are your average countertop microwaves, built-in microwaves, otherwise known as a range microwave, and drawer microwaves. Each type necessitates its own installation process if you are wondering how to install a built-in microwave cabinet, for instance.

Insider Tip

If you aren’t handy with tools, a countertop microwave is likely your best bet as it will be easier to install.

Countertop Microwave Installation

This is by far the easiest installation process and, luckily, countertop microwave ovens are extremely popular and easy to find. Due to the fact that they rest on counters, these microwaves are also easy to clean and maintain, if you are wondering how to get rid of a fish smell in a microwave or how to perform other cleaning tasks.

  1. Unbox the microwave and find a place for it in your kitchen on an accessible countertop.
  2. Make sure the microwave is near a power outlet or that you have an adequate extension cord.
  3. Place the microwave, plug it in, and prepare to cook some food.

Built-In Microwave Installation

Over-the-range microwaves have to rest inside of a dedicated enclosure that typically exists above the oven range. This range microwave is a great space-saver. Although, cleaning the grease off a microwave over a stove can be cumbersome, so follow our guide to doing this right.

  1. Check above your oven range for one of a purpose-built microwave oven enclosure or cubby.
  2. If you lack such an enclosure, inquire with a local contractor about building one, as you will need to make certain you have the right electrical outlets and you may need components such as a wall stud or toggle bolt.
  3. When you have located the enclosure, place the microwave oven inside, and loop the power cord underneath.

Drawer Microwave Installation

Drawer microwaves are similar to built-in microwave ovens, except they rest in a kitchen drawer instead of over the oven range.

  1. These microwaves may require a dedicated drawer enclosure in an upper cabinet or lower cabinet, so look for one in your kitchen.
  2. If you cannot find one, hire a contractor to build one out, or you can use a pre-existing drawer as long as it can easily fit the microwave.
  3. Pad the interior of the drawer, to avoid scuffing, and place the microwave inside of the enclosure.
  4. Make sure the drawer can slide open after you install the microwave.


How to install a microwave hood with an exhaust fan?

Check with a professional contractor to ensure you have a wall stud to accommodate the weight and that the microwave oven installation is possible above your oven.

Where do you want to install your over-the-range microwave?

When it comes to microwave oven installation, go directly above the range. You should also remember to install a vent hood and a microwave fan for ventilation.

Does an over-the-range microwave require venting?

Yes, so factor that into your microwave installation cost. Nearly every range microwave oven and cabinet microwave will require a vent.

STAT: At the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair, Westinghouse demonstrated the cooking of foods between two metal plates attached to a 10 kW, 60 MHz shortwave transmitter. (source)

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