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Have you ever felt the need to de-clutter your kitchen countertops and realized that your microwave is part of the problem? You never realize how much counter space a microwave takes up until you have one on your counter for 2 years, and a small one at that. When we moved in there was no microwave like in our previous house (that wasn’t a thought back in 1905!) so we were given my Grandma’s old microwave to use, this was a small microwave that sat in a corner spot on our counter between our stove and sink. Now it probably could have gone in a different spot on the counter but that is where it landed and stayed. The turntable didn’t work anymore and the microwave was red, which is not a favorite color of mine and just doesn’t blend in with my decor so it stuck out like a sore thumb. But the day has come to walk you through our process of how to install an over the range microwave.

If you are in a similar predicament I am here to tell you that it sounds and looks super intimidating to install but it is not as hard as you think! Full disclosure though Justin and a friend did all the work for this and I just took some pictures. But even Justin commented and said that the installation was not as bad as he thought it would be.

How to Install an Over the Range Microwave

The first step was to remove the current range hood which was actually fairly easy to remove, you will need to remove the grease screen (not necessary at this point but it helps you see up the vent) and then is usually just screwed into the cabinets.

A front facing view of a range hood with upper white cabinets that are opened to reveal a venting pipe surrounded by wood

Next, we had to remove the upper cabinets, I was totally okay with this because I never actually stored anything in those cabinets. This set of cabinets actually was nailed to the ones next to them so in order to keep the other cabinets in tack, Justin used a multi-tool to cut through the nails.

A side view of a man standing using a tool to remove cabinets of range hood

Now I know for some the look of microwave above the stove is not ideal aesthetically but for me, this was more about function and helping clear clutter on the counter.

The wire was already up through the vent hole so that helped Justin install the outlet and box so that the microwave could be plugged in.

And to avoid going into the attic space Justin used the bottom piece of the cabinet and screwed this up higher so that the microwave could be screwed to the top. We would then cover the small opening with some cabinet pieces.

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Once the vent pipe and the upper cabinets faces were removed and we ensured we had the electrical figured out it was time to start installing the microwave. We chose a Samsung microwave as it had some of the best reviews and price after doing some research. Any microwave installed above a stove should come with a paper template that you can use to know where to install the back plate that the microwave is screwed into.

Looking into a space above a stove with a paper template taped to the wall

This backplate will determine where the bottom of your microwave will be in relation to your stove and help hold it in place.

A metal backplate is screwed into a wall above a stove

The back plate is screwed into the wall and the “ceiling” of the opening.

We did end up leaving a small gap above the microwave, this was needed so that we could attach the microwave to the board Justin cut to use at the top of the opening.

A close up look at a board near the top of a cabinet that will hold a microwave in place

You will then want two people to help lift the microwave into place and help hold it while another person drills the screws in place. This is also the time you will want to bring out a level so that the microwave is not crooked in the space. The microwave will basically tip into place, the back edge will hook into the back plate that was previously assembled and the propped back into the opening. There will be screws that attach at the top of the microwave and cabinet to secure it from above.

Two men one below and one on the left of the microwave as they lift it into place above a stove range
A final view of white cabinets in a kitchen with a white glass top range below a white microwave install over the range

I just love this space so much now! The additional counter space gave us room to move our coffee pot so now the counters are not as cluttered. And I love having a microwave that is large enough to fit what we need and doesn’t collect dust. I really wish we would have done this sooner!

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