DIY Microwave Shelf
Finding a space in your kitchen for a microwave can be difficult. If you do not want to sacrifice counter space or tabletop space for a microwave, a microwave shelf can be an ideal space-saving addition, and you can design it to complement your kitchen decor. 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 be mounting 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.
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 center of the stud and from the center 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 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 set the carpenter's level on top of it to make sure it is level. Mark the screw holes in the brackets, making sure that they line up with the previous markings for the studs. If they do not line up, remount the brackets to the shelf. Pre-drill the holes in the wall, making sure that they penetrate the studs.
Attach the shelf to the wall by drilling in all the screws halfway, then fully tightening them after all 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 be sure to 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 a wall outlet will allow your microwave to be mounted with no cords visible.
- Never add additional weight to your microwave shelf unless it is within the limits of the brackets' weight capacity.
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.
- microwave image by andrey polichenko from Fotolia.com