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How to Install an Over the Range Microwave Without Cabinets on the Side

Nat Howard

Install an over-the-range microwave by attaching a mounted wall plate over the range and under the upper cabinet. No side cabinets are needed to attach the microwave. The upper cabinet and wall hold the microwave with bracket and bolts.

How to Install an Over the Range Microwave Without Cabinets on the Side

An over-the-range microwave is the ultimate in convenience cooking. With easy access to both the range and the stove, all dishes can be monitored at once. It also clears up valuable counter space. Even in small kitchens or kitchens with open shelving for storage, an over-the-range microwave is still possible. Fortunately, over-the-range microwaves aren't attached to side cabinets. They're set on a mounted wall plate and can be bolted to the wall cabinet above the microwave. As long as your brackets are secure and your microwave is vented, side cabinets aren't necessary for installing your new microwave.

    Arrange Venting System

  1. There are three types of venting systems. If your microwave is set for recirculation installation, you won't need to do anything but install your microwave. For wall and roof venting systems, the blower motor will have to be rotated. Wall venting systems will require the blower motor to be rotated 180 degrees so exhaust ports face the back of the microwave oven. Roof venting systems will require the blower motor to be rotated so the exhaust ports face the top of the microwave oven and the flat sides of the blower motor face the back of the microwave oven.

  2. Find and Mark Wall Studs

  3. The wall above your range needs at least one stud to hang a microwave hood. Locate the stud using your stud finder. A central stud will allow your microwave hood to hang evenly over the range. There needs to be a center stud or two side studs on both ends to hold the microwave. Mark the location of the studs so they can be seen.

  4. Align Mounting Plate

  5. Remove the mounting plate from the microwave. Center your mounting plate over the range and find the stud markings. The top of the plate should be flush with the upper cabinet. Mark at least two mounting holes on each stud.

  6. Drill Mounting Plate Holes

  7. Set the mounting plate aside and drill holes where you've marked. (If there's no stud, drill a larger hole for toggle nuts.) Drill to match the holes for the mounting plate.

  8. Attach Mounting Plate

  9. Set the drill aside and align the mounting plate over the holes. Insert toggles and screws where needed. If your instructions include a paper template, tape it to the upper cabinet as indicated.

  10. Drill Underside Cabinet Holes

  11. Following the template, drill into the underside of the cabinet. If you don't have a template, figures may be available at the manufacturer’s website for reference. Drill a hole for the microwave electrical cord to be plugged into the wall inside the cabinet. It has to be large enough for the power supply cord to easily fit through.

  12. Add Washers to Underside Cabinet Holes

  13. Place a washer inside the cabinet over each drilled hole. Bolts that go through the cabinet to the top of the microwave will fit into the washers. Once the microwave is in place, the bolts will be inserted and tightened.

  14. Tape the Microwave Door Shut

  15. You'll be lifting the microwave over the range while installing. Tape the door shut so it doesn't accidentally open and cause injury.

  16. Hang the Microwave

  17. This step will take two people. There are two tabs at the base of the mounting plate. Align your microwave with the tabs. Have a friend or helper thread the power supply cord through the appropriate hole in the cabinet. Push the microwave into place and align it with the upper cabinet.

  18. Attach to Upper Cabinet

  19. Insert the bolts through the washers and holes in the upper cabinet. Tighten the bolts so there's no gap or space between the upper cabinet and microwave. Combined with the mounting plate, they'll support the weight of the microwave. Make sure the bolts are evenly tightened and in place before releasing your grip on the microwave.

  20. Warning

    It is recommended that two people are present to install the microwave. Do not attempt to lift and hang the microwave alone.

    These tips are based on the existence of a grounded 3-plug outlet that is pre-wired and ready for microwave installation. Do not attempt installation without approved, pre-wired grounded 3-plug outlet.