Microwaves are one of those appliances that many people consider necessary, but that are bulky and can take up a lot of precious kitchen space. You may be wondering about the best ways to keep your microwave hidden and out of your way when it’s not in use. Hide your microwave by modifying one of your kitchen cabinets, or by stashing it behind other doors or under your counters.
EditModifying an Existing Cabinet
- Check your microwave’s manual about ventilation requirements. Microwaves have ventilation requirements for when they are in use; some microwaves don’t need any extra because they have some at the bottom under the legs, but others need back or side ventilation.
- Your owner’s manual should tell you if you need to create ventilation space while hiding your microwave, so take this into consideration when deciding where to cut holes in your cabinet.
- Choose a cabinet where you’d like to hide your microwave. Ideally your cabinet will already fit your microwave well and will hang in a place near an outlet that you can use to plug the microwave in. Take measurements of width and depth your microwave and the cabinet you would like to use.
- As long as your cabinet is wide enough for your microwave, you can add more depth to it by cutting a hole in the back of the cabinet for the back of your microwave to go through.
- Cut a hole out of the back or side of your cabinet for wiring. Using a ruler, measure where the wiring coming out of the microwave will exit the back or side of your cabinet. Draw a small box on the back or side of the cabinet for the cuts that you will make.
- Carefully use a jigsaw to make the cuts in the lines on the cabinet. Be sure to follow all safety instructions in the jigsaw manual.
- Cut a bigger hole out of the back of your cabinet if necessary. If your cabinet is not quite deep enough for your microwave, cut a microwave-sized hole into the back of the cabinet with your jigsaw.
- With a ruler, draw lines on the back of your cabinet for a box slightly larger than the size of your microwave. Carefully use your jigsaw to cut on the lines, being sure to follow all the safety instructions in your jigsaw manual.
- Add wood to the back of the cabinet if necessary. If you cut a hole in the back of the cabinet to allow for more depth, and your microwave sticks out in the back, you will need to add extra wood to the back of the cabinet so it hangs flush with the wall when you rehang it. With a ruler, measure the distance that your microwave sticks out in the back. This is how wide you will need the wood that you add to be.
- You can cut scrap 2×4” pieces of wood to fit the back of your cabinet. You will want to add wood to the top of the back, as well as a piece in the middle of the back above the back of the microwave.
- Add or reinstall your shelves if necessary. If you removed any shelves from your cabinet to make room for the microwave, you can reinstall them by using the same hardware.
- If you’re hanging a new shelf in the cabinet, measure the width of your cabinet and find a shelf with some shelf-hanging hardware at your local hardware store.
- Rehang your cabinet. Your cabinet should be all ready to drill back into place. Using your drill and the cabinet hardware, rehang your cabinet where it was. If you’re choosing a new place for the cabinet, be sure there is support behind the wall for the cabinet screws to go into.
EditHiding Your Microwave Behind Other Doors
- Create space in your existing appliance pantry if you have one. Some homes come equipped with an appliance pantry. This is usually a tall cabinet with doors that open out or slide back to reveal shelves that sometimes slide out too.
- Your microwave can most likely fit onto one of these shelves, as they are made for putting appliances into.
- Install an appliance pantry if you don’t already have one. If you don’t already have an appliance pantry, you can have one installed. You would want to consider this a major construction project for your kitchen, and may want to consult a remodeling company if you decide to do this.
- Create an appliance garage for a hidden countertop microwave. An appliance garage keeps your microwave on the counter and underneath cabinets but has sliding doors that come down over your appliances when they’re not in use. You can buy sliding track doors for appliance garages at DIY hardware stores such as Home Depot or Lowe’s.
- Be sure to look for door models that match the rest of the cabinetry in your kitchen.
EditHiding Your Microwave Below a Counter
- Use a shelf in your lower kitchen cabinets for a classy look. Microwaves look nice and out of the way on a shelf below the counters along your kitchen walls. Determine where you would plug the microwave in from a lower cabinet shelf and drill a hole in the back or side of the cabinet for the microwave wiring. You can keep cabinet doors on to really hide the microwave, or leave them off.
- Homes with elderly people or small children may not want a low-sitting microwave, as it involves lots of bending to reach, and small children may be inclined to play with it.
- Build a sliding shelf for your microwave if you have extra drawer space. You can replace drawer spaces in your kitchen with a sliding shelf large enough for your microwave, or simply build the sliding shelf into a lower cabinet.
- Measure the area where you’d like to put the microwave and either build or order the sliding shelf that will fit the space. Mount the sliding brackets to the sides of the cabinet area to install your shelf.
- Place your microwave under your kitchen island if you have one. If you have a kitchen island, you may already have built-in space underneath it for appliances complete with outlets.
- If you have an island that has extra hanging counter space with nothing underneath, consider installing a cabinet there where you can place your microwave.