How Much Space Between Microwave And Stove?

Electrical appliances need space to work, so heat and pressure can exit. Microwaves placed above a stove or on top of a countertop need space to withstand heat to prevent damage. We have in-depth research into both devices and learned tips for maintaining their systems.

Microwave ovens on countertops need little space when close to the stove. It only needs to be two feet away from the cooktop. However, regardless of the type of microwave, the average distance is between 13 inches and 24 inches.

The issues to consider are the ventilation required for each type of microwave, and optimal placement in the kitchen. Since you know now the ideal distance between a microwave and a stove, let's read on to dig deeper into this topic.

Modern large luxurious white kitchen interior, How Much Space Between Microwave And Stove?

How to Place Your Microwave Safely?

The amount of clearance needed is one consideration before placing your microwave over the stove or on a countertop. Safety is another factor, as appliances can start a fire.

Modern microwave oven in kitchen

The size of the kitchen is another factor when determining the safe distance to install or place an overhead or countertop microwave.

Over-The-Range Microwaves

Most homes have microwave ovens for over-the-range, which saves space on the counter for placing complex appliances in an easy-to-use area. Also, placing your microwave requires enough clearance to avoid damaging the wires and the device itself.

At the time of purchase, most manufacturers recommend homeowners install the microwave at a safe distance of 30 inches from the cooktop surface.

On average, the required distance from the kitchen floor to the bottom of the microwave is 66 inches. This is already a safe distance for most people of average height.

Other Considerations

There is nothing wrong with installing microwaves higher or lower than the required distance. However, placing them lower than the average 14 inches makes the device susceptible to heat and reduces room for pans on the stove.

Installing them higher is a necessity to keep in line with your cupboards as long as it is reachable by anyone.

Consider a 2-inch gap between the bottom of the microwave and the backsplash of the kitchen space. This will protect the bottom of the device while maintaining its integrity.

Check out this Over the range Microwave on Amazon

Countertop Microwaves

This type of microwave is the most common appliance in the kitchen area. Compared to ultra-range microwaves, they are easy to operate. One advantage is that it is easy to clean and maintain.

In general, keep countertop microwaves at least two feet away from the cooktop. The heat emitted by the furnace increases the risk of damage to the equipment and its components. It is also prone to splashes and stains when placed near the cooktop.

Over-The-Range Vs. Countertop

Modern kitchen interior with natural stone countertop

Microwave ovens are a necessity for most people. It is practical for everyday use, especially when preparing food for heating. Several types of microwave ovens are available today, and two of them stand out: countertop and over-the-range microwave ovens.

The problem is choosing what to choose as an appliance for everyday kitchen use. Below are the qualities, pros, and cons for each type of microwave, so you can choose what to buy for your home.

About Over The Range Microwave

The built-in microwave is installed on the cabinet next to the cupboards. It leaves plenty of space on the kitchen countertop for other equipment. It has a stylish design and a clean look in any kitchen space.


  • It removes odors, vapors, and fumes with a built-in exhaust fan.
  • Saves space, especially in small kitchen areas.
  • The sleek design allows it to fit permanently above the stove.


  • It requires a licensed technician to install over-the-range microwaves.
  • Replacement parts are pricey. So, it is quite expensive.
  • It is impractical for putting in and removing food inside the microwave because of the height requirement.
  • Moving it anywhere in the kitchen is impossible, so it isn't a versatile appliance.

About Countertop Microwave

Modern microwave oven on countertop in kitchen

In comparison, a countertop microwave is an easy-to-operate device you can place anywhere in the kitchen. Several models are compatible with countertops.

They are easy to move and do not require careful consideration for maintenance and cleaning.


  • They are movable anywhere in the kitchen.
  • It does not require a licensed professional to install the microwave.
  • Less expensive
  • They are easy to access anytime.


  • It requires a lot of space on your kitchen countertop.
  • There are few smart features.
  • There are no dedicated vents to clear our smell and odors.

Check out this Countertop Microwave on Amazon

Do Microwaves Need Ventilation?

Kitchen interior with microwave oven

Yes. When a microwave oven heats or cooks food, it generates and releases heat through its vents. Proper ventilation ensures a microwave's lifespan.

One advantage of a well-maintained microwave oven is its efficiency. This is one reason manufacturers always recommend installing vents rather than spending a fortune on repairs or replacements.

Poor ventilation can overheat the microwave, which overwrites its system and causes an adverse effect.

How Much Space Do Microwaves Need For Ventilation?

You not only need space between the stove and the microwave. You also need space where the microwave vents. The heat released from the outside needs vents to allow the microwave to cool down after use.

Typically, countertop microwaves have vents on the back or sides. In comparison, in-range microwaves are on the front.

The minimum distance for vents is 3 inches of clearance for both countertop and over-the-range microwave. But to be sure, refer to your device manual; it will tell you what to do with your microwave.

Microwave ovens have different vent designs and ventilation requirements. So, it's best to follow them for a proper airflow system.

Factors to Consider in Placing Microwave

Using the microwave oven to heat food

Homeowners can choose different types of microwaves to place in the kitchen. It could be a countertop or a built-in microwave. Depending on the type, the countertop is only suitable for kitchen countertops.

Various factors come into play when determining the location of each type of microwave oven. It doesn't just stop at being a freestanding or over-the-range microwave. We listed some caveats below.

1. Safety

One of the most important factors is the safety of the home and homeowner. It is best to mind the do's and don't of installing a microwave in a kitchen.

Also, reading the instruction manual will help you tremendously, especially regarding ventilation and other electrical requirements to maintain the integrity of your microwave.

2. Accessibility

The ease of using a microwave is crucial because it provides a safety net for your kitchen space and yourself. If you don't do a better job of placing equipment where you can't get to it, you'll likely have an accident.

3. Electrical Wirings

One cause of fires is improper placement of electrical wiring. Secure wirings should be out of reach of children and away from sinks and stoves.

Professionals always recommend placing them in an undisturbed area where it is not readily accessible if not needed.

4. Kitchen Space

Consider space when installing a microwave in your kitchen. Buying a built-in microwave is a better option for small spaces that don't have enough countertop room to accommodate other appliances.

Countertop microwaves are an extensive option for kitchen designs. This is because these appliances are portable and can be move around easily.

In Closing

Whether it's a freestanding or built-in microwave, it's crucial to have enough space for your microwave and stovetop. Also, consider what's needed for installation to prevent repercussions. Whatever microwave you choose, there is a distance required for each type.

If you found this post about microwaves and stoves informative, we believe you'll find these kitchen appliances posts helpful:

How Many Inches Should There Be Between The Stove And Microwave?

Where To Put A Microwave With A Range Hood

What Is The Standard Depth Of A Range?

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