Where To Put A Microwave With A Range Hood

New space-saving appliances are like candy to homeowners. Microwaves with range hoods are multi-functioning appliances. Some homeowners might not know where to place a microwave with a range hood. We've inquired from experts and got some answers.

A microwave with a range hood should be placed right above the range cooker. Microwaves with a range hood have the intakes placed in the front and the bottom. The exhaust can be at the back or the top of the microwave.

Microwaves with hood ranges are great space savers in small kitchens. Continue reading to see how these microwaves work and if they are better than range hoods.

The interior of a modern 'open concept' American residential home with the kitchen, dining area, and family room in a large open space - Where To Put A Microwave With A Range Hood

Ideal Spot For A Microwave With A Range Hood

The microwaves clean and circulate the air in the kitchen when the vents are on. They should be placed right above the stove. The microwaves cannot be installed in a cabinet but rather out in the open. The cabinets block the vents and lower their functionality.

Modern Kitchen Interior.

How To Install A Microwave With A Range Hood

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After successfully purchasing a microwave with a range hood, you'll need to have it mounted above the stove. You can either put on your engineer hat and start the process or invite a professional to do the job.

Microwaves with range hoods could have an exhaust to the roof or an outside wall. Once you have determined the direction of the exhaust, ensure that you have an outlet for the microwave conveniently placed.

Appliance technician on a step ladder installing a over the range microwave to a cabinet

To mount the microwave on the wall, you should:

  1. Start by marking holes on the wall where the bracket should be. Use the template provided by the manufacturers.
  2. Next, mark the hole for the exhaust. If you have a stud obstructing the exhaust hole, cut it off, and replace it with a header at the top.
  3. Subsequently, add a plate for the bottom part. Depending on how much work needs to be done, you might need to add blocking to hold the microwave. 
  4. Use insulation in the voids and add a vapor barrier. You can use some plywood to cover the insulation. After that, you should install the mounting bracket. 
  5. Cut the hole for the exhaust on the outside wall. Put the damper from the outside and use some insulation to seal off any drafts from the outside.
  6. Finally, you can mount the microwave. Screw the upper part of the microwave to the cabinet above to secure it.

If you want to redirect the exhaust to the roof, you won't need to drill the outside wall. 

You can test the microwave range hood to see how it's running. If all is well and good, you can pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

Here is a video that will help you mount the microwave with a range hood without much hustle.

How Much Space Is Between The Microwave And Stove?

Building codes and regulations require homeowners to adhere to fire safety measures when renovating or installing new appliances.

According to the National Kitchen and Bathroom Association (NKBA)  guidelines and International Regulation Codes (IRC), there should be enough clearance for your cooking stove and the space above it. 

The recommended distance for a microwave range hood or range hood should be between 24 to 30 inches above the cooker. It helps protect combustible surfaces above the stove, such as cabinets.

Why Do You Need A Range Hood?

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Any kitchen should have proper ventilation. Proper air circulation helps remove all odors and smells from your kitchen.

A range hood sucks all the saturated air when you are cooking. There are different types of ranges in the market. Moreover, you could choose to install a ductless range too!

Alternatively, a microwave with a range hood is ideal for small kitchens that never have enough space for several kitchen appliances.

Is A Microwave With A Range Hood Effective?

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Yes, it is. Most microwave vents recirculate the air in the kitchen. To increase their efficiency and the air quality in your kitchen, you should use the duct.

The duct helps get fresh air from outdoors into your cooking area. All odors and smells will be completely eradicated.

Range Microwave vs Range Hood

A free-standing range hood and a microwave with a range have pros and cons. Their differences and similarities are what make them pleasing to different homeowners.

The basic function of a range hood is to ventilate the kitchen area during cooking. Before your make any purchase, you always weigh the odds. 

Range Hood

Range hoods are large and serve no other purpose other than cleaning the kitchen air. They are perfect for large kitchens and are very powerful. The hood spans over the stove completely.

Their downside is that they might not fit well in a small kitchen. Even when the homeowner has his range hood custom-made, it may not leave any room for any cabinets or kitchen appliances.

Check out this range hood on Amazon

Vented Microwaves

A microwave with a range will fit in a small kitchen as it doubles as a vent and a microwave. Moreover, homeowners who use their kitchens three or four times a week will find the vents effective.

Before you choose either a range hood or a vented microwave, calculate the output of your stove and the minimum ventilation required.

Most Popular Vented Microwaves

Consumer reviews about vented microwaves differ, but there are some popular brands that most consumers like. Here are three popular models consumers like. However, the list is much longer.

Frigidaire Stainless-Steel FFMV1846VS 30"

This Frigidaire unit has a large capacity and can accommodate large cookware. The microwave is equipped with two-speed ventilation over the range. 

Check out this vented microwave on Amazon


It is a large appliance with a 4-speed exhaust fan. Despite the microwave's multi-function, it is quiet. It can be easily mounted on the wall with an outside the wall vent.

Check out this GE over the range microwave on Amazon

Sharp R-1874T

Although this is a much smaller model, it has a 10-year warranty on most components. It has three venting options and an interactive cooking system.

Check out this Sharp range microwave on Amazon

Are Microwave Range Hoods Going Out Of  Style?

Lately, vented microwaves are not as common in households as five years ago. The microwave range hood is not considered trendy in the latest kitchen styles and designs.

What To Look For In A Microwave Range Hood

The interior of a modern 'open concept' American residential home with the kitchen, dining area, and family room in a large open space

When purchasing a microwave with a range hood, reviews might not be enough to make the right purchase. Here is additional information on what to pay attention to when buying the appliance.

  • Wattage: You will need a powerful microwave that prepares food fast.
  • Size: Remember that this appliance should ventilate the kitchen, and it must be wide enough to fit over a wide cooking range.
  • Settings: Most microwaves have a wide range of settings. They enable you to prepare different meals.
  • Exhaust Functionality: A microwave with a range hood must effectively clean the air in the kitchen space. The exhaust could be attached to the outside wall, or it can use the charcoal filters to clean the recirculated air.
  • Smart Technology: Appliances have the latest smart technology incorporated into them. Homeowners get an additional cooking area too!

How Many CFM Should Microwave Range Hood Have?

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The standard CFM of microwaves with range hoods is 300 to 400. The velocity at which the hood circulates air is measured in cubic feet per minute. The width of the microwave is not less than 30" to accommodate the range.

Where To Place Ordinary Microwaves

Homeowners with ordinary microwaves should place them conveniently in their kitchens. However, they should never be placed over the cooker or range. The microwave should be positioned conveniently in relation to the kitchen countertop, stovetop, and refrigerator.

Though this isn't a strict rule, the NKBA recommends such placement to ease movement in your kitchen. Since the microwave won't be hanging in the air, you could place it in:

  • A cabinet
  • The kitchen island (recommended for households without little children)
  • On the kitchen countertop
  • Under the counter
  • In the pantry
  • On an appliance wall

Bear in mind that the placement of your microwave will largely depend on the size and design of the kitchen.

In Conclusion

A microwave with a range hood might have been a futuristic appliance in 1986, and it doubled up as a range hood and microwave. Although interest has waned, some minimalist homeowners still prefer vented microwaves to stand-alone range hoods.

They are easy to install and can only be placed above a stove. The vented microwaves are effective over smaller and medium-sized stoves.

If you are looking for more information, take a look at the following posts:

What To Put The Cabinets Above Your Fridge [Ideas Explored]

How Much Space Between Countertop And Upper Cabinets?

One comment

  1. Navigating the kitchen space is like playing Tetris, but your article on microwave-range hood combos is the cheat code I didn’t know I needed! Who would’ve thought the sweet spot for our microwavable friends is right above the range, like a culinary guardian angel? It’s a space-saving hack that even Marie Kondo would approve of.

    Your installation tips? Pure gold. I’m all for donning the engineer hat, but with your guide, I might just make it through without calling in the cavalry. And those venting insights – talk about a breath of fresh air for the kitchen!

    Thanks for the microwave enlightenment. Now, if only installing them was as easy as popping popcorn. Off to measure, drill, and hopefully not drill into anything vital. Keep the handy tips coming!

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