Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Mar 28, 2013 05:56 PM

Help. Need small over the stove microwave!!!

I live in a very old house & am finally replacing the stove. It is a gas stove & I want to put a microwave vented out above it. For various reasons, too numerous to go into, I have to work with the space I have & there is not a vent upward. From the top of the stove to the top of the cabinet above it is 31 inches. I've been told that there needs to be 17-18 inches between the top of the stove & the bottom of the microwave. The smallest microwave I can find is 16 inches. Does anyone know of a brand that has a smaller microwave? I can't put a vent in. Thanks for your help, I'm at my wits end!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Sharp has a 14" but it's not necessarily an above-the-range model.

    1. Must you use a microwave above the range?

      Would a self-contained, recirculating hood vent work for you? They are not vented just like OTR microwaves are.

      1. JayL, I didn't know there was a self-contrined recirculating hood vent. How does that work? Do you know who makes them?

        1 Reply
        1. re: topeater

          Works the same way the microwaves do...most of those aren't vented outside either...they just recirculate the air back into the throught the bottom & out through the top.

          You can do a search, but I'm pretty sure Braun makes some. Don't know who else does w/o looking.

        2. I agree with JayL - OTR microwaves are more of a hassle than they're worth (IMHO), and they prevent you from having a decent ventilation option.

          I'd rather have a countertop MW, so I don't have to reach over a hot stove, and definitely use a vent hood over the range. Even a recirculating one seems to make a big difference. It's better if you can duct it outside, but even if you can't, it will at least filter out the grease and smells. And there are hoods you can build into/under the cabinet.

          My 3 cents (adjusted for inflation).

          1. First, for searching for info on over-the-range MWs, the generic term is "OTR" and knowing that can help with searching out info.

            Second, OTRs are all over 15" tall. This question got asked recently on the Appliances forum at the Gardenweb site


            Do a search on "OTR + gardenweb" and you will find tons of discussions and info.

            Third, you say you need a recirculating unit because you can't go up. But can you go out? Every OTR that I have ever seen will allow you to vent out the back through the wall instead of vertically, if you choose. Same thing with with any cabinet and wall-mounted range hoods.

            Old houses can indeed pose some difficulties with venting, but there often are work-arounds. For instance, in my old house, a vertical vent was not economically feasible and I need to have my stove against an interior wall. The other side of that wall is the wall above the basement stairway. My solution was to have the rangehood vent go through that wall, make a 90 degree turn with a seven foot run of ducting to the exterior wall where it exits to the outside. Putting ducting over that stairwell keeps it mostly out of sight, avoids aesthetic issues and it does not obstruct the use of those stairs.

            Fourth, if you cannot do anything but recirculation, virtually every OTR and virtually every one of the less expensive wall-mount and cabinet hung range hoods will offer a recirculation kit. Sometimes they come in the box with the unit and sometimes they are an optional add-on that you have to buy separately.

            Fifth, if you have any choice at all, avoid a recirculating system. They are better than nothing, but that does not say much. Have a look at this thread for starters:


            Sixth, with your space constraints, you probably would be better served by getting a range hood (lots more room over the stove) and putting a MW elsewhere. One idea is to hang a MW from a cabinet elsewhere in the room, like the Sharp MW in the link that Ferret provided. (GE also makes a cabinet hung MW called Spacesaver II, which is what I wound up buying.) If you need a MW with a bigger cavity, you can put a standard MW on shelf brackets above the countertops. That, at least, gives you some space for storage beneath the MW.

            1 Reply
            1. re: JWVideo

              If I read the gardenweb article right, they said that all OTR's are 15" deep ... not 15" tall.

              >Second, OTRs are all over 15" tall. This question
              >got asked recently on the Appliances forum at
              >the Gardenweb site