When it comes to kitchen design, most people focus on the big three appliances- the sink, stove, and fridge. While these are certainly the most important, these days the microwave is almost as important as well. Not having a microwave can severely impact a home’s value, and while it’s not the most attractive appliance they sure are time savers. Deciding where to locate the microwave in your custom home kitchen impacts the overall space, so here are the best and worst locations.


Best Places for a Microwave


Below Countertop

For years the norm for microwave placement was to have them higher up. Most people are used to this setup, but having hot objects above our heads is actually quite dangerous, especially if the smaller members of the family are using it. Having an under the counter microwave provides a safer and easier setup, similar to an oven placement. There are tons of great styles these days such as drawer microwaves. These days a trend is to place the microwave in the island in custom homes.


Over the Oven

If you’re doing a separate cooktop and oven layout in your custom home kitchen, consider locating the microwave near the ovens. A common placement is near or even on top of the oven. This makes sense logistically. It places all of the cooking appliances near each other rather than spreading them out. It also looks aesthetically better!


Secondary Prep Space

Custom home kitchens these days often include secondary prep spaces such as a drink station or a butler’s pantry. If you don’t use your microwave often, having it out of the main kitchen space makes sense. It will still be apart of the kitchen, but located away from the main action.



Worst Places for a Microwave


On Countertop

Before microwaves were really integrated into the kitchen design from the start, they were commonly set on top of the countertop. This isn’t a popular option these days thankfully, as it wastes so much countertop space. This is about the worst place to locate the microwave so try to find somewhere else for it.


Inside Pantry

A lot of times people look to hide their microwave. Rather than spend money on custom cabinetry to hide it, they try to conceal it away in the pantry. This can cause a lot of issues. For one pantry are rarely large enough to really have enough space, plus it’s a big no-no for future buyers. There are also ventilation issues that need to be considered.


Over the Range

By far the most commonplace you’ll find microwaves in homes these days is over the range. This isn’t necessarily a bad option for regular homes as it saves space. However, for a custom home, it’s not the best option. It’s not the most attractive and microwaves do a poor job venting. If you’re tight on space this is a solid option, but one to avoid if you can.


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