What Is a Countertop Microwave?


Quick Answer

The countertop microwave is a microwave that sits on a countertop, shelf or microwave stand. Many countertop microwaves come with a trim kit, so the unit can be hunger underneath cabinets.

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Full Answer

Countertop microwave ovens are cheaper than an over-the-range microwave, but they take up much-needed counter space. An over-the-range microwave saves precious counter space, but it takes some work to install it, and it may not do a good job of venting fumes and heat like a range hood does.

Microwaves that are built into the wall give homeowners the option of having a free countertop and room for a range hood, but these are the more expensive options. A better option would be to build a shelf for a countertop microwave to sit on, adding the trim kit to give the microwave the look of a built-in unit.

Homeowners can also create an opening or shelf with cabinetry that allows them to move the microwave off of the countertop. It's best to find a spot that offers some space below, and if the microwave fits tightly into the created shelf, it looks more streamlined. No demolition to built cabinetry around a microwave is required, so it makes for an easy and inexpensive option.

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