Microwave Cabinet Placement: Finding the Perfect Spot in Your Kitchen Layout

Microwave Cabinet Placement: Finding the Perfect Spot in Your Kitchen Layout

Lily Ann Cabinets: White Shaker Elite 

When designing a kitchen, one of the key decisions to make is where to place your microwave. Whether you are remodeling or designing a new kitchen from scratch, finding the perfect spot for your microwave cabinet is crucial for creating an efficient and visually appealing space. This guide will provide you with microwave cabinet ideas and help you determine the best spot for a microwave in your kitchen.

Factors to Consider for the Best Spot for Microwave in Kitchen

Microwave brown kitchen cabinet paired with gray countertop and backsplashes

Lily Ann Cabinets: Cinnamon Shaker 

Determining the best spot for your microwave cabinet involves considering several important factors. Firstly, think about the workflow and how you move around your kitchen while cooking. You want the microwave to be easily accessible without interrupting the main cooking area. Also, consider the height and reach of the users in your household. The microwave should be at a comfortable level for all family members to use safely. Ventilation is another crucial factor; proper airflow around the microwave prevents overheating and ensures it operates efficiently. Additionally, think about integrating the microwave into the overall kitchen design, keeping it cohesive with other appliances and cabinetry.

Eye-Level vs. Below Countertop Placement

Twon tone kitchen paired with white and navy blue cabinets, white countertop, and stainless steel appliances and

Lily Ann Cabinets: Navy Blue Shaker

One of the most common dilemmas when deciding on microwave cabinet placement is whether to place it at eye level or below the countertop. Each option has its pros and cons, and your choice will depend on your kitchen layout and personal preferences.

  1. Eye-Level Placement: Placing the microwave at eye level, often in a wall cabinet, is convenient as it reduces the need to bend down or reach up. It allows for easy monitoring of food as it cooks and is ergonomically friendly. However, it can take up valuable cabinet space that could otherwise be used for storage. Additionally, if placed too high, it can be unsafe for children or shorter adults.
  2. Below Countertop Placement: Installing the microwave below the countertop, such as in an island or lower cabinet, can be a great space-saving solution. This placement is often safer for children and shorter adults, reducing the risk of hot spills. However, it may require more bending, which can be inconvenient for those with mobility issues. It can also disrupt the aesthetic flow of lower cabinetry if not integrated thoughtfully.

Microwave Cabinet Ideas for Different Kitchen Layouts

Every kitchen layout presents unique opportunities and challenges for microwave cabinet placement. Here are some innovative microwave cabinet ideas for various kitchen configurations:

1. Galley Kitchen

White cabinets paired with microwave, stove and oven

Lily Ann Cabinets: Key Largo White

In a galley kitchen, space is often at a premium, and efficient use of every inch is critical. Consider placing the microwave at the end of the counter in an upper cabinet. This keeps the microwave accessible without encroaching on valuable counter space. Alternatively, you can incorporate the microwave into a tall pantry cabinet, making use of vertical space.

Checkout: 13 Small Galley Kitchen Ideas That Suit Compact Layouts 

2. L-Shaped Kitchen

L shape kitchen paired with white shaker cabinets, marble countertop and white subway tiles backsplash

Lily Ann Cabinets: White Shaker Elite

For L-shaped kitchens, the corner space can be tricky to use efficiently. Installing the microwave in a corner cabinet can be a smart solution, making use of otherwise difficult-to-reach space. Another option is to integrate the microwave into a kitchen island or peninsula, keeping it within easy reach but out of the main cooking area.

Checkout: L-Shaped Kitchen with Island: 10 Layout Ideas! 

3. U-Shaped Kitchen

Gray shaker elite kitchen cabinets paired with small island, Granite Countertop and stainless steel appliances

Lily Ann Cabinets: Grey Shaker Elite

U-shaped kitchens often have ample counter and cabinet space, providing more flexibility for microwave placement. You can choose to place the microwave in a wall cabinet at eye level for easy access, or below the counter in a base cabinet to keep the sight lines clean and uninterrupted.

Checkout: 10 Clever Design Ideas To Optimize U-Shaped Kitchen 

4. Open-Concept Kitchen

Open concept kitchen paired with white microwave cabinets, silver pulls, and functional island

Lily Ann Cabinets: White Shaker Elite

In open-concept kitchens, maintaining a cohesive aesthetic is crucial. A microwave drawer integrated into the island or peninsula can provide a sleek, modern look while keeping the microwave accessible yet unobtrusive. Alternatively, a built-in microwave in a tall cabinet can blend seamlessly with other appliances.

Checkout: Open Kitchen- Tips for Blending with the Rest of the Home 

Integrating the Microwave into Your Kitchen Island or Peninsula

Built in microwave cabinets in island


Incorporating the microwave cabinet into your kitchen island or peninsula is an increasingly popular option. This placement can enhance the functionality of your kitchen while maintaining a clean, streamlined look. Here are some benefits and considerations for this setup:


  • Convenience: Placing the microwave in the island keeps it easily accessible from any part of the kitchen, facilitating a smoother workflow.
  • Space-Saving: It utilizes the often-underused lower space in the island or peninsula, freeing up upper cabinets for other uses.
  • Safety: A microwave drawer or lower cabinet placement is safer for children and shorter adults, reducing the risk of spills and burns.


  • Ventilation: Ensure there is adequate ventilation to prevent the microwave from overheating. Check the manufacturer’s requirements for ventilation space.
  • Electrical Access: Ensure there is proper electrical wiring in place to support the microwave’s power needs.
  • Aesthetic Integration: Choose a microwave that matches your kitchen’s design and other appliances to maintain a cohesive look.

In Conclusion…

Finding the perfect spot for your microwave cabinet is crucial for creating an efficient and aesthetically pleasing kitchen layout. Whether you choose to place it at eye level, below the countertop, or incorporate it into your kitchen island or peninsula, each option has its unique advantages. By considering factors like workflow, accessibility, ventilation, and design integration, you can determine the best spot for your microwave in the kitchen. With the right placement, your microwave can enhance both the functionality and visual appeal of your kitchen, making daily tasks more convenient and enjoyable.

Start your kitchen journey today with Lily Ann Cabinets! Head to our website to order FREE SAMPLES, get a FREE 3D DESIGN, or meet with our professional designs and get real time answers to your questions with LILY ANN LIVE.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What factors should I consider when determining the best spot for my microwave cabinet?

A: When determining the best spot for your microwave cabinet, consider the workflow of your kitchen, the height and reach of users, ventilation requirements, and integration with the overall kitchen design. Ensure the microwave is accessible without disrupting the main cooking area and that it complements other appliances and cabinetry.

2. What are the pros and cons of placing the microwave cabinet at eye level versus below the countertop?

A: Placing the microwave at eye level offers easy access and visibility, making it convenient for frequent use. However, it can occupy valuable upper cabinet space and might be too high for shorter individuals or children. Below-countertop placement saves upper cabinet space and can be safer for all users, but it requires bending and might disrupt the aesthetic flow of lower cabinetry.

3. Are there specific guidelines or standards for the height and depth of microwave cabinets?

A: Yes, specific guidelines ensure safety and functionality. Eye-level microwaves should be about 54 inches from the floor to the base, while below-countertop microwaves should be around 15 inches from the floor. The cabinet depth should accommodate the microwave, typically 15 to 18 inches deep, with about 2 inches of ventilation space on all sides.

4. Can I incorporate the microwave cabinet into my kitchen island or peninsula?

A: Yes! Incorporating the microwave cabinet into your kitchen island or peninsula is a great option. This placement keeps the microwave accessible and frees up upper cabinet space, providing a sleek, modern look. Ensure there is adequate ventilation, proper electrical access, and that the microwave fits seamlessly with your kitchen design.

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