Updated at: 30-08-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

Do you wonder how much space you should leave above your stove for a microwave? The distance between the microwave and the stovetop may need to be adjusted depending on the model you select.

Over-the-range microwaves are built to withstand higher temperatures and require less clearance around the stove than countertop models.

Manufacturers typically place capacity restrictions on over-the-range microwave cooktops. The range’s BTU output is significantly lower than that of a standard home range.

Because of this, GE warns that you shouldn’t use them on ranges with BTUs more than 60,000. This shouldn’t be an issue unless you have an abundance of highly potent burners.

What Is the Proper Distance to Separate a Microwave & a Range Top?

Countertop Microwaves

A microwave placed on a countertop near a range should be kept at least three feet away from the range to prevent it from being damaged by heat or fire and to shield it from food spills. Never place a microwave directly on top of a cooktop; instead, give it plenty of clearance, preferably 2 feet.

Proper distance between microwave and range top?

Over-the-Range Mounting

Over-the-range microwaves have their own exhaust fans and vents built in for easy cleanup after cooking. These models provide you the option of either venting to the outside of your home via a duct or back into the kitchen. The optimal safe distance from these devices to the range varies depending on who you ask.

Over-the-range microwaves, which require less clearance because of their design, should be installed as directed by the manufacturer in line with the International Residential Code (IRC), the building code upon which most local building codes are based.

The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) suggests keeping the microwave’s base no more than 54 inches from the floor, leaving a gap of 18 inches between the appliance and a standard cooktop’s 36-inch height.

Allowances for lesser clearances may be available from some manufacturers. The space between the microwave and the cooktop is between 13 and 16 inches if the microwave is positioned with a minimum of 66 inches from the floor and the top of the microwave as required by General Electric. Large pots may not be able to fit on the burner if there aren’t enough clearances.

Range Output Limits

It’s possible that certain manufacturers will make exceptions and allow for narrower clearances. If placed at the minimum permitted 66-inch height above the floor, the gap between the microwave and the cooktop is 13 to 16 inches, as specified by General Electric. If there isn’t enough room around the fire, a large pot won’t fit.

Microwave Landing Areas

The National Kitchen & Bath Association recommends that microwaves have a smooth surface where food can be laid down after being removed from the oven. The landing area, which can be situated above, below, or next to the door handle, should measure at least 15 inches in width. There is no landing space below an over-the-range microwave, so keeping the counter space next to the stove clear is essential.

What Is the Typical Size of a Microwave?

Countertop Microwave Sizes

Cooking appliances that are designed to sit atop a kitchen counter are referred to as countertop microwaves. However, while the extra counter space required by a countertop microwave limits its usefulness in comparison to a built-in oven, the latter allows for more flexible appliance placement. In addition, they don’t require installation and are usually less expensive than built-in alternatives.

Countertop microwaves can be found in a range of sizes. Typical sizes range from 1.1 to 1.9 cubic feet, but smaller and larger variants are available.

Countertops can range in size, with some being less than 18 inches wide and others being 24 inches or more. Although the depth of some models is merely 12 inches, the most majority are between 18 and 22 inches. Most people’s heights fall in between 10 and 18 inches.

Over-the-Range Microwave Sizes

Over-the-range microwaves have a venting system that allows them to function as an exhaust hood in addition to their primary function of heating food. While they are more expensive and may require expert installation than countertop ones, they do provide for more counter space.

Because they need to fit above a standard stove, over-the-range microwaves are significantly smaller than their countertop counterparts. Most models fall into the 29-30 inch width range, with a depth of 15-16 inches and a height of 16-18 inches. Normal capacities are between 1.5 and 2.2 cubic feet, however miniature variations are also available.

Built-In Microwave Sizes

A built-in microwave can be installed either above or below the cabinetry in your kitchen. When compared to their over-the-range counterparts, built-in vent hoods take up much less room on the countertop, allowing for the installation of a more powerful unit just over the stovetop. The most costly option is having a professional install a built-in microwave.

Built-ins, in contrast to over-the-range models, come in a wider variety of sizes. Like their countertop counterparts, built-in refrigerators typically have storage capacities between 1 and 1.9 cubic feet, while larger models are available. Built-in models have the same variety of outside dimensions as countertop units of the same capacity.

What do The Experts recommend?

It is recommended that you leave at least 13 inches of space between your microwave and your stovetop. The height of your microwave range varies with the model you have and how far your countertop extends out from the wall.

In addition, please consider the following recommendations for the installation you intend to perform. By heeding expert tips, you may make your kitchen seem better while also making better use of the space available.

#1. For the kitchen countertop microwaves

It’s important to keep the microwave at least three feet away from the stovetop to avoid any potential for a fire or overheating of a countertop microwave. The microwave will be safe from any spills from the stove, saving you time and effort.

A countertop microwave needs to be at least two feet away from any heat source, as this is how the appliance was designed. As a result, you should never put them on a burner.

#2. Mounting over-the-range

This type of microwave incorporates exhaust ventilation and purification devices. These models provide the option of either venting the fumes outside or recycling them back into the cooking area. The recommended distance between these devices and the stove varies depending on who you ask.

This model of microwave includes ventilation devices for eliminating exhaust from the cooktop. You can direct the exhaust outside or bring it back inside, depending on your own preference. Everyone has a different opinion on how far these gadgets should be placed from the stove.

Some manufacturers are more lenient and allow for tighter clearances. GE recommends leaving at least 13 inches of space between your stove and microwave. If your stovetop is on the modest side, you may find it challenging to use stockpots and other large cooking vessels. Read up on the history of the range vs. stove debate if you want an explanation for the nomenclature used today.

#3. Microwave induction cooking

The National Kitchen & Bath Association recommends including a tidy landing zone for microwaveable objects.

The landing zone needs to be 15 inches wide and located either next to or above the microwave door. Since there is nowhere for the microwave to set down directly above the range, you’ll need to clear up the counter space near the stove for this appliance.

Microwave Over The Range Vs. Integrated Microwave: What’s The Difference?

Although both microwaves are compact in construction, they serve very different purposes. Having a microwave oven with a long reach has two benefits. These gadgets can be used as microwaves or as a replacement to traditional range hoods.

A built-in microwave oven is an alternative to a countertop microwave oven, and can be mounted to a wall or concealed behind a cabinet. Even though they remove a lot of clutter from your countertops, they aren’t always easy to set up. If you have never dealt with electricity before, it is recommended that you engage a professional electrician.

Where Should You Put Your Microwave Oven?

A microwave used on a countertop needs to be at least two feet away from any flames. You might want to keep it on a counter close to the kitchen. A countertop microwave will save time and effort in the kitchen if multiple people are preparing meals at the same time.

Try different spots in the kitchen until you find one that suits it best. Pick your favorite from the remaining alternatives. These devices are convenient in that they are small, lightweight, and portable. Try out the counter space in a nook near the landing area, or on a cart, before committing permanently. To understand this, picture the proximity of a microwave oven and a stove.

Pros and Cons of Over-the-Range Microwaves | O'Hanlon Kitchens

How To Safely Distance Your Appliances

If you want to know how much room you’ll need between your stove and microwave, first figure out what kind of microwave you’ll be using. Is this a variant that fits on a kitchen counter? The item’s intended placement above the stovetop is unclear.

Over-The-Range Microwaves

Home improvement professionals advise leaving at least 66 inches of clearance between the kitchen floor and the bottom of the microwave if you plan to install it above the range. Most people will be able to utilize the microwave because of how high it is. If installing your microwave above the range, the manufacturer recommends leaving at least thirteen inches of clearance between the two surfaces. However, this distance might need to be at least 18 inches long in order to satisfy the requirements of some manufacturers. Why do different manufacturers give such conflicting recommendations?

What Is The Difference Between Over-The-Range And Built-In Microwaves?

Even though both microwaves are compact and intended to free up important cabinet or tabletop space, there are significant differences between the two.

A microwave with a longer reach can do double duty in the kitchen. These gadgets are not just microwave ovens, but also functional replacements for range hoods.

Built-in microwaves are microwave ovens that have been installed in a cabinet or on a wall. Although these could help you free up a lot of desk space, setting them up may prove to be a bit of a chore. If you have no experience with electricity, it is recommended that you hire a professional.

Can Steam (From The Stovetop) Damage A Microwave?

Appliances that are built to endure rough treatment fall into this category. Steam from cooking could potentially damage a microwave placed over the stove. Here’s the skinny on that matter.

The steam from your cooking pots and pans will not damage your over-the-range microwave. If condensation forms on the microwave door from steam, wipe it off with a damp cloth.

Infrequently, steam can sneak into the microwave and cause the door to fog. This is because the glass doors on these appliances promote air circulation. If this happens to you, try leaving the microwave door open for five minutes. Any moisture that had condensed on the glass door should now be gone.

Does A Countertop Microwave Need Ventilation?

Some of the vents on a microwave for the counter may not have been obvious to you. Vents are often located on either the side or the top of these units and serve an important function. These holes in the enclosure let hot air escape, keeping the internal electronics from overheating.

Some people may prefer to put their microwaves in cabinets out of sight. Later in this essay, I’ll get into the specifics of whether or not I think this is a good idea.

Where Should You Put A Countertop Microwave?

The recommended distance between a microwave and a cooktop is two feet, therefore if you have a counter, you can use a countertop microwave. Put it on a counter near the kitchen sink if at all possible. Having a microwave on this counter would be incredibly convenient if you’re ever cooking for more than one person.

Trying out a few different areas in your kitchen to see where you like it most is the simplest method to determine where it will work best for you. Being compact and lightweight, these gadgets are convenient to bring along wherever you go. Put some counter space close to the stairwell’s landing on a cart and see how it performs. You could end up surprising yourself with your choice.

How Can You Hide A Microwave?

Earlier in this thread, the concept of hiding a microwave on a kitchen counter surface was discussed. Is there any way to know if it’s safe to proceed?

The equipment needs to be tucked away inside a seldom-used cupboard. To make more room on the kitchen counter, it would be out of sight when not in use. This is a perfectly safe practice, so long as three things are remembered.


These countertop units, it has been argued, need ventilation. Therefore, it is necessary to recommend a space between the microwave’s outside and the inside walls of any enclosure.

This data ought to be available in the owner’s manual for your car. Before you buy a microwave, check the manual to see how much room it requires for ventilation.


It’s not ideal to have a fire break out when you’re not cooking. This could happen if the proper electrical connection for your countertop microwave is not made before you put it away behind a closed cabinet door.

If you want to retain your countertop microwave in the cabinet, you’ll need to make sure there’s access to an electrical outlet inside. Those in possession of it can put it to good use. If it doesn’t have a lock, a qualified electrician can install one for you safely and affordably even if your chosen cabinet doesn’t.

Cabinet Strength

Last but not least, be sure the cabinets you want to utilize can hold anything you want to store inside of them. Make sure the cabinet is securely fastened to the wall with screws or anchors. Nothing is worse than having last night’s dinner tumble to the floor when you’re reheating it.

How Close Can a Microwave Over the Stove Be?

Place the microwave at the proper height above the countertop.

However, a microwave that is placed 14 inches from the oven is within easy reach of most people of average height. Microwaves that are installed far lower than recommended can cause harm to the heatproof panels. Having a microwave that is lower to the counter means less room for dishes.

A microwave oven may need to be installed a few inches higher than recommended if it is to be flush with nearby cabinetry in the kitchen. As long as it is convenient for you to reach, you can put the microwave anywhere over the stove.

Other Considerations

It is possible that you will need to cut down the height of your microwave by two inches if your oven has a very large backsplash area. The optimal height for a microwave is 66 inches above the work surface. Over-the-range microwaves might not work in ovens with a BTU rating higher than 60,000.

Issues With Over-the-Stove Microwave Ovens

Saving time in the kitchen is easy with the help of a microwave, which can quickly boil water and defrost meat without exposing it to any harmful bacteria. It’s not just that these units are bulky and take up a lot of room on the ground; they also dominate any available workspace on the kitchen island. Before installing one over your stove, it’s important to consider the possibility for issues.

A microwave that may be mounted above the range is a space-saving appliance.

Over-the-Stove Ovens

Microwave ovens designed for use over a stovetop are called “over-the-stove” models. The microwave’s popularity can be attributed to the fact that it frees up valuable space on the countertop or island and makes cleanup a breeze. It’s more efficient to have all of your kitchen appliances in one general area while preparing a large or difficult meal.


To avoid issues, make sure your over-the-range microwave is installed properly. If the microwave is too close to the stove, there won’t be enough room to move around, which increases the chance of burns. If you have a microwave in the space where a hood would normally go, you won’t be able to use it to vent steam from boiling pots. Even if the gadget is properly adjusted, those with limited arm mobility may have difficulty using it. Accessing and controlling the high microwave can be challenging.


When putting a microwave over a stove, allow at least 30 inches of clearance between its base and the stove’s range. Exhaust steam from your burner through the underside vents of your wall-mounted microwave. It is not safe to lower the temperature on an over-the-range microwave. Utilizing a step stool facilitates access to and use of the apparatus.


If a microwave can’t be installed at the minimum height required for safety, it shouldn’t be placed above a range. Place them above the range in another part of the kitchen, or in the base cabinets directly below the range. To avoid this, you can either purchase a new microwave specifically designed to fit above a stove, or you can simply move your existing unit.

The Drip Cap

  • Saving time in the kitchen is easy with the help of a microwave, which can quickly boil water and defrost meat without exposing it to any harmful bacteria.
  • To avoid issues, make sure your over-the-range microwave is installed properly.
  • If the microwave is too close to the stove, there won’t be enough room to move around, which increases the chance of burns.
  • Utilizing a step stool facilitates access to and use of the apparatus.


Should a microwave be above the stove?

There should be at least two feet of clearance between a countertop microwave and a stovetop, and you should never install a countertop microwave over a cooktop.

Best over the range microwaves of the year – Mr Toppers Toast Bar

Can I mount my microwave above the stove?

Place the microwave at the proper height above the countertop. Depending on the height of the oven, there is a 14- to 15-inch space between the microwave and the stovetop.

Are microwaves above the stove outdated?

A microwave placed over the range takes up valuable counter space, so installing one beneath the counter is a preferable space-saving choice. Over-the-range microwaves, which have been popular for decades, will finally be phased out this year.

Why do people put microwave over stove?

Microwave ovens designed for use over a stovetop are called “over-the-stove” models. Many people prefer to avoid visual clutter in the kitchen by placing the microwave in a cabinet rather than on a countertop or island.

Can a microwave be placed above an oven?

A microwave oven can be stored above a wall oven in a tall cabinet with an upper shelf, freeing up valuable counter space. Aesthetically, the placement of the kitchen’s appliances makes sense. This ensures a continuous aesthetic. If you mount your microwave over a wall oven, it will be in the ideal location.

How much room do you need above a stove for a microwave?

In order to avoid damage, the manufacturer recommends leaving at least thirteen inches of clearance between the base of the microwave and the top of the stove if installing the microwave above the range. However, this distance might need to be at least 18 inches long in order to satisfy the requirements of some manufacturers.

How high should a microwave be from the floor?

Microwaves should be positioned so that their bottoms are no more than 54 inches from the floor, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association. If you’re under 5’4″, the microwave might be too high even at the suggested setting.

How far should a microwave be above a gas stove?

The National Kitchen and Bath Association suggests keeping at least 18 inches of space between the microwave and the standard 36-inch stove height.

Do over the stove microwaves need to be vented?

Over-the-Range (OTR) microwaves can be used without a vent to the outside. All OTR microwave ovens feature a recirculation fan that can be turned on, or the fan can be adjusted to vent to the outside.

Are over the range microwaves hardwired?

The only other ways I can think of to wire a range fan are to either run a new circuit only for it, or to link it to an existing circuit.

How close can a microwave be to the stove?

Most microwave oven manufacturers recommend keeping microwaves at least 30 inches from the oven’s inside surface. Depending on the height of the oven, there is a 14- to 15-inch space between the microwave and the stovetop.

Can you put microwave next to stove?

A minimum of two feet of clearance is required between a stovetop and a microwave oven placed on a countertop. Similar to what you’d find over the stove, they won’t be able to withstand the heat. If you keep them back at least two feet from the microwave, you can lessen the chance of any burns occurring from any accidental spillage.

What is the standard height for a microwave over a range?

According to GE Appliances, the recommended minimum height for an over-the-range microwave is 66 inches. Due to the 66-inch height difference between the floor and the stove/microwave, a 13- to 16-inch gap can be created between the two appliances.

How much clearance do you need above a stove?

Professional installers and other kitchen experts recommend increasing the current 13-inch clearance above the stove top to 20-24 inches.

How much clearance does a microwave need?

A three-inch buffer zone exists around the perimeter. There is a space of one inch at the rear. The microwave’s front edge needs to be at least 3 inches away from any nearby counters or shelves to avoid the microwave from toppling over. If it must be placed on the counter, at least two feet of space should be left between it and the stove.

Is it safe to put a microwave above a gas stove in Ontario?

According to Section 2.1 of the Ontario Building Code, a minimum height of 750 mm (2 feet, 6 inches) is required above cooking surfaces. When installing the microwaves, the Applicant is doing so in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines.

How far should a microwave be from a gas stove?

The bottom of the microwave should be no more than 54 inches above ground level, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, which assumes a typical cooktop height of 36 inches.

Where should microwave be placed in kitchen?

Entering a topic or author’s name into a search

  1. It’s forbidden territory. This is a tested and true solution, particularly for compact cooking areas.
  2. A tier or two above.
  3. The implication of a lower shelf.
  4. combined with a finishing kit.
  5. When a wall-mounted oven is utilized.
  6. The kitchen cabinets at home.
  7. HIDDEN As part of a storage unit.