How to Install an Over-the-Range Microwave

Clear counter space by installing a microwave above your stove. We'll walk you through the steps you should follow to install an over-the-range microwave.

Over-the-range microwaves are conveniently placed and do double duty as range vents. You need a microwave designed especially for the job, as well as a vent to carry away exhaust fumes from the stove. The vent is built into the wall and is easiest to install when you're building or remodeling the kitchen. But if you're good at drywall repair, you can install one in a finished kitchen. You also need a cabinet the microwave hangs from. The cabinet not only provides support but it also contains the wiring for the microwave and may contain part of the venting.

You'll need to spend about two hours to hang the microwave from the wall and cabinet; longer if venting and wiring is required. Before you begin, move the range if it's in the way, and install a microwave cabinet.

  • Start to Finish 2 Hours
  • Difficulty         Projects Kind of Easy
  • Involves Electrical Skills

What you need

Tools

  • Screwdriver
  • Tape measure
  • Stud finder
  • Drywall saw
  • Wire cutters
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Strippers

Materials

  • Over-the-range microwave
  • Cable
  • Outlet boxes
  • Receptacle
  • Receptacle cover, if new outlet is needed
  • Vent, if needed

How to do it

Step 1 Install Vent

Install the vent and cover it with drywall. Cut through the drywall with a drywall saw to access the vent.

Step 2 Install Outlet

Over-the-range microwaves hang from a cabinet. Install an outlet for the microwave inside the cabinet.

Step 3 Position the Fan

The microwave can vent through the wall or the roof. On some microwaves you'll adjust the vent to channel the air in the right direction. On others, including this one, you'll position the fan to channel the air.

Step 4 Prepare Mounting Plate

A mounting plate attaches to the wall and bolts through the bottom of the cabinet into the top of the microwave support the unit.

Step 5 Tape Mounting Template

Many microwaves come with a template for mounting. Tape the template to the wall, drill where shown, then remove the template. If there is no template, follow the manufacturer's directions to lay out the mounting holes.

Step 6 Attach Mounting Plate

Attach the mounting plate to the wall. The exact method depends on where the studs fall and on the design of the plate. You need to attach to at least one stud but can probably use toggle bolts elsewhere. Follow the manufacturer's directions.

Step 7 Hang Microwave

Make sure the door is latched and have someone help you hang the microwave on the mounting plate.

Step 8 Bolt Microwave

Bolt the microwave to the cabinet following the manufacturer's directions and plug it in.

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