Retrofitting Kitchen for Over-the-Range Microwave


Retrofitting Kitchen for Over-the-Range Microwave

You’ve decided an over-the-range microwave is right for your kitchen, but the designated space isn’t quite right. Over-the-range microwaves are convenient space savers, but they aren’t something you should install without proper guidance. After all, you are permanently putting something directly over a heat source; improper installation is an accident waiting to happen.

Your existing kitchen design may need to be altered to accommodate the appliance you desire.

You can go from something like this:


To this:


But if you’re not sure how to properly install an over-the-range microwave in your kitchen, we have answers. Here’s a helpful list of common scenarios and our solution to each design dilemma.

Dilemma 1: Soffit Above

In home renovation a soffit, also known as a bulkhead, refers to any kind of boxed-in area that hides structural elements (beams, etc.) or services (HVAC duct work, electrical wires, or plumbing services). Because soffits almost always contain services, extreme care should be exercised when cutting into them.

OTR micro blog



1. Modify the cabinet. Shorten the height of the cabinet and rework the doors. Essentially you’re bumping the cabinet up and out to make more room. Use a custom cabinetmaker or experienced craftsman, such as HKB, to rebuilt the cabinet.

2. Replace the cabinet to fit. Ask us to work with you to find the perfect door style and finish to match your existing kitchen cabinets.

3. Use accent cabinet or replace with something else above. Our expert installers can add an accent cabinet or display shelf that will match your existing kitchen cabinetry.

crown (1)

Dilemma 2: Crown Molding Above

A crown molding is an decorative molding around the wall of a room just below the ceiling or applied to the top of the cabinets.


OTR m. w- crown


Cut the crown molding for the microwave’s width. Move the cabinet up and out to accommodate the new microwave. Add new crown molding above and around to finish cabinet ends. Our designers can help match your existing molding’s finish and style.

Dilemma 3: No Soffit or Crown Above


Move the cabinet up to fit the microwave in. Address any necessary finish issues on cabinet and add finished panels and crown molding if necessary.

If you’re remodeling your kitchen and decide you’d like to install an over-the-range microwave, it may not be as easy as you think. If you’re unsure, ask the professionals. When it comes to your home and family, the old saying applies: Better safe than sorry!

Contact us today for a FREE In-House Consultation!

About Us: We are a convenient one-stop design and installation firm you can trust! We’ll be happy to help you complete your project on time, and on budget. For more information, please contact us at Harrisburg Kitchen and Bath, and we invite you to visit our showroom.

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