[Guide] Standard Cabinet Size for Over the Range Microwave

Standard Cabinet Size for Over the Range Microwave

The over the range microwave is a great option if you’re renovating your kitchen and want to maximize space. This microwave is mounted above the range, enabling easy access from all areas of the kitchen.

Because the microwave sits directly over the range, you’ll need to know the dimensions of your range before you can determine how large of a microwave you’ll need. Its width and height determine the size of your range.

We’ll talk about standard cabinet size for over the range microwaves. Make sure to call your local appliance store or a general contractor for information about specific size requirements.

This article will help you determine the heights and widths of the different ranges out there and give you an idea of which cabinet is best suited for your microwave size.

The short answer to what size cabinet above microwave is this:

The ideal cabinet sizes are based on various factors

The common consensus is to leave enough space based on the cabinets and microwave sizes.

  • Over-the-Range Microwaves: The cabinet above the microwave should typically be around 17/8–16 inches in height to fit beneath standard 30-inch wide upper wall cabinets.
  • Wall Cabinet: When using wall cabinets with an over-the-range microwave, leave 1–3 inches above the microwave for proper ventilation and functionality.
  • Kitchen Cabinets: Consider the depth of your cabinets, which typically ranges from 1/1–3 feet. Ensure the chosen microwave fits comfortably within the cabinet while allowing for proper ventilation.
  • Open Microwave Door: Provide 1–2 inches of clearance on each side of the microwave for smooth opening and closing of the door. Also, consider the open door depths for easy access and maneuverability.
  • Built-In Microwaves: Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for built-in microwaves, as they often have specific installation requirements. They typically require around 1/3–7 inches of space above the unit.
  • Existing Microwave Enclosure Considerations: Measure the existing enclosure’s width, height, and depth to ensure a proper fit for the new microwave.

What is an Over the Range Microwave?

Standard Cabinet Size for Over the Range Microwave

As a term, it was originally used in the food service industry for a microwave hood or cabinet that is mounted over an existing countertop range hood. The “over the range” is because the hood can be placed above or below the countertop as needed.

This product category has been recently expanded to include a new type of fixture, the installation of which involves mounting the microwave above the countertop and then the countertop over it, giving it the nickname “over-the-counter range.”

What Size Kitchen Cabinets for Over the Range Microwaves?

Standard Cabinet Size for Over the Range Microwave

In standard microwaves, the size is stated as the unit size of each model. For example, a model 15 inch microwave is 15 inches wide by 7 inches high. This refers to the microwave dimensions not the oven-like dimension in inches.

Before you carry out an installation, there are some things that you should consider and take into account.

1. Distance Between Cooktop and OTR Bottom

The height of your kitchen will dictate how large a microwave you can buy. The distance between the top of your stove and the top of your microwave should be at least 30 inches.

The distance between the bottom of the stove and the bottom of your microwave should be at least 24 inches.

You can measure these distances on most modern ranges with a tape measurer or by using a counter, or you can eyeball it.

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2. Depth of Cabinet Space

How deep does a cabinet need to be for an over-the-range microwave?

On average, the depth is 12 inches. This is compared to the interior depth of the OTR microwaves, which is approximately 15-16 inches. The depth is the most important factor when selecting the right size microwave for your kitchen.

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3. Height of the Cabinet

The average height of an OTR microwave oven is typically about 17 inches.

This height is to accommodate the standard-size microwaves of today. As microwaves get smaller and older models are replaced, they will become less of a problem. Depending on your ceiling height, it may pose a slight challenge if your cabinets reach the ceiling.

4. Standard Cabinet Width

The standard width of most OTR ovens is 30 inches. If you have a standard 30-inch wide cabinet, the width will be 60 inches for a 4 space setup. For example, if you have 6-space OTR, you will need at least 8 pieces of 30 inch wide cabinets to line up ventilation space correctly.

When to Use an Over The Range Microwave?

quartz countertop for dark cabinet

When you are doing a kitchen remodel, or if you just moved into a new house, and your old microwave died, you don’t have to accept the OTR that came with the house when it was built. You can choose your own size and features.

Microwaves from OTR are ideal for compact living. They make it easier and quicker to prepare meals in a limited space. Microwaves from OTR will help you save time and energy in your cooking.

If you want to have an exhaust hood for the kitchen, you have to think about the size. OTR ranges are minimal, and they take up very little space. It will be beneficial to choose a microwave size that is smaller than your range hood in most cases.


Is over the range microwave good?

Yes, over the range microwave is a good choice for a compact kitchen. It will save you space in your kitchen, and it will help you prepare food faster. Because of its small size, it will not take up a lot of space in your kitchen.

Is an over the range microwave big?

No, OTR microwaves are not big. They can be installed above or under the range stove. They can be installed on the wall or mounted on the wall. They can also be installed in the corner of a room.

How long does an over the range microwave last?

Over the range microwaves usually have a small lifespan. They are not meant to last for a very long time. Customers tend to choose them because of their affordability. Generally, they are better for your budget than other more durable versions.

Does a over the range microwave need to be vented?

Over the range microwave usually comes with a ventilation system. It is essential to make sure you have proper ventilation for your OTR microwave. If you don’t have proper ventilation, you risk having moisture and mold growing in your house.

What will size over the range microwave fit?

The best way to know what size microwave you need for your OTR is to measure your range hood. Measure the distance from the back wall and the space from side to side on top of your stove.


You will not go wrong when you choose an over-the-range microwave for your kitchen. They are low maintenance, and they are perfect for a small kitchen.

You can use them for cooking, baking, reheating, warming, and defrosting food. The OTR microwaves are user-friendly and are very easy to install.

If you are looking to buy an over-the-range microwave, you will see that many choices are available on the market. You can buy them from online stores or local retailers.

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