How to Install an Over-the-Range Microwave

How to Install an Over-the-Range Microwave
  • Opening Intro -

    There’s nothing quite like moving into a new house or apartment and considering the blank canvas that living space represents.

    A new, empty home has much potential, and the homeowner has the freedom to do with it whatever he or she pleases.


Oftentimes the only thing limiting them is their budget or imagination.

But while the sky’s the limit as far as some design schemes are concerned (most people can paint a wall or dabble in amateur feng shui) there are practical matters of getting a new home in order that aren’t quite as fun as deciding where exactly to position that entertainment center. These include ensuring that vital appliances are up and running and properly installed.

For example, many new homes contain a mounting space above the kitchen range designed to accommodate a microwave. These empty spaces often intimidate those lacking certain home improvement skills regarding appliance installation. But the solution certainly shouldn’t be to leave the space empty, as an over-the-range microwave is efficient and a great space saver. Nor does the homeowner need to call in a pro to do the job for them. That’s because even the least handy of homeowners should be able to install a brand new range microwave in less than an hour.


  • Safety Goggles
  • Phillips Screwdriver
  • Pencil
  • Tape Measure
  • Carpenter Square
  • Tin Snips
  • Scissors
  • Power Drill
  • Handheld Electric Saw
  • Stud Finder
  • Level
  • Duct Tape


Run the stud finder across the wall of the mounting area in order to locate the studs. Mark all stud locations with the pencil. All new over-the-range microwaves make the installation process easy for amateurs by including a wall template complete with markings that denote the locations of cutouts, support screws and cable access holes. Tape this template to the wall.


Put on the safety goggles and use the power drill and electric saw to cut holes in the marked areas of the top cabinet for the exhaust adapter cutout, support screws and cable access.


Align the wall plate that came included with the microwave over the template and use the Phillips screwdriver to mount it using the included mounting screws. Ensure the screws align with the wall studs.


Place the power cable on the top of the microwave and, with a helper, lift the microwave over the mounting area, tilting it forward at a 45-degree angle so the bottom corners align with the lower tabs on the wall mount. Have the helper hold the microwave securely in place and run the power cable through the cord opening in the top cabinet mounting area.


Position the microwave so it is flush against the wall and insert the mounting screws into the screw holes in the cabinet and into the mounting holes at the top of the microwave. Tighten the screws until the microwave lifts flush with the top of the cabinet and achieves perfect balance.


Position the upper exhaust duct adapter over the exhaust connector at the top of the microwave and wrap duct tape around the connection to secure it.


Slide the included grease filter onto the marked area at the bottom of the microwave and plug the microwave itself into a power source.

Kitchen Projects

By following these quick steps anyone should be able to install any new-model microwave into an open mounting area above their kitchen range. And homeowners can apply many of the same principals learned in this installation project to other appliances, such as dishwashers and oven ranges. After a while there won’t be any kitchen installation the homeowner won’t be able to accomplish.



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Categories: Kitchen and Dining

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".