I moved into an apartment and want to install an over-the-range microwave. The space above the stove measures 30 in. wide, 11 in. deep, 15 in height. But how far outside of that should a microwave typically stick?

I gather I don't need to vent the microwave to the outside (which is good), but wonder if there's anything else I should think about. I've not done a lot of DIY work in the past.

  • 2
    By apartment, if you mean the "usual in my area" it's a rental rather than you own it, an OTR microwave is a farly dubious thing, as they approximate "built in" and may upset the owner of the apartment. If you mean a space which you own, go for it.
    – Ecnerwal
    Nov 18, 2020 at 21:59
  • 1
    Do you mean toward the user? What's the concern?
    – isherwood
    Nov 18, 2020 at 22:05
  • @Ecnerwal I mean an "usual in my area" rental, but I can replace the hood without any issues from them. When they redo my apartment, they plan to replace all the appliances, including put their own microwave in. But it'll cost me $200/mo. to get a refurbished apt..
    – Jeff
    Nov 18, 2020 at 22:51
  • 2
    Is there a power receptacle readily available? If not, you're messing with wiring, which is sketchy, or getting a pro, which is pricey. Nov 19, 2020 at 1:55
  • @isherwood Oh, OK. The back of the open space is flat wall, then the cabinets are 11". All the microwaves I see are 15", which means it would extend 4 inches in front of the cabinets. Then, the space is 15" high, but most microwaves seem to be 16 inches tall.
    – Jeff
    Nov 19, 2020 at 6:36

1 Answer 1


As much as the microwave needs it to. They almost always stick out some, both forward and below the side cabinets.

Most upper cabinets are ~12" deep. My microwave comes out another 2-1/2" or so beyond the face of the cabinets (without the handle) and hangs below about 2". The top mounting screws are maybe 10" from the wall, so as long as your cabinet has that depth and is robust enough to support the weight, all good.

  • How can I tell if they're strong enough to support the weight?
    – Jeff
    Nov 18, 2020 at 22:52
  • 2
    Same way you'd tell if a chair was going to collapse if you sat on it. Use some common sense! This isn't rocket surgery. :)
    – isherwood
    Nov 19, 2020 at 0:10
  • 2
    On a slightly more serious note, @Jeff, use a stud finder to see if they built in any horizontal bracing that you could mount it to. If there is, you should be golden. If not, use the stud finder to find where the studs are and see how they line up with the mounting screws for the microwave. If you've got studs right behind the mounting holes, you're golden! If not, peruse this forum for questions about mounting things to drywall, but consider the weight of the oven plus the (HOT) food you're cooking before you decide to continue with this endeavor.
    – FreeMan
    Nov 19, 2020 at 14:02
  • 1
    There is some concern that the cabinets in an apartment aren't up to the task. It's for that and other reasons I didn't get into that issue. It's out of scope here as the question stands and is a broad topic. Photos or a a clear description would be required for specific advice.
    – isherwood
    Nov 19, 2020 at 14:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.