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How High Does A Microwave Have To Be Over A Stove?

Last Updated on November 20th, 2022 - By Steve

Your microwave and stove must have a reasonable distance between them to prevent any risks.

Placing your microwave too close to your stove can cause a fire hazard, or your microwave could topple at some point when you’re moving around.

Always place your microwave about 13-15 inches away from the cookware of your stove or counter. However, the standard distance varies because placing different types of microwaves near your stove can pose different levels of risk.

In this article, I’ll list some common microwaves and tell you about the ideal distance between them and the stove.

What Is the Ideal Height Distance Between a Microwave And a Stove?

How High Does a Microwave Have to be Over a Stove

The ideal distance between a microwave and a stove varies for different microwaves.

However, the average distance for any microwave should be between 13 and 24 inches. 

Here are different types of microwaves and details on how you should position them away from the stove:

  • Over-the-range microwaves
  • Countertop microwaves
  • Convection Microwave
  • Under-counter microwaves
  • Built-in microwaves
  • Low profile microwaves

Over-the-Range Microwaves

Over-the-range microwaves are the ones to choose if you’re seeking for class. 

Over-the-range microwaves are arguably the best microwaves you’d find. Although they are known to be quite expensive, it’s worth it for the value they bring to the table.

Here are some features of an over-the-range microwave:

  • Over-the-range microwaves are like countertop microwaves but better. These microwaves are better because they give you access to the countertop. 
  • Over-the-range has pre-installed ventilation that helps to remove smoke and air toxins during heavy cooking.
  • Over-the-range microwaves facilitate better kitchen flow, allowing you to efficiently manage your time doing different things in the kitchen.
  • Over-the-range microwaves often have a very classy design
  • The high ends of over-the-range microwaves are mostly made with metals, making them very easy to clean.
  • Over-the-range microwaves have a unique feature called sensor cooking. This feature helps to prevent food from overcooking if you forget to take out the food.
  • Over-the-range microwaves have an eco-mode option to help save energy.
  • Over-the-range microwaves have three defrost options
  • Over-the-range microwaves come with up to seven easy menus for items such as pizza, beverages, potatoes, etc
  • Companies design over-the-range microwaves with timers that help to take note of how much time you cook.
  • There are three soft options in your microwave, cheese, ice cream, and butter.

Over-the-range microwaves use between 850 to 1200 watts of power to function. That amount translates to 850-1200 joules of heat it produces.

If you have an over-the-range microwave, you should install it 30 inches away from the stove and 66 inches from the kitchen floor.

However, over-the-range microwaves with pre-installed vents are known not to pose any risks, even when placed close to the kitchen stove or oven. 

Countertop Microwaves

Countertop microwaves fall under the category of freestanding units. These microwaves don’t require installations; you can place them on a countertop.

You can place a countertop microwave anywhere about 2 feet away from the cooktop of the stove in the kitchen.

Convection Microwave

Convection microwaves have some benefits, such as fast cooking, convection settings for even cooking, and several racks for cooking multiple dishes simultaneously.

Convection microwaves can use up to 2500 watts and 2500 joules of heat in just one second.

You can place your convection microwave around 13-16 inches away from the cooktop of your stove or oven.

Under-the-Counter Microwaves

It would be best to place your under-the-counter microwave about 54 inches away from the ground and 18 inches away from your stove or oven.

Built-in Microwaves

Built-in microwaves are usually installed in the cabinets or under the kitchen counter.

Built-in microwaves possess many desirable features and advantages, including the following:

  • A built-in microwave is for you if you have a small kitchen. Built-in microwaves take less space than a standard microwave model.
  • Built-in microwaves have a large capacity.
  • Built-in microwaves have a very eye-pleasing design
  • Built-in microwaves check the safety box as they have a children’s safety lock to prevent children from tampering with the microwave.
  • Built-in microwaves have a full glass and touch panel, making cleaning easy.
  • You don’t need to worry about pre-heating when it comes to built-in microwaves, as they provide a wide variety of grill functions.
  • Built-in microwaves come with up to eight auto-cook menus that save you the stress of setting the perfect temperature and cooking time.

For built-in microwaves, the average power it uses to facilitate their functions is between 600 and 1200 watts. That translates to 600-1200 joules of heat in one second.

You should install your built-in microwave about 13 inches away from your oven or the cooktop of your stove to prevent any bad occurrence.

Low-Profile Microwaves 

Low-profile microwaves are very compact and do not take up a lot of space. These microwaves are perfect when you need something small with great efficiency. 

Here are the features of a low-profile microwave:

  • Low-profile microwaves only take up a little space.
  • Low-profile microwaves provide powerful ventilation that helps to remove odor, grease, and steam during cooking.
  • Low-profile microwaves have bright lights that illuminate the area during cooking.
  • Low-profile microwaves have microwave presets and auto defrost, and some even have smart voice control abilities.

Some disadvantages to low-profile microwaves are that they do not have as many functions as other microwaves and are too small to hold some cookware.

An average low-profile microwave would use about 1000 watts to carry out its operations, producing about 1000 joules of heat in a second.

In simpler words, that’s a pretty significant amount of heat. You wouldn’t want that too close to flammable items, like your stove or oven.

A low-profile microwave should lie 13 inches away from your oven or the cooktop of your stove.

Here is a table to show the amount of heat various types of microwaves generate:

MicrowaveHeat Produced
Low profile microwaves1000 joules
Built-in microwaves600-1200 joules
Convection microwaves2500 joules
Over-the-range850-1200 joules

What Does the Building Code Say About Fitting Microwaves Above Stoves?

The building code states that there should be a height not less than 30 inches from the stove and microwave cooking top.

A minimum of 24 inches is acceptable under any of the following circumstances:

  • The combustible material above the cooking top of the stove is a 6mm thick insulating millboard covered with sheet metal.
  • You place a ventilating hood made of sheet metal 0.3 mm thick above the cooking top with a clearance of 6mm between the hood and the combustible material.

What Happens If Your Microwave Is too Close to a Stove?

Placing a microwave close to your kitchen stove can pose many risks.

Knowing that both your microwave and kitchen stove produce heat, placing them close together wouldn’t be sensible. Placing them close together can cause a fire hazard.

If something happens to start a fire in your kitchen, the microwave and the stove being close together will make it worse for you to bring calm to the place.

How High Can You Place Your Microwave Above a Counter? 

The height you choose to place your microwave depends on the type of microwave in question. 

However, the average height of any microwave above the counter should be about 32 inches.

Microwaves, stoves, and ovens produce heat; there are better choices than positioning them together. 

Placing your microwave at a safe distance above your counter or stove helps to save you from all the stress of a possible fire breakout or hazard.

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