Hung Up

FINALLY!  The new (new as in we bought it brand new over a year ago and it’s been sitting in a bedroom closet since) over-the-range microwave is up!june82012 005 

Here’s how we did it:

Since we didn’t have the somewhat “required” upper cabinet to attach the microwave to, we had to improvise.  (We actually used to have one there but it hung too low, making any microwave we attached to it lower and closer to the stove than it was supposed to be – the stove top should be at least 16 inches from the bottom of the microwave.)  After searching the internet on how to hang a microwave without an upper cabinet, all we came up with was the option of buying this ‘hanging kit’ that supposedly existed but that we couldn’t find anywhere.  In came Anthony’s great idea to build a shelf that would basically be a built-in cabinet of sorts only without the doors.  We could’ve had doors made to fit or tried to somehow cut ours down to fit but we kinda liked the idea of having an open shelf to store cookbooks and such, not to mention that custom doors would’ve been expensive and over our budget and cutting up our own, risky.  So, a shelf it would be.

So, after we took out the old cabinet (our cabinets were built in place so that’s why there are two notched-out lines in the sides of both side cabinets), I primed and painted the area during my kitchen painting spree a few months ago.mar172012 002  The gaping hole in the wall is where the old electrical wiring for the hood vent came through.  Since neither that, nor the old cabinet notches were going to be seen sans microwave installation, we didn’t bother to fill them in.  Lazy?  Maybe.  Aware of the unnecessary?  Definitely.

Next, Anthony shortened the back of the old cabinet a tad more so that he could use the old vent hood wiring to put in a new outlet for the microwave. may262012 009

Then, up went the new shelf.     may262012 010

The actual ‘shelf’ is a 3/4 inch piece of plywood that was cut-to-size and then screwed on top of two pieces of 2 x 4.  The two pieces of 2 x 4 were firmly attached to each neighboring cabinet and then a two-inch wide piece of wood was attached to the front to make the shelf look built-in.  For added support for the shelf, Anthony also installed a scrap plank of wood behind the front piece of wood but under the shelf.   Get it?  Hopefully the picture helps explain.

After all that, we filled in the screw beds and went to town priming and painting.

The next thing to go up was the wall support that came with the microwave…  june82012 002

…followed by the microwave itself.june82012 006Meanwhile I went ‘house-hunting’, grabbing things from different places in our house to temporarily fill up the shelf until I find some colorful cookbooks to take up the space.

It’s definitely a far cry from where we started circa 2009:cupboard 003

Next thing to go up?  The subway tile backsplash.  At the rate we’re going, we’ll be done with that right before the twins first birthday.  :)  However, we may or may not be planning to start on it tomorrow.  I guess you’ll just have to wait and see.


  1. I just want to say that I'm so glad I found this post! I have this exact dilemma and was searching far and wide for a solution. I had a similar game plan in mind but its so reassuring to see you came up with the same idea and that it worked for you! thanks for posting :)

    1. Awesome and great to hear! Our set-up is still going strong after four years! Good luck! :)

  2. Hi! I know this post is a bit old, but I was wondering if you could say more about how you secured the 2x4s to the neighboring cabinets securely without damaging the cabinets. I'm a bit of a novice diyer and I just want to make sure I'm doing things securely. Thanks!

    1. Hey Katlyn!
      Our cabinets are solid wood, even the sides, so we just inserted a couple of long screws starting inside the cabinet horizontally through the 2 x 4 on the other side. We did that on both sides of the shelf. So you can see the screw heads inside the cabinet above our top shelf. Does that make sense?


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