New Microwave Trim Kit - Old hole too big

Our 1989 built-in microwave stopped working, so I bought a replacement. The problem is that the old microwave was huge, and the cutout requirement for the new microwave/trim kit is 3" smaller in height than the existing hole.
The trim kit specs 15 3/4", the existing hole is 18 1/2".
Any ideas on how to fill the gap? Should I try to match the wood stain, or am I better off using a contrasting material? I don't have a lot of money to spend here, that's why I'm trying to do this myself. Any ideas and suggestions appreciated.
A picture so you can get an idea of the cabinet material/color:
http://home.comcast.net/~jdmcahren/microwave.jpg
Thanks!
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If that is the new MW, you have more than 3" to worry about.
Build a box out of plywood that the new MW can sit on to center it vertically in the opening. The depth of the box should be no larger than the interior front to back measurement of the existing shelf. Then buy some oak filler strips and rip them down attaching to the top, bottom and sides of the existing cabinet to create the new net size you need. The bottom filler strip should be level with the top of the box that you built.
If you can't match the oak color you could use black or any other color you choose.
Colbyt
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Do you know the brand of the original cabinets? If so, you may be able to buy a matching trip strip or filler.
Barring that, you may be able to buy a piece of wood and come close on the stain. If so, it would be simple to bring it down to the required size. You may want to consider putting a shelf in the space also. Put a couple of cookbooks on it and it will fit right in like it belongs.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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Try find a matching kitchen drawer unit to fill up the gap as much possible. The same kitchen cabinet supplier will have wood strips to finish off the remaining gaps.
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Well, it doesn't look right. And the microwave is not a built-in unit. Trying to match the wood stain and finish is not an easy task. I guess you could install divider shelves, painted silver.
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Your picture helps a lot. Looks a lot like my old 1969 kitchen before the cabinets when into the garage.
Spencer's Appliance in Mesa Az sells trim kits to fit larger openings. Having said that you will need to buy a microwave that works with that model. These trim kits look funky to me, made of sheet metal and fit on 3 sides of the microwave. Top and sides only. The trim kit expands a lot like the expanders on window airconditioners. Call your manufacture and see if they offer such an option.
Anything you try to do with the wood will probably not match. At least it never does when I do it.
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On 2/24/2005 6:21 PM US(ET), JM took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

MW with a newer smaller GE unit. I looked around to get the largest size I could find that would fit without too much alterations, and this was the largest I could find that would fit. I didn't have as great a size difference as you have there, so I just put 2x4 pieces under the new MW to center it in the hole and used plastic trim moulding to frame out the gap. The oak trim color is a little redder than the cabinets, but who knows how long the MW will last. This unit will slide right out without having to remove the moulding.
http://www.willshak.com/DCP_0629.jpg
--
Bill

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Thank Looks pretty darn good. Far better than trying to use filler strips like I suggested.
Colbyt
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Better yet buy my microwave, it's a huge 70's model, weighs about 50 pounds and still runs well. Only 500 watts though.
wrote:

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consider putting on doors. home depot/lowes sell custom sized doors, already drilled and hinged for install.
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Duct tape, when applied with care, can be an attractive and festive way to display to your home repair skills to friends, neighbors and family.
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