Seeing a number of installations of microwaves directly 'above'
regular electric cooking stoves or 'cook-tops'. Including in a house a
relative is considering buying.
Wondering not so much about heat (Although the microwaves are not a
commercially rated product and are built down to a price) but mainly
For example; a 5 foot 5 inch woman reaching up to the microwave with
pots and boilers on stove below?
Any comments? Suggestions. TIA
I dislike having a microwave over the stove.
The front needs constant cleaning, it is unsafe to use when the
stove is in use, and when the stove is not in use the microwave
is still too high for many people to use safely and conveniently.
Unless the container inside is clear glass, most people cannot
check the contents without first taking the container out of the
microwave. And when some food explodes inside, the cleanup can
be a major PITA involving a stepstool or ladder for someone who
is not taller than average. For a tall person using the stove,
the microwave tends to be too "in your face".
Assuming you are speaking of the kind that is designed to be installed over
the stove, with the vent and a light built in, they are safe if installed
fallowing the manufactures specs for distance above the cooktop, and of
course any local codes on this.
Safety? Well, if the user isn't cautious when using it, particularly when
using the cook top as well, then they do risk injury. But it isn't like it
is a hidden danger, it is pretty obvious that reaching over the hot cooktop
has risks, just like reaching over the cooktop to adjust oven and timer
settings on a range where these are located at the back of the cooktop.
Convenience is another matter. The location might be too high for a shorter
person to easily, and perhaps safely, access. But again, that could be an
issue with a standard microwave in a cabinet where it might be located above
Bottom line - it is pretty much personal preference. If you have the
kitchen space to place it somewhere else, it would obviously be somewhat
safer and perhaps more convenient. In our smaller kitchen, with just the
wife and me normally using it, having it over the range was pretty much a
no-brainer. It provides more counter and cabinet space in the rest of the
kitchen, and keeps the 'cooking' appliances in one area, convenient to the
person (me) doing the cooking.
I don't really think it's a practical idea for a shorter person. However,
I'm 5'9" and have absolutely no problem moving food in and out of the
microwave, or stirring food while it's in there.
There's a minimum recommended distance for mounting the microwave above the
range, and for various reasons such as proper function of the ventilation
system underneath, room to reach pots on the back of the range top, and
obviously, convenience of access to whatever is in the microwave.
They were designed for this purpose, and I see no serious issues with them,
other than the user's height.
Having said that, we have two microwaves, one over the range and one
countertop model that we had before we moved into this house. I use both,
but tend to use the countertop model for things that require more
(correct the spelling of "geemail" to reply)
We've had one for about 25 years now. My wife is 5'3" and has no problem.
It gets used even when the stove is in use with boiling pots or frying.
They have a built in thermostat that will turn on the vent fan if the
temperature gets too hot from the burners or oven venting. While not as
convenient as a counter top, it does save space and it works. For us, it is
the only practical ay of having a MW.
My mother's condo has this arrangement, and she's never used the microwave.
She's 85 and 5'0", so she can't even see inside the thing without a step
stool. I'm 5'6" and I wouldn't use the thing either. I'm not comfortable
pulling out a casserole with boiling hot contents at face level.
I sold these things for over twenty years and resisted installing one for my
wife. She's only 5ft 2in and somewhat accident prone. Is always in a hurry
and doesn't think of the consequences of her actions before acting. Finally
gave in and put one in and she's used it now for three years without an
accident. I guess I could have made a little more money by not scaring away
my short women customers.
Wife is 5 foot 4 in. Microwave is above the (Glass Top) stove for more
years that I care to mention. Your concern is admirable but not worth the
time thinking about it. If there was a problem I would have heard about it
long ago. Not to worry.
Get her a set of 6 inch heels to wear in the kitchen. This will bring her
up to 5'11" and that should be tall enough to reach. Other protective gear
such as a set of fishnets, (for proper ventilation) a garter and an apron
might be nice also,
You of course should supervise her closely especially when she has to reach
up to a high shelf or bend at the waist to get something off a low shelf.
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