Can You Put a Microwave in an Island – Kitchen Expert Explains

A kitchen island is an extremely useful innovation because it saves space and serves as storage for cooking utensils. Kitchen islands also serve as a counter in the kitchen, and you might be wondering if they can also house your microwave.

Can you put a microwave in an island? You can put a microwave in an island, as it is a terrific way for you to conserve space in your kitchen. You will need to make accurate measurements of the island and the microwave to get the right fit.

Laurysen Kitchens, an established kitchen design company in Canada, mentions that you can place a microwave in a kitchen island with a standard electricity setup.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Having a Microwave in an Island?

If you have a microwave in a kitchen island, you will have more room in your kitchen and things will be more orderly. On the other hand, placing a microwave in a kitchen island can be complex, requiring more skill, time, money, and effort.

Here are some advantages that come with installing your microwave in a kitchen island:

  • Spacious environment:

With your microwave in a kitchen island, you have more space to cook, move around, and perform other kitchen activities.

  • Storage space:

You have more space to store your pots, pans, and other utensils.

  • A beautiful kitchen:

Due to the space created, you have a kitchen that looks “bigger”, more elegant, and beautiful.

  • Accessibility:

Placing your microwave in a kitchen island makes it a lot more accessible, promoting easy use and convenience. I recommend the Sharp Microwave Drawer Oven that is available on Amazon. Click here to receive yours.

  • A sense of orderliness:

If your microwave fits and is fixed properly, its position will give a sense of neatness, combined with the cabinets and the island.

  • Easy to clean:

Due to its accessibility, it is very easy to clean your microwave and the island it’s placed on without needing to lift anything out.

  • No burning or scarring:

You can move hot objects around without fear of burning or scarring your fingers or hands.

  • Easy access to meals:

Unlike the countertop microwaves, you don’t need to bring out the meals before you stir them or season them.

Conversely, here are some disadvantages that you face when you place your microwave on your kitchen island:

  • Can be dangerous, especially to children:

The easy accessibility of your microwave can pose a serious threat, especially when you have kids around.

  • Cost:

Drawer microwaves, which are compatible with islands, are more expensive than regular microwaves. So if you are working on a budget, the price might be an issue.

  • Professional installation:

Unlike countertop microwaves, drawer microwaves require the expertise of a professional for installation due to their complexity. Also, if you need to remove your microwave, you still need the assistance of a professional.

  • Lack of convection:

Due to its lack of convection options (ventilation), you might need to install a ventilator.

  • Size limitation:

The size of your microwave will be limited to the size of your kitchen island.

From the points above, we can see that there are a lot of positives and negatives associated with placing a microwave in a kitchen island.

The microwaves that are installed in kitchen islands are called drawer microwaves because of their style and how they are installed in cabinets. Also, they are opened the same way a drawer is opened.

Referencing the lists above, microwaves in kitchen islands work better for people; without young children running around the house, with a desire for a more spacious kitchen, and who don’t mind spending more money.

At the end of the day, the choice is yours. Look at what suits you, your home, style, and bank, and go for it.

What Type of Microwave Is Best for an Island?

A drawer microwave is the best option if you want to install a microwave on an island. While you can also place a countertop microwave on an island, its appearance and compatibility are less than ideal.

A drawer microwave trumps a countertop microwave because of its elegance and style. Drawer microwaves open and close easily and they fit neatly in their space. They are also easy to clean, always accessible, and more eco-friendly than countertop microwaves. They are also more expensive than countertop microwaves. I recommend the ZLINE Microwave Drawer that is available at Click here to have yours delivered to your front door.

These advantages make drawer microwaves to be better suited to kitchen islands. Apart from that, there aren’t major differences between them and countertop microwaves in terms of functionality.

You can place a countertop microwave on an island, but there’ll be spaces at the edges, and this can ruin the aesthetics of your kitchen.

In conclusion, drawer microwaves are the best option for a kitchen island. But, you don’t have to break the bank because of luxury and space. Go for what suits your budget.

How Do You Install a Microwave in a Kitchen Island?

You can install a microwave in a kitchen island by first taking measurements to ensure that the sizes are compatible. Then, drill holes in your island’s shelf to accommodate the frame and slider of your drawer microwave.

A kitchen island plays a lot of important roles in the kitchen, the foremost of which is helping to conserve space. As the name suggests, a kitchen island is isolated from the rest of the kitchen.

Kitchen islands are mostly located in the middle of the kitchen, and they are a great way for you to take full advantage of the empty space in your kitchen’s center. The strategic location of your kitchen island makes your kitchen more orderly, serving as a midpoint for cooking and cleaning.

A kitchen island is also perfect for storing items. Modern kitchen islands have shelves for keeping utensils, and you can also use the island’s counter. One other notable function of your kitchen island is serving as a home for your microwave.

When installing a microwave on your kitchen island, the first thing to note is the microwave type. The best type of microwave for an island is a drawer microwave, as it is specially made to be an integrated part of your kitchen furniture, most especially your drawer or island.

There are two main procedure options that you can follow to install your microwave in your kitchen. The first method is to build an island based on and around the microwave. The second way is to find a microwave that fits the size of your island.

We are focused on the second method if you already have an island and want to place a microwave in it. You first need to take note of the sizes of both the island’s shelf that you want to use and the microwave that you want to buy.

When you have picked the shelf on your island that you want to use, predrill holes in the shelf to accommodate screws. This procedure is necessary to prevent the wood from cracking. Then, install the drawer microwave and tighten the screws to keep it in position.

Can You Put a Countertop Microwave in an Island?

Yes, you can put your countertop microwave on an island, but you will need to make accommodations for size and ventilation. These adjustments can be made successfully, but countertop microwaves are best left on the countertop.

Microwaves are an essential part of our kitchen, and manufacturers produce different microwave designs to suit our individual needs in the kitchen. The two major categories of microwaves are those that are designed for countertops and those for drawers.

The design of these two microwave types differs in terms of vent placement. Countertop microwaves are meant to be placed on top of a counter or cabinet in your kitchen. So, the vents of a countertop microwave are either at the back or the sides of the microwave, allowing air to go in and out easily. I recommend the Toshiba Countertop Microwave with Air Fryer that is available on Amazon. Click here to have yours delivered to your front door.

Also, countertop microwaves are designed to be free and are not supported by a wooden frame the way drawer microwaves are. Due to this difference in designs, it might not be convenient to place a countertop microwave on an island.

However, it is possible to install a countertop microwave in a cabinet unit if you do so cautiously. You will need to ensure that you give enough space on the inside of the microwave for there to be sufficient ventilation.

If your countertop microwave does not have sufficient space in the drawer for enough ventilation, then there won’t be room for steam to be released from the microwave. This is less than ideal and can lead to a fire.

Another thing you should take note of when installing a countertop microwave (click here for pricing) on an island is your kitchen’s appearance. Since the countertop microwave is not designed to be placed in an enclosure, there might be space at the edges – at the top and the sides.

While this excess space might not be important in terms of functionality, it can affect the appearance of your kitchen. If you are an enthusiastic fan of good looks in your kitchen, this might be a setback to your tastes.

Where to Put a Microwave if you do not have an island?

Where to Put Your Microwave Percentage of total responses
replace range hood with a microwave8%
In a cupboard below the kitchen counter23%
on the kitchen counter31%
in a wall cabinet next to fridge38%
data derived from various appliance forums

Does A Microwave Need Ventilation?

Microwaves require proper ventilation, as it is important for efficiency and safety. Poor ventilation for a microwave can either damage the microwave or cause a fire.

Microwave venting needs vary depending on model and design. Modern kitchens are often compact, and electric appliances such as microwaves are kept in confined spaces to make the kitchen neat and spacious. However, appliance ventilation must not be ignored.

Microwaves cook food with radiation, by heating food particles and water, making them vibrate rapidly. The heat generated from the vibration cooks the food. An outlet is needed for hot air in the microwave, which allows heat escape.

The air ventilation system carries out this function. Appropriate clearance should be made during installation for the vents to ensure proper airflow, if not, the appliance could become faulty. 

The microwave’s efficiency and safety might be affected if the heat does not get out. Consequently, microwaves are fitted with vents on the top, or on the sides. Adequate external ventilation is required for microwaves without inbuilt ventilation systems.

Here are some reasons why microwave ventilation is important.

  • Safety and efficiency are the primary reasons for ventilation:

Without proper ventilation, damage can be caused to the walls, interior, and microwave as well. It is also important for your safety, as overheating can cause the microwave to explode, leading to fire hazards. Adequate ventilation ensures the efficiency and durability of the microwave.

  • Removal of grease, smoke, and airborne toxins in the air:

If microwaves are used without properly ventilating the hot air inside, there will be accumulations of grease, oil, and other bacterial fungi inside the microwave as a result.

  • To keep the kitchen odor-free:

Cooked food in the microwave can cause a strong odor, which needs to be vented out. The microwave must be properly ventilated to prevent bad smells in and around the kitchen.

  • To regulate the temperature:

Adequate ventilation ensures the kitchen stays cool and comfortable by enabling proper airflow.

Is It Safe to Use a Portable Microwave In A Confined Space?

It can be unsafe to use a portable microwave in a confined space because of poor ventilation and accidents that can occur from swinging doors and handling hot items improperly.

Enclosed spaces can block microwave vents, and make the appliance overheat and break down. However, how much space is left depends on the model or manufacturer.

Nonetheless, you should give a minimum of 3 inches on all sides, as this is the minimum requirement to ensure adequate clearance. 3 inches of space should be left between the wall and the top, sides, and rear of the microwave oven.

Also, do not push the microwave against the wall, even when it is placed inside a cabinet. 

Here are some factors to consider when setting up a microwave, especially if you are targeting a confined space.

  • The microwave oven should be placed at an appropriate height so that it is within reach. The door should not be higher than face level for it to be easily accessible.
  • There should be no need to stretch or climb to put or remove things from it. Accidents can occur if placed too high.
  • Adequate clearance should be made on all sides for when the microwave door swings open.
  • Make sure that its positioning does not cause you to handle hot dishes at awkward angles. More so, high shelves can be quite risky since you would be handling hot food at head and face level.

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Aron Blake

I am the lead copywriter on Homezesty and the Webmaster. I have a lot of experience in home renovations and the creation of style. I enjoy writing and sharing my tips on how to create the best living environment. My Linkedin Profile, My Twitter Account

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