Can an over stove microwave be used on a countertop? (Pros, Cons, Risks, Warnings)

No, over the stove microwave, as well-known as (over range microwave), cannot be used on the counter.

Throughout this article, I am going to discuss reasons as to why this is so, which include:

  • Over-the-range microwaves have the venting built into the range hood
  • The underside is not flat, and it will not be stable enough to sit on the counter

Reasons why over the stove can’t be used on a countertop

One of the reasons why you can’t use over a stove microwave on the counter is that all the conventional ones come with inbuilt ventilation on the bottom.

Therefore, it might create undesirable microwave heating if kept with zero immediate clearance.

The other reason is that the bottom of the microwave is not flat. It is not going to offer stability while using it.

You will face challenges while putting a pan inside or even when the kids try to use it.

Despite the above-stated reasons, some still prefer to use these microwaves on the counter, thus causing overheating and affecting the appliance’s functionality.

Based on my experience in the kitchen for quite a while now, I would prefer to use the over-the-counter microwave.

The reason behind it is that the stove microwave is out of range for short people, children, and persons with disabilities.

Advantages of using over the stove microwave

There are several advantages of having an over-the-stove microwave in the kitchen. They include:

  • Clear and less congested counters
  • Sleek modern design
  • Easy to clean
  • Cooking flow becomes easy

You will not need to buy a range hood for your stove to add on the microwave, thus saving money.

These microwaves have more functions than the over-the-counter microwave.

Disadvantages of over the stove microwave

  • Cabinets above the microwave are hard to reach
  • They are much more expensive
  • A lot of work goes into the installation process

Risks of over the stove microwave on the counter

  • This can lead to overheating of the microwave
  • since the microwave doesn’t have a stable surface, you might face problems when trying to place a pan inside

Warning of an over the stove microwave on the counter

Factors to consider when buying an over-the-stove microwave

  • Size of the kitchen
  • Size of the microwave
  • Convection heating
  • Settings
  • Smart advanced technology

Size of the kitchen

One of the factors that one has to consider is the size of the kitchen.

Most of the time, over the stove microwaves, work better with smaller kitchens spaces though they could work with any kitchen depending on your space of choice.

Size of the micro wave

Another thing that has to be considered is the size of the microwave that you will purchase.

This is because measurements of the space above your range where the microwave will be installed have to be taken.

Convection heating

Some microwaves have two features where they come as a microwave and an oven simultaneously.

When a microwave comes as an oven, it cooks more quickly because of the heating element on the microwave.


Most microwaves offer shortcuts when it comes to commonly or mostly microwaved foods.

This keeps you from manually selecting the power level for a specific function and cooking time.

The expensive models monitor the food as it heats to give optimal results.

Smart advanced technology

Some high-end microwaves can be connected to WIFI devices.
This means the microwave can be connected to other smart devices like phones, and one can control them through voice commands or a smart home assistant.

General thoughts

While over-the-range microwaves have been known to be very stylish over the years, this can change.

Trends often shift, and we’re seeing fewer over-the-range microwaves in contemporary kitchens.

They’re timeless and always make a kitchen look a bit more put together and organized.

Style can change depending on the individual preference.
It is recommended that the bottom of the microwave can’t be higher than 54 inches off the ground.

Always Make sure nothing comes too close to the vents of the microwave, giving the microwave plenty of space to work without creating a fire threat.

Keep the microwave clean to prevent it from causing odor around the kitchen.
Before installing an over stove microwave, make sure you have a professional to do the job.


  • Over the stove, microwaves can’t be used on the counter
  • over the stove, microwaves are more expensive
  • They are more recommended for smaller kitchens
  • these microwaves are not stable on the base to be placed on the counter
  • when placed on the counter, it can heat leading to damage