How Far Should Your Microwave Stick Out From Cabinets? (Answered!)

Installing a microwave in the kitchen is not always straightforward when it’s going into a cabinet. The countertop versions are a breeze, but the built-in microwaves can take a bit of work.

This includes understanding the placement of the microwave in the cabinet. You will be left asking, how far should your microwave stick out from cabinets?

It’s okay for a microwave to stick out 2-3″ from cabinets in the kitchen. The standard depth of the cabinets might not be enough to have the microwave flush against the gap. This is why a small allowance is made when designing a spot for microwaves.

If you believe the microwave should not stick out, it’s important to make adjustments to the surrounding cabinets too. For the most part, a microwave is not going to sit flush against the cabinet.

There will be a small portion that is going to stick out. It won’t look bad nor will it stand out.

Here is a look at some of the reasons a microwave does stick out a few inches from the cabinet.

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Reasons Microwave Sticks Out From Cabinet In Kitchen

1. Standard Depth

The average cabinet is going to be set at a standard depth of approximately 18″.

This is often a little less than the depth of a modern microwave. If you are going to be installing a microwave in a standard cabinet then this is going to be a reality you have to face.

Is this a negative? Will the microwave not function the way you want it to?

No, this is not a problem at all. This is how a microwave is supposed to sit inside a cabinet once it is ready to go. The reason has to do with how a microwave works. It needs to stick out a little bit to work well and remain accessible.

These are details manufacturers take into account when developing a microwave that is going to be set into a cabinet.

How far should your microwave stick out from cabinets

2. Added Accessibility for the Door

The one detail that matters is how the door opens.

A microwave door needs to open for you to put items inside. If this range of motion is restricted, it will take away from how well the appliance works.

To avoid a situation such as this, manufacturers make sure to create a deeper microwave that is going to work well when inside the cabinet.

The door has to swing open and this is taken into account when setting up a brand-new microwave in the cabinet. The goal is to let the microwave door open all the way without restriction.

Having the door open all the way is a must.

You don’t want a situation where the microwave door keeps hitting the side of the cabinet because there’s no leeway for it to move.

The added inches are a good way for the door to remain easy to open at all times.

3. Size of the Microwave

The size of the standard microwave is going to play a role in this.

When it comes to a microwave sticking out from the cabinet, it is usually the size of the appliance that will matter. Since the microwave is going to be set at a specific depth, it can’t remain flush inside the cabinet.

It will have to stick out a little bit for it to work.

The average microwave is going to have a set depth that is slightly greater than the depth of the cabinet. This is to be expected with modern microwaves.

You are recommended to take measurements and ensure it does stick out.

This is ideal when it comes to ensuring the microwave works well once it is set into the cabinet. Any issues in this regard can be frustrating and you are not going to want to deal with them along the way.

How far should your microwave stick out from cabinets

4. Safety

Safety is always going to matter with microwaves or any other appliance.

The reason a microwave doesn’t sit flush in a cabinet is for safety purposes. It is difficult to prevent sparking and/or other related damage when a microwave has no space to move.

This includes the door.

You will want to make sure there is a bit of breathing room for the microwave as this will ensure it continues to work effectively in the cabinet.

1. How Far Can Microwave Stick Out?

A microwave can stick out 2-3″ without seeing a drop in performance. It’s recommended for a microwave to stick out a little bit for safety and performance reasons.

2. How Deep Should A Microwave Cabinet Be?

A microwave cabinet should be at least 18″ deep once set up. This will ensure the microwave can fit inside without restriction.

Final Thoughts

How far should your microwave stick out from cabinets?

A microwave should stick out at least 2-3″ from the cabinet. This is essential to allow the microwave door a chance to open all the way.

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  4. Managing The Chances Of An Exploding Microwave
  5. The Impact Of A Microwave On WIFI
  6. Safety Of Using Microwave Without Light Inside