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Old 04-21-2013, 08:55 AM   #1
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What to put/how to fix cabinet above microwave?


Three weeks until we move in and I'm trying to plan out my initial batch of renovations. One of them is this "cabinet" above the microwave. Apparently they installed a new microwave and it didn't fit with the cabinet so they just installed this glass door and left the inside a mess. I think it's ugly and would like to remove it but I'm at a loss at what to put there. It would be hard to find a matching cabinet that small, any ideas?

edit: purple and bronze are going too. ;-)
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:14 AM   #2
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What to put/how to fix cabinet above microwave?


If the existing cabinet boxes are in good shape then it might be worth keeping them in place and just replacing all the doors. Otherwise it's unlikely you'd be able to get a door in the same style, let alone the same stain (and patina) as the existing ones. You could probably come close if you know the vendor that made the cabinets, and if they still make that style. The same could be done for the cabinet box if they didn't leave one in place above the microwave. Look along the sides and bottoms of the drawers, or labels on the hinges, to see if there's a cabinet company label.

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Old 04-21-2013, 09:21 AM   #3
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What to put/how to fix cabinet above microwave?


Is the microwave also a vent-a-hood with pipe running through the upper cabinet? If so I don't readily have a suggestion, but if there is no pipe you could install a cabinet with glass doors since you feel you can't match the existing doors.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:31 AM   #4
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What to put/how to fix cabinet above microwave?


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Is the microwave also a vent-a-hood with pipe running through the upper cabinet? If so I don't readily have a suggestion, but if there is no pipe you could install a cabinet with glass doors since you feel you can't match the existing doors.
There is not vent, just the power cord and an incorrectly installed outlet.


We are thinking about resurfacing the cabinets but there is no above above the microwave it appears to just be help up by the back bracket the microwave comes with (which needs to be fixed too).

The wife is suggesting we just make it a spice rack or something. Build a simple cubby with some small shelves for stuff.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:38 AM   #5
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What to put/how to fix cabinet above microwave?


Be mindful of how much heat gets up there. Spices above a cooktop are not the best place to store them. Same thing with a wine rack. The heat from the microwave and range below aren't good for stuff like that.

If you're going to pull down the existing mess then just get a custom cabinet made from the same company that made the rest. Or from someone else that can get close enough to the style. Take off one of the doors near it and use that for comparison.

Then you can re-install the outlet and microwave properly. I'd seriously consider adding a vent for the microwave, otherwise what's the point of the gawd-awful racket the fan in it makes?
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:54 AM   #6
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What to put/how to fix cabinet above microwave?


3 weeks until move in? Save your money.....

I personally think one of the big mistakes people make when moving into a new home is to make a bunch of mods to their home.

Move in....clean it up....find out what needs immediate attention (repairs). Live in it. What you dislike now may well change in a couple of months. You may decide that you don't like the microwave there....hence, your efforts to fix the door above it are wasted. You may find that you want to replace the cabinets....

Get to know your house.

Go out to your load center....make sure you know where every breaker is and exactly what it controls. I have a dwg of my electrical that shows me which breaker controls each outlet. In some cases, I actually write the cb # on the inside of the cover.

Inspect all your outlets. If you know how to use a voltmeter....take the leads..plug into the bottom outlet...plug the iron into the top and turn it on....if you see more than a 5v drop....problems...you need to look at the wiring.

I'm willing to bet that your going to want to replace some of your lights....that all becomes part of the big plan....

Start collecting tools....1st on the list...shop vac...with a 2 1/2" hose.....
Cordless tools...drill, sawzall, circular saw...
If you think your going to be replacing baseboard or adding crown molding....get a nice compound miter saw.

This is spring....your house is not going anywhere...but your yard is starting to wake up....I would put all my effort initially into the yard...get it looking the way you want so you can enjoy it this summer.

Congrats on the new house....we know we are going to be seeing a lot of you.
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:10 AM   #7
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What to put/how to fix cabinet above microwave?


If it were me, I think I'd get rid of the microwave AND the above 'cabinet', especially if I were going to refinish the cabinets. I'd see if something like this http://www.whirlpool.com/-[GXW6530DXS]-1001369/GXW6530DXS/
or http://www.whirlpool.com/-[GXW6530DXS]-1001369/GXW6530DXS/ would work. Investigating what is inside that soffit and careful measuring would be needed first.

Having said that, I think I'd live in the house a while first, then you will have a better idea if/where you would like having a microwave someplace else. Personally, an over range micro would be too high for me to use comfortably, and I would find one obstructive when cooking in larger pots.

Congrats on the new home!
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:34 AM   #8
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What to put/how to fix cabinet above microwave?


The comment about changing to a vent hood is certainly worth considering. Personally, I despise the over-the-range microwaves. Their fans are horrendous, and I just plain hate fan noise. In the new house we've installed an external fan hood (best 1500cfm). But that's just me. Bear in mind there are usually distance requirements for cabinets and the cooking surface. Check with your range's manual to be sure. We had to step out cabinets back left/right a few inches in order to clear the required distance from it and combustible materials. The idea being you want to avoid presenting too much of a risk that the sides of cabinets would catch fire.

Then there's the way the ones over the range tend to block decent access to pots on the back burners. This is less of an issue if you're not tall, or the microwave isn't too tall of a unit. The one shown looks to be one of the shorter kind, so that's 'less worse'.

But there's not always a convenient place to put the microwave otherwise. We wouldn't have used one in the old kitchen had there been ANY other place we could have put it. But it was a small space, laid out galley style. So over the cooktop was pretty much the only option. It was with great satisfaction that I watched them tear it down during demolition...
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Old 04-21-2013, 04:32 PM   #9
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What to put/how to fix cabinet above microwave?


Quote:
Originally Posted by mpellerin View Post
If it were me, I think I'd get rid of the microwave AND the above 'cabinet', especially if I were going to refinish the cabinets. I'd see if something like this http://www.whirlpool.com/-[GXW6530DXS]-1001369/GXW6530DXS/
or http://www.whirlpool.com/-[GXW6530DXS]-1001369/GXW6530DXS/ would work. Investigating what is inside that soffit and careful measuring would be needed first.

Having said that, I think I'd live in the house a while first, then you will have a better idea if/where you would like having a microwave someplace else. Personally, an over range micro would be too high for me to use comfortably, and I would find one obstructive when cooking in larger pots.

Congrats on the new home!
mpellerin
I did think about the vent only but the what it would look like above the soffit worries me. That and where/what to do for a microwave. Here is what the entire kitchen looks like.
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:44 PM   #10
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What to put/how to fix cabinet above microwave?


Hey Ryan,
Looks like the Frigidaire Professional 1.6 vented microwave oven unit. It is a vented unit. The previous owners were simply consistent at not completing the installation while not completing the cabinet work above it. If you're used to venting above your stove, you're gonna want to add the vent pipe above the microwave. You might be missing the damper assembly if they did not leave it behind. Here's a link to the part you need.
I'm not a designed but I like the idea of a single horizontal shelf stained to match or fade into the wall color over the microwave (designed to secure the microwave unit in place), filled with plants to bring some color (def not copper) into the kitchen while obscuring the vent pipe in the background.
Lastly, I could not agree more with the advice you received from "ddawg16", wait it out and live-in before spending remodeling money.
Good luck!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanD View Post
Three weeks until we move in and I'm trying to plan out my initial batch of renovations. One of them is this "cabinet" above the microwave. Apparently they installed a new microwave and it didn't fit with the cabinet so they just installed this glass door and left the inside a mess. I think it's ugly and would like to remove it but I'm at a loss at what to put there. It would be hard to find a matching cabinet that small, any ideas?

edit: purple and bronze are going too. ;-)
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Old 04-21-2013, 06:24 PM   #11
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What to put/how to fix cabinet above microwave?


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Originally Posted by RyanD View Post
I did think about the vent only but the what it would look like above the soffit worries me. That and where/what to do for a microwave. Here is what the entire kitchen looks like.
I see what you mean, I didn't realize the space was open above the soffit. Maybe you could photo shop a hood in to check it out.

If height is not an issue, maybe you could move it up an inch (or more), so the bottom of the microwave is, at the very least, not lower than the bottom of the cabinets. That, in my opinion, makes it look awkward. Then maybe a shelf like InspectorZo suggested.

Or, maybe one of those 'plate racks' and get some pretty or colorful thrift shop plates to slide in just for decoration?
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:24 AM   #12
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What to put/how to fix cabinet above microwave?


Definitely vent it to the outside. I have a almost the same model.
We vented it straight out the wall as it is on an outside wall...
I don't know if that's an option for you? If not vent it up in the soffit.
The fan unit works great. The micro also looks great with your SS stove.

You could also move it up a bit to make it level with the cabs that
flank it.

you need to remove that awful glass thing...it's disturbing, as well as
ruining the look of the entire kitchen, which btw is very nice.

The copper tiles are going as well, right?

There are several things you can do up there...the most costly
would be to take one of your doors to a cabinet maker
and have two doors made to match your cabinets...or
have one door made that covers the entire area that lifts
up. We made a door like that for above our old fridge,
when we had a big space between the fridge and cabs above it.
I loved it because it could house all my big platters and cookie sheets.
We bought the hinges that allow the door to remain in an open position
when getting stuff in and out.

Another idea is to put a false wall in front of the vent and outlet, then
frame it out like a picture frame and stain the frame to match the cabs...
now you can either put a solid piece of decorative glass in there,
or stained glass (if you go to a stained glass store, they'll have tons of options of glass that they can cut to fit your frame.

or just leave it open like a shadow box and put some decorative things
in there... paint the false wall to match the kitchen color you choose.

Another idea, frame it out like the above suggestion, make the false
wall (just a few inches back) and put a decorative platter on the wall.

Your cabs a really nice, as well as your floor.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:39 AM   #13
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What to put/how to fix cabinet above microwave?


I'm going to have to shut up....that kitchen has so much potential......vaulted ceiling....

If it was me, that soffit above the cabinets would be coming out....and I would be building new cabinets a bit taller and different heights.....open style vent hood...up lighting off the cabinets....etc....

Our kitchen is just a small galley style...but we vaulted the ceiling and I made my own cabinets....the heights are a bit more than standard and vary in height...so it's not a straight line...





It's easy to put stuff on top of them....

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Old 04-22-2013, 09:43 AM   #14
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What to put/how to fix cabinet above microwave?


One more thing...how handy are you?
I have a couple of more suggestions, but don't want to
overwhelm you with them, although they are simple,
some basic carpentry skills would help.

I realize you just asked for some micro ideas, sorry but
I can't help myself.. the head knot around here always
says that I have enough ideas to keep ten husbands busy.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:50 AM   #15
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What to put/how to fix cabinet above microwave?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Two Knots View Post
One more thing...how handy are you?
I have a couple of more suggestions, but don't want to
overwhelm you with them, although they are simple,
some basic carpentry skills would help.

I realize you just asked for some micro ideas, sorry but
I can't help myself.. the head knot around here always
says that I have enough ideas to keep ten husbands busy.
Very handy, I renovated our current/old house and think I own every tool that one could possibly need.

Additional Info:
I want to redo our cabinets but there is some nice granite installed and I don't want to risk ruining it so we'll settle on resurfacing when the time comes.

I want to remove the soffits too but I'm not sure what's in them besides lights and if I do remove them then I have to work out how to get lighting in that room.

Backsplash is being replaced, floors are being tiled and everything is getting painted so the last unknown was the oddity above the microwave thus my initial question. I'm leaning towards the full hood look but then I'm stumped on where/what to do about the microwave.


Everyone please feel free to give opinions, some of the stuff I did previously in my basement came from forum suggestions so I'm open to everything! ;-)

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