Did you notice a new detail in our kitchen from the last backsplash update? Perhaps a shiny new range hood? If you remember back to when we purchased our new shiny appliances we originally bought this over-the-range microwave.
We were not able to install the microwave right away because we were busy painting the kitchen cabinets ( and walls and ceilings). When we finally pulled ‘er out the box to install this happened. A one inch gap between the two appliances and a fuzzy photo because I was trying to snap this fast while he held the 300 pound microwave.
Just a little too close to the range for our liking (specifically me, because I am the local Chef). Based on our original measurements, product dimensions and calculations we were expecting closer to 6-7 inches of clearance. We were definitely off. Either we suck at math, the appliances were taller than advertised, or our kitchen shrunk. We knew the microwave had to go. So it went back in the box and back to Sears.
Back to the drawing board. We searched for a smaller over-the-range hood with zero luck. These puppies pretty much come in one standard size. We considered reconfiguring the cabinets to make a built-in cubby for a regular microwave. Something like this or this. Unfortunately, the layout of our cabinets did not make this an easy option.
Instead, we sacrificed counter space and bought a small stainless microwave to live on the countertop. We found a shiny new Broan hood at Menards and Handy Husband installed.
The cabinet space above the range had a pre-existing vent which made our lives much easier when it came to installing the new hood. On the other hand, we did not have any power for the hood, so my brother installed the new outlet for us. I am certain that is a box elder bug. There were everywhere for the first few months of living in the house.
He had to drill one hole in the upper cabinet for the power cord and then secured the hood to the wall and cabinets. Followed by plugging in the hood, installing light bulbs and removing the blue film. Since we had planned on installing the first microwave we were a bit short on the backsplash. Once the hood was in place we could fill in the void with tile.
The new microwave lives happily in the corner to the left of the sink.
The hood obviously lives over the range. Here is a photo with the lights on. We purchased the “better” model in terms of sound quality. It’s not the quietest, but it’s really not all that loud. I usually only turn it on the low setting which I consider to be a quiet hum. The high setting is more noticeable and only used when necessary.
Once again, I will leave you with a dramatic before and after shot. I laugh every time I see the old Caloric double oven. Nope, that is not a microwave on the top. That was the cleanest used oven I have ever met.
I am so glad we opted to install a range hood instead of the microwave as it offers a more airy feel when cooking. Know what I mean? I think it makes the kitchen look a little more “gourmet” than our original plan. Would you have gone the same route as us or installed the microwave over the range?