When it comes to finding the perfect microwave there’s more to consider than just the popcorn button. Depending on the look of your kitchen, your budget and your space there are style options to consider before you buy. When it comes to capacity, cooking features and power there’s not much that separates different microwave styles, but all styles are not created equal.
Just remember that microwave styles evolved to address certain needs, and once you take all your needs into consideration you’ll know exactly which style is right for you.
The traditional and still most popular microwave style on the market, countertop microwaves are an economical choice designed to install easily in any kitchen. Just put it on the counter, plug it in and you’re pretty much good to go. Units measure anywhere from 18” wide by 14” deep and 12” tall to 24” wide by 20” deep and 14” high so be prepared to dedicate the appropriate counter space.
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Over the Range (OTR) Microwaves
Designed to double as a ventilation appliance, Over the Range (OTR) Microwaves are mounted above a range or cooktop to vent smoke, grease and odours away from the kitchen. Taking the place of a traditional range hood, OTRs either filter and recirculate the air or vent it through a duct outside of the home. With their 2 in 1 appliance design, they’re ideal for smaller kitchens where space is at a premium and you need to get the most from every appliance.
Usually measuring 30” wide to match the width of your cooking surface and with a ventilation power of maximum 400CFM, they are designed for electric cooktops and are not recommended for gas or professional-style appliances. Also, you should consider a professional’s help to install these units.
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When only the best will do, many people opt for the design-friendly appearance of Built-in Microwaves. Designed to fit seamlessly amongst custom cabinetry, they’re almost exclusively offered amongst high-end manufacturers. Built-in models are amongst the most expensive options in the marketplace, but for the style-conscious consumer, they’re more than worth it.
Typically measuring 24” or 30” wide you’ll have to check the model specific dimensions when installing the unit, and smaller units may require trim kits to align them with your larger appliances.
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A modification of the Built-in design, microwave drawers are built-in units that slide open like a cabinet drawer instead of opening on a hinge like a traditional microwave. Typically deeper than other microwave styles, they’re popular amongst people considering a lower placed appliance.
Amongst the most expensive style options, consider also that they’re amongst the most difficult to clean. Their deep design makes removing hardened food residues incredibly challenging so make sure that any microwave drawer is cleaned immediately after use.
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Once you’ve chosen the right style, you can start focusing on finishes and features. This microwave features guide from Consumer Reports will help get you started. Narrow down your must-haves and head over to your local Brandsource store, where we would be happy to help.
Isabelle, Your Appliances Expert