thelakehouse
April 15, 2011 in Photo Questions
Does anyone regret installing your microwave in your kitchen island? And why?
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unplainjane
wow i've actually never seen this before. i wouldn't want this. the placement isn't very convenient. i would need to bend over to put anything in it. and it's in a high traffic space i can just imagine having the microwave door open and someone ramming right into it because they didn't realize it was open. such an awkward spot for it.
1 Like   April 15, 2011 at 1:55PM
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bepsf
" i would need to bend over to put anything in it. and it's in a high traffic space i can just imagine having the microwave door open and someone ramming right into it because they didn't realize it was open"

Actually, this is a microwave drawer - It's specifically designed for this type of installation and is very convenient to use by adults, yet even moreso by children who use this to help learn to prepare their own foods. It's actually far easier to use than a microwave over the stove.
http://www.sharpusa.com/ForHome/HomeAppliances/MicrowaveDrawerOvens.aspx
0 Likes   April 15, 2011 at 4:08PM
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nightbk
I love having my microwave tucked out of the way and out of sight in our island. I can't stand microwaves ovens over the range - so cluttered looking and they take up too much counter space and again make your kitchen cluttered. Microwaves are not used nearly enough by most people to waste prime space on them, nor are they decor features that you want to emphasize in my opinion. It's also much safer lifting something hot up to your countertop rather than down and risk spilling it towards you from a height (Ie. from over top the stove). I love it - it works for us, but everyone sees their space through their own eyes.
9 Likes   April 15, 2011 at 9:03PM
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kandy smith
We are in the process of building and will be putting our microwave oven in the island. I need a microwave that will also work as a convection and also open like a regular oven (pull down not open sideways). A drawer style would be even better but not sure I can find one that is also a convection?
I have a feeling I am going to LOVE it in the island for the very reasons you say nightbk!
0 Likes   April 16, 2011 at 3:27AM
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ronigene
I have seen this in a lot of designs on houzz and wondered, " Why would you install a microwave that low?" I would not. I hate bending over! Also, I glance in the microwave window to see if an item is ready while it is cooking. ie. is the water boiling yet or is the cheese melted? I cook to much to bend over and check. Mine is located above the stove top and although not the most aesthetic design I do use my microwave frequently while I am cooking at the range and I happen to find the location very convenient. I am in the process of designing 2 kitchens (for myself) and I will not be putting a microwave at this level anywhere in the kitchen. Note: I will not be placing it above the range again either because it's just not pretty. My solution will be to incorporate a nook that is aesthetic and in close proximity to the stove.
3 Likes   April 16, 2011 at 5:25AM
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mousemaker
i agree and disagree :) i have a drawer microwave and love it. you don't really bend over to use it..it's very convenient and much safer. it also has some nice operational features. we have such limited counter space that i didn't want to put a microwave there and i didn't want one over the range because i know i would drop hot dishes on myself :) i think the overriding reason for the drawer is that it's not a door. i am lefthanded and you can't get a microwave for lefthanders. it is true that not all lefties are the same though, so it might work for someone else.
0 Likes   April 16, 2011 at 10:06AM
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Jill
When ever I see a microwave in an island or lower cabinet area I cringe. I would worry about a toddler opening it or putting something in it. Even if you do not have children may have a young visitor or the next home owners may have children.
2 Likes   April 17, 2011 at 7:07AM
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mousemaker
the microwave we have includes child safety features, and our range and dishwasher do too.
placement of appliances depends on two things. personal preference and logistics. i had no idea how much i would enjoy having a water and ice dispenser in my fridge. it's the best thing ever :)
0 Likes   April 17, 2011 at 8:48AM
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kandy smith
Do you mean 'inside' the fridge mousemaker?
I've noticed that many of the newer fridges don't have them on the outside anymore.
Yeah I imagine a microwave on a lower cabinet isn't nearly as dangerous as a range/oven, which is also low and you have to bend over and reach in.
A microwave drawer would be much less dangerous. IMO.
0 Likes   April 17, 2011 at 9:49AM
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sbritt1
having our microwave in our island is amazing. it is not an attractive appliance and it is out of sight and still very easy to access.
we are in the process of building a new home and will be getting a microwave drawer instead, but it will still be in the island and out of sight.
i would install it the same way if i built 10 more houses.
3 Likes   April 17, 2011 at 10:05AM
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mousemaker
sorry Kandy0629 :) i meant on the outside! :) we got a counterdepth fridge because of how the cabinets were designed. there aren't too many to choose from in that category, but i found one i liked.
0 Likes   April 17, 2011 at 10:11AM
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kandy smith
That's what I am looking for too!
What brand did you get and are you happy with it?
I'd love a built in, but the $$ is just crazy for one of those!!!
0 Likes   April 17, 2011 at 10:31AM
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mousemaker
we have a Maytag. so far it's great. it's smaller than our previous fridge, but i'm finding that it's all the space i need. we have a freezer in the basement which helps a lot. i got a frenchdoor/bottom freezer model.
0 Likes   April 17, 2011 at 10:55AM
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kandy smith
Thanks for the info. I could stand packing a little less into my refrigerator too!
I think the more space I would have the more junk I'd pile in there!
Thanks again
0 Likes   April 17, 2011 at 11:02AM
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mousemaker
not sure if i should be posting more info on appliances..but the fridge does have nice features like vacation mode, max cool (which is great if you just stuffed your groceries in), and a cover for the dairy section.
0 Likes   April 17, 2011 at 11:06AM
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mousemaker
many thanks to "thelakehouse" :) i checked your ideabook and now i have more pics in mine!!
i hope you don't mind we sort of hijacked your thread :)
0 Likes   April 17, 2011 at 11:09AM
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thelakehouse
Thank you to all who weighed in on the microwave question!...And you're so welcome Mousemaker! I'm building a new home and just recently found this site. I get so excited when I get a reply to my questions! I will check out your idea book too, if you don't mind- maybe I'll get a few of your pics! :)
1 Like   April 17, 2011 at 4:19PM
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lbradford
We have our traditional microwave installed in our island. For the first month - I was worried about my decision. Now I love it! I love that it is tucked away out of sight (it faces the interior of my kitchen. It allows all my cabinets to look more sleek and uniform. My kitchen is an extension of my family room and by minimizing the appliances it has a very "furniture" feel. Once you become accustomed to it - you never think of it again1
2 Likes   April 20, 2011 at 5:44AM
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bendingbranches1
I have had this microwave for 3 years and it amazes people. No child has ever put anything in it because they don't know how to open it. Kids are afraid of ovens. It is so safe. My kids are 8 and 10 now and have just recently let them use it without any problems. I feel it is much safer for them to use than the high over the range models. It is so easy to use. I would highly recommend it! You just tug on the drawer and it opens all by itself. It's magical! Hot foods are easily lifted out and placed on the countertop. It is a breeze to use and a wonder for guests!
3 Likes   December 15, 2011 at 8:51PM
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thelakehouse
Thanks for your feedback bendingbranches1 ! We moved into our new house last week and I AM THRILLED with this microwave in the island!!!! Ours has open and close buttons to push, then it opens on it's own as well! My guests have never seen one with a drawer either, so it has been fun showing them how it works! ...and I LOVE LOVE LOVE that it's not taking up any counter space!
0 Likes   December 22, 2011 at 8:08AM
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mousemaker
guess what i just found? silicone handle thingies that i keep in the microwave to use instead of hot pads! they're a bit like castanets :)
i also keep a silicone mat on the bottom of the microwave. there are cheap plastic lids you can use for cooking, but they are all round. i really need a large rectangular one..
1 Like   December 22, 2011 at 8:29AM
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thelakehouse
oh wow, hadn't heard of those! Where can I get some?
0 Likes   December 22, 2011 at 8:40AM
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mousemaker
i found them at an Outlet store...Revere/Corning Outlet...i'm not sure what they're called and i threw away the tags! oh grrrr :) i can go back there and find out though...(runs off to make a note)
0 Likes   December 22, 2011 at 9:02AM
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mousemaker
i just googled silicone kitchen tools and they do have something similar..but they;re animal shapes...
0 Likes   December 22, 2011 at 9:04AM
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thelakehouse
Thanks! Don't go to any trouble, but if you do see them again at some point, post and let me know! :)
0 Likes   December 22, 2011 at 6:08PM
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mousemaker
i checked my receipt and it says "silicone grips" ...
0 Likes   December 23, 2011 at 7:57AM
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thelakehouse
thank you!
0 Likes   December 23, 2011 at 8:30AM
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mousemaker
hi. it's me again:)
i just examined them more carefully (which i should have done before)
and they are Trudeau silicone pinch..so i googled and voila :) :)
0 Likes   December 23, 2011 at 8:45AM
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thelakehouse
Thank you Mousemaker! Now sure how your last post got by me! I will check it out! :)
1 Like   February 16, 2012 at 10:38AM
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mousemaker
i'm glad i could help someone :) i usually just post things that get overruled :) i bought the grips at a local outlet store, but they are available all over, i think..
good luck!!
1 Like   February 16, 2012 at 10:46AM
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thelakehouse
thank you
0 Likes   February 16, 2012 at 10:47AM
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JM Design of Atlanta
This is a great thread. We have installed about 40 microwaves in islands over the past 5 years. All in all we have not had to move one out of the island. We have however replaced microwave drawers in islands and swapped them with regular microwaves in the same place. The drawer is not the best micro to use. Once over the hump of having it there, everybody loves it.
0 Likes   February 16, 2012 at 1:12PM
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thelakehouse
Thank you! I agree!
0 Likes   February 16, 2012 at 1:16PM
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mousemaker
oh oh. i love my drawer microwave!!! it's not in an island though. one of the reasons i wanted a drawer is because regular microwaves are made for right handed users. there are no easy use microwaves for left handed users.
the last one i had without a handle was a push open, which is still a bad idea because it hits you in the hand.
a drawer can be child locked and it is safer to use than an overhead machine..and it does not take up counter space. it is also large enough to hold one or several cake-sized pans, which is a huge advantage.
i think it's really up to the chef du jour :)
0 Likes   February 16, 2012 at 1:29PM
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freedmaner
Yes, we moved into a house and the microwave was installed in the island. good idea for universal design, but a horrible idea if you have any small kids. a micro at that level is a very attractive toy to kids 4 and under. and lots of bending... we didn't like bending down that much.
0 Likes   August 20, 2012 at 5:20PM
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mousemaker
our microwave is not in our island because our kitchen is small and there would not have been space for it there. The idea that you bend a lot is not true. it is certainly much less than a regular oven. Also, you can lock it so that children cannot open it and hurt themselves.
0 Likes   August 22, 2012 at 2:03PM
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thelakehouse
Still absolutely LOVING that we put ours in our island!!! I love that I don't have to take dishes out to stir them and they just lift right out... The last comment is very true, im 5'4" so I never have to bend over to get anything out of it!
1 Like   August 22, 2012 at 3:31PM
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rosecottagehome
JM Design of Atlanta, you mentioned in your thread that you replaced many drawer type microwaves out of islands because they are not that good to use. Can you be more specific please? In what way is the drawer design not as good in an island compared to the traditional type? I am trying to decide which type to purchase for our newly built island and don't want to put out $800 for a drawer model I may become unhappy with and wished I had bought your regular, run of the mill, much cheaper version.
0 Likes   August 24, 2012 at 3:09PM
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PRO
JM Design of Atlanta
Keep in mind that the drawer unit in the island is a better function because it gives you the ability to lift stuff out of the drawer and onto the island surface. The feedback I have had is that the drawer unit does not fit the taller items. The height limitation is great for plates and such, but if you have a taller mug or bowl, it may be an issue. Secondly, the drawer is 7 to 800. Microwaves do break more often than that of maybe an oven. Personally speaking, I would rather replace a 160.00 microwave than an 800.00 one. You will not be that much more satisfied with a drawer unit in an island than a standard micro. Not worth the added expense.
2 Likes   August 25, 2012 at 4:01AM
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rosecottagehome
Thanks for your reply. I agree with you on the difference in cost factor and will rethink this when buying a new microwave for our new island.
0 Likes   August 25, 2012 at 5:00AM
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melodydswang
Just bought the Sharp Microwave Drawer to install in my island. Functional and out of sight. I think I'm going to love it.
2 Likes   October 4, 2012 at 7:08PM
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thelakehouse
Mine is the Sharp "Insight Pro".... Have lived with it for 10 months now, and just crazy about it! Hope it works out for you! :)
2 Likes   October 4, 2012 at 7:11PM
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Stephanie Zacharda
I know I'm a little late on this thread, however, my main concern is whether or not the drawers are deep enough to easily remove your plate or bowl. I feel like it would be difficult to remove your plate, as if the space isn't deep or wide enough...comments?
0 Likes   September 24, 2013 at 11:51AM
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rosecottagehome
Since reading this thread last year before making the decision to spend the money for a drawer style microwave or settle for a regular much cheaper version for my island, I opted for the cheaper version. It was mentioned above, the drawer model was fine for plates but not for higher mugs and bowls. A kitchen designer I talked with said they had a drawer model in their showroom island, but the staff constantly complained that their heated cup of java spilled over slightly when the drawer was pushed closed and pulled open. I do mostly reheating, plates of food, cups of tea, and popcorn in the microwave and cook at my stove primarily. I put the extra money saved elsewhere. I am really happy with the microwave in the island, it is out of sight and does the job.
4 Likes   September 24, 2013 at 12:09PM
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thelakehouse
Splurged on the pull out drawer and still very happy with it! The only problem I have encountered is that every now and then the top of my microwaveable "Uncle Bens" rice bag grazes the top and falls over when it's shutting! I've had no problem with anything else... like bowls or mugs...
0 Likes   September 24, 2013 at 12:49PM
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mousemaker
Stephanie Z, I use mine for casseroles, bowls and pan sized. It's plenty wide for two dinner plates as well.
I feel so much safer using the drawer than I did with my counter model.
1 Like   September 25, 2013 at 8:58AM
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jolynn1027
Hi, thank you for posting this. We are doing a kitchen redesign and the best possible location for the microwave seems to be in our island. My husband is opposed to this idea as he is afraid of bending over too much and it being in an inconvenient location. Has anyone experience problems/issues with having to bend over to type in time/cooking specifications? Thank you for your advice.
0 Likes   November 14, 2013 at 9:40AM
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thelakehouse
Hi! I posted the original question and don't have a single regret. The height hasn't been an issue at all and lifting hit foods out and up onto the counter has been much better than pulling it out like before. Good luck!
1 Like   November 14, 2013 at 11:16AM
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chumbert1
We are remodeling to accommodate a person in a wheelchair. We were already contemplating adding a small cart with a microwave so that he can reach it easily to heat up a plate for lunch. We currently have our microwave over the stove and there is no way someone seated in a wheelchair could access it. This is the answer we were looking for. A microwave drawer under the counter.
1 Like   January 9, 2014 at 8:57AM
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rodmacleod
We were all set to put in a drawer microwave until our architect strongly advised not to. He felt like there would be too many liquid spills as the microwave opens and closes and that children ( 13,10,7) are not going to have the patience to let the door slowly open on its own. He thinks we will all start to pull it open and the drinks will spill. At this point only my 13 year old uses the microwave. What have been your experiences?
1 Like   January 13, 2014 at 10:21PM
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thelakehouse
I have a 12 year old boy who's great with it, but can't speak to what happens when multiple children have access to it! I personally haven't had any concerns with drinks spilling, etc and we're all pretty mindful about not pulling on the door handle much. I've formed a habit of touching the "open" button and then walking off to grab my bowl or meal to set down inside it. Works great for us!
0 Likes   January 14, 2014 at 4:20AM
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elaine_chase
i have a 7 and 5 year old who are eager helpers in the kitchen. We are doing a kitchen addition this Spring and finally getting an island! I love my current Panasonic 1300 Watt "The Genius" sensor microwave and i use the sensor setting a lot for cooking fresh & frozen veggies and defrosting things. I asked my builder to create a shelf for it in a certain corner, but it won't work in that space; t was suggested to install a drawer microwave in the island. It appears there are few manufacturers for drawer microwaves (Sharp, Thermador and Decor) and they're pricey! And i expect my built-in appliances to last a long time but microwaves tend not to. Hence my research and seeing this thread. I might just have a shelf put in the island to fit any microwave and keep the Panasonic I love but the door opening sideways might be awkward. But thank you, rosecottagehome for showing your photos! Exactly what I had in mind! And thanks also for the comments on spill potentials and kids use. So much to consider. Keep the discussion going! Any other manufacturers I've missed? Others of you installed a shelf for a microwave in your island versus built-ins?
0 Likes   January 22, 2014 at 7:08PM
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practicalgirl
To elaine_chase: from what I know, Sharp is the only manufacturer of MW drawers and they make them for all others who then mark them up for their 'name'. I am sort of late to this thread, but this is helping me to go with the microwave drawer concept (DH had me second guessing this). Ours is going to be immediately beside the refrigerator with the thinking that most of the time we are heating up leftovers, coffee, etc.....beverage station is beside the refrigerator as well, so hopefully all these activities will be concentrated mainly in this area. From L to R we will have: Refrigerator, MW drawer, set of drawers, dishwasher/wash up sink, trash, set of drawers, and then on the wall 90 degree to this some more cabinets, and the range......opposite the range the prep sink will be in a big 8x4 island.....my second oven will be in the end of the island opposite the washup sink, so the MW drawer can't go there. Anyone see any major flaws in this design (other two sides of the kitchen open to the family room and dining room respectively)? The only one I can think of is possible door conflict of the refrigerator and the MW drawer when it is 'out'.....we are going with a french door type....I would really have liked a large single door with bottom freezer, but the size and features we wanted weren't really available in this style....I am not sure why, it seems silly to have to take the extra time to open two doors when you could just open one. Actually is a built-in solution, but the extra thousands (sort of seems like waste of $) need to be put elsewhere in the house. Thanks!

I was really concerned about the cost of the mw drawer (and the ability to get one in the future should this be a 'fad'). But, seeing pics and comments of RoseCottageHome, I can see that a regular countertop microwave could always be retrofitted into this space - thanks for the pics and comments! Any ideas would be appreciated....need to get final info to the electrician and cabinet maker this week!.
0 Likes   March 3, 2014 at 3:04AM
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standu
When we built our "lakehouse" about five years ago I got a top-of-the-line Panasonic microwave/convection oven and had it installed below the counter, immediately beside the gas range. I liked the look and SOME of the convenience of the location and loved not having it on the counter but hated having to bend over to use the controls. I'm over 6'3" and my wife is a good 5'7" and neither of us really enjoyed using it and probably avoided it because of our problems with seeing the control panel. We are now redoing the kitchen (due to a flood) and are seriously considering the Sharp drawer model for the reasons many people have mentioned. I believe Sharp uses LED (Light Emitting Diode) readouts while Panasonic uses LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) technology making the Sharp a lot easier to read from any sort of distance. I hate to lose the convection aspect which made it the third oven in the room but I really hated kneeling in front of an appliance!
1 Like   March 6, 2014 at 9:29PM
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standu
Correction... I was wrong in my post, the Sharp also uses LCDs in their digital display, but since the whole control panel is across the top of the microwave it is much more readable and useable, without bending over.
0 Likes   March 6, 2014 at 9:43PM
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955reber
This is indeed a very good thread. We are building and having the important discussion of microwave drawer in island vs. regular microwave in island vs. microwave above the stove. We are both tall, 6'3 and 5'10, and I do not want to have to bend over/down to see buttons, etc., but my husband is having range of motion issues with lifting his arms up, so is leaning toward the micro in the island. Certainly not interested in spilled coffee, though. Sharp was a recommended model by a kitchen designer. Any tall people have input re: microwave drawer in an island?
0 Likes   Thanked by thelakehouse    March 6, 2014 at 10:29PM
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thelakehouse
I was stressing over the microwave drawer when I first started this discussion, so I know how you're feeling. No one wants to spend all that time and money, only to later regret the decision. My husband is 6' 5" and uses it daily. We've been here alittle over two years now, and he's never complained about our Sharp drawer even once!
0 Likes   March 7, 2014 at 4:17AM
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jolynn1027
Our microwave drawer has been installed for a month and a half now and we are loving it. My husband is 6'1" and I am 5'7'. We have no problem with it. It is also convenient for our kids, which is nice since they are now old enough to use it. It was a good decision!
1 Like   March 7, 2014 at 4:26AM
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Janis Wulfers
Our new house was already completed when we purchased and the only problem with my beautiful kitchen was I wanted double ovens. I would like to have a 24" oven installed on my island similar to the microwave shown here. I have seen many pictures on House Buzz but worry about the installation and safety issues. There are no children here so it is mainly too much heat and the cooling feature I am worried about.
0 Likes   March 8, 2014 at 6:49AM
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standu
A microwave/convection oven would give you a second oven for those few times you really need it. Ours was a top-of-the-line Panasonic and they make a couple of build-in trims to let you build the unit into walls or cabinetry and they look very nice, assuming you like the stainless-steel look. They also provide air circulation space and venting around the unit itself so things don't heat up too much. Ours was under a marble slab counter so we never noticed any heat transfer.
1 Like   March 8, 2014 at 7:22AM
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Janis Wulfers
Thank you. I will check into that. Mine will also be under granite.
0 Likes   March 10, 2014 at 6:41AM
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thelakehouse
And WHY do you have to say it? The original question is "if you installed one, do you now regret it and why?".... "You're not helping a single person with that comment
1 Like   April 13, 2014 at 7:03AM
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thelakehouse
Yes, while insulting those who chose this for their home... Perhaps you could post some pictures of the microwave placement in your own kitchen, along with information to support why that was a good choice for you? THAT would be both a helpful, and welcome comment. :)
0 Likes   April 13, 2014 at 9:03AM
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thelakehouse
Thanks for sharing... That could help someone else with a small kitchen maximize their space.
1 Like   April 13, 2014 at 9:46AM
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thelakehouse
Not looking to insult or hurt anyone. This site is about Home design and helping/inspiring each other. Thanks for your pictures and supporting comment... Have a blessed day.
1 Like   April 13, 2014 at 9:56AM
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condoveracruz
I have or rather had a Sharp drawer. While I loved the drawer concept. The Sharp drawer is an accident waiting to happen. I accidently spilled oil and juice on my countertop above the drawer. It spilled over the side leaked into the drawer, between the glass, and through the components. Sharp took 3 weeks to tell us they would not cover it under warranty, but only after we called them every other day trying to get a decision. This microwave was only 4 1/2 Months old. If liquid gets in, then the microwaves are getting out. Really! liquid between the glass panels on the door! The tech told me the piece holding the cord was not put in and sealed correctly, if the liquid had gotten in there I was looking at electrocution of the microwave and I guess that meant me too. Please read all reviews and consumer reports before you buy this product.
1 Like   June 18, 2014 at 1:32PM
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rgrs
Previous post is scary! I just wish I could figure out how to turn off the display light on ours - it is very bright at night.
0 Likes   August 27, 2014 at 3:29PM
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standu
It always amazes me when people criticize products because of their own incompetence or clumsiness. It doesn't matter what the appliance is if you go and dump a cup of liquid into its working parts you are likely going to have problems. Every owners' manual I have ever seen says, "if you spill fluids on the electronics take it in for service".
If your concern regarding a drawer is that you walk around your kitchen without looking where you are going or you have children who can not be trusted around kitchen appliances then by all means stay away from kitchen advances, but if you look where you walk and have indoor children you should have no problems.
By the way, our new Sharp microwave drawer has a very bright digital display but it turns itself off automatically when not used for several minutes.
0 Likes   August 29, 2014 at 7:35AM
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condoveracruz
Don't buy the Sharp, not good constructions. Only a matter of time before the drawer slides go. The Bosch, which I think contains some Sharp components is much better constructed and Bosch has great customer service which Sharp does not. Read all the reviews on the other sites before you by. Again, I love the drawer concept. To the previous post: Give me a Break! Its a kitchen and spills happen, unless you don't cook in it. . Ask a professional chef. If I had been electrocuted then what?
0 Likes   August 29, 2014 at 9:51AM
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