Help with stove top / microwave distance. Narrative suggestions please

13.5 inches between stove top and microwave bottom:


Refer to manufacturer’s instructions, first.

Go from there.

Recommend having short buyers… :mrgreen:
Most likely recommend removing the microwave.

What JB said. Refer to manufacturer instructions.

I don’t care what the manufacturer says. I’d call that a hazardous installation and a fire hazard.

“The microwave had inadequate clearance from the range-top burners. This condition will interfere with cooking operations and may be a potential fire hazard. The Inspector recommends correction by a qualified contractor.”

The 13.5” clearance between stovetop and over the range microwave is to close and may be a potential fire hazard. Typically the manufacturer’s installation instructions on most over the range microwaves specify a 16” minimum clearance above stovetop. Recommend further evaluation and correction by a qualified licensed contractor.

A couple of years ago I had a microwave that was 10½" from burner to bottom of microwave. I mentioned it to my Clients and told them that I would check the Internet to see if I could find the installation instructions but that I doubted 10½" was okay. Well, 10½" actually was okay. That’s the lowest clearance that I’ve ever found.

I agree with Kenton and would report the same way. You do not need to see the recommended distance if you can explain the common problem to your client. Some manufactures want it closer to the elements to provide better performance of the vent unit designed into the microwave.
We are concerned with SAFETY.

If this were my inspection, I would begin my research with the manufacturer of the **convection oven, **as there is no microwave pictured.

(I may be an ***, but my clients love me for my attention to detail).

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do the math for standard kitchen upper cabinet height of 66"
16 1/2" micro
36" countertop
13 1/2" finished engineered and predesigned by most
make purchaser aware as in OP pic

when pots can’t be used or the door handle melts or they get burned opening SS micro they’ll be blaming you

micro height.jpg

micro height.jpg

Below copied from the National Building Code (Canada); most likely it would be similar in the US.

  1. Except as provided in Sentence (2), framing, finishes and cabinetry installed directly above the location of the range shall be not less than 750 mm (29.5 inches) above the level of range burners or elements.
  2. The vertical clearance described in Sentence 1) for framing, finishes and cabinets located directly above the location of the range may be reduced to 600mm ((24 inches) above the level of the elements or burners provided the framing, finishes and cabinets
    a) are noncombustible, or
    b) are protected by
    i) asbestos millboard not less than 6 mm thick, covered with sheet metal not less than 0.33 mm thick, or
    ii) a metal hood with a 125 mm (5 inch) projection beyond the framing, finishes and cabinets.

do the math for standard kitchen upper cabinet height of 66"
it only takes a 16 1/2" micro height
36" countertop height
to leave 13 1/2" finished cook space
many micro or micro/hood are engineered and predesigned for these dimensions
make purchaser aware as in OP pic

when pots can’t be used, the door handle melts or they get burned opening SS micro they’ll be blaming you

Nick can’t you tell that is not a microwave. It is written on the pic. LOL

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Lacking specific code for this situation, most building inspectors would require the microwave be installed per the manufacturer’s instructions. With that said…most instructions have minimum heights as shown in the attached picture below. Remember, those are minimum heights, and your cabinets, if any, should be built to this specification. If you were to use these minimum heights, and using the typical microwave height of 16-17", you would have a 13-14" clearance from the top of the range to the bottom of the microwave. This doesn’t seem like much, but may be a good height for you, since you’ll be lifting things into the microwave. Though it may be to low, because 13-14" wont accommodate some larger pots.


Basically, the manufactures recommended installation heights do not make any sense due to the different heights of microwaves and convection ovens.
It appears to be a standard Boiler Plate detail that they all use.

If you look at most installations in pictures, books, and lumber yard displays, you will notice that the bottom of the microwave is about 1 down from the bottom of the cabinets.
This dictates that the height would be 17" off the top of the range.

This never coincides with the manufactures detail for mounting height of 30" to the top or 66". :slight_smile:

Kenton and Kevin,

If the manufacturer allows the close clearance then who are you to say they are a fire hazard? Who gave you the almighty power to circumvent them?
Your I don’t care it is a fire hazard attitude just kills me, actually it it quite comical

O yeah is metal combustible?

Yes, here is a list. :mrgreen:

aluminum phosphide
aluminum (powder)
beryllium (powder)
calcium carbide
gallium arsenide
gallium phosphide
lithium aluminum deuteride
lithium aluminum hydride
lithium aluminum hydride bis(tetrahydrofuran)
lithium amidelithium borohydride
lithium-6 deuteride
lithium hydride
lithium tetraphenylborate tris(1,2-dimethoxyethane)
lithium tri-tert-butoxyaluminohydride
magnesium hydride
magnesium and magnesium alloys
nickel catalyst (Raney)
phosphorus pentasulfide
potassium hydridepotassium-sodium alloys
sodium aluminum hydride
sodium bis(2-methoxyethoxy)aluminum hydride in toluene
sodium borohydride
sodium borohydride cobalt-doped
sodium borohydride on alumina
sodium hydride
titanium (powder)
zinc phosphide
zinc (powder)
zirconium (powder)

Someone is in a Joly good mood!
And yes, very much so, metal is a combustible:

Examples of such metals include sodium, titanium, magnesium, potassium, uranium, lithium, plutonium, and calcium. Magnesium and titanium fires are common. When one of these combustible metals ignites, it can easily and rapidly spread to surrounding ordinary combustible materials. :mrgreen:

Merry Christmas!

Marcel and William,

Thanks for the clarification and list of combustible metals. :slight_smile: However are any of those used within the manufacturing process of convection and/or microwave ovens? Especially the ones that are designed to be put above either a gas or electric cooktop? :slight_smile:

Happy Holidays to all!!