Over the years, microwaves have transitioned into one of the most frequently used home appliances thanks to their ease of use and  efficiency. In contrast, heating food on the stovetop is quite burdensome as it requires effort and cleanup.

Traditionally microwaves were installed above the cooking range or placed on the counter tops. However, these days, there’s an increasing trend of people placing their microwaves in island. In this article, we will be throwing light on the reasons behind it followed by its pros and cons. This will help you make a better decision while deciding where you want to place your microwave.

The Pros of Placing a Microwave in Island

Man taking out freshly baked pastries from a microwave in island
Man taking out freshly baked pastries from a microwave

Placing microwaves in kitchen islands has many advantages, they might help you finalise where you finally place the microwave in your kitchen. They are mentioned below:

Space Optimization:

By placing a microwave in island you can create more space in your kitchen. This is because it spares space on your kitchen counter along with the wall cabinet. This free space can be used for storage or other purposes that help improve the functionality of your kitchen.

Improved Workflow:

Having the microwave placed on an island can help enhance the workflow of your kitchen. This way, you have it nearby while preparing the food. So If you need it for anything like thawing meat, for instance, then you can conveniently use it.

Enhanced Aesthetics:

Placing the microwave in your kitchen island not only elevates the design of your kitchen but also adds a modern and sleek touch to the overall look. However, if you have to purchase a new microwave then make sure that it matches the overall aesthetic of your kitchen.

Accessibility for All Ages:

When you place the microwave in the kitchen island it’s at waist or chest height, this  makes it accessible for individuals of all ages. Elderly family members along with children can use it easily without having to stretch or strain themselves.

Visibility and Ventilation:

Microwaves that are designed for island installation have built-in ventilation systems. This feature is quite effective as it creates a healthy and pleasant cooking environment by removing cooking odours, smoke and steam from the cooktop area.

The Cons of Placing a Microwave In Island

If you’re deciding to place the microwave in the kitchen island, it’s important to consider its cons before making a final decision. They are mentioned below:

Higher Cost:

The traditional placement of a microwave above the range or on a countertop is way cheaper than installing the microwave in your kitchen island. The reason behind this is the additional cost of creating custom space in the island for electric work, special cabinets for the microwave and ventilation.

Space Constraints:

In order to install the microwave in a kitchen island, it’s important to pay attention to the fact that the island itself is big enough to accommodate it. For kitchens that are small this may not be possible as you also need to make sure that the door of the microwave opens easily.

Limited Microwave Options:

There is a very limited choice of microwaves that are made for being installed in kitchen islands. It means that you may not be able to find a microwave that fits your needs in terms of features, brand or size.

Aesthetic Considerations:

Placing a microwave in island allows your kitchen countertops to look uncluttered. However, placing it there may not go with the overall appearance of your kitchen.

Factors to Consider Before Placing a Microwave In Island

If you’re planning to place your microwave in island, then you need to consider some important factors that help you finalise its placement. These are mentioned below:

Kitchen Layout and Size:

You should consider the layout of the kitchen before making a final decision. If you are aiming for a minimalist or uncluttered setup, then putting a microwave in the kitchen island will be a great idea. Also remember, larger kitchens have bigger islands which are perfect for its placement.


Placing a microwave in island is not a cheap task so ensure that you have sufficient budget. It involves electric work, making space for ventilation and custom cabinets according to the size of the microwave. This may get costly so ensure having a budget before setting it up.

Family Dynamics:

It’simportant to consider your family dynamics before making a decision. It is because you may have family members of different ages in your house, if so then you should consider getting it as it’s convenient for all users.

Ventilation Solutions:

It’s important to check if ventilation space is provided where the microwave is placed for odours and fumes to release. However, microwaves that are designed for the island have an in-built ventilation system. Hence, it is better to buy that if the ventilation area is not given.

Electrical Requirements:

Make sure that your island has electrical wiring and outlets to support the installation of the microwave. Otherwise, you may need to get additional electrical work done.

Island Functionality:

It’s important to consider whether placing a microwave in the kitchen island improves its functionality or not. For instance if you only use that area for preparing meals then it may be the best place to put your microwave.

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Cabinetry and Customization:

It’s important to consider if an additional cabinet is required and whether you have sufficient budget for making that. The cabinet has to be made according to the size and dimensions of the microwave.

Clearance and Door Swing:

Ensure that opening and closing the microwave door won’t obstruct walkways or other parts of the kitchen before placing it in the island. Make a plan of where the microwave will be most convenient before finalising your decision.

Other areas in the kitchen to place microwave:

Women taking out freshly baked pastries from a microwave in island
Woman taking out freshly baked pastries from a microwave

Microwaves can be placed in many other areas of the kitchen (as opposed to microwave in island). Keep in mind its usage and the space available. Below are some suggestions of where you can keep your microwave other than in the kitchen island.

  1. Kitchen Countertop: This is where most of the households place their microwave as it’s the most convenient. However it reduces counter space which means less room for putting items while preparing meals.
  1. Built-in Microwave Wall Cabinet: This is also a convenient place to keep your microwave as it gives more space to work and an uncluttered kitchen.
  1. Over-the-Range Microwave: In this method your microwave is mounted over the stove top making it easily accessible. A plus point of this location is that there is ventilation provided for both the stove and the microwave at the same place.
  1. Pantry or Utility Room: Thislocation is most suitable if there is less use of a microwave in your household or there is no space in the kitchen.

While choosing a place for your microwave it’s important to consider your requirements and decide accordingly. Check all the aspects like the available space, aesthetic aspect and the convenience of the chosen location.


By incorporating a microwave in an island of your kitchen you can optimise all aspects of your kitchen like increasing practicality by providing more counter space, functionality and an improved flow of work.

It also has drawbacks such as cost, less availability of space and ventilation issues. Therefore, it’s important to consider these factors and make a wise decision that suits your kitchen and lifestyle.

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Frequently Asked Questions FAQs

Is it common practice to place a microwave in island than other places?

Placing a microwave in island is becoming a more popular choice these days as it helps save a lot of space. So you are left with more counter space as well as wall cabinet space, so you have more storage. However, it also depends on your individual preference.

Are there microwave models that are specifically designed for island placement?

Yes, there are some models of microwaves that are specifically designed to be installed in kitchen islands. Their best feature is the built-in ventilation system, this means you don’t have to waste money on creating ventilation space in your kitchen island.

How can the island placement of microwaves affect the workflow in the kitchen?

Yes, the workflow can improve as the island is mostly where all the preparing of food is done so having it closeby will be helpful.

Are there any limitations on the size of microwaves for placing it on the island?

Yes, the microwaves designed for being installed in islands have a set size. However, it’s important to make sure that you have enough space to place it.

What is one of the main advantages of having a microwave in island?

The main advantage is having more space available in the kitchen. This allows you to have storage for other items in the kitchen.

Are there any disadvantages to consider when placing a microwave in island?

Yes, they include higher costs of installation, less space available and limited microwave options in the market to choose from.

Can microwaves be installed on existing kitchen islands, or does it require custom cabinets?

Yes, if you have sufficient space available then you can easily install a microwave there. However, custom cabinets may enhance the overall appearance of the kitchen.