Microwave too close to stove Keep Your Microwave Safe Ensure: (2023)

In this article, we’ll discuss whether it’s safe and practical to place microwave too close to stove. Microwaves have become indispensable kitchen appliances, making cooking and reheating food a breeze. However, where you place your microwave in the kitchen can have more significant consequences than you might realize. Specifically, positioning a microwave near a stove demands careful consideration to ensure safety and efficiency. Finding the right distance between the two appliances is crucial whether you have a countertop or an over-the-range microwave. We will explore the potential risks of improper microwave placement, the recommended clearances, and essential factors to create a safe and functional kitchen setup. Let’s explore how to strike the perfect balance between convenience and safety regarding your microwave’s location about the stove.Now we deep dive into microwave too close to stove.

How Far Away Should a Microwave Be From the Stove?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) advises maintaining a minimum clearance of 12 inches between a Microwave and a stove to ensure safety and prevent overheating. It ensures proper ventilation during microwave usage. Clearance requirements may vary for over-the-range microwaves, so following the manufacturer’s instructions is essential. 

Concept of the kitchen triangle and its purpose

The kitchen triangle is a design concept used to arrange the three main work areas in a kitchen – the sink, refrigerator, and stove – functionally and efficiently. The idea is to create a triangle with these three elements, allowing easy movement between them during food preparation. The sides of the triangle should be between 4 to 9 feet, and the total distance around the triangle should be between 13 to 26 feet. This layout minimizes kitchen traffic, ensures smooth workflow, and makes it convenient for the cook to move from one task to another. Following the kitchen triangle rule, you can optimize your kitchen’s layout for maximum practicality and ease of use.

Kitchen Triangle and Work Area Considerations

Consider the kitchen triangle for a functional kitchen setup, which includes the stove, sink, and refrigerator. Keep the microwave positioned at least 4 to 9 feet away from these primary work areas for smooth movement and efficient cooking. This spacing ensures easy access to the microwave without compromising the functionality of other work areas.

Countertop Microwaves

Countertop microwaves should be positioned at least two feet away from the stove. These microwaves are not designed to withstand the heat emitted by stovetops. Maintaining a two-foot distance helps prevent heat-related damage to the exterior of the Microwave and avoids overheating due to the stove’s proximity.

Over-the-Range Microwaves

Over-the-range microwaves have specific clearance requirements, often provided by the manufacturer. While some brands may allow as little as 13 to 16 inches of clearance, a general recommendation is to have at least 18 inches of space between the microwave and the stove. It ensures that the over-the-range microwave can tolerate the heat produced by the stovetop without causing damage to the electronics.

Proper Ventilation and Placement

Ensuring adequate ventilation is crucial when installing a microwave above a stove. Placing the microwave too low or too high can lead to inadequate ventilation and reduced efficiency. Additionally, consider the size of the microwave and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the appropriate distance to maintain optimal ventilation.

Is It Safe to Keep a Microwave too close to stove?

The safety of a microwave near a stove depends on the type of microwave and adherence to safety precautions. Over-the-range (OTR) microwaves are generally safe since they are designed to withstand the heat from the stove, but there should be a specific clearance limit. On the other hand, placing a regular countertop microwave near a stove is not recommended due to potential fire hazards and damage risks. The proximity of the gas stove can release fumes that may not be healthy to inhale while cooking, and the microwave’s electronics may not withstand overheating. Proper clearance and ventilation are crucial to ensure safe microwave usage near the stove. 

Options for Placing the Microwave in a Small Kitchen

Finding the right spot for the microwave in a small kitchen can be challenging. Beyond the Kitchen Triangle Rule, three practical options exist for placing the microwave without compromising safety or functionality.

Corner Of Your Counter

Utilize the least-used space at the farthest corner of your counter to position the microwave. This strategic placement maximizes counter space while keeping the microwave within reach.

Above Your Stove

Contrary to the Kitchen Triangle Rule, consider placing a countertop microwave above your stove with the help of a rack. Though designed for over-the-range microwaves, a countertop microwave can also work from this location.

In A Cabinet

Installing the microwave inside a cabinet is another space-saving option. It hides the microwave when not in use and frees up valuable counter space.

Safety Tips for Placing a Microwave Oven Near a Stove

  • Ensure no dish towels are between the microwave and stove to maintain proper ventilation.
  • Refrain from using the microwave while the stove is on to prevent potential hazards.
  •  For gas stoves, always turn off the burners before using the microwave to avoid gas fumes interference.
  • Keep the area well-ventilated when using the microwave to prevent overheating and ensure efficient performance.
  • Choose a location for the microwave that is easily accessible and convenient for your cooking needs.
  • Ensure the microwave has enough space around it, at least 2 inches on each side, for proper ventilation.
  • Select a well-ventilated spot to prevent heat buildup and ensure good air circulation in the kitchen.
  • Avoid placing the microwave in direct sunlight to prevent excessive heat exposure.
  • Consider a countertop microwave for versatile placement near the cooking area, maintaining a minimum distance of 2 feet for safety.
  • Prioritize safety and functionality in kitchen organization, keeping countertops clutter-free to optimize appliance placement.
  • Utilize intelligent storage solutions such as wall-mounted shelves or roll-out trays to optimize kitchen space and maintain a safe distance between the microwave and the stove.

Risks of Placing a Microwave Too Close to the Stove

Placing a microwave too close to the stove can lead to several potential dangers and problems:

Heat Damage

If you use both appliances simultaneously, especially when the microwave is directly above the stove, the stove’s heat can damage the microwave and shorten its lifespan.

Cleaning Challenges

Grease and food splatters from stovetop cooking can easily end up on the microwave’s exterior and interior, requiring more frequent and thorough cleaning of both appliances.

Aesthetic Concerns: Some individuals may find it unappealing to have significant kitchen appliances grouped closely together for aesthetic reasons.

Electronics Overheating

Microwaves can superheat foods, but their internal electronics cannot handle overheating, which could result from the proximity to the stove.

Fire Hazard: The heat generated by the stove can cause the microwave or stove to overheat, potentially leading to a fire.

Sparks and Gas Fumes

 The microwave’s presence close to a gas-powered stove may lead to sparks and draw in gas fumes, increasing the risk of fire or explosion.


After read about microwave too close to stove we concluded, placing a microwave too close to the stove poses risks to safety and efficiency. Maintain a minimum 12-inch clearance, follow kitchen triangle principles, and consider microwave type for safe positioning. Choose strategic placement options in a small kitchen. Prioritize safety with proper ventilation, avoiding microwave use while the stove is on, and turning off gas burners. Organize clutter-free countertops and use intelligent storage solutions. Doing so can balance convenience and safety, ensuring a functional and aesthetically pleasing kitchen.After read about conclusion microwave too close to stove.

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