Well, I’m not sure what your current over the range area looks like, so I can’t speak definitively to your situation. Some more detail would’ve been good.
In general, though, it’s quite easy to install OTR microwaves. It doesn’t take a lot of expertise or special tools. A cordless drill, a measuring tape, not much else. I guess a level.
The deal is that the microwave has a rectangular bracket that you mount to the wall, and then once that is secured, the microwave hangs on that. It’s completely supported from the back. It just hangs there.
So the microwave typically comes with a paper template of some sort that helps you mark where the holes should be drilled for the bracket. You’ll want some heavy duty anchors to secure that bracket. Don’t use cheap drywall anchors! Use a level to make sure the holes are going to be level, then drill away.
Once the bracket is up, you hang the microwave usually by tipping the microwave up at a fairly steep angle and sliding it in. There are tabs on the bracket that slide into slots on the microwave. Look at how it goes together before you hang the bracket. You’ll see that it’s pretty simple.
That’s about it as far as how it installs. There are directions with it, of course. Obviously read those, too. Not a hard project.
Now, here are some things to consider, or that may complicate things:
- Is there a microwave there now? Removing the old one isn’t any harder.
- Is there a vent hood there instead? Removal is more complicated.
- Is there a duct of some kind that the microwave needs to connect to for exhaust purposes? Most microwaves can be used with or without an external vent line. If used without one, the microwave exhaust just pulls air in through a filter, then blows it back out.
- How big is the opening in the cabinetry? This is quite important! If it’s a really big opening, you may need a trim kit of some kind to fill in some of the space around the microwave so it doesn’t look bad. If it’s a very small opening, like in an older home or something, you have to get a correspondingly smaller microwave. Measure carefully, and allow a little room for air circulation. Check with the mfg for what they recommend for how much space to leave around the unit.
- Is there an electrical outlet somewhere nearby? It’s up in the overhead cabinets usually. Gotta have juice. If you have a microwave or exhaust hood there already, then you’ve got juice somewhere close by, so no worries.
- Be aware of the lower clearance between the bottom of the microwave and the stovetop. This to allow room to work while cooking, but also to keep excess heat off the microwave. I’ve seen guidelines that say everything from 13″ to 24″ between the stovetop and microwave, so look into that.
Ok, that’s all I can think of. I know where I live the appliance delivery companies charge something like $120 or so to install them. Save yourself some dough.