Kitchen Tool Guide

Built-in vs Countertop Microwave with Trim Kit: Which is the Better Option?

Emily Wong is an Asian-American food writer the founder of Cookindocs.com. With nearly 8 years of experience, she has a passion for making cooking accessible to everyone and sharing her personal experiences with food. Emily's vision for Cookindocs.com is to create a community of food lovers who are passionate about...

What To Know

  • The primary difference is that a countertop microwave is designed to be placed on a counter or shelf, while a built-in microwave is designed to be built into a wall or cabinet.
  • A trim kit for a microwave is usually a custom-made frame that allows a homeowner to install a standard-sized, over-the-range microwave into a cabinet.
  • A trim kit offers an attractive way to hide the otherwise exposed sides, top, and back of the microwave, especially if the cabinet is above a range or cooktop.

If you’re in the market for a new microwave, you may be considering a built-in model or a countertop microwave with a trim kit. But what are the differences between these two options? And which one is right for your home? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the differences between countertop microwaves with trim kits and built-in microwaves. We’ll discuss the pros and cons, and help you decide which option is right for you.

Comparing Countertop Microwave With Trim Kit And Built In: What Sets Them Apart?

Countertop microwaves are perhaps the most common type, and they are simply placed on a counter or shelf. These microwaves come in a variety of sizes and styles, and they are relatively inexpensive.

Built-in microwaves are built into a wall or cabinet, and they are designed to be a more permanent fixture. These microwaves come in a variety of styles and sizes, and they are typically more expensive than countertop models.

Trim kits are accessories that are used to convert a countertop microwave into a built-in model. They are typically made of plastic or metal, and they attach to the countertop microwave to create a built-in look. Trim kits come in a variety of styles and sizes, and they are relatively inexpensive.

So, what is the difference between countertop microwave with trim kit and built-in? The primary difference is that a countertop microwave is designed to be placed on a counter or shelf, while a built-in microwave is designed to be built into a wall or cabinet. Additionally, a built-in microwave is typically more expensive than a countertop model.

The Use Cases Of Countertop Microwave With Trim Kit And Built In: How They Differ

TOSHIBA EM925A5A-BS Countertop Microwave Oven, 0.9 Cu Ft With 10.6 Inch Removable Turntable, 900W, 6 Auto Menus, Mute Function & ECO Mode, Child Lock, LED Lighting, Black Stainless Steel

TOSHIBA EM925A5A-BS Countertop Microwave Oven, 0.9 Cu Ft With 10.6 Inch Removable Turntable, 900W, 6 Auto Menus, Mute Function & ECO Mode, Child Lock, LED Lighting, Black Stainless Steel

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  • Countertop microwaves with trim kits and built-ins are versatile appliances that offer several benefits. They can be used as primary or secondary cooking appliances, making them ideal for preparing quick meals, snacks, or reheating leftovers.
  • Countertop microwaves with trim kits and built-ins offer a sleek and seamless look that blends in with your kitchen decor. They can be installed over a range or countertop, creating a professional look.
  • These microwaves provide ample cooking space, allowing you to prepare multiple dishes at once. The built-in design saves countertop space, making them ideal for small kitchens or apartments.
  • Countertop microwaves with trim kits and built-ins are easy to clean and maintain. The trim kit hides the appliance’s sides and back, creating a smooth, clean appearance. The built-in design also keeps the microwave out of reach of children and allows for easy cleaning under the appliance.
  • Countertop microwaves with trim kits and built-ins often have advanced features, such as convection cooking, which allows you to bake, roast, and broil food. Some models have pre-programmed settings, sensor cooking, and multi-stage cooking options, making them versatile appliances that can perform various cooking tasks.
  • Countertop microwaves with trim kits and built-ins can also be used for food preparation, such as defrosting frozen food, cooking vegetables, or heating soup. Their compact size makes them portable, allowing you to move them around your kitchen as needed.
  • Overall, countertop microwaves with trim kits and built-ins are practical and versatile appliances that save space, offer advanced features, and enhance your kitchen’s appearance. They are ideal for preparing quick meals, snacks, reheating leftovers, and preparing various dishes.

The Merits And Demerits Of Countertop Microwave With Trim Kit And Built In

BLACK+DECKER EM720CB7 Digital Microwave Oven with Turntable Push-Button Door, Child Safety Lock, 700W, Stainless Steel, 0.7 Cu.ft

BLACK+DECKER EM720CB7 Digital Microwave Oven with Turntable Push-Button Door, Child Safety Lock, 700W, Stainless Steel, 0.7 Cu.ft

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The Pros

A trim kit for a microwave is usually a custom-made frame that allows a homeowner to install a standard-sized, over-the-range microwave into a cabinet. A trim kit offers an attractive way to hide the otherwise exposed sides, top, and back of the microwave, especially if the cabinet is above a range or cooktop. Since over-the-range microwaves may vent grease, steam, and smoke, keeping the appliance out of sight will lend a more seamless look to your kitchen.

A trim kit can also allow you to install a larger microwave in a smaller space. Trim kits can make for a more efficient use of the space above your stove, allowing you to have more usable counter space for food prep or cooking.

The Cons

Installation of a microwave with a trim kit can be a complex process, and many manufacturers advise against it. Microwave manufacturers typically do not warranty any microwaves that have been installed with a trim kit. This can leave you liable for any issues that may arise, leaving you with a costly repair or replacement.

A trim kit can potentially affect the function of the microwave, potentially affecting the ability of the appliance to vent properly. It can also interfere with the way the microwave operates, such as its ability to turn on, turn off, or operate the turntable.

Built In Microwave

A built-in microwave is installed directly into a cabinet or a wall, as opposed to being placed on your countertop. The microwave is built-in with its ventilation and is vented through an outside wall.

Built-in microwaves can be a sleek, high-end option for your home, offering plenty of features, including convection cooking, hidden control panels, and motion sensors. Since they are installed into a cabinet, built-in microwaves can take up less counter space, leaving more room for preparing food.

Built-in microwaves require custom cabinetry and installation, which can be quite expensive. The vents of built-in microwaves require a route to the outside, which can be a time-consuming and challenging task for many homeowners. If installation is improperly completed, moisture can be trapped inside, leading to mold and other problems.

Because a built-in microwave is installed into a cabinet, it may be a bit harder to access than a standard countertop microwave. The microwave may not vent as efficiently as countertop models either, which can cause moisture to build up.

Which Of The Two Is The Better Choice, Countertop Microwave With Trim Kit Or Built In?

TOSHIBA EM131A5C-BS Countertop Microwave Ovens 1.2 Cu Ft, 12.4' Removable Turntable Smart Humidity Sensor 12 Auto Menus Mute Function ECO Mode Easy Clean Interior Black Color 1100W

TOSHIBA EM131A5C-BS Countertop Microwave Ovens 1.2 Cu Ft, 12.4' Removable Turntable Smart Humidity Sensor 12 Auto Menus Mute Function ECO Mode Easy Clean Interior Black Color 1100W

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If you’re looking for a microwave that is stylish, convenient, and fits in with your kitchen decor, then a built-in microwave with trim kit is the better choice.

A built-in microwave with trim kit is designed to blend seamlessly into your kitchen cabinetry, giving it a more polished look. It can be installed at eye level, making it easy to view and operate.

A countertop microwave, on the other hand, is portable and can be placed on any flat surface. It’s a good choice for people who frequently move or need a compact microwave.

However, a countertop microwave is not as convenient as a built-in microwave. It can be bulky and take up valuable counter space, and it can also be difficult to reach and operate if it’s placed too high or too low.

Ultimately, the choice between a countertop microwave with trim kit and a built-in microwave is a matter of personal preference. Consider your needs and preferences, and choose the microwave that is best for you.

What You Need to Know

  • What are the benefits of a countertop microwave with trim kit over a built in microwave?

A countertop microwave with trim kit offers several advantages over a built-in option:

1. Cost: A countertop microwave is generally less expensive than a built-in model.

2. Space: A countertop microwave does not require the installation of a custom cabinet, saving you the space of a built-in model.

3. Mobility: A countertop microwave can be easily moved if you change your mind about its location or when you need to access the outlet beneath it.

4. Flexibility: A countertop microwave can be used anywhere there is an outlet, allowing you to take it with you if you move or use it for parties or special events.

5. Upgrade options: If you decide to upgrade to a built-in model in the future, you can simply remove the trim kit and have the built-in installed in its place.

Overall, a countertop microwave with trim kit is a convenient and flexible option that can save you money and space.

  • How to install a countertop microwave with trim kit?

1. Installing a countertop microwave with a trim kit may sound complicated, but it’s actually a relatively easy task. Here are the general steps for installing the trim kit and microwave:

2. First, you’ll need to locate the studs in the wall with a stud finder. Mark the location of the studs on the wall. Note: The trim kit comes with mounting screws, but they are only recommended for drywall. For mounting into studs, you’ll need to use screws that are appropriate for your wall type.

3. Next, install the mounting plate included with the trim kit by drilling pilot holes into your wall and then driving the screws into the pilot holes. The mounting plate should be flush against the wall.

4. Now, line up the microwave with the mounting plate and mark where the screws need to go. Drill pilot holes into the microwave and then drive the screws into place. The microwave should now be attached to the mounting plate.

  • What are the different types of trim kits available for countertop microwaves?

Countertop microwaves are a staple appliance in many kitchens. They provide a quick and convenient way to make food, and over the years, they have become increasingly versatile. One of the ways they have expanded their versatility is through the availability of different trim kits. These kits allow you to change the look of your microwave to match the rest of your kitchen’s decor.

There are several types of trim kits that are available for countertop microwaves. The most common type is the over-the-range (OTR) trim kit. OTR trim kits are designed to sit over your stove and vent the microwave’s exhaust through your range hood. These kits come in a variety of styles, including stainless steel and black or white finishes.

Another type of trim kit that is available is a ductless kit. Ductless kits are designed to vent the microwave’s exhaust through a small hole in the back of the microwave. These kits are a good option if you don’t have a range hood or if you don’t want the hassle of installing one.

Finally, you can also find under-cabinet trim kits.

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Emily W.

Emily Wong is an Asian-American food writer the founder of Cookindocs.com. With nearly 8 years of experience, she has a passion for making cooking accessible to everyone and sharing her personal experiences with food. Emily's vision for Cookindocs.com is to create a community of food lovers who are passionate about cooking, eating, and sharing their experiences with others. Read my story
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