Microwave "Trim Kits" and Accurate Specs

Cabinetmakers discuss the problem of making a built-in microwave fit seamlessly into the cabinet you build for it. February 26, 2007

Im wondering if anyone has come across good specs for built in microwave trim kits. We use dimension express and width is not a problem, but we never seem to set the cabinet and opening up for the height (trim kit either hits doors above or below) on frameless construction with 1/8" reveals

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor H:
The built-in oven manufacturers also do not tell you the top and bottom overlays. It is time that appliance mfg's give more detailed info. I am going to suggest it at the CMA forum; perhaps there should be more communication between cabinetmakers and appliance mfgs. I usually ask for the micro to be delivered to my shop if it's a model that I have not used yet. Keep accurate records for the future and you will have a ready file to refer to.

From contributor M:
I would suggest that you talk your customers out of trim kits for microwaves - they are not necessary. Just leave a hole in your cabinet to just fit the microwave box with a little space above it for venting. The rubber feet will keep the bottom of the microwave up high enough to draw in air. If you make the holes right, the microwave will look just as built in as it would be with a trim kit, and no installation. Also important: tell your customers not to bother with a special "build in" microwave. They can save money by just buying a counter top model or an above-the-range one. Both of these can be "built in".

From contributor R:
If you are doing frameless then just make the hole about 3 inches oversize and plant on a face frame for the appliance opening.

From the original questioner:
I will keep track in the future on actual overlays after install. I also like the idea of plant on face frames. That wood look integrated as well. Many of my customers would not accept shoving a microwave in a larger opening.

From contributor H:
The point of the trim kit is to allow for air circulation in a closed cabinet. If you make a wood trim kit, make sure it is vented.