Showing you how easy it is to make a built-in microwave oven cabinet for your kitchen or bar using the Sektion Ikea Cabinets and my genius Ikea hack!! It wasn’t hard, only took me an afternoon, and turned out perfect! It’a time to get your microwave off the counter and seamlessly integrated into your cabinets.
When finishing our basement this year, I used the Sektion cabinets from IKEA to create a 14′ bar along one long wall.
Oh, if you’re getting ready to finish or thinking about finishing your basement, be sure to check out my 30+ tips for finishing your basement!
I even included a printable checklist to get you started!! There are probably things listed that you have never thought of before so be sure to check it out!
Back to the microwave hack.
I knew our family would be spending a good amount of time in this space so I wanted to be sure that the bar included all the things I would need to entertain or serve my family and friends.
My checklist included a sink, beverage refrigerators, pull-out trash and recycling bins, and a microwave.
Since I didn’t want upper cabinets, and didn’t want a microwave to sit on the counter, I wanted to include a microwave oven cabinet in the lower bar cabinets.
How do you make a plan to include a microwave oven cabinet in your kitchen or bar?
I planned my bar easily by using the IKEA kitchen planner to space out where I wanted all of the IKEA Sektion cabinet boxes to go. You can do this for FREE on the IKEA website!
In the plan, I included a cabinet that I would be turning into a microwave cabinet with storage underneath.
Once I planned it all out, I printed it off and used the plan to tell my electrician where the outlet should go for the microwave. That made it easy for him PLUS I knew where all the cabinets should go based on the printout!
Does IKEA make a microwave oven cabinet?
The short answer to that is YES! They have options on their site, but I couldn’t find what I was looking for or needed, so I decided to make my own.
How much does a microwave oven cabinet cost?
The cost of my DIY microwave oven cabinet was $255!
Here is what I ordered from IKEA for this lower microwave oven cabinet:
Supply list for a microwave oven cabinet installation
Below are all of the tools I used for this project and I have each one in my actual tool chest!
- Tape measure (everyone should have this one)
- Jig Saw or Oscillating tool
- drill (the drill and brad nailer use the same batteries)
- 18 gauge brad nailer
- brad nails (be sure to get the correct length for your project!)
- wood glue
- miter saw
- Table saw, circular saw or track saw
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Can you put an electrical outlet inside a cabinet?
Yes! I built the cabinets and cut the back of the cabinet I would use for the microwave oven to pull the outlet through so I could plug in the microwave once installed. It was just a basic Sektion cabinet box to begin with and it came with its own backing, which I went ahead and used. It worked perfectly!
How do you cut an outlet in the back of a cabinet?
First, you need to figure out where your outlet needs to go. If you have an existing outlet on a wall and are putting a cabinet over the opening and adding the outlet inside the cabinet there are a couple of tricks you can use.
Here is what I recommend: Remove the plate cover, turn it around so it is inside out, screw it back on. Then add a dot of toothpaste on each corner of the outlet cover and push the cabinet into place against the outlet.
The toothpaste will leave four little dots on the back of the cabinet and you will know where you need to cut! Next, you will make a square – connecting those four dots.
Once you have a square drawn, choose a drill bit that will fit your jigsaw blade and drill a couple of holes inside the square near each corner. Then stick the jigsaw blade through and start to trace the outline of your square for your outlet.
What is the best tool for cutting the back of a cabinet?
How to use an outlet extender in a microwave oven cabinet
When I cut the back for the outlet to come into the cabinet and pushed the cabinet into place against the wall there was a gap and the outlet cover wouldn’t go on.
To eliminate the gap and allow my plate cover to be installed correctly, I added an outlet extender box to the cabinet. This acts as a new junction box for your outlet and brings the outlet forward so that you can screw it into the cabinet back instead of directly into the junction box in your wall.
Then, once the outlet has been pulled forward you can run a long screw through the outlet screw-hole, the extender, and then into the original junction box that is on your wall.
Once my extender was added, I pulled the outlet through and secured it to the cabinet and original junction box.
Extenders are really inexpensive and a perfect solution to this problem.
What kind of microwave oven can go inside a cabinet?
I found the microwave oven I wanted to use and made sure the dimensions would work with the IKEA Sektion cabinet box. It is just a microwave that sits on top of a counter and is not too big.
Please note that I left plenty of venting around the microwave and air can escape the enclosure. This microwave is not used on a daily basis and only for a few minutes at a time a few times a month. You can buy a special microwave meant for built-ins if you are worried about air circulation.
We really just need it for popcorn and quick snacks in the basement bar. And to warm up my coffee that I drink on repeat all day long, lol!
How to build a microwave oven cabinet with storage
Using the Sektion base cabinet 24×24, I bought a deep Maximera IKEA drawer and drawer front that works with that cabinet. After considering all of the measurements of my countertop microwave oven, I knew I would be able to do one large drawer underneath the microwave. I built and installed the drawer at the bottom of the cabinet per the instructions.
That is where I would keep popcorn, bowls, cups, etc. The size of the drawer is actually perfect!
The top of the cabinet, the portion left over above the large drawer, would be used for the microwave.
Also, I have had several people ask me if I always DIY barefoot. The true answer is sometimes! Although I don’t recommend it and do have actual workboots.
How to make a shelf for a microwave oven to sit on
For the part the microwave would sit on, I installed the included shelf pegs into the holes above the drawer in the cabinet box and then added the stationary IKEA Utrusta white shelf onto the pegs.
Then, cutting the black Lerhyttan end panel to size (I ordered one that matched the cabinets), I created another shelf to fit right on top of the white shelf and attached it with small brad nails.
Since this shelf would be somewhat visible, the added Lerhyttan shelf would hide the white of the cabinet shelf and give it the same finish as the rest of the bar.
When I cut the black panel to create a shelf, I first centered the white Utrusta shelf on top of the black panel to trace it for cutting. I made sure to line up the front of the white shelf with one of the finished edges and then traced the white shelf.
That left me with extra space on the other three sides, like a border, and I cut those off to use them for the trim pieces on the microwave opening.
Does a microwave oven need space around it in a cabinet?
Yes, it does. They say you should have 3″ clearance on the top and sides, and at least 1″ in the back.
I wanted to leave plenty of space for air circulation and to keep the microwave from being able to be pushed all the way back into the cabinet when used, so I created a “stop panel” towards the back of the new black shelf.
I measured the depth of the microwave and the plug and made a line across my new black shelf. Then cut and added a small, 3″ piece of the leftover panel (that I had cut for the shelf) towards the back for the microwave to “stop” from being able to be pushed back into the wall.
I used wood glue and my brad nailer to add it perpendicular to the shelf. Now there is about 5″ of dead space at the back of the shelf between the “stop” and the outlet/back of the cabinet.
Do built-in microwave ovens need trim kits?
No, they don’t need to be trimmed out. But they do look so much better! So I trimmed my opening out with the leftover black panel pieces I cut off when I cut the new shelf for it to sit on.
I cut 4 pieces from the leftover “border” pieces of the black panel and trimmed around the opening using a brad nailer and wood glue, creating a finished look.
The edges that face away from the opening can be painted to match the rest of the cabinets so you don’t see any unfinished edges after cutting the faceframe.
I got the microwave oven in and it looks perfect! It looks like it was made for the cabinet!
In reality, the cabinet was custom-made for the microwave and it not only looks amazing but functions just like I hoped it would.
This was a SUPER easy build and took just an afternoon!!
This hack is genius and looks AMAZING, right?!
I hope this inspires you to create your own genius hack to make it work for YOU or this IKEA microwave cabinet hack that worked for ME!
Until next time, stop waiting. Start creating!