So for quite some time, my wife had been trying to convince me that she needed more counter space and we needed to buy a new microwave and hang it above our range. The overall goal was to get our old microwave off of the counter.
I had been resistant to this change, seeing a little too much effort and too much tearing into the kitchen... But I knew I was in trouble when my parents bought a new house, and ended up with a brand new microwave, that would fit our space. The deal was struck and the microwave was going to get installed.
This is what we started with. It looks nice and clean, and finished.... but anyways, the first step was to remove the old range hood vent. This was a piece of cake. It was plugged into a receptacle hidden in the cabinet above it. The vent hood was held on by four carriage bolts through the cabinet, making removal super easy!
The next step was to remove the old cabinet, because it would end up being a little too high/tall for the microwave to fit well. We knew we would have to change the cabinet and we would have to remove some of the backsplash tile, so we had a plan. We were able to find a cabinet at a big box store, stock. It ended up being a 30"x12". So the cabinet was a little more difficult to remove, just based on finding the screws that were holding it to the wall and to the cabinet to the left and the right. Once the screws were removed, it came out after some finagling around the receptacle.
NOTE: TURN THE POWER OFF AT THE BREAKER, which I had done already, I don't need to learn that lesson the hard way!
After we removed the cabinet, and started sizing up the new cabinet, we realized we had to move the receptacle and box up a little bit so that it would be hidden in the new cabinet. Luckily we had planned this as well, and there was enough wire to be able to move the box up without a junction box or taking any drastic actions!
The drywall push saw made quick work of the new hole for the new box, and we were able to run the wire through the new box without a problem!
The new cabinet and the new microwave were going to cover the hole left by the old box, so we moved onto the tile on the backsplash. When I installed the tile backsplash, I didn't use the traditional mortar for applying it. I had done a couple backsplashes at that point, and I really didn't want to get that messy. At Lowe's, in the tile aisle, I noticed a product that was very similar to foam double-sided tape. I gave it a shot and I haven't had an issue with the finished tile yet! So after some quick work with a putty knife, and carefully prying a few layers of the tile off, we were ready to start hanging the new cabinet.
As you can see, we were able to slide the new cabinet into position, securing it to the studs behind it, then secured the cabinets to the left and the right. We took our time and predrilled the holes and even countersunk the couple of screws that secured the outside cabinets. The receptacle was wired back up and checked for function.
From here, the next step was placing the hanger bracket for the new microwave. This wasn't bad at all, but I forgot to take pictures of it. There was a good amount of lifting the microwave in and out, to check for fit... but the bracket was secured to the corresponding studs after being centered and leveled.
The hardest part of the whole project was the last step, of course... We had to drill some holes into the bottom of the cabinet in order to run the power cord up through, and to run the bolts through the cabinet to secure the microwave. The hanger bracket held the bottom of the microwave up against the wall, then the bolts carried the majority of the weight and secured it to the cabinet.
The hole for the power cord was easy enough. The hole saw we used was big enough for a little bit of error. The hole was roughly measured, drilled out, then the power cord ran through. But, the same couldn't be said for the holes for the bolts. We couldn't drill out a big hole, because the bolts would fall through. We found some washers to help with that, but we still had choose a drill bit close to the diameter of the bolts. Our first attempt was off by an inch or so. The holes were off because of us trying to measure the bottom side of the cabinet, then the top of the microwave, then factoring in face measurements instead of side measurements.... Anyways, hindsight, we should have drilled a small pilot hole as a reference, then aimed for a better hole. But after we drilled the first holes, we could reference off of those, then we had accurate second holes. The bolts were tightened down without a problem, securing the microwave really well to the cabinet. Check below for the finished product!