Wall oven units are convenient, free up counter space and can provide more than one service. A wall oven-microwave combo installed alongside the cabinets offers an abundance of cooking choices for a busy chef to produce numerous dishes at the same time.
Although you may have your eye on a specific unit, or units, not all ovens will work in your space. Know the space and electrical capabilities of your kitchen before buying a wall oven.
Choosing a Wall Oven
GE Appliances recommends finding the amperage to your oven before you plunk down a chunk of change for a wall unit. The breaker to the oven in the circuit box will have the amperage that it can handle noted on the device. If you want to install an oven that is beyond your amperage, then you will need to install a new circuit breaker along with the wiring.
Before You Begin an Installation
To truly measure the space you intend to fit the new oven into, you'll need to remove the old unit from its nook among the cabinets. To remove most wall units from the bank of cabinets, you'll need nothing more than a Phillips head screwdriver and measuring tape. A sheet of paper with spaces for height, width, depth and notes will make the process easier. Always measure twice to ensure the final number is correct. Make sure that the oven can fit through the kitchen doorway or other entrance to the space.
Wall ovens can weigh upwards of 200 pounds, so have a second person available, a rolling cart approximately the same height as the bottom edge of the wall oven or other system to set the rolling oven onto. Put down a comforter or a stack of neatly folded blankets to place the oven if moving it onto a floor or table. This will soften the blow when it is put down and also make it easier to lift and otherwise transport.
The wall oven will need good ventilation. Single and double wall ovens have vents below the door that are designed to keep electronics cooler and provide a better door seal at the top of the unit. Make sure that the space you have planned and the unit you intend to install in that space has the proper amount of ventilation above and below the unit. Follow the installation instructions to allow for the proper room for ventilation.
Measuring Wall Oven Sizes
Begin by measuring the height of the unit. Write the number down on the reference sheet, followed by the width. Open the wall oven door and remove the screws from the frame that secures the unit to the cabinets on either side. Take down the trim pieces to make the removal of the unit easier and save the cabinets from possible damage as you work.
Pull the oven forward about 1 to 2 inches. If you pull the oven out too far, more than about 3 inches, it may tip forward. Measure the distance from the top of the oven to the bottom and from the far-left edge to the right of the cabinet's opening. Next, measure the sides of the oven from the top to bottom edge of the cabinet.
If you remove the oven, measure the distance from the front façade of the cabinet cutout to the back wall. You can also use the wall oven measurements of the specific model you are using, if you can locate that in the owner's manual.
Tips for a Solid Install
Electrolux Appliances recommends checking the base to ensure it is level and capable of supporting the unit. A cabinet base that is unlevel can make the oven glides slide out when the door is opened.
Check all oven doors for clearance when they are fully extended before installing the wall oven. Measure the door depth to make sure it won't knock into cabinets, countertops or other structures surrounding the wall oven.
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at www.vegaswriter.com.