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The Ol’ Microwave Install Fakeout

It’s 10:30 AM. Overcast with scattered showers. The girls went out to the museum for the day and I’m staring at the bare spot above my gas range where a microwave should be. I don’t want to install it. I know I have to install it. So I’m going to install it. Soon. Just one more cup of coffee first…

I didn’t install it. I drank more coffee. UGHHH.

So last week I spoke about the cringemaker, a Sears appliance installer who decided to do a terrible job installing my new microwave and damaged both the microwave and my cabinets to boot. When the Sears replacement crew came in to install the new, new microwave…they pulled the ol’ microwave install fakeout (they pretended they were going to install my new new microwave, but then…umm…DIDN’T). As an aside, I have really fun DIY projects I’ve been wanting to focus on…so I figured I could help myself by hiring Sears to take care the appliances. A grave mistake. These fellas rushed in and rushed out because “pre-existing kitchen conditions” would not allow them to hang the microwave correctly. Imagine if you told your boss that, “pre-existing workplace conditions” would not allow you to do your job today. Imagine how well that would go.

Let me delve into what the problem was and how I took my time and installed the microwave correctly…

The lower metal bracket that holds a fair amount of microwave’s weight was to be installed right where that 1/2″ white tile is.

The problem is that there’s no way to get the bracket flush due to the 1/2″ gap. The cringemaker hung the bracket between the white tiles with 1″ drywall screws (not in a stud). Because of this the microwave started sagging to the left. Very not cool.

Here we go. I’m going to follow the instructions and install the microwave correctly. Pay attention, cringemaker.

Marking the center line I’ll be using to line up the bracket a bit later.

One mark at the top, one at the bottom. Using a straight edge to connect the dots.


To fill the gap I went out and grabbed a 1/2″ plywood sheet. You can find smaller plywood sheets, usually in the aisle across from the big guys. This sheet was 2’x4′.

Grab my framing square and mark off the measurements I took not to long ago.

Straight line for a straight cut (or so I hope).

I’ll be using my circular saw to make the two cuts.

So far so good…

They weren’t perfect, but close enough.

Dry fitting the sheet to make sure everything is gravy.

Using my advanced stud finding skills (studfinder tool), I located the studs and transferred my marks to the plywood.

I’ll be mounting this bad boy into the studs with wood screws at the horizontal marks.

Using my Kreg bit, I’ll be counter syncing my screws so the heads aren’t sticking out and interfering with the microwave.

Like so!

Here’s a close-up. Looks like a wooden belly button…once you see it you can’t unsee…

I lined up the plywood, predrilled into the studs with a smaller drill bit and finally secured the plywood to the wall with wood screws.

Here’s the rear wall template. I know, duh.

Using my utility knife I trimmed as directed. Scissors work as well.

I secured it to the wall using painters tape and lined up the center line (C) with my center line mark.

Checking for level. It’s level!

I pre-measured how far the studs were and tranfered the marks to my template.

I pre-drilled into the studs on said marks.

Now I had to make my own holes because the existing holes were located over the tile.

Using my bit I drill  the holes where the stud marks are.


Using the (2) wood screws that came with the microwave, I attached the bracket to the studs.

Checking for level…IT’S LEVEL AGAIN! Everyone go home, the party’s over.

I kid, I kid. Don’t be like Sears and leave me hangin’. So there’s a top template provided so that one can predrill the holes for the top bolts, very similar to the back paper template. Now due to the fact that the cringemaker decided to make my cabinets holy, I didn’t want to risk making the top of the cabinet one big hole.

So I lined up the template and tried to figure out if I could use any of his holes.

LOL! You’ve got to be kidding me. It’s already one big hole!


Here’s where the A bolt is going to go. But Now that the holes are the size of New Jersey, I’m going to have to grab…

Some washers.

Here are the (3) bolts that came with the unit.

I’ll slip the washer on so that it can help distribute the weight and the bolt won’t slip into New Jersey.

Like that!

Ok here’s where it gets hairy. I actually needed Rach to help me support the microwave while I lifted it into the brackets.

I slipped the power chord through California and then got the bolts tightened.

Looks good from the bottom…


Unlike the cringemaker, I take the protective sheeting off AFTER the install. It helps protect the microwave from fingerprints and other cringeworthy things.

I slide in the filters…

Now we filterin’.

Grab my man mug, fill it up with some cold water…and heat that sucker up. I bet those two mountain men are pulling up a 12ft bearshark.

After 3hrs (prep and fab time included), the microwave officially works.

I replace the ornamental pears. Beautiful.

Vacuum and roll up the sheet I used to collect any debris…


And there it is. I’ve come to appreicate microwaves. Last Friday I tried (and failed) to pop (3) bags of bagged popcorn on the stove. I literally burnt every batch, it was demoralizing. But tonight things will be different! Take a guess at the first thing I do!

I hope you enjoyed microwave trials and tribulations. Now tell me your Sears or other service nightmares. I want all the juicy stuff! Don’t hold out on me!


One stay at home dad (to be) conquers DIY and Diapers

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. OK, well this is hilarious! And helpful. I love that you are showing the step by step and making it easy to follow (except for the Sears guys, they should be reading this…) This is the kind of DIY I like rather than making a bird feeder out of old wood palettes. Oops, hope you haven’t done one of those!!

    1. Rick

      Thank you, That really means a lot! Darn, now I’m going to have to shelf my DIY 4th of July themed birdhouse post! It was going to make waves! BUMMER!

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