- Aug 5, 2002
- Silicon Valley
Bought a 13 year old house last year with "Contractor Special" cabinets and appliances. The cabinets are particle board and laminate (I think) finish and 12" depth, with low end white tile counter top, black wall tiles against the range, and some old/worn out appliances (6000 BTU 4 burner range with no window in oven, loud and rusty dish washer, and a 900W microwave-hood with no turn table). Fridge was replaced by the last owner as it died and leak, new one is acceptable so I am keeping it till it die. Can't stand the range, so I replaced it with a stainless Bosch and sold the old one on craigslist. The same for dish washer: sold on craigslist and bough an LG stainless. So far I am happy and the last step is to replace the worn out micro-hood. Then after I got an LG stainless microwave-hood, and took out the old one, I realized that it wouldn't fit. The width are identical between the old and new microwave, but the new one is much deeper. The designated mounting holes on the new one will land right on the face frame of the cabinet. I checked the old one and it has a top screw mountings of 8.5" from wall, the new one is 10.5". I found that all manufactures have this magical 10 3/8" mounting on most non-bottom-of-the-line models. As an example, Whirlpool mandate a 12" to 14" cabinet depth for their microwave, and mine is 12", but there are tiles and plywood backing to make the rear flush for installation. Wife was about to cry when I said we might have to return the microwave and use the old one. It wasn't very good at heating things up and the lack of turn table is very inconvenient, and as far as I can tell, it is probably going to die in a year or two (loud fan, circuit board intermittently reset, etc). So now I am try to see what kind of options I have: 1) New cabinets and counter top (with island): Wife hated the tiles surface (grouts); I hated the sinks (too small to fit almost all pans, scratched surface, etc. The cabinets are ok surface finish wise, but in some cabinets the shelf or bottom finishes are worn out. It would be a good time to get the "new kitchen" she always wanted. The negative is we are very busy. School, work, and planning our wedding together (we registered but wedding is next June). Plus we are financing a lot of these from our mortgage. Not that it is a problem since we both have good incomes and no debts other than the mortgage, just that it might be a few weeks worth of cash flow we need to watch out for. We have a 1.5 year old "like hard wood" floor that the last owner lied to us as real hard wood. It is good enough to fool us and in good condition, no need to redo the floor or any other part of the house. 2) Find a way to kludge the microwave up there: Since the cabinet has frame, there is enough room if I can find an adapter that relocate the mounting inward for 2 inches. This will look a bit awkward since the side of the microwave is black and my cabinets are white, plus the additional extruded portion that is aluminum and the trouble/cost to mount this microwave. Another negative is that in about 2-3 years I am planning to redo the kitchen, so all the efforts are buying me only 2-3 years. The good side is I don't have to pay for new cabinets and counter top for 2-3 years. 3) Return the microwave and use the old one till I remodel: Same as option 2 except we will be using the old microwave. It is inconvenient, but an ok option. It save the most money and make the most sense, but consider how much time I stand in front of it waiting to turn the food around instead of actually sit down and enjoy dinner, and that it is 13 years old and getting weak, I don't know if it is worthed postponing the inevitable cost of a new cabinets. What would you do if you were me? (no kid, newly wed, super busy, decent finance but short cashflow, no debt, acceptable counter top condition, not so acceptable microwave condition, mismatch appliance currently) My dad did a remodeling 2 years ago said it will probably cost about $5k-6k on the materials and labors.