You’re probably wondering about your kitchen counters and how tall they are. Maybe you want to do a kitchen renovation and you know that you’ll need the true measurements to start any work. You may not think about it every day but you’ll want to keep the measurement in mind especially if you plan on changing your counters. So what is the standard measurement of a kitchen counter and how does it affect what you want to do with any changes?
The standard kitchen counter height for most counters is 36 inches or three feet from the floor, says the American National Standards Institute/Kitchen Manufacturers of America. Because this set standard is so common, cabinet manufacturers often build their cabinets to 34 1/2 inches in height, which leaves 1 1/2 inches for any variations in countertop thickness and design and cabinet accommodation. This 36-inch figure is also a good height if you’re placing counters that are braced against a wall and have no cabinets below them.
There are reasons that the standard height still holds true. You want to include the human height factor and comfort level to account for the different tasks and activities that occur for both men and women. For men, the height that correlates with the standard is at least five foot ten inches. For women, five foot three inches is the normal height. Both a standard kitchen counter height and depth allow for a safe, functional, and user-friendly comfort level at these heights for men and women to complete countertop work efficiency.
In order to feel comfortable working at a kitchen counter, for those people who go beyond the height range, the countertop should be between 38-39 inches. For those people that fall below average height, the counter should be around 32 inches. For anyone who is disabled or is using a wheelchair, a good counter height is around 32-34 inches.
With changes in countertop designs and people wanting to make counters higher for aesthetics or to accommodate a special need, the standard measurement often varies. As an example, a very tall or very short person will need adjustments to make the fit work so standard measurements will vary. In addition, if you’re incorporating an island in a kitchen design that will accommodate bar seating, you’ll need more height, at least 42 inches to make the island accessible for seating.
If you’re contemplating a special kitchen counter design, there are options. The first thing to be aware of is the actual (inner) dimensions of the actual cabinets that are going to fit the counter space. You have a special cabinet that you want to fit, but you can’t do that if the space doesn’t allow for it. With that in mind, you may have to custom design the cabinets to fit the kitchen counters or raise the countertops as well. All of that means specialization which you may not be prepared to take on, particularly with any increased expense. If cost is no object, and you want to make a taller more grand look. You could go as high as 39 inches or more. For a home office desk area in a kitchen, 32 inches is appropriate as is 42 inches for a kitchen bar.
You also want to be familiar with the fact that there are different cabinet designs and styles. This may make a difference in the depth of the cabinets. There are cabinets style doors that are set on top of the frame. There are also frames with opening doors right on the frame. They often call these frame designs. You just need to be aware of the different styles when dealing with the height of kitchen counters.
Though 36 inches is the standard kitchen counter height, there are other measurement figures to look at when accommodating comfort ranges. With cutting and peeling at a kitchen counter, you want the surface to be approximately three inches below the height of your elbows. With cooking, any stovetop should be six to seven inches below the height of your elbows. You want to take these figures into consideration, especially if you do a lot of cooking and baking and use many utensils.
Whether you want to stick to standard measurements or you want to increase or decrease your kitchen counter height, contacting the professionals with Marble Concepts would be a good idea to determine what can and can’t be done. We’ll be able to give you advice and direction on what you can do with kitchen counters. Call us at 215-396-7393. We’ll be happy to be of help.