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Industry Dimension Guide

Kitchen & Bath Industry Dimensional Guide

This general reference guide will provide basic information to help you make informed decisions and prioritize your selections when working with Kitchen & Bath Center professionals on your floor plan.  We have also provided kitchen and bath industry standards and suggestions for optimizing accessibility for everyone who may use your new kitchen or bath. 

Appliances

Dimensions of many, though not all, large appliances have been standardized by the manufacturers.  Where there are a variety of sizes, a range has been noted.  Please remember that these are general guidelines. You must obtain accurate dimensions for each appliance from the dealer where you make your purchase and provide them to your Kitchen and Bath Center designer before your floor plan can be completed.

Refrigerators  -  30” to 48” wide.  Depth ranges from 24” (standard base cabinet depth) to 31 or more inches for free standing styles.  Refrigerator heights are NOT standardized.  This is especially important to your Kitchen and Bath Center designer.

  • Dishwashers  -  Most dishwashers are 24” wide. 
  • Drawer style dishwashers may vary in both width and height.  (18” wide dishwashers are usually specified for wet bar areas.)
  • Ranges – Drop-in and freestanding ranges are 30” deep and 36” high (standard base cabinet height plus 1 ½” countertop thickness.)  The full depth of the range, including the oven handle must be considered when the range is placed near a corner or across from another appliance such as a dishwasher or compactor.
  • Cooktops – One piece cooktops are usually 30” or 36” wide.  Modular cooktops may use as much as 54” of counter space depending on the number of modules you select. All cooktops are made to fit within the usual 25” depth of a countertop on a standard 24” deep base cabinet.
  • Compactors – Usually either 15” or 18” wide.
  • Microwave Ovens – Microwaves are not standardized.  Those made for use over a range or cooktop can be installed in the standard 30” space.  Height of the appliance also may vary.  In addition, local codes may vary regarding how far above the cooking surface the bottom of the microwave must be. (Usually 24” or 30”) Cabinets especially built to house a microwave may be 24”, 27” or 30” wide.

Cabinets

Cabinet manufacturing innovators standardized many cabinet dimensions years ago for a couple of important reasons:  to accommodate standard appliance sizes and for economy of scale in the manufacturing process, making factory built cabinets more attractively priced for consumers. Both standardized appliances and basic factory built cabinetry are based on 3” increments.
  • Base, wall and tall cabinet widths usually start at 9” and may extend up to 48” wide, though this may vary by manufacturer.  (For instance, some manufacturers build 6” wide specialty cabinets such as wine racks or spice pullouts.  In most cases, cabinets wider than 48” are not considered stable enough for shipping and handling though there may be exceptions from a particular manufacturer.) 
  • Kitchen base cabinet depth is 24.”  Some manufacturers may build base cabinets to another specification, but usually based on the 3” increment rule, such as 18” depth or 21” depth.
  • Base cabinet standard kitchen height is 34 ½” to accommodate a 1 ½” countertop. (Specialty base cabinets such as a desk or other seating space are usually about 28 ½” tall to accommodate standard 1 ½” thick counters.)
  • Kitchen wall cabinets are usually 12” deep.  Most manufacturers will also offer additional depth choices as a ‘special order’ in 3” increments such as 15” deep.  Wall cabinets made to sit on the countertop may be up to 24” deep, again, based on the 3” increment rule.
  • Tall cabinets are usually 12” to 24” deep.  Some manufacturers may feature tall cabinets in 18” or 21” depths.  Specialty cabinets such as a wall cabinet for over a refrigerator or a cabinet to enclose a refrigerator or pantry may be offered 30” deep.
  • Wall and tall cabinet heights are usually in 3” increments, too, with wall cabinets usually available in 24”, 30” and 42” heights. Standard tall cabinet heights are 84” and 96”.  In most instances, when wall cabinets meet tall cabinet height, this will result in an 18” space above the countertop.
  • Bathroom vanities generally come in either 18” or 21” depths.

For more information on standard kitchen and bath planning dimensions, check websites for industry professional organizations.
  
To Design For Greatest Accessibility

Chances are, someday you’ll be very glad you planned your new kitchen and/or bath with greater accessibility in mind.  Here are some pointers toward making your home more “physically friendly” for a family member a with temporary or on-going mobility impairment.

Wider doorways, hallways and aisles around furniture make it easier to get around.
  • Allow at least 39” between furniture pieces, base cabinets and an island or any opposing obstacle and a wall.  (Think about placement of appliances, too – especially the dishwasher and refrigerator when doors are opened.) 48” clearance is preferred.  Keep in mind that it requires a  60” circle to completely turn most wheelchairs.
  • Allow at least 36” or aisle space between an island eating counter or a dining table and an opposing wall.
  • For new homes, plan for wider doorways and hallways. For remodeling, look for ways to expand these areas such as borrowing space from a closet or adjacent room.

For Kitchens: Plan lower seating and worktops in some areas.
  • Plan an eating counter at 29-30” from the floor.  (Standard chairs, rather than bar stools, fit at this height – easier for children who can’t reach/climb, seniors who find bar stools difficult to manage as well as a height that is appropriate for a wheelchair.)
  • Plan at least a small section of the work island at 20-30” seating height, too.  Leave open space for a small stool or chair.  Great for kids and seniors but everyone likes the convenience of sitting to peel veggies or cut out cookies!)

Plan cabinets for maximum accessibility

Cabinets can be barriers to mobility, yet every kitchen needs lots of them.  Here are some pointers for increased access without sacrificing storage.
  • Think lots of drawers.  (Drawers are far easier to access than pull-outs behind doors – after all, you only need to pull the drawer out and push it in.)  Now think outside the box – deep drawers are excellent storage for pots and pans, boxed or canned goods, baking pans, serving dishes, party supplies and more.  More shallow drawers are more efficient storage for linens and baking and serving utensils. Be sure your deep drawers have weight support for at least 75 lbs.
  • For maximum accessibility, select 12” deep tall cabinets.  Canned and boxed goods are at your fingertips and easier to organize. For greater storage in the least amount of floor space, select pantry or tall storage with turn-out or slide-out interior fittings.
  • Either 84” or 96” is the usual height of tall cabinets. Wall cabinets are usually 30” high to line up on top with 84” talls; 42” high wall cabinets line up at the top with 96” high talls.  These are guidelines only!  Wall cabinets that are installed lower than the standard are more easily accessed by shorter people, including your children!  A small adjustment in placement of wall cabinets can make your kitchen easier for everyone to use.  (Do keep in mind that certain small appliances, like some coffee makers are 18” tall and may not fit under lowered wall cabinets. Your designer can help you think through all the implications of this kind of change.)
  • Be sure all corner cabinets are fitted with either a lazy susan or slide out drawers.
  • Plan some open shelving in base cabinets, providing easier access as well as a design accent for showing off serving pieces, cook books, etc.
  • Provide increased visibility with low voltage lighting for cabinet interiors.
  • Glass doors are both attractive and practical saving steps to the ‘right’ cabinet.
  • A built-in microwave may sit on the counter or even below the counter in a base cabinet for easier access for everyone.
  • Be sure all base cabinets have pull-out shelves – including under the sink.
  • Base cabinets should have doors that open 70 degrees or more.
  • Install wall ovens lower than ‘standard height’ for easier access.
  • Consider raising the dishwasher about 12” from the floor.  This height is easier for everyone to use, requiring much less bending from standing users and much less reaching for seated users.  Most cabinet manufacturers make special base cabinets for this purpose.  (The resulting higher counter space may be planned to support a wall cabinet 24” deep to create a ‘tall’ dish washing/storage area. For maximum accessibility install an open china display rack.
  • Use stemware holders installed beneath wall cabinets for easier access to glassware.
  • Be sure all cabinets have adjustable shelving.
  • Wall cabinets that sit on the countertop are easier to access from a seated position and still allow ‘landing space’ countertop to the front.
  • Purchase appliances with controls at the front or side.
  • Select a faucet with pullout feature.
  • Consider installing the faucets beside the sink rather than behind.  (Plan early for this and get your plumber involved.)  Your kids and seniors will find it much easier to use the sink without splashes and spills.

For Easily Accessible Bathrooms
  • Plan minimum of 15” on either side of the toilet.  Install an attractive grab bar on one side.
  • Consider installing a higher commode in at least one first floor bathroom.  (Many people prefer a taller toilet not only for accessibility but for ease of care and cleaning.)
  • Leave a ‘vanity’ area open for seating at one vanity cabinet.  Be sure mirror extends down to the 29-30” counter top.
  • Conversely, install taller vanities!  These are easier access for all adults and require much less bending.
  • Consider installing faucets at the side of the lav rather than behind.
  • Install wall cabinets to sit on the counter to maximize storage and accessibility.
  • Install the shower with a floor level pan and a vertical grab bar.
  • Have Kitchen & Bath Center design a custom cultured marble tub with a wide apron and integral seat for comfortable bathing for anyone.  Plan plumbing so faucet can be installed on front apron for easiest access.

Your professional design specialist at Kitchen & Bath Center can suggest even more ideas for making your kitchen and baths serve you best for all the seasons of life
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