As you deal with the need for balance between the height of countertops and the needs of your kitchen, you might start thinking about what the best height is for you. The height of your countertop is something you need to focus on because having counters that are too low or too high can mess with your cutting and cooking.
It might not seem like it, but try to perform any activity on a too short or too tall counter and you’ll see what it feels like. It’s not fun, not productive, and you lose a lot of efficiency doing it.
Additionally, if you have young kids that like to run around the kitchen when playing, you don’t want their heads to be the same height as the corners! You might be installing new countertops or renovating old ones, and it’s worth taking a bit of time to look at the best countertop heights and why to change them.
The Average Kitchen Countertop Height
The standard kitchen counter is around 3 feet or 36 inches, and that’s pretty good for most people. 3 feet is enough for most average humans to comfortably stand and prepare foods and chop things without bending down and hurting their backs.
The height of 3 feet was chosen because of the average height of canadian males and females. The height was 5 feet and 10 inches for males and 5 feet 4 inches for women, and they needed to be able to perform tasks on a countertop ergonomically. When they were able to do so at those heights, they were called average and most counter makers focused on those heights.
Ergonomics is the study of efficiency in the work environment or in this case the kitchen. Most changes to efficiency are designed to make people comfortable and able to do long tasks for several hours. The more comfortable you are, the easier it is to get into a high work flow state. Everyone wants to be in that flow state, and ergonomics helps cooks get there faster and stay in that state longer.
If you’ve ever been in a professional kitchen, then you know that everything is organized, close together, and where it needs to be to make sure that the chefs can get to what they need quickly. Those kitchens are not only well organized, but also ergonomically optimized to make sure that comfort and efficiency is at the forefront. This same method can be applied to your home kitchen as well.
Which is more comfortable? Slaving away in the kitchen for hours while being uncomfortable and struggling to lift pots and pans while bending over, or having a very comfortable time in the kitchen while working without any pain or problems. Being comfortable is certainly the pick most people will make!
Exceptions To The Average
Of course, no one seems to be average height anymore, and there’s a lot of different types of countertops that are exceptions to the average height. One of the most common changes to the height is whenever you have form vs function. Sometimes a shorter and taller kitchen countertop is used for unique design choices, and as long as the height is ergonomic to you, you are good to go.
Finally, if you have physical needs or problems, such as someone with special needs or with a wheelchair. Those cases can increase or decrease the height of the countertops to make people have access to the kitchen. If you are very tall or very short, then you can also change the countertop size to account for that. If you need more help you can visit here.
What Else Do You Look For In The Countertop?
There are a few other measurements that you need to look for when it comes to the countertops. The first is the height of course, but also looking at the depth and width of the countertops as well. Most of the depth for a countertop is around 24 inches, and again this can change based on what you need.
Additionally, the ideal width of the countertop should be about 2-3 feet, and it can be a lot longer if you need more space. Also, take a look at the shape of your kitchen and countertops as well. Do you have a galley layout? A kitchen island in the middle of your kitchen? A U-shaped kitchen, or a traditional squared shaped kitchen? Depending on the different shapes of your kitchen, you need to make sure that you have kitchen countertops that are high enough to be ergonomic and also effient for you.
The space between your countertops should be about 48 inches around, where this will give you enough space to move between different countertops and get around the kitchen. Additionally, you will be able to open ovens, doors, and your fridge without causing any problems or having the doors bump into opposite counters. This also gives you efficiency in the kitchen.
Taking one step towards the extra counter to prepare some vegetables is much better than taking three steps. It might not seem like a lot, but every extra step is some extra energy that can really cause some exhaustion at the end of the day. No one likes to be tired once they are done cooking, so make sure to keep your kitchen compact.
Figure Out What Is Comfortable For You
Finally, the last thing you need to focus on is your comfort. The countertop heights are one of the things that can improve your ergonomics and comfort inside of the kitchen, and that should be the first thing that you work on whenever it comes to designing your space. Make sure that you can comfortably chop, slice, and move around the kitchen without having strain on your body.
While the average countertop height is pretty standard for more people, you can and should focus on changing it. No matter your problems or your needs to have the heights changed, you can do it without trouble.