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10 Important Things to Consider Before Designing a New Kitchen

Kitchen design is very subjective, there are few hard and fast rules. A feature or layout that is perfect for one person is far from perfect for another. These are 10 things you have to take into consideration before you start your new kitchen design project.

1. For efficiency, the work triangle (the space between the sink, refrigerator, and stove) should measure 26 inches or less with no single side longer than 9 inches, or less than 4 inches.

2. In kitchens smaller than 150 sq. ft., opt for at least 13 inches of base cabinets, 12 inches of wall cabinets, and 11 inches of the countertop. In kitchens that are larger, go with at least 16 inches of base cabinets, 15 1/2 inches of wall cabinets, and 16 1/2í of the countertop.

3. For convenience, plan work aisles to be at least 42 inches wide for one cook, and at least 48 inches wide in multi-cook kitchens.

4. Specify a minimum of 24 inches of counter space on one side of the sink and at least 18 inches on the other.

5. To create the most accessible landing for unloading groceries, allow at least 15 inches of counter space on the handle side of a standard refrigerator; on both sides if itís a side-by-side model. Or include a landing area directly across from the refrigerator, but no more than 48 inches away.

6. For cleanup ease, install the dishwasher within 36 inches of one edge of the sink and allow for at least 21 inches of the standing room next to it.

7. For microwaves and ovens provide at least 15 inches of counter space nearby, at least 16 inches deep.

8. For optimum clearance, no entry, appliance, or cabinet doors should interfere with another.

9. For comfort and to help avoid repetitive-motion injury, plan for work counters of different heights; between 28 and 36 inches off the floor (easier for chopping and seated-use access), and between 36 and 46 inches for general tasks (higher counters accommodate taller cooks).

10. To install a cabinet unit above the cooktop, make sure the clearance is at least 24 inches for a fireproof surface, 30 inches for an unprotected surface.

Designing a kitchen is as much a science as it is an art. Knowing the recommended measurements to use when planning the project can make all the difference in the outcome.


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