Standard Kitchen Countertop Height - Information Advice | Goodwill

Kitchen Ergonomics and Standard Kitchen Countertop Height – Information Advice

Kitchen Ergonomics & Standard Kitchen Countertop Height - Information & Advice

The right kitchen countertop height means the counter to be designed at an appropriate height for cooking and preparing food for an average-sized person when standing. The average kitchen counter height can vary accordingly to region, ethnicity, cooking style, or cultural diversity. The standard kitchen countertop height should be neither too high nor too low for a person of average height. It means kitchen slab height must be sufficient for proper and comfortable kitchen work. 

Standard kitchen counter height is something you might not think about daily, but it is an important factor in kitchen ergonomics when designing or renovating your kitchen. Generally, all Interior designers agree that 3 feet or 36 inches height kitchen countertop platform would be great for regular kitchen work. 

What should be the ideal kitchen Countertop Height

For every household, the kitchen is the top priority during select interior design or home renovation because is this place where they have to work 4-5 times a day and that should be perfect anyhow. Of course, there are standard data for every ergonomic design including kitchen countertop height. Every interior designer has a different perspective on standard countertop height. But mostly, the countertop height is finalised according to the height of the owners. 

In commercial environments, the customer-facing countertops are customized with a height of 36 inches. But some companies go as high as 45 inches to create an imposing atmosphere in the building. 

When there is no concern about cabinets, homeowners may try to raise the kitchen countertop height to 39 inches to give the kitchen a more grand appearance. 

As mentioned before, the countertops are customized according to the physical needs of people. It is one of the most common reasons designers diverge from standard countertop height to customized. Many designers navigate accessibility in commercial applications by having a dedicated surface that is shorter than the standard counter. 

Standard height of kitchen counter: A kitchen counter’s standard height is 36 inches (3 feet) above the floor. Kitchen islands with bar-style seating can be 42 inches tall.

kitchen height 4'6-5'2ft for 30-33 Inch
Countertop height 5'2-5'8ft for 33-36 Inch

How was Kitchen Countertop Height standardized?

A study conducted at the University of Illinois in the 1940s inspired the 36-inch standardization. Researchers studied how people functioned in the kitchen, and 36 inches became the standard height for a working space based on the average height of women at the time (5 feet, 3 inches).

Keeping these measurements in mind, Manufacturers of kitchen base cabinets, for example, typically design their products with a height of 34.5 inches. Countertops are typically 1.5 inches thick. When you combine the two, you’ll have your standard kitchen countertop height of 36 inches. This average kitchen counter height is adequate for cooking and food preparation work, but if you have any special needs, you must select the height accordingly.

countertop height 5'8-6'1ft for 36-39 Inch
countertop height 6'1-6'6ft for 39-42 Inch

How to choose the correct Kitchen Countertop Height?

The average kitchen countertop height is between 34 and 38 inches. However, this varies, even more, depending on your body size and preferences. How should comfortable work surface heights be determined? Measure while standing up straight and bending your elbow like you’re chopping onions on a cutting board. Prep surfaces should ideally be three to four inches below your bent elbow.

Other guidelines to help you customize the correct kitchen platform:

  • Proper counter depth- The standard length is 24 inches. However, this can vary depending on your size, appliance depths, and backsplash and cabinetry details.
  • Proper upper cabinet and shelf space- The distance between the counter and the bottom of the upper cabinets or shelves should be between 15 and 20 inches. Any lower and you’ll obstruct the workspace. Any higher, and it will be difficult to reach the highest shelves.
  • Proper circulation space- The space between countertops should be at least 48 inches wide. This allows you to open the oven, refrigerator, or cabinet doors. However, don’t make the space between counters wider than 64 inches, or it will be too big and you will lose a lot of efficiency during meal preparation and other kitchen table tasks. 
Countertop HeightHuman Height
30” -33” high countertop4.6 -5.2” height
33” -36” high countertop5.2 -5.8” height
36” -39” high countertop5.8 -6” height
39” -42” high countertop6+” height
kitchen Galaxy Black Granite

The following table indicates the standard countertop height for each human height group. Countertop height is given in inches” and human height is given in feet inches”.

For more information and guidance regarding kitchen countertop height and other kitchen ergonomics, you can contact our Interior designers and experts. 

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