Defying The Standards – Custom Countertop Height Kitchens

One size fits all rarely works, even when talking about furniture or other home-related products. Countertops are a good example. The standard height for a kitchen counter is 36” off the floor. While that may be OK for some people, in a lot of cases the counter can either be too low or too high. After all, we’re all different so why should we settle for something that doesn’t fit? Since industry standard heights don’t work for everybody, the natural solution to the problem is a custom countertop height that’s tailor made for the person or persons using it.

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If you want to design your kitchen from scratch, take measurements and always consider custom options
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The standard counter depth is 24” and the distance from the counter to the upper cabinets is usually between 15” and 20”
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In case you have an island or a U-shaped kitchen, make sure to leave some circulation space between of at least 48”

But what if several persons are using the kitchen and their heights differ quite a bit? There’s a practical solution for that situation too. Multi-height counters are a great solution for families or shared kitchens. They basically feature various surfaces with different heights so everyone can feel comfortable when using the kitchen. Another advantage for this type of design is that it’s especially great for multi-functional kitchen islands that also work as bars or dining tables.

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You also need to leave some counter space on the side of he stove or fridge of at least 12”
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Kitchen islands with table extensions often place the table at a lower height for more comfort

A bar-height table work well in combination with bar stools but is not the most comfortable option for a breakfast nook or table. A counter placed at a lower height brings down the eating area to a more comfortable level and can be used in combination with regular dining chairs. Multi-height countertops also bring another idea to the table. They allow the user to physically separate functions. As a result, the dining counters can be differentiated from the prep areas, the cooktops and the baking counter and they can each be designed with the right height for the purpose they serve.

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Premade cabinets are designed for standard height so keep that in mind when planning the design of your kitchen
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Multi-height counters can be incorporated in the design of a custom kitchen island
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Choose the height of the counter based on the height of those using it most often or based on the purpose it will serve
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That’s a pretty clever way of making two different countertop heights work without wasting a lot of space
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Although custom countertop heights are mostly beneficial, they also present a few disadvantages

Here’s how you can figure out the right height for each area: prep surfaces need to be 3”-4” below the elbow so you can easily and comfortably chop, slice and dice. The cooking surfaces need to be 5”-6” below the elbow to avoid splashing hot oil at face level. Then there are also the low-level surfaces such as the area you use for rolling dough or kneading bread. These should be 8” below the elbow.

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One of the disadvantages is that a custom countertop height can pose problem when replacing appliances or getting new ones
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So take into consideration all the details before opting for a counter with custom height. It’s not always the most practical choice
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It’s usually easy to incorporate a custom-height counter when designing a kitchen with white quartz countertop. If the counter is too low, you can raise the island
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Take into consideration the thickness of the counter when designing a custom kitchen. Not all counters are alike
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If you want a multi-height counter, you can differentiate the functions by using different materials or colors
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There are various different ways of making multi-height counters work
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L-shaped designs are a practical option and they also help delineate the functions in the room
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The height of the counter often also dictates the distance between the counter and upper cabinets.

So the standard countertop height is 36” off the floor. The height, however, can sometimes vary from 35 1/2” to 37” so don’t take this number for granted. It depends on things like the thickness of the counter or the height of the cabinets. A below average countertop height is 32′‘. One above average is 38”-39”.  A wheelchair countertop is 31”-34” high and the usual kitchen island height is 42”.