There are some general design guidelines that will ensure a safe and enjoyable kitchen. Check your plans against the specifications noted below:
- Countertops should be at least 16 in. deep.
- If you install one sink, there should be at least 24 in. of counter space on one side and at least 18 in. on the other side of the sink. If you install two sinks, at least 3 in. are required on one side and 18 in. on the other.
- There should be 15 in. to 18 in. between the countertop and the bottom of your wall cabinets.
- You should have at least 36 in. of open countertop space close to a sink for comfortable and safe food preparation.
- If your kitchen is open-ended, you should have at least 9 in. of counter space on one side of the range top and 15 in. on the other.
- You will need at least 15 in. of countertop space on the latch side of a refrigerator. Have at least 15 in. of landing space and 48 in. or less across from the refrigerator.
- If the counter will serve as an eating space, you will need at least 12 in. by 24 in. space for each person to eat.
- If two countertops meet at an entry way, allow 32 in. between their front corners.
Countertop selection is a common point of confusion and frustration. Use the following questions to help guide you in your selection process:
- What type of cooking do you do? If you do a lot of frying with oils, some stone countertops may not be suitable. At the same time, if you don’t do much frying or cook infrequently, a stone surface may be perfect for your kitchen.
- What type of abuse will the counter receive? Certain countertops are a poor choice because they scratch easily and so are not suitable for cutting and chopping. Other surfaces, such as laminates, burn easily and cannot serve as a hotplate. Stone and tile do well absorbing the heat from hot pots.
- Is the material you select available in the color you need? Not all materials come in all colors, and you need to make sure your countertop is a color that you will be not tire of quickly.
- How easy is the countertop to take care for? Some materials require frequent sealing and/or resurfacing. Be aware of the care instructions before you commit yourself to the ongoing maintenance.
- How much have you budgeted for the countertop? When balancing between spending on cabinets and countertops in the kitchen, remember that the countertops will get the most wear. It may make sense to spend more on your countertops to allow for better quality materials that will last you longer.
- Do you have small children or large pets? Some countertops may have sharp edges that can cause injuries to children and pets large enough to reach them.
- What type of sink do you want? Some countertop materials are incompatible with certain types of sinks. For example, under mount sinks cannot be used with laminate materials.
- Do you want a polished, smooth, rough, or flat texture? Polished finishes require the most maintenance and are not available in every kind of materials.
Talk to your family, friends, and neighbors about their countertops and what they like and dislike about them. Or you can always call us today to talk about laminate, solid surface, stone, marble or cultured marble, granite, limestone, slate, terrazzo, tile, wood butcher block, or stainless steel countertop surfaces.