Monday, November 23, 2009

What guidelines do kitchen designers use when designing a kitchen plan?


When a kitchen designer is working on a kitchen cabinet plan they often use the National Kitchen and Bath Associations (NKBA) guidelines. These guidelines were developed as a way to help kitchen designers produce the safest and most comfortable kitchens. Designing with these guidelines ensures the kitchen design’s accessibility and usability. These guidelines are not the same as building codes but they do share their concern with life safety and solutions are brought through standardization.

The guidelines laid out by the NKBA are as follows:



  • Doorways are to be at least 32” wide and no more than 24” deep
    Walkways are to be at least 36” wide

  • The work triangle should be 26 feet or less with no leg shorter than 4 feet or longer than 9 feet.

  • Single cook work aisle should be at least 42” wide, multi-cook to be 48” wide

  • A 36” clearance should be between the counter or table edge and the wall or obstruction behind a seated diner if no traffic is to pass behind them.

  • A 65” clearance is need for a walkway behind the seated diner.

  • Wall kitchen cabinets should be at least 30” high and 12” deep and should contain adjustable shelves.

  • A kitchen under 150 square feet should have at least 144” of wall kitchen cabinet frontage.

  • Kitchens over 150 square feet should have at least 186”.

  • At least 60” of wall kitchen cabinet frontage should be within 72” of the primary sink center line.

  • Base kitchen cabinets should be at least 21” deep.

  • A kitchen under 150 square feet should have at least 156” of base kitchen cabinet frontage.

  • Kitchens over 150 square feet should have at least 192”.

  • A kitchen under 150 square feet should have at least 120” of drawer or roll-out shelf frontage. Kitchens over 150 square feet should have at least 165”.

  • At least five storage or organization features should be located between 15” and 48” above the finished floor.

  • At least one functional corner storage unit should be included.

  • At least two waste receptacles should be included- one for waste and one for recycling.
    Clear floor space of 30” x 48” should be provided at the sink, dishwasher, cook top, oven and refrigerator.

  • A minimum of 21” clear space should be between the edge of the dishwasher and any object placed at a right angle to it.

  • The edge of the dishwasher should be within 36” of the edge of the sink

  • At least 24” of clearance between cooking surface ad a protected surface above. Or 30”between cooking surface and unprotected surface.

  • Cooking surfaces should have an exhaust fan of at least 150 CFM

  • Cooking surfaces should not be placed below an operable window unless the window is at least 3” behind and 24” above that surface.

  • The bottom of a microwave should be between 24” and 48” above the finished floor.

  • Kitchens under 150 square feet should have at least 132” of usable counter frontage.

  • Kitchens over 150 square feet should have at least 198”.

  • At least 24” of counter frontage should be to one side of the primary sink and 18” on the other side

  • At least 15” of landing space, at least 26” deep should be located above, below or adjacent to the microwave

  • For an open-ended kitchen, at least 9” of counter space should be on one side of the cooking surface and 15” on the other side. For an enclosed kitchen at least 3” of clearance space should be between the cooking surface and a flame retardant material and 15” on the other side.

  • At least 15” of counter space should be on the latch side of the refrigerator. Or on either side of a side-by-side, or at least 15” of counter space no more than 48” across from refrigerator

  • At least 15” of landing space, minimum 16” deep should be next to or above and oven.
    36”continuous countertop at least 26” deep is need for a preparation center. This center should be next to a water source.

  • If two landing spaces are adjacent to each other, than their combined width is determined by taking the longest of the two and adding 12”

  • No two primary work centers should be separated by a full-height, full-depth tall tower configuration.

  • Open counter corners should be clipped or radiused to eliminate sharp corners.

  • Controls, handles, and door/drawer pulls should be operational with one hand.

  • Ground fault circuit interrupters should be specified on all receptacles within the kitchen.

  • Fire extinguishers should be visibly located away from cooking equipment and 15”-48” above the finished floor.

  • Smoke alarms should be installed in or near the kitchen

  • Windows or skylights area should equal at least 10% of total square footage of kitchen or total living space that includes the kitchen

  • Every work surface in the kitchen should be well illuminated by appropriate task and/or general lighting.

Because it is not always possible to follow all of these guidelines it is important to consult a kitchen designer. Kitchen designers can help make the appropriate choices to balance your needs and limitations to achieve the optimal balance. Call, email or come by The Savannah Cabinet Shop today and we’ll start the process together.

1 comment:

  1. Great post (I've pinned it).
    Question: where is the post for that kitchen/tinyhouse? It's fabulous.

    ReplyDelete