WHAT IS THE KITCHEN COUNTERTOP STANDARD HEIGHT?
The standard kitchen countertop height is 36 inches from the ground, usually with a 0.8-1.2 inches thick surface. 'This was designed to be the appropriate height for cooking and preparing food for the average-sized person when standing,' explains Jonathan Stanley, VP at Caesarstone. 'This makes the counter height ergonomic for stirring or kneading or chopping whilst also being a safe height for lifting heavy pans or moving hot items like saucepans of boiling water.'
IS IT A GOOD IDEA TO STICK TO THE KITCHEN COUNTERTOP STANDARD HEIGHT?
'It’s key to stick to the standard height measurements as most kitchen appliances are designed to slot underneath the worktop and therefore have a minimum and maximum height,' says Nicolle Whyte, Kitchen Designer for Olive & Barr. 'This standard of measurement also allows you to easily replace appliances in standard sizes, should you wish to further down the line.' Caesarstone's Jonathan Stanley agrees it can cause problems with integral kitchen appliances: 'Under counter fridges, freezers and washing machines are designed to be the correct height to sit under the worktop and particularly if a lower worktop is chosen this can limit the options available,' he says. 'However, If a lower or taller worktop would be your ideal solution, then don’t let that stop you, there are many workarounds if you’ve got the budget to go bespoke.' Sticking to this height also makes buying off-the-shelf cabinetry an easy option.
WILL A DIFFERENT KITCHEN COUNTERTOP HEIGHT AFFECT RESALE?
Changing the kitchen countertop height could allow you to express creativity, but it could potentially cause issues later down the line. 'Bespoke kitchens offer a wealth of opportunities to be creative and design your kitchen of dreams,' says Olive & Barr's Nicolle Whyte. 'However, we would always advise keeping the height to the standard, as not only will it make it simpler and more cost effective for finding suitable appliances, but it means that should you wish to sell the house, a potential buyer won’t feel put off by the kitchen feeling too tall or low down.' Jonathan Stanley believes an extreme deviation could affect a sale, explaining: 'Whilst a small height difference may not be noticeable to the average house buyer, anything more extreme could impact the viewer's decision, but this applies to most extreme interior design decisions in any room in the house.
ARE THERE ANY TIMES YOU MIGHT BREAK THE STANDARD KITCHEN COUNTERTOP HEIGHT RULE?
'There are certainly exceptions to this rule,' states Jonathan. 'The standard kitchen countertop height is based on the average person’s height and is made with the assumption that they are able to stand at the countertop. 'This is hugely limiting for those who may be in a wheelchair or anyone whose height varies greatly from what is considered the average person’s height.' He adds: 'It may well be worth the alterations if standard height worktops would be a significant limitation to using the kitchen and there are brilliant kitchen designers are working specifically in these areas. 'Multi-generational living is also becoming more common, which can bring its own design challenges when thinking about spaces suitable for children, adults and grandparents, all of whom need to be able to move and work freely in the space.'
DOES THE KITCHEN ISLAND HAVE TO BE THE SAME HEIGHT?
When it comes to kitchen islands, there is no hard and fast rule, and the height of your island really depends on how you are going to use the space. 'If you intend to use the island for prepping food, washing up or cooking on the hob, then it’s a good idea to keep it the same height as the rest of the counters,' says Jonathan. 'However, if you intend to use it for storage and a breakfast bar then increasing or lowering the height could be an option. It’s still advisable to check the height proposed alongside your bar stool or chair to ensure the ratio feels right. 'Another option is to only elevate part of the island worktop, dedicating an area to kitchen activities and a higher area to eating or socializing.'