Whether you like preparing three course dinners or microwavable meals, each and every one of us spends a great deal of time working in the kitchen. Despite this, you might never have given any thought to the height of your worktops, the spaces where almost all of a cook’s prep work gets done.
Unfortunately, this can have unexpected consequences. Having to slouch over a worktop to work can cause long term health issues, while having to tiptoe can be extremely dangerous. For the very tall or short, installing a worktop at an average height can be a poor choice indeed, but how do you find the best height to suit you?Luckily, there are a few simple tricks for gauging the ideal height of your kitchen worktops. Naturally the actual worktop installation should be handled by a local kitchen fitter. Not only will they complete the work to a high standard, but they will also be used to working according to approximate measurements.
As is the case with most home improvement questions, the answer to this one is that it depends on your situation. The top of most kitchen worktops is usually around 900mm from the floor, but this may not necessarily be right for you.
Instead of relying on averages, it will be a good idea to gauge the ideal height for your worktops yourself. There are a few tried and tested methods:
Before continuing, keep in mind that you should not confuse the working height of your worktops with the point where they meet your floor cabinets. It is also important to know exactly how thick your worktops are, as this can vary significantly between different materials. Once you know the worktop material you are going with, you can use the thickness to calculate the ideal height.
You will also need to consider who in your household does most of the work in the kitchen. If the chef in your family is of a different height to you, having worktops that match your own size will still mean potential difficulties for them. If necessary you can always have worktops at different heights throughout; a popular option is to have cabinet-mounted worktops at a certain height and those on the kitchen island at another. That said, if you are planning to sell your home in the near future then it may be worth keeping the worktops at an average height, so that potential buyers do not have to worry about refitting them.
Remember, if your cabinets are not appropriately sized for your ideal working height, you may need to consider replacing them. In a worst-case scenario, you can always have new cabinets made bespoke by a local joiner.
Another important aspect of working comfortably will be having enough room between the worktop and any wall cabinets. On the one hand, you want to be able to reach wall mounted cabinets without any trouble, but on the other you will want to avoid constantly banging your head.
Typically the ideal distance between worktops and upper cabinets will be around 600 to 700mm. Again, the most appropriate measurement will depend on the person using the worktops.