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Last modified: 2023-03-24 | Approximate reading time 4 mins
Are you renovating your kitchen and need a new counter? If that’s the case, you probably already have a few questions on the subject matter, and more often than not, these are most likely related to the ideal, or even regulatory, dimensions of said kitchen feature.
Generally speaking, the standard height of a kitchen counter is 36 inches or just under 1 metre, and 25 inches deep. In terms of thickness, usually, it’s 1 ¼ inch, regardless of the manufacturing material used.
However, note that new countertops are now made thinner, and can be roughly ½- or ¼-inch thick. Depending on the manufacturing materials used, thinner doesn’t necessarily mean weaker. The sturdiness of quartz won’t be affected, as opposed to that of granite or marble.
As for the latter, we don’t usually recommend making countertops thinner without some type of additional support. Likewise, an inch-thick or more countertop will last longer if it holds a kitchen sink or cooktop.
It’s important to point out that it’s possible to opt for a narrow countertop, such as one that’s 22 inches deep. However, if you wish to proceed that way to gain space in your kitchen, keep in mind that you’ll be forgoing the installation of a standard-size wine cellar or a small wine fridge beneath your countertop, as these appliances will inevitably stick out.
Even though not all countertops have a raised bar, those directly facing an open space or a dining room often have this feature. Besides, these are often installed on the end of a kitchen island in smaller apartments that aren’t roomy enough for a standard-size kitchen table.
A raised bar countertop is at least 12 inches deep if it’s higher or lower than the rest of the countertop prep space. It’s believed to be a decent amount of space for anyone to be able to sit down and eat comfortably. Although, if your raised bar countertop is simply a progression of your regular kitchen countertop, and is thus installed at the same height, its depth can be limited to 8 inches.
When it comes to cantilever-type installations, meaning one end is without supports and could risk fracturing if a too-heavy load is rested on its surface, some type of support should be added beneath to reinforce it should it protrude more than 12 inches. In any case, consult a kitchen designer or contractor.
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If you’ve just put in a raised bar countertop, you’ll need to carefully choose your bar stools so everyone can sit comfortably during mealtime.
More on the matter, if the countertop is 36 inches high, your stools will need to be between 24 to 26 inches high. If by any chance your counter is 42 inches high, your stools will need to be more like 30 inches high.
Aside from stool height concerns, note that you’ll also need to consider the vertical space that’s directly between the seat and the countertop’s surface. There should be roughly 9 to 12 inches of space so that just about anyone can comfortably sit without encountering restricted leg space.
As for the horizontal space that separates the counter stools and the edge of the countertop, for the same reasons explained above, there should be 14 to 18 inches cleared.
Wrapping up this issue with a couple of precisions regarding the number of stools that should be placed under your raised bar countertop. Is your countertop between 72 and 96 inches long? If so, you’ll then need to bank on three stools. If the length of your counter is more modest (between 48 and 60 inches long), limit the number of stools to two.
In any case, by respecting the above-mentioned guidelines, you’re sure to have between 24 to 30 inches between each stool.
Even though the previously mentioned dimensions are considered standard, note that there’s always some leeway. Taller individuals often opt for higher countertops, these measuring 42 inches in height.
On the other hand, shorter individuals or those with reduced mobility, circulating in a wheelchair, tend to have lower countertops installed. These can be custom-made to effectively meet one’s needs and wants.
No matter if your countertop meets standard dimensions or not, note that you can find options for less than $100 on the market.
Should you have decided to DIY your kitchen countertop installation, note that you’ll need to factor in enough space to seal your sink. To do so, remember to leave a ¾-inch gap around it.
Should you need to keep your current appliances, you’ll need to plan accordingly, as their dimensions will affect the height of the countertop, just like its depth. However, if you plan to purchase new appliances, ensure that their dimensions, as that of your new counter, are compatible.
However obvious this might be, we’re making a point to mention it because it can be quite a struggle, not to mention a time-consuming task, to exchange appliances. So, to avoid any unforeseen circumstances, get out your measuring tape!
Need more tips to help you choose your new kitchen counter? Check out our article: How to Choose Your Kitchen Counter.
Are you looking to get a cost estimate for your future kitchen countertop? Check out our article on the subject matter.
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