Your kitchen is the busiest place in your home and it must be functional for you and your family. Every inch of space is important and you want to make sure all areas are taken into account.
Your walkways and kitchen work aisles must be wide enough to accommodate the cook as well as allow at least one person to get by them if need be. A work aisle, which would be the space between the sink and kitchen island for example, should be a minimum of 42". If you know you will need to be able to fit two cooks at once in the same space, up it to 48" wide. A walkway leading to another space or doorway, but doesn't interfere with food prep, should be 36" wide at the least.
Standard countertop height in a kitchen is 36". This is a comfortable height for most people when cooking or preparing food. For a raised bar area, 42" would be the counter height. This allows a person to sit on a barstool and not knock their knees on the counter. If you are designing a kitchen with a bar area the same height as the rest of your counters (36"), make sure you get counter stools to sit on at your island. A regular barstool would be much too high.
As far as typical countertop depths, a cabinet is 24" deep and a countertop is typically 25" deep, which provides a small lip and helps protect your cabinets from spills and damage.
The space beside your appliances and sink is important as well. You have to make sure you have enough room to prep food and place dishes. For an open food prep area, 36" of free space is ideal. A minimum of 12" should be allowed by your stove and 18" by your sink.
Work triangles are an important factor in kitchen planning. A work triangle consists of the sink, range, and refrigerator. These are the three areas that most people travel back and forth to while in the kitchen and you want them to be only steps away from each other for convenience.
If you want to guarantee the perfect space plan for your kitchen and that all the important dimensions are taken into consideration, plan on using a Cabinets.com kitchen designer! We have professional kitchen designers on staff who are experts with kitchen layouts and can help make your kitchen work for you!