While getting the colour scheme, cabinetry, handles, splashbacks and appliances in your new kitchen is a priority, one of the most important facets in the kitchen to get right is the bench top. The bench top is where all the work happens. It is vital that the material chosen is right for you as well as the design and of course, height.
There is a standard bench top height that we design at Craftbuilt Kitchens but sometimes it is necessary to step outside the standard and have your own height and style created when it comes to your kitchen bench top. After all, it is a kitchen designed with you, just for you!
Deciding On Your Bench Top Size
First, the size of the benchtop needs to be measured. This largely depends on the size of the kitchen space you have to work with as well as your cooking style. One bedroom inner city units, for example, don’t always have the most space for kitchens.
It is not uncommon for a small kitchenette to be installed against one wall adjoining the lounge space in one room. In this case, the bench top will be smaller.
The way you cook will also affect the size of bench you need. If you like making big home cooked meals from scratch then more bench space will be required. However, if you are a busy professional who carries out basic meal prep or only buys pre-made meals then your bench space requirements will be lesser.
Deciding On Your Height
Ergonomic comfort is a must in the kitchen when you create culinary storms or even when you spend a short time making meals. Not one person is the same height; neither should be the kitchen bench top – in some cases.
If you are a particularly tall person or even for those who are on the little on the short side of things, a standard bench top height will not serve you well. Leaning down for a long period of time while preparing food or reaching up higher will inevitably cause you discomfort. Imagine yourself wiping down the countertop everyday – do you think you will end up with a sore back or limbs?
Different bench heights can also serve different purposes. Lower bench spaces can be great for kids to sit at and do their homework while the parent/s are on the opposite side preparing meals. Breakfast bars can be used for meal preparation as well as eating at for busy professionals.
Where the appliances are placed in relation to benchtops and the fridge is a common theme to consider. However, you do need to be comfortable in your kitchen. The height, width and length of your benchtops is incredibly important to get right too.
An island benchtop can be accessed from all sides for cleaning. Because of this, the width is not such a big factor. However, if the benchtop is against a wall you will generally only be able to access it from one side. Therefore, keeping a reasonable width in mind is advised.
Length is governed greatly by the amount of space in your kitchen and also how many people will be using the bench space at once. For those who are confined to wheelchairs or the elderly, a smaller length benchtop can mean easier cleaning and reaching capabilities.
The standard height for benchtops that is considered ergonomic is 900mm. This is suitable for many, but not for some. You can always discuss with your designer if you would like your benchtop to be lower or higher, depending on your personal needs and, in doing so, you will do your back and limbs a favour.
When you talk to our professional kitchen designers at Craftbuilt Kitchens be sure to discuss your meal prep needs to get the bench top style, space and height just right for you. Call our showroom today at (07) 3341 9166.