As you prepare to undertake your kitchen renovation project, every detail counts when it comes to planning its layout. Your kitchen’s functionality depends on easy access and freedom of movement between appliances, cabinets and doorways without interfering with each other in order to create an optimal working environment.

It is essential to note where electrical outlets, switches, and plumbing fixtures are located as well as any obstacles or obstructions that might impede cabinet placement, appliance installation, countertops and pendants. Take precise measurements of aisles and height between counter and upper cabinets so appliances and worktops can be set up without issue.

Cabinet dimensions

As soon as measuring for cabinets begins, start with base cabinets along the walls, noting the dimensions and spacing between each cabinet. Measure from the floor to the bottom of upper cabinets to provide clearance for countertops and appliances, keeping in mind the height of ceiling when planning cabinet height.

Modern kitchens are made up of three different types of units – upper cupboards, floor cabinets and tall panties. Although widths can vary, other measurements must adhere to size standards to maintain functionality.

UnitHeightDepthWidth
Upper cabinets12″ – 4212″ – 18’’12″, 15″, 18″, 30″
Floor cabinets34’’ – 36’’24″12″, 15″, 18″, 30″
Pantry cabinets84″ – 90″15″, 18″, 24″24’’, 30″, 36″, 42″, 48″

There must be a distance between the counter and upper cabinets of 18″-24″. The standard space between upper and lower cabinets is 18″ because the wall cabinets that are directly adjacent to a range cannot be any lower than 18 “. 15” would not work in this situation, since it does not conform with building codes.

The clearance between countertops and cabinets could be reduced to 15″ if the person using the kitchen has vertical challenges. However, you will still need to install the range hood according to the building codes.

The clearances between a cooktop and a range hood above the cooking surfaces should meet safety standards – 30″ for an electric range and 36″ for a gas range. There should be at least a 15″ landing space on each side from the cooktop.

Fitting appliances space

2 wall kitchen ovens fit the cabinets

Keep in mind when planning your kitchen design that the majority of appliances are standard sizes. The average dishwasher is 24″ wide while microwaves and stoves are 30″ wide. The height and depth of refrigerators are variable, with the widths ranging from 36″ to 48″. To ensure the appliance you choose fits into the designated spaces, it is important to check the dimensions. Consider the space available and your requirements before selecting appliances. This will ensure that you have a functional kitchen layout.  

When designing and installing cabinets yourself, you should allow for slightly different spaces for appliances such as the fridge, stove, dishwasher, and microwave. As a general rule, you should leave 1/4″ to 1/2″ more space between the appliance openings and their actual width. Consider leaving some extra space around the refrigerator to facilitate installation and allow proper ventilation.

Electrical outlets and switches 

In your kitchen, it is easy to forget about the GFCI outlets and light switches. These items are so common that we tend to overlook them because they are always “there” whenever you need them. 

Each municipality has specific requirements and codes in place for the installation of GFCI receptacles. Your electrician will know the exact distances required in your city. In general, one outlet is required for every 36 inches of counter space. Outlets are required to be 42″ away from the ground. One outlet should be placed at a distance of no more than 24″ from the sink. Ground fault current interrupter (GFCI) protection is required for all outlets used in the kitchen to prevent shock. Keep in mind that a separate range circuit is needed for the stove.

To determine the best switch location in a kitchen you should first consider the traffic patterns. Most kitchens contain two, or sometimes three entrances. The main ceiling lights should be located in an area that is easily accessible by each entrance. Usually, the undercabinet light is switched on somewhere near the cooking area on the backsplash. The switcher location for inside cabinet or accent lighting can be anywhere.

Ventilation

3 cooking without food odour with a good ventilation

Ventilation is an integral component of kitchens, particularly if you regularly cook and have strong odors that linger in the air. CFM (cubic feet per minute) is used to measure airflow or power within range hoods. A minimum exhaust rate in any given kitchen should be 100 CFM to effectively remove by-products of cooking, moisture and odor from the air.

A range hood with adequate CFM ratings ensures optimal ventilation, keeping the environment pleasant while creating an ideal cooking space. For example, if you frequently cook dishes with strong aromas, selecting a range hood with at least 350 CFM rating would be advised. Such a range hood can effectively manage increased air volumes while simultaneously eliminating persistent odors, grease particles and smoke from your kitchen environment.

Before choosing a range hood for your kitchen, take into account its size, your cooking habits, and what type of foods are typically prepared.