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Kitchen Ergonomics

Updated: Apr 29, 2018

Regardless of the kitchen area size, before starting any renovation, you need to plot the future kitchen on a piece of paper. Precisely note the arrangement of everything that you want to put in this space. But don’t forget about the “rules of arrangement”, observance of which will help to comfortably spend time during meal preparation.

The main rules are:

  • The countertop is your working area where you will spend the maximum amount of time, so the equipment is installed depending on your height. The most common countertop height is 36” inches, but if you are tall it may become uncomfortable, so there is an option with a countertop height up to 40” inches. It is not difficult to determine the appropriate height: bent the arm at the elbow at 90 degrees parallel to the floor and measure 6” inches down.

  • The most common height of a dining table is 30” inches.

  • Stove. If you prefer a gas stove, for safety reason its installation takes at least 20” inches from the open balcony doors and windows, where the flame of fire can blow out the air stream. The option where a gas stove is installed in the corner does not quite fit as well. The first reason is the stove needs to be installed at least 3”inches from the wall, this means that the precious area is lost. Secondly, splashes will hit the side wall instead of the countertop which will be harder to get rid of.

  • Range hood. The most common option is 30” inches in height from the cooktop depending on specifications. The following rule applies: the higher the range hood, the more powerful it should be.

  • The kitchen sink should be deep with a high mixer. This will allow you to wash larger pan and pots.

  • The dishwasher is best suited near the sink, which will make it easier to connect to the pipes.

  • For the refrigerator, the most suitable place is a corner, and to make it more convenient to use without taking up excess space, it is necessary to outweigh the door so that it opens towards the nearest wall (modern models of refrigerators have such a function as repositioning the doors). While choosing the arrangement option, it is necessary to immediately exclude the solution, where the sink will be located next to the gas stove. Splashes that can get on the hot surface of the frying pan will begin to intensively spray.

The rules of kitchen ergonomics are important, but to be able to better optimize the workflow, there are also the “triangle rule”. In the working triangle, there are three vertices, which play a major role in zoning:

  • top one – supplies storage, namely refrigerator;

  • as a second peak is a sink, where the food is prepared;

  • and for cooking, of course, you need a stove, which acts as the third vertex. To achieve maximum convenience, all the peaks should be close to each other, this will save you from unnecessary running around the kitchen. It is important not to put this equipment nearby for a safety reasons. Since the head of the whole working process is sink and it should occupy an honorable place in the center. On each side of it, a refrigerator and a stove are installed.

The “triangle rule” workflow in different kitchen layouts:

  • Linear kitchen. The triangle is located on one side of the kitchen. Sink is installed in the center with countertop on a sides and only then a refrigerator and a stove.

  • Extruded "two-row" kitchen. Since all the cabinetry is placed on both sides then the tops, respectively, too. A good option will be when the sink and stove are on one side, and the refrigerator on the other. In doing so, we observe the distance between the rows, which should not be less than 41” inches.

  • U-shaped kitchen. Cabinetry occupies three walls, and it means that the tops are set accordingly. The middle row is a suitable place for a sink, and two opposite for a refrigerator and a stove.

  • L-shaped kitchen. The most common kitchen option. In the corner on the center sink is installed, and a stove and a refrigerator on either side of it.

Tips for a small and narrow kitchen

The owners of a small and narrow kitchen are often disappointed, trying to put all modern technology into it. To save space, several tricks are applied with the main idea to use every unused inch.

  • If possible, you can expand the window sill, from which you will get a beautiful table top;

  • Each inch between the existing cabinets can be used for different shelves;

  • It is recommended to select a multifunctional cabinets;

  • all cabinet door faces could be in the sliding version or open upwards;

  • visually help to increase space by leveraging transparent tabletops and stool backrests;

  • Kitchen door is an arch or a sliding door.

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