Kitchen Renovation Ideas

What is a good size kitchen?

The kitchen is the heart of the home, and the kitchen island is the heart of the kitchen – a central hub where people gather to prepare food, to eat and chat. Therefore, it’s important that it is as functional and practical as it is beautiful. When renovating your kitchen, working towards the standard Australian dimensions is a great idea for optimum ergonomics and functionality.

Is your existing benchtop height in your kitchen too low? What height should it really be? Having standard dimensions certainly makes life easier for kitchen designers as it provides a solid, workable framework to develop an efficient and safe kitchen design. Hitch Property Constructions has an extensive range of kitchen renovation Melbourne to take the hassle out of deciding the right furniture that matches.

KICKBOARD HEIGHT

Kickboard height is usually between 90mm and 150mm and set back from the cabinet’s carcass by around 50mm. The height range can be between 100mm to 200mm. The kickboard depth (from the front of the floor cabinet carcass excluding the door) is 50mm. 

STANDARD KITCHEN BENCHTOP HEIGHT

Standard benchtop height is 900mm. However, depending on your stature, it can range from 850mm to 1000mm. This is the distance between the finished floor and the top of the benchtop. However, the working bench height can be within the range of 850mm to 1050mm.

STANDARD BENCHTOP DEPTH

A lot of people confuse benchtop width with depth. Benchtops can be any width (and that depends on the material used for the benchtop); however, the most common depth for benchtops in Australia today is 600mm deep. (Older kitchens usually have a standard benchtop depth of 450mm).

The standard depth of a benchtop is 600mm. But first, have a look at your fridge’s depth. If you don’t want the fridge to protrude out of your kitchen row, adjust the depth of your benchtop accordingly. 

STANDARD BENCHTOP THICKNESS

Thickness: The most popular benchtops in Australia are made of engineered stones (e.g. Caesarstone, Quantum Quartz, Essastone, Smartstone) or have a laminate finish. The average thickness of the latter one is around 33mm, whereas engineered stone usually comes in 20mm or a multiple thereof. If you wish to choose an engineered stone, our recommendation is to go with a thickness of 40mm as this looks well-proportioned. 

Kitchen Renovation Ideas

The most common benchtop material is laminate, and its standard thickness is 33mm. It is made with a 32mm thick particle board or MDF substrate and a 0.8 mm thick piece of laminate glued to it.

Of course, the thickness of the benchtop will vary as it is dependent on the type of material used. Other benchtop materials include granite, limestone or engineered stones such as Caesarstone. They are usually 20mm thick slabs, and for thicker tops, the edge is built up by another 20mm.

  • Laminate benchtop thickness = 33mm
  • Granite / limestone thickness = 20mm (or 40mm with built up edge)
  • Caesarstone (engineered stone) = 20mm (or 40mm with built up edge)

You must be mindful when working with kitchen bench heights around the 1050mm height range. Appliances such as dishwashers will end up having a large gap between itself and the benchtop. You could consider raising the height of the dishwasher by putting a drawer underneath it or by putting a drawer above it.

STANDARD BENCHTOP DEPTHS FOR BREAKFAST BARS

  • 300mm
  • 450mm
  • 600mm

STANDARD BENCHTOP DEPTHS FOR KITCHEN ISLANDS

  • 600mm
  • 750mm
  • 900mm
  • 1200mm

The benchtop edge overhang is 20mm from the front face (door/drawer) of the floor cabinet.

FLOOR CABINETS

The standard floor cabinet height is 720mm (+1/-4mm). This does not include the kickboard. Floor cabinet depth ideally should not exceed 600mm (handles excluded). The standard floor cabinet depth is 580mm inclusive of door thickness.

Standard dimensions for stock or DIY base (floor) cabinets are 720mm high by 560mm deep (without the door). Floor cabinet widths generally increase by 100 or 150mm increments.

The maximum door width for a base cabinet is 600mm. This is due to the door weight loading on the door hinges. If the door was any wider, then the doors would tend to sag under the weight. You can overcome this by putting two hinges at the top of the door (one hinge under the other). Looking for kitchen renovation Melbourne? Look no further? Hitch Property Constructions has you covered. 

STANDARD KITCHEN DOOR GAP SIZE

The standard kitchen door gap size (distance between doors) is 3mm.

For example: If a single door cabinet is 500mm in width, then the door width will be 497mm (500-3mm).

A double door cabinet is 900mm in width, and then the door width will be 447mm ((900-6mm)/2).

The door gap between the underside of the benchtop and the top of the floor cabinet door is also 3mm.

STANDARD DIMENSIONS FOR STOCK / DIY WALL CABINETS

The standard wall cabinet height is 720mm (+1/-4mm). Wall cabinet depth ideally should not exceed 350mm (handles excluded). There should be 280mm minimum clear space from the back of the cupboard. I personally prefer a 300mm minimum clear space so you can store large diameter plates with ease.

Standard dimensions for stock or DIY wall cabinets are 720mm high by 300mm deep (without the door). As for the floor cabinets, wall cabinet widths generally increase by 100mm or 150mm increments. 

Dimensions shown below do not include the door.

  • 300mm wide x 720mm high x 300mm deep (1 door)
  • 450mm wide x 720mm high x 300mm deep (1 door)
  • 600mm wide x 720mm high x 300mm deep (1 door or 2 doors)
  • 750mm wide x 720mm high x 300mm deep (2 doors)
  • 900mm wide x 720mm high x 300mm deep (2 doors)
  • 1050mm wide x 720mm high x 300mm deep (2 doors)
  • 1200mm wide x 720mm high x 300mm deep (2 doors)

STANDARD TALL CABINET HEIGHT

The standard tall cabinet height (pantry, wall oven etc.) is 2073mm (+/- 20mm). 

The height is determined by adding up the floor cabinet height, benchtop thickness, splashback height and wall cabinet height (720mm + 33mm + 600mm + 720mm = 2073mm +/- 20mm). The standard tall cabinet depth is 600mm.

STANDARD KITCHEN HEIGHT

The standard kitchen height is 2223mm (+/- 20mm). The height is determined by adding up the kickboard height, floor unit height, benchtop thickness, splashback height and wall unit height:

150mm + 720mm + 33mm + 600mm + 720mm = 2223mm +/- 20mm.

SPLASHBACK HEIGHT (UNDER WALL CABINETS)

The standard kitchen splashback height is 600mm. The minimum splashback height is 450mm. If you have a wall unit over a sink, then there should be a minimum of 600mm splashback height between the top of the sink and the bottom of the wall unit.

RANGEHOOD HEIGHT ABOVE GAS COOKTOP

The minimum height of the range hood above a gas hob is 650mm. Most manufacturers recommend a minimum height of 700mm to 750mm.

STANDARD FRIDGE CAVITY DIMENSIONS

The standard refrigerator cavity/space is 900mm wide x 1800mm high x 600mm deep.

A long while back it used to be a commonly accepted practice in the Australian kitchen industry to leave a standard fridge space 1800mm high x 900mm wide x 600mm deep.

This ‘standard fridge space’ would accommodate most types of top-mounted fridges available in Australia, as this was the most popular fridge type at that time.

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a standard fridge size.

STANDARD OVEN / WALL OVEN DIMENSIONS

The standard under bench oven size is 600mm wide x 600mm high. The under bench oven can be used as a wall oven (and vice-versa). Pizza oven types are usually 900mm wide x 600mm high.

Wall oven dimensions are normally 600mm wide x 600mm high or 600mm wide x 900mm high. Occasionally wall ovens can be 900mm wide x 600mm high (e.g. pizza ovens).

FREESTANDING OVEN DIMENSIONS

Standard sizes of kitchen appliances such as freestanding ovens or ranges (be they gas or electric) come in five standard widths.

  • 540mm
  • 600mm
  • 750mm
  • 900mm
  • 1200mm

These are nominal dimensions (i.e. not exact but very close to) as different appliance manufacturers have varying standards.

STANDARD DISHWASHER DIMENSIONS

The standard dishwasher dimensions are 598mm wide x 600mm deep x 820mm to 870mm high (using height-adjustable legs). The standard dishwasher cavity dimensions are 600mm wide x 600mm deep x 870mm high.

Having standard dimensions certainly makes life easier for kitchen designers as it provides a solid, workable framework to develop an efficient and safe design. Check out our range of kitchen renovation at Hitch Property Constructions.

STANDARD ISLAND BENCH

Distance 

Galley kitchens with an island bench are still going strong. If you wish to install one, allow for 1200mm between the kitchen row and the island bench. If this space is too narrow, it becomes awkward when more than one person is working in the kitchen, or the kids are running around your legs. If the distance is too wide, the kitchen becomes less efficient to work in.

Width and depth 

The size of your kitchen island bench can be as large as your space allows. The only restriction is the width of the slab if you opt for an engineered stone benchtop. Standard slab size is 3060mm by 1440mm, but some suppliers offer oversized jumbo slabs which eliminate the need for an unsightly joint between two slabs. A good island width to work with is 1200mm, especially if you plan to place some barstools on the other side. In this case, you wish to accommodate the necessary legroom.

Legroom

An island bench is a great place to sit on barstools while having your breakfast or a snack before you go. Allow for 300mm of legroom underneath the benchtop to sit comfortably. You need to check with your kitchen manufacturer how big an unsupported benchtop overhang can be based on your chosen material.

Walkway 

Plan for 1000mm walkway either side of the island bench. This will allow enough space for people to move around without having to turn sideways.

Fridge 

The sizes of fridges vary significantly. For a single-door fridge allow around 800mm width and 780mm depth. A double door fridge is around 1200mm wide and 850mm deep. If you have selected a fridge, check its required ventilation space in the manual to incorporate this space into your planning.

Oven

Whether you go for a wall or under bench oven, the standard width is 600mm. For large families and entertainment, standard options include 700mm and 900mm.

Overhead cupboards

Clearance between benchtop and overhead cupboards to be a minimum of 600mm. However, if you wish to install a gas cooktop, you need to allow for at least 650mm. Read the manual of the cooktop and rangehood manufacturers and follow their instructions. If uncertain, please check with an electrician or plumber for the safety of your family.

Dishwasher

Dishwashers and dish drawers are usually 600mm wide, but they also come in 450mm, suitable for an apartment or studio.

Sink

Sinks come in all shapes and sizes. For a double sink allow for a length of around 800mm and a width of 480mm plus drainage area on the benchtop. The depth of the sink is around 200mm. If you wish to plan your kitchen sink with a single bowl allow for a length of 550mm and a width of around 500mm.

Key Measurements to Consider When Designing the Perfect Kitchen Island

Space around the island

To avoid traffic jams and poor flow, it is very important to plan for adequate room around your island, and this space should be the first thing you consider when planning your kitchen island.

Plan for at least 900 millimetres of space between the island and fixed items – other benchtops in the kitchen, walls or pieces of furniture. This will allow enough room for people to move around the island without having to turn sideways.

Where people usually stand to work at the island or in other parts of the kitchen facing the island – think of the stovetop and sink, and also where appliances, such as the dishwasher and fridge, open into space – you will need to plan for even more space where possible.

The ideal space between the working areas of the island and other benches is 1,000 to 1,200 millimetres, although 900 millimetres will suffice in a one-cook kitchen.

Space behind diners

Suppose your island is positioned so that the seating side of your island has a wall, another benchtop or other pieces of furniture behind it. In that case, you should keep the following measurements in mind to ensure diners have adequate room to push back their chair or stool to stand up. Depending on your layout, you may also need adequate room for someone to walk behind a seated person.

The minimum chair/stool pull-out distance behind a seating area to a wall or other objects is 600 millimetres – this is if the area behind will not be used as a walkway. A minimum of 900 millimetres of space will allow another person to edge behind a seated diner, and a minimum of 1,100 millimetres will provide comfortable walking space behind a seated diner.

Height of the island

The most common height for benchtops in the kitchen is about 900 millimetres from the finished floor level; however, bench heights of up to 950 millimetres, and even higher, are also popular. Low benchtops are a common cause of back pain, so try to aim for a bench height of about 920 millimetres, or whatever height is most comfortable for your family – 900 to 950 millimetres is a comfortable height when using bar stools.

If the occupants of your home vary a lot in height, then design an island bench (that is a single level) to suit the standing height of the main cook.

The height of your island can also be designed in two levels, with the working area set at a comfortable height for standing food-preparation work and the dining area lower or higher to accommodate chairs or bar stools, depending on your preference.

If you would like to incorporate table-height dining into your island, make the table 750 millimetres high. Regular dining chairs will then be suitable for use.

Don’t forget to take the thickness of your benchtop into account when specifying the height of your kitchen island. Benchtop materials vary from stainless steel, which is only a few millimetres thick, to average-thickness laminate at around 33 millimetres, all the way up to 40-millimetre-thick granite benchtops.

The height of your island can also be designed in two levels, with the working area set at a comfortable height for standing food-preparation work and the dining area lower or higher to accommodate chairs or bar stools, depending on your preference.

If you would like to incorporate table-height dining into your island, make the table 750 millimetres high. Regular dining chairs will then be suitable for use.

Don’t forget to take the thickness of your benchtop into account when specifying the height of your kitchen island. Benchtop materials vary from stainless steel, which is only a few millimetres thick, to average-thickness laminate at around 33 millimetres, all the way up to 40-millimetre-thick granite benchtops.

There are other standards that are vitally important to understand when designing a kitchen. These standards are very important as a professional or governmental regulatory authority issues them, and certain rules must be adhered to. 

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