A guide to the standard worktop height, thickness & depth you should know

Before we start talking about standard worktop height, kitchen worktop depths, and kitchen wall unit height let’s just get the elephant out of the room. It’s your kitchen, and if “standard” doesn’t suit you, you can go for a bespoke kitchen with everything made to suit you. 

Standards suit averages, and if the person most likely to work in your kitchen isn’t “average” your kitchen needn’t be either! 

With that out of the way, let’s take a closer look at what the dimensions of the average kitchen’s components might be. But first, some basics. 

Why are Kitchen Countertops Treated Separately From Cabinets?

When you view a fitted kitchen, the countertops and cabinets seem to be a seamless unit, but they aren’t! Cabinets form the base for countertops, and with people choosing from a wide range of materials for kitchen countertops, cabinets need to be designed to bear the load the countertop presents. 

So, when designing a kitchen, we’ll ask about the type of countertop desired, and base the cabinet design on that. 

Your cabinets are the backbone of your kitchen design. With cabinets determining the layout, countertops are the finishing touch. So let’s look at the six basic layouts for kitchens next. 

6 Kitchen Layouts That Affect Worktop Dimensions

Even when a kitchen isn’t in a room of its own, it’s a workspace that’s dedicated to food preparation – so that means designing kitchens as separate entities, even when they interface with living space. This limits us to six basic designs with proven practicality. 

One Wall Layout

In a one-wall layout, everything is in a straight line against one wall. It’s a practical choice if you have limited space, but it does come with its own problems. 

When designing a one-wall kitchen, we recommend leaving worktop space between the sink, stove, and fridge to allow for comfortable movement within the kitchen. 

The average minimum size for a practical worktop in a one-wall kitchen is about 2.5 metres. 

Galley Kitchens

Another design solution for kitchens in rooms with space constraints, the galley consists of two workspaces with parallel countertops. 

There’s usually little space between the two units, so the space needed to move when drawers and cabinet doors are opened must be taken into account. 

You’ll need at least 1.5 metres between the two countertops, and the standard practical worktop length is 2.5 metres at a minimum. 

L-Shaped Kitchens

A kitchen space with two walls at right angles to one another calls for an L-shaped design. 

In this instance, the corner of the “L” needs special attention. One doesn’t want doors clashing with one another, for example. 

The length of the countertops themselves will be at least 2.5 metres, but more is better! 

U-Shaped Kitchens

Similar to L-shaped kitchens, but with an extra wall to make use of, U-shaped kitchens present similar challenges for cabinets situated at their corners. 

The space between the two arms of the “U’ determines how practical a U-shaped counter might be. You need enough room to move around, open cabinets, and so on. It also determines where the best spots for the sink, stove, and fridge will be.

In larger kitchens, you won’t want them to be too far apart. The minimum distance your worktops and cabinets should be from one another is 1.5 metres. 

Peninsula Kitchens

Peninsula kitchens are very popular in open-plan living. The design is like that of a U-shaped kitchen but with an additional worktop acting as a room divider and a space for serving and dining. 

In this instance, the width of the peninsula is flexible depending on what you want to do with it. If it’s just for serving, it needn’t be wider than a bar counter. 

Island Kitchens

An island is usually a smaller worktop separated from the other units in the kitchen. Adding one to any kitchen design makes it an “island” kitchen.  

The dimensions of an island will depend on what you want to do with it. For example, if you want to situate a hob so that you can face guests in the lounge while you cook in the kitchen, you’ll need your worktop at least 60cm wide with some worktop space on either side. 

Standard Worktop and Cabinet Dimensions Summed Up

Now that we’ve looked at kitchen designs and how they affect worktop dimensions, let’s sum up the basics:

Minimum length for a worktop: a minimum of 1.5m, but 3m is standard.

Depth of a kitchen worktop: 60 to 65cm is standard

Standard height of a kitchen worktop: 90cm from worktop surface to floor. 

Thickness of worktop (depending on chosen materials)

  • Solid wood: 26 to 40mm
  • Stone worktops: 30mm
  • Concrete worktops: 40mm
  • Chipboard worktops: 30mm
  • Laminated plywood worktops: 20mm

Distance between worktop and wall units: at least 40cm

Plan Your Kitchen for Convenience and Comfort

As we pointed out in our introduction, there may be a gap between what’s standard and what you actually need.

If the height of a standard kitchen counter doesn’t suit you, there’s nothing wrong with choosing taller or lower ones.  

Of course, that’s not an option if you’re buying premade modular units.  But if you need a special kitchen plinth height, it’s worth opting for long-term comfort and convenience. 

Koivu Kitchens is happy to stick to standard if that’s what suits you, but if your reason for asking how high kitchen worktops are stems from concern about disabled family members who will work from a wheelchair, or extra-tall loved ones who would prefer a higher-than-standard work surface, we’re here to meet your needs. And, when you choose Koivu Kitchens, it’s more than just an investment in your comfort and convenience – you get great looks along with it. Visit our kitchen gallery and get some inspiration!

Back to: Blog