Are standard counter heights still “standard”?
June 5, 2017
With changes happening so often, it’s important to be flexible and aware of the growing array of choices. Standards are no longer hard and fast. Standard counter heights, for example, have long been defined as 36 inches. Ergonomically, this countertop height has been a good fit, on average, for doing most kitchen tasks, like prepping food, washing dishes, and cooking. The addition of a breakfast bar commanded a higher tier. The kitchen has evolved from a functional space to a gathering area. People enjoy dining at the breakfast bar. Kids sit there to do their homework. And for entertaining, counter space doubles as an ideal buffet. At Ideal Homes, we’re seeing more people request one flat surface for their island counters, instead of the two-tiered, raised bar design. Bar height elevates the counter a few inches, to 40” or 42”. When you choose the bar height, you create one smooth plane, not two, extending the depth of the serving, dining, and homework space. Aesthetically, many homeowners find this look more appealing because it gives them the open look and feel they want. Whether you’re perched on a stool or standing by the counter, bar height provides a comfortable fit. Counter stools are available in a wide variety of designs, whether you choose the 24” or 26” height for the standard kitchen counter height, or bar stool heights of 28” or 30”. There is no right or wrong choice for counter heights, only the one that fits your style. If you do a lot of entertaining, the bar height is probably a good option. If this surface level is too high for your stature, then certainly choose the standard counter height to make life easier for yourself! Kitchen countertops aren’t the only ones getting a lift. The standard bathroom counter height is 32”, but many homeowners are rising up and going for a 36” height for their vanities. The taller countertop still accommodates standard size cabinets, but reduces the amount of bending, perhaps one reason the higher style is also called ‘comfort height”. There is no right or wrong height, design-wise. Above all, your home should be the right fit for you, your family members, and your lifestyle. Keep this in mind when planning a kitchen or bathroom renovation. If you’re thinking of making a move to a new home in the Oklahoma City area, contact Ideal Homes to review all of your design options before making this big choice. For more kitchen photos, check out our photo gallery.